Thursday, July 12, 2007

I'm so tired of the party of white straight guys

A reader wrote into Andrew Sullivan today:

In saying merely that the GOP has shown a contempt for gay voters, you are being far too fair. The more accurate statement is that the GOP has built its base on a political ideology that demonizes gays. And also feminists. And scientists. And anyone who doesn't hold traditional Jewish or Christian views. That IS the culture war. When that old-fashioned God and gay hatred are used to define one side, that puts a lot of us on the other. And what are the rest of us to do, in our political efforts in a two-party system? Treat equally the party that demonizes us and the party that welcomes us?

Even if the latter party is a disorganized opposition party with historical obligations to a wide variety of special interest groups, even if one might prefer some of the specific planks of the first party, it's hard to overlook that demonization. That counts for a lot in politics. And should. Gays, scientists, and atheists have been told by the GOP that they ARE the enemy. In practical politics, a group's demonization by one of the two major political parties may look quite a bit like its "merger" with the other. It's important, nonetheless, to understand the root cause of that shift.

This is a letter that hits the nail on the head for me. I have never been a one issue voter, but even if there were things about the Republican platform with which I agreed, they would never ever get my vote. I feel about the Republican Party the way I feel about the Catholic Church, THEY DON’T WANT NO STINKIN GAYS OR GAY-LOVING DEMONS within their ranks. I get their message and I am taking it seriously: I am not welcome. But that is ok, I want no part of them either.

Try as I might, I cannot understand anyone with any self-respect being a “Gay Republican”, the term itself is as much an oxymoron to me as “Jumbo Shrimp”. I am not gay, but I cannot ever imagine calling myself a Catholic or a Republican again. Not with how these two institutions have defined themselves today. And though I am sure there are good people in both institutions (well I know many good Catholics and a few good Republicans too), the stench of the bigotry and the ignorance has become so prevalent within the leadership ranks of both that I cannot imagine even entering either one of their tiny little crowded tents again. There’s no room for me or anyone who doesn’t march to their tune.

Could that change? I guess there is always a possibility. But I doubt it will happen anytime soon. Both institutions have become so entrenched in this “us against them” dynamic that I don’t see any significant changes I could live with coming in my lifetime.

So I’m a proud Independent who will vote for gay-friendly Democrats in the next few elections. And all I can say to the Republicans is: enjoy your vacation in the wilderness white straight guys, you’ve earned it.


No comments: