We wonder why the Republicans hate gays, but the problem isn’t as simple as homophobic religious beliefs or just plain social conservatism. Republicans as a whole do not have a particular opinion about homosexuality, other than the odd grumbling about not wanting government funded programs for AIDS education or research. Gays and lesbians don’t matter much to the Republican party, unless they can be used to bait hardcore “Christians” into working for them.
Republicans know that there is a massive population of people who are too stupid to vote, and that no one in their right mind would necessarily want them for their constituency anyway, except perhaps David Duke. However, these are hard times for the GOP, and they cannot afford to be choosy when it comes to registered voters.
Republicans know that they may not be able to sway anyone with their ideas on domestic and foreign policy, or their views on the economy, but they do know that hatred and bigotry are great motivators. They get the ear of the leaders of these so called ‘family groups’ and Christian media watchdogs and warn them of the impending storm of gay ‘legitimization’ and they get them all riled up by telling them that gays are going to get married and move into their neighborhoods. As if a newly married gay couple would ever choose to live in a trailer park. They pump up these Bible thumping, cousin humping genetic mistakes with hot air and propaganda which sends them into a mullet fantasia of pink triangles and rainbow flags, and convinces them that their tax dollars will be used to foot the bill for Elton John and George Michael’s wedding.
Hatred is a powerful motivator, and these Christian soldiers will march onward, fighting tooth and nail for the theoretical hand in marriage, to protect marriage. “You’ll get this bouquet when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers.” Although the Republican party doesn’t openly endorse prejudice, if it results in more votes, then no one is complaining. It really is genius, harnessing hatred in order to further your own political party. We wish that democrats would have thought of it first, but even if they had, the plan to introduce prejudice as an enlistment strategy doesn’t work with the ethical ideals of the party. Compassion really does block the way to power.
What is deeply distressing is the incredible numbers of people who are vehemently opposed to equality, and the need for them to deny equal rights to others simply because they cannot bear the thought of equality. It isn’t like anyone who is against marriage equality would be directly affected by the existence of it. Not unless they were part of the wedding industry, and then they could reserve the right to refuse service anyway. More likely, they would welcome the extra revenue. Gay marriage would create a huge boon, and it is doubtful anyone would turn away cold hard cash. Greed remarkably has no bias. This is evidenced in the way that Republicans will pander to this creepy Christ crowd and allow the asinine, the atrociously unfit and the morally repugnant to swell their ranks because it means more for them, and more is where it is at if you are a Republican.
There is an optimistic side to the whole mess that hasn’t been explored yet. We know how many people hate gays and want to create laws and legislate against them. We don’t know how many people hate the haters. It is an exciting prospect, because there has as yet been no census taken. There are huge numbers of potential voters who haven’t exercised their right because until now there has been no pressing need. There has been no cataclysmic threat looming large enough overhead, at least not until now. What if we are a sleeping giant, alarm set to the nick of time? I hope so. We need ourselves now more than ever.
I have yet to see an anti-gay marriage rally. There are the few crackpot naysayers that adorn themselves with countless placards and march against those protesting for the right to marriage equality, but usually they are unwashed and incoherent, and everyone dismisses them anyway. Right wing demonstrations are virtually unheard of.
Conservatives, unless they are full blown maniacs, are fairly ashamed of their beliefs, and could never muster up the courage to meet publicly and broadcast their idiot ideas to the world. If they are photographed by press eager to introduce conflict into their coverage, if only to inspire interest in their story, their presence is greatly exaggerated. I have been to countless marches where a ‘clash’ was reported between opposing factions, but those in the opposition were always too greatly outnumbered to capture my attention. The media fluffs up the conflict in order to mask the embarrassing fact that most conservatives are loathe to stand up for what they believe in, but will vote to keep their hatred alive, even if hatred is the only thing that keeps them together. Yet for all their invisibility on the street, these ersatz Christians have incredible pull at the polls. There are many state constitutions who have anti-gay marriage laws on the ballots, at the ready, in case there is some grievous mishap on the federal level. They are seeking to double block the possibility of gay marriage, like applying for heterosexual insurance. It is both depressing and dumb, but impossible to ignore.
Overlooking the problem of prejudice in our society has brought us to this point. How do we win the culture war started by the insidious greed and determination to domination of the Republican party? I think it might be better to look at it another way. How can we possibly lose? Just because legislation passes doesn’t mean it cannot be reversed. Just because people are dumb doesn’t mean that there are more that are dumber.