We Don’t Need No Education
On a bright but brisk February day of this year, I found myself standing slack jawed for a moment staring into an abyss of utter stupidity. I was in Target making my way through the aisles to get an assortment of necessaries when I passed by the relatively small book section. Taking note of a volume I had been meaning to read for quite some time, I retrieved it and made my way to the front of the store. The cashier, a withered woman who I would guess to be in her fifties, dutifully scanned my items with the requisite automation until she had come at last to the book. “Oh,” she said to me, “I don’t know who you’re buying this for, but it’s good.” Her tone was not one unknown to me. It was one of condescension and disbelief that a person such as I would have the ability to read any book (to say nothing of gaining pleasure from the act) that was more than ten pages in length and bound on the outer edges with metallic gold foil.
I am, by my own admission, not your typical bookish-looking person. At 6’4 without the advent of footwear and around 225 lbs., the elements of my general appearance are note worthy only for their banality: cowboy boots, jeans, t-shirts and well-worn baseball cap are the usual fair. Add to these things the fact that I have a usually high aversion to the task of shaving and the picture is complete.
When retelling the verbal slap given to me by this Target cashier to my friends, I’m generally met with an attitude of disbelief. It is true enough that men, especially white men, who are above average height are seen with positive discrimination when it comes to things such as job interviews, but stray much above 6’2 (I state this figure based on my own unscientific research) and in the minds of many, you enter into what I term the “Land of Lurch”. I style it this because it is the most appropriate phrase I can think of and because it is encapsulates immediately for the other person exactly what I’m talking about.
Perhaps it is left over from our days of viewing larger men as better warriors on the battlefield – I don’t know – but it is nevertheless the truth of the matter. If you’re a person of lesser stature, this will seem a foreign concept, but trust me when I tell you it exists. We’re big guys, brutish and incapable of thought far beyond our next physical demand. I see hints of this everywhere, but perhaps the French poet Charles Baudelaire said it best when he commented that, “Only the brute is good at coupling and copulation…”
What is really going on here is a form of discrimination although I barely think the transgressors are aware of it. In fact, it’s the worst sort of discrimination because it is predicated on a facet of the other person’s life that he or she has no control over. In other words, I can’t help being tall as evidenced by my being just over 23 inches in length when I was born – much to the agony of my 5’4” mother. However my height, while unalterable by me, is one that I both enjoy (basketball) and sometimes despise (buying jeans is a bitch – they never have my size). It’s not something in which I take any particular conceit. It simply is. I neither apologize for it nor do I feel it necessary to organize with other persons of a similar build to demand an end to our sense of being mentally denigrated. In fact, our height might come in handy when you scratch the surface of another person’s prejudice as I did by informing the Target cashier that she needed to check her grammar as “who” would be the object of her statement and as such should have used “whom” instead.
Writing on the Wall
The contrast of my own lack of desire to push for a social refusal at discrimination against those of above average height is best viewed when contrasted against another group. What better one could exist in modern America than that of the work of gay and lesbian activists?
Just as my height is unalterable, I believe my sexuality is unalterable as well, but why should one be treated any differently from the other? In the 21st century, I argue that it should not.
The Stonewall Riots are pointed to as the impetus for gay rights in America. On June 28, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn in New York City and the patrons, mostly gay men though a few lesbians and transgendered people were also present, fought back. It has since been the rallying call for gay pride movements across the country. In the past few years, this date has transmuted into something of a high holy day for the gay left. They see the Stonewall Riots as a pivotal point in turning back the discrimination and hatred that had flowed toward homosexuals for many years. However, their goddess – the riots – have feet of clay for a few reasons.
To begin, owned by the Genovese Family, the Stonewall Inn was nothing more than a mafia run money-making operation fleecing the pockets of gay men. Many gay left activists either do not know this or simply refuse to admit the fact. Next, it was also operating, as it had for quite some time, without a liquor license. Additionally, the back of the bar was painted completely black and lit only with florescent black lights. One need not venture far into the vulgar quarters of one’s mind to imagine what lewd acts were almost certainly going on there between sexually repressed men well marinated from drink. Finally, it’s documented that corrupt police officers were regularly accepting bribes from the Genovese family in order to stave off raids.
Many apologists for the Stonewall Inn have argued that the New York State Liquor Authority had begun denying liquor licenses to business that had or were suspected of having a gay clientele. This matter, while not insubstantial, is inconsequential when weighed against the fact that the Stonewall Inn was nothing more than a hovel out of which organized crime continued to fill its coffers. That gay and lesbian people should be proud of a riot that had its beginnings by offering financial support to an organization that actively carried out acts of murder, racketeering and loan sharking while counting among its associations people the likes of Lucky Luciano and Vincent Gigante is obscene. You could almost term it providing aid to domestic terrorists.
In a conversation with a friend regarding my contentions for this article, it was stated to me, “Yeah, but where were they supposed to go?” This supposes a few questions rolled into one that can and must be quickly dispatched.
The first assertion is that gay and lesbian people had no other means of organizing. This is contradicted by the fact that several gay rights organizations had already taken root. Of them, the Mattachine Society had chapters in Los Angeles, Washington D.C and New York City since the 1950’s. The Daughters of Bilitis had been active as well since 1956 and a periodical indicative of the movement known as One, Inc. had a subscriber base of over 25,000.
The second argument posits that the Stonewall Inn was the only gay bar in New York City. It was not. It was generally considered to be the most popular, but it was by no means the only venue available.
The final assertion made by this patently inane question is that gay people are somehow compelled to go out to nightclubs in the first place. This is just silly on its face.
There is no doubt that homosexuals were treated horribly under the law in the 1950’s and 1960’s. I will not even try to argue that point as it is as silly as the third argument above. Homosexuals were frequently targeted for harassment, if not beatings and outright murder. They were barred from federal employment and even a suspicion of such was sufficient to justify termination. Additionally, the FBI is known to have kept a running list of all persons who had a subscription to the magazine One, Inc. mentioned above. Times were not well homosexuals and to that there is no doubt. However, to use a broadsword with these true statements is to catch up the Stonewall Riots and afford them some semblance of virtue when none is warranted. We should instead place the Stonewall Riots under the microscope and, grasping the scalpel of reason, determine their merit on their own accord and not in light of other wrongs perpetrated against the community.
In light of the preceding, I think we’re entitled to a few provisional conclusions regarding the Stonewall Inn and the subsequent riots:
1. The gay and lesbian patronage of the Stonewall Inn actively provided financial support to members of an organized crime family who engaged in illegal acts, including murder, against their fellow Americans.
2. The New York City Police were justified in raiding the Stonewall Inn due to the numerous illegal activities happening on its premises.
3. The members of the gay and lesbian community who are proud of the Stonewall Riots are credulous in their exaltation, whether such stems from ignorance of facts or from blatant dishonesty.
It’s difficult, though not impossible, to think of a more disturbing event over which one should have “pride”. It’s also odd to me the argument that follows: if homosexuality is natural as most people, gay and straight, believe, then why do we still need parades to emphasize our differences?
Leaving Just a Memory
Stonewall, while in my opinion should serve as a disgrace to decent gay and lesbian people everywhere, cannot have its profound ripple effect unnoticed. Indeed, it was only one year after the riot that a march took place on the streets of New York City calling for gay and lesbian rights. Not long after that groups across the country began organizing and coordinating similar events. One does have to wonder, though, if these people knew the actual purpose of the raid or the inn’s ties to organized crime and if they had, would they have organized in the same way. To whatever the case, one can only speculate. The fact remains that before long the month of June was being recognized as gay pride month.
Allow me here a quick caveat. While June is gay pride month, October is actually gay history month. Of the twelve months on the calendar, two of those are used by a group of people making up less than 10% of the population. Blacks, by comparison, only get one of the twelve months as do Asians and Hispanics. To add to this, black Americans have their month relegated to February. So, not only do gay and lesbian people get two months of recognition with such a small population, but black Americans are relegated to only one and it’s the shortest of the year. How egalitarian of us.
At any rate, while Stonewall was no doubt a sow’s ear, it would be, for a time at least, turned into a rather lovely purse. The momentum gained would serve gay men in particular well from the late 1970’s and on into the early 1990’s as waves of a tsunami, known early on as GRID, or Gay Related Immune Deficiency, were swept away. The marches that took place in this time were invaluable for drawing attention to this deadly disease, how it kills, and how it can be prevented. With this point I have no squabble. Gay men were dying needlessly when all that was needed to stave off the scythe of the grim reaper was the proper use of latex sheath less than half a millimeter in thickness. So, gay marches have their place in this temporal framework. It is frightening to think as to how many additional lives may have been lost were it not for the efforts in sexual health education that coincided with these events.
However, at some point between the late 1980’s and the mid-1990’s, these events began to be referred to not as marches, but as parades. And with the parades came the pageantry. In place of community health workers, social activists and safe sex educators, organizers of these events began to substitute porn stars, corporate sponsorships and men and women dressing and behaving in public in the most debauched manner possible.
I’ve had my own experience with this sort of thing. Prior to my relocation to Texas in the spring of 2007, I had never attended any type of gay pride event. I had more than my share apprehensions, but the event was also part of my job and I’m of the belief that if you’re a direct witness, how better your position to criticize. On the outset, the Alan Ross Freedom Parade and Festival (the name of it should tell you something – it’s now also a festival in addition to being a parade and not a march) seemed innocuous enough. It was not until I was on the float, heading down Cedar Springs Avenue in the Uptown District of Dallas that I realized what was really going on. Three floats ahead of ours, a local S & M group had a disgustingly lurid display complete with a leather sling (a sex toy for holding a person for the uninitiated) on top which had a member of the particular club riding in it. To my left, a fellow stood in the doorway of a popular club in nothing but his loose white underwear undulating his well-fed body in such a way as to show his manhood (it didn’t seem to be much). What few Christian protestors were present were having their persons continually bombarded with every projectile imaginable – jello shots, free key chains, and t-shirts. “If this is what gay pride is defined as,” I thought to myself, “then I’ll opt to not be a proud homosexual by their definition.”
The attacks on the Christian people are what disturbed me the most. Here these people were, fellow Americans and human beings, using their freedom of speech, and all the “tolerant” gay hordes were concerned with was physically accosting them to shut them up – so much for diversity. The gay community in America had taken a bad action with the Stonewall Riots and turned it onto a good cause of educating people about the dangers of unsafe sex. But likewise, we had taken that good cause and turned it into a bacchanalia of debased behavior unbecoming of human decency.
While the early gay marches certainly had their purpose, their utility is now seriously in question. Homosexuals sit in three positions in congress, several states have gay marriage or civil unions, and gay characters and personalities are represented on television with a much higher percentage than our actual numbers justify.
Whatcha Leave Behind for Me
With these considerations, is it possible that with the shift from gay marches to gay pride parades – a shift marked by revelry instead of education and awareness – could be a contributing cause of so many young gay men in their late teens to late twenties now contracting HIV? HIV seroconversion rates are, for the first time in decades, on the rise and these new infections are primarily in young gay men. There is certainly a correlation between the change from “march” to “festival” and increased infection rates. Assuredly, there is more than one cause, but conscientious gay and lesbian people as a group must stop, reflect, and ask themselves that if gay pride means anything, it means keeping your population alive and unmolested from the scourge of an incurable and still fatal disease. If we do not, then by our omission to act we sentence untold numbers of people to a prison cell of death. Of course, personal responsibility takes a role in this as well, but the great efforts of the droves of men and women marching through the streets as they were literally dying will be for naught. It’s the pink elephant in the room no one wants to talk about.
But if we do not begin to talk about it, examine our history critically, see that the New York City riots of 1969 were rotten in their core, the actions of the 1980’s and early 1990’s noble, then the lives of so many will be just another brick in the wall of HIV. However, when you begin such a movement predicated on a cultural mythos that has managed to build a mafia-run bar into a clarion call for change, can you honestly expect anything better?
The views expressed in this blog are the author’s, and do not necessarily represent the views of Right Pride or GOProud.
As we rapidly approach the 2010 Congressional elections, there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that the Republicans will definitely sweep the House of Representatives and pick up seats in the Senate.
2010 is also the year that we’ve seen the popular T.E.A. Party movement become a real driving force of political change unlike any before. The message of the T.E.A. Party is a rather simple one: Get back to basics.
What are those basics exactly? It is a very simple message and one that the Republican Party should adopt immediately: Limited Government (The Constitution), Free-Market Capitalism, Personal Responsibility and Liberty.
But Matt, the Republicans already run on that!
Not entirely. Though Republicans have tried to fashion themselves as a Party of Conservatism, we have often forgotten those basic tenants of our beliefs. One sticking point with me has always broken down to the Republican Party’s acceptance and incorporation of “Social Conservatism” into its supposed “Conservative” message.
Conservatism, at its heart, is intended to preserve, protect and defend the inalienable rights endowed to us our by our Creator. These are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Conservatism doesn’t care what race you are, where you come from, what your religion is, what your genitalia is or what kind of porn you look at (although my mother would).
In short, Conservatism is meant to protect the individual against the coercive force of government control.
This is what mainly drew me to Conservatism. Not just Conservatism’s message of fiscal liberty—I should keep what I earn, without government telling me what to do with my money—but also Conservatism’s message of personal liberty—that I can do or be anything I want without government telling me what to do or who to be.
Yet, often we as Conservatives embrace Social Conservatism which is using the coercive force of government to dictate to us how to live our personal lives.
These are entirely contradictory to one another. On the one hand, Conservatism represents freedom and liberty for the individual, but on the other it represses the individual out of the government’s “job” to legislate morality on its citizens.
These two incompatible messages can be found within the 2008 platform of the Republican Party. Here you have the Republican Party, supposedly the champion of Conservative beliefs, saying that we should protect the individual, but deny individuals the right to be legally-joined with whomever they want based upon their sexuality.
Well, we can’t survive as a nation if we don’t have morals, so the government should make sure we still have morals!!
My argument isn’t about the lack of morals in our society; my argument is about the government getting its nose out the personal lives of its citizens. I would further argue that we as a nation can’t survive with a $13 TRILLION National Debt, nearly a $2 TRILLION deficit, and over $100 TRILLION in unfunded liabilities. I think these are more pressing issues that whether two guys or two girls want to become a legally-recognized couple.
Yet, we have Republicans fight against Domestic Partnerships and expanding or refining Civil Union laws to allow for same-sex couples. Then, after these Republicans fight against these things, they turn around and deride Democrats for wanting to control our personal healthcare.
I would argue that Social “Conservatism” is just another form of Big-Government Liberalism as it uses the coercive force of government to restrict an individual’s personal and private choices—which is far from Conservative.
The War on Drugs is yet another failure of social “Conservatism” as well that has cost us billions of dollars, wastes law enforcement resources and kills hundreds of people per year—just look at Mexico.
See, social “conservatives” believe that drugs are a blight on our society and must be removed—therefore, they must be made illegal. Well, let’s turn the clock back about 91 years when Progressives passed the 18th Amendment banning alcohol throughout the U.S.
See, the prohibitionist movement was spearheaded by Progressives who were also largely die-hard Christians who believed alcohol was the cause of social-ills and broken families. Apparently, they also forgot that booze is really fun and can make you look cool!
So with pressure put on Congress by these religious-progressives, in 1919 (During the Progressive Era), alcohol was banned. The result? Alcohol consumption spiked dramatically and organized crime exploded.
Doesn’t this sound oddly familiar to today’s War on Drugs? See, back then Progressives wanted to restrict the individuals choice whether to buy and consume alcohol, just like social “Conservatives” today want to restrict my choice to smoke weed with Elton John or do lines of coke off a midget’s forehead.
The problem with social “Conservatives” willing to use the coercive force of government to restrict the personal lifestyle choices of its citizens is the same problem liberal-statists have with using the coercive force of government to control every choice of its citizens.
That problem is once you’ve given the government that kind of power, what is to stop the government from abusing it?
These are just a few reasons why the youth and many other groups don’t feel welcome within the GOP. Now, there certainly is room in the GOP for people who are anti-drug or pro-traditional marriage, but however we hurt ourselves as a party when we make these issues as part of our platform and tell those who don’t agree to get out—which they then become Democrats.
We, as Republicans and Conservatives, cannot continue down this path of hypocrisy. We either fight for the rights of all Americans or we relegate ourselves to being just like Democrats and pander to certain bases of our party.
The base of the Republican Party must be for all Americans and to grow that base we must have a simple message that rings clear with everyone regardless. If we as Republicans say we don’t want government controlling your healthcare, then we better damn well say that we also don’t want government to legislate your private life either.
Matthew Jarzen is the president of the UNLV College Republicans. His weekly column can be found in The Rebel Yell. The views expressed in this blog are the author’s, and do not necessarily represent the views of Right Pride or GOProud.
Every year on my flight from New York City back to Las Vegas, there is a good five minutes worth of mild turbulence that always sends me into a small anxiety attack. In my head, as the plane beings to rattle and shake, I can picture the main pilot look dejectedly at his co-pilot before pressing the button that lights the please-fasten-your-seat-belt sign on the overhead compartment. At that moment, I’m sure that the pilot and the co-pilot know of our pending doom but lose the resolve to inform the unknowing passengers on board.
It is strange and disturbing to know that this anecdote also applies metaphorically to the current situation of the Republican Party. Here I am, riding in the economy class as the supposed leaders of our party look despairingly at one another before strapping themselves in for the inevitable crash.
As I write this article, the Republican Party is literally dying. For years the Republican Party has ceded ground to the Democratic Party without even putting up a fight. We gave away New England, we let them have the entire west coast, and we allowed them to pander to the Blacks, the Hispanics, the Asians, the Youth, the Catholics, and the Jews. We continually talk as if a degree from Harvard, Yale, or MIT is a bad thing, and make fools of ourselves as we dismiss social media and new technology as unreliable gizmos.
If the party continues to progress, or rather, regress like it has done for the past few years and if the Republican Party doesn’t understand that it’s brand and it’s image needs a fresh new start, then the Grand Old Party is set to splinter and fizzle permanently.
I was recently grabbing cocktails with a group of friends at Veloce Cibo inside the Las Vegas M Resort when I sprung this particular dilemma of our party on the three politically apathetic friends of mine who’d been enjoying conversing about the FIFA World Cup. Suddenly the conversation had changed from Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney to Sarah Palin and John McCain.
Considerably less… contemporary?
My friend Christopher who’s finishing up on his Business Administration Marketing Masters explained his perception on the plight of why the Republican Party is having problems selling its brand.
The party, especially to those who don’t follow politics, seems old and stale; boring, with zero sex appeal. The Republican Party is viewed by the general populace as a party of old white folks who are grumpy that the world seems to be leaving them behind. Also it doesn’t help the GOP at all when the Democrats do such a great job painting Republicans as anti-intellectuals, as bigots, as racists, and as chauvinistic macho men who hate woman.
In essence the perception is that the Grand Old Party has lost the Grand and has become just the Old Party.
And of course there’s the new Tea Party factor. If the Republicans and conservatives weren’t having enough trouble revamping the image of the party, we now have the Tea Party representing us. The conservative movement now has wall to wall coverage of old people with missing teeth holding smudged home made posters made out of cardboard boxes with either cowboy hats or leather biker chaps with metal studs.
Compare that to Matt Damon laying the smack down on Sarah Palin’s “folksy-ness” on CBS News.
Starting to see the picture?
So I asked Chris, Zack, and Maria what could be done to start remaking the party. The three of them came up with a few sensible approaches to rebuilding the GOP brand:
One of the most important things is developing a concise and non-policy orientated message about the future direction of the party (i.e.: Yes we can/Change you can believe in). Something the Republicans can take up as a battle call that says we’re brimming with solutions and we want you to be a part of it.
Equally important is finding a leader with the right credentials that’s also easy on the eye, sprinkles sentences with words only found on the SATs, and preferably doesn’t have an ounce of the Southern drawl. Think Ronald Reagan, David Cameron, or Nicholas Sarkozy.
On the second tier of things that the GOP needs is a “sexy issue” where the GOP stance on the issue is perceived as a positive message. Democrats want the American voters to hug trees and plant grass (cap and tax) because they want to save the world from Armageddon. Democrats want to help the (illegal) impoverished and freedom seeking “undocumented” workers find a place amongst our rich and job filled communities. Democrats want to (pay exuberant amounts of taxes) fix the broken healthcare system so children don’t die of cavities.
If you take out the truth given inside the parenthesis, then the average politically apathetic minds will listen to the Democratic message and think: wow, what a positive do-good party. The Republicans have been a little bit too proud for being known as the party of “no,” or as Sarah Palin puts it, “hell no.”
The Republicans need to market the fact that we have golden stars too. How many members of the American public realizes that President George W. Bush was one of the most popular Presidents in Africa for his compassionate foreign policy which tripled and then re-doubled American aid to Africa putting it roughly near 9 billion dollars?
Probably no one.
And while Democrats raged about President Bush’s supposed inaction in ending genocide in Darfur, no Republican stood up and pointed to President Bush’s strong record of helping curtail civil war and genocide in the Congo and Liberia.
And of course no Democrat has ever heard of President George W. Bush declaring the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (84 million acres) as a national monument, creating the largest marine reserve to this day.
The GOP has a clear track record of undisputable “positive” policies, yet we don’t ever market these events properly because we’re so worried about saying “less taxes and stronger national defense,” like we have for the last 7 decades.
Last but not least, the Republicans can’t concede any more ground to the Democrats. This “how to talk to a liberal, if you must,” mentality by Ann Coulter is ridiculous. Not only is it ridiculous but it’s anti-American. It’s anti-democratic. All those people and groups the GOP have written off because they don’t vote or because they don’t vote Republican must be sincerely re-engaged and re-introduced into the Republican Party.
That means we have to get people into colleges and universities, we have to get the Republican message into Black churches and Catholic parishes in Latino communities. That means we have to flier Chinatown and buy ad space on YouTube, Facebook, and Google.
If the Republicans can inject some youth and positive energy into the party and stop talking about taking the country back to the 1700’s when the Constitution was adopted, then the Grand GOP might get it’s groove back.
“Maybe even sex appeal too,” Maria adds. “Like that Cristiano Ronaldo.”
I laugh as Zack snorts.
“He’s wouldn’t be a Republican,” Zack replies.
“Why not,” I ask him,
“Because he’s not white and decaying.” Zack retorts.
*The views expressed in this blog are the author’s, and do not necessarily represent the views of Right Pride or GOProud.
Back in April I wrote an article for GayConservative.org titled “The Cabin is On Fire,” outlining the downfall of the longest-running organization representing the Gay Right – the Log Cabin Republicans. I mentioned their spotty past of placating to liberal groups such as Human Rights Campaign, and their refusal to endorse the only Republican in the Presidential Election of 2004. I feel as though I laid out a pretty convincing case for their impending demise.
After fourteen months without an executive director, Log Cabin sent out a press release announcing their new E.D. as R. Clarke Cooper, a “former diplomat and veteran.” According to the release, Cooper is an “eight-year veteran of the George W. Bush Administration,” an administration Log Cabin opposed in 2004, even going so far as to attack Bush and Cheney in a series of web ads.
Does this spell new life for the lame-duck organization? Not quite. In fact, what I suspected was a lame-duck organization, is actually just lame.
This past week two very interesting news items came to light, which show Log Cabin’s true colors:
First, they supported the pro-choice, anti-gay Iraq War veteran Patrick Murray in Virginia’s 8th Congressional District over the pro-life, conservative, former FCC lawyer Matthew Berry. Oh, did I mention that Berry is a gay conservative? Matthew Berry believes each state should choose its own same-sex marriage laws, and that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell should be repealed. These are reasons Murray used to sway voters away from the gay conservative. So why would Log Cabin support Murray, over a gay conservative who is pro-life, and stands up for state’s rights and the repeal of DADT? Simple: Log Cabin no longer has the best interests of the Gay Right at heart – and hasn’t for some time. They raised money for Murray, who won the primary against Berry last Tuesday. Good job R. Clarke Cooper!
The other tidbit pertains to Log Cabin’s plans for Gay Pride in Los Angeles. Their booth will include a “Tea Bag Toss,” where people can buy tea bags to throw through the “mouths” of three politicians: Jerry Brown, Democratic candidate for Governor; Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House; And…
Why Sarah Palin, you ask? To give the game a more bipartisan feel. Not only is this a vulgar way to “do something that is engaging and somewhat amusing,” but clearly is intended to earn favor with the heavily liberal gay audience in L.A.
Still don’t think Log Cabin panders to liberals in the gay community? I say GUILTY as CHARGED.
Log Cabin Chairman Terry Hamilton and newly-appointed Executive Director R. Clarke Cooper need to take a good, long look in the mirror. Log Cabin used to be a place where right-of-center gays could find a home. Today, the organization is being driven into the ground by liberal appeasers who barely have any Republican values left.
It is time for all Gay Conservatives, Republicans and even Independents, to disavow this corrupt and misguided organization. Not only does it lie to its members to raise funds for its non-Republican activities, but it gives the REAL Gay Right a bad name.
Perhaps Terry Hamilton and R. Clarke Cook should be the ones getting teabagged at Gay Pride this weekend.
*The views expressed in this blog are the author’s, and do not necessarily represent the views of Right Pride or GOProud.
The GOP must revitalize itself or risk becoming extinct
It is probably no surprise to anyone reading this, that I am deeply and accidentally involved in Republican politics. However, as a twenty-something, college student I don’t fit the profile of your “typical” Conservative Republican.
I asked a group of high school students, that I had the opportunity to speak to fairly recently, to give me a description of the archetypical Republican. Their description was actually not far from your own, hell, even mine: rich, old, white guy.
Otherwise known as Sen. John McCain.
I don’t blame anyone who thinks of that image, because for the most part it’s true. Now, I’m not by any means saying that the Republican Party isn’t diverse—it is; it’s just not as diverse as it should be and it’s just not diverse enough to survive along its current path.
A Gallup poll back in 2009 found that nearly every demographic group has steadily moved away from the GOP since 2001 with the biggest decline during the 2008 elections. This is far from surprising as you just look at the two candidates who were running: a crusty old, white guy vs. a young, energetic black dude.
A look at the last four presidential elections should be a pretty good indication of the kind of crisis the GOP faces among several different key demographic groups.
Racial and ethnic minority groups are perhaps the most telling. From 1996-2008 black Americans on average voted for Democrats 90% of the time. Hispanics on average voted for Democrats 64% of the time. Asians voted for Democrats nearly 54% of time.
By far 2008 was the worst election year for the GOP among those groups. Among black Americans, a staggering 95% voted for Barack Obama. Among Hispanic and Asian Americans, 67% and 62% respectively voted for Obama.
Though it may not seem as a surprise, homosexuals on average have voted for Democrats nearly 75% of the time. Homosexuals make up roughly 4% of the population totaling around 12 million people.
Among the 18-29 year olds, on average they have voted for Democrats nearly 56% of the time. In 2008, American youth ages 18-29 voted for Barack Obama a staggering 66%.
So what does all this mean? Well, to put it simply, it means trouble for the Republican Party. Consider this, by the year 2040, the population of the United States will be majority Black, Hispanic and Asian, the very groups that consistently vote for Democrats. So in another 30 years will there even be a Republican Party?
Now most of you are probably thinking that the problem with attracting these groups of people is the Republican Party’s supposed adherence to Conservatism. That Conservatism itself turns off many potential voters.
Well, considering that Gallup released a poll showing that 40% of Americans are politically Conservative with another 36% of Americans as “Moderate” or Right-of-Center, it’s doubtful whether Conservatism is to blame for the shift away from the GOP.
The real problem with the Republican Party isn’t the message, but the messengers—something the GOP severely lacks nowadays. Regardless of however good the message may be, Americans will never hear it without a good messenger bringing it to them.
That’s largely the reason why Barack Obama is now president. Ignoring the fact that it was just empty rhetoric, what was the message Obama was sending? Hope & Change! That coupled with the man’s ability to read a teleprompter extremely well, I can see why so many people bought into the crap he was selling.
See, as Conservatives and largely Republicans, we believe that Conservatism is just common sense. Because we believe Conservatism is just common sense (which it is), we figure that sooner or later people will “wake up” and “get it.”
Unfortunately, because of that attitude Republicans have lost a lot of those key demographic groups I talked about earlier. Republicans stopped speaking to these groups a long time ago.
Republicans forget that up until the Great Depression, Black Americans were mostly Republicans and they could usually be counted on to get Republicans elected. A far cry from today’s black voting average of over 90% for Democrats.
The same thing goes for Americans of Hispanic and Asian descent. Republicans as a party stopped talking to these groups a long time ago about Conservatism. As a party, they’ve ceded them to Democrats much like the GOP has pretty much ceded the Northeast, upper Midwest, and the whole West Coast to Democrats. That is not a formula for success.
The prevailing attitude with the GOP is why bother reaching out to these groups when they statistically don’t vote for the GOP? Why would President Bush have spoken to the NAACP when they all despised him? They’re not going to vote or donate to his campaign or the GOP, so why bother?
Conversely, because the GOP doesn’t reach out to these groups in large part because they don’t vote for the GOP, they get labeled as racists, bigots, etc.
This problem though is a gridlocked two-way street with neither side willing to make the first move. What must happen is the Republican Party must be the one to make the first move, but in order to do that we must have effective messengers bringing that message of Conservatism to them.
When Republicans did reach out, they did it like Democrats. They played identity politics, hoping to get this vote or that vote. They pandered, which is something Republicans shouldn’t do.
Republicans need to go to these groups and make it clear that what’s good ALL Americans is good for African-Americans. What’s good for ALL Americans is good for Hispanic- and Asian-Americans. What’s good for ALL Americans is good for Gay Americans. What’s good for ALL Americans is good for Young Americans.
Republicans have a message, we just need the messengers and the Republican Party must be open to these messengers from the very communities that they’re trying to reach out to. Because without these groups and their messengers, there won’t be a Republican Party to speak of in years to come.
Matthew Jarzen is the president of the UNLV College Republicans. His weekly column can be found in The Rebel Yell. The views expressed in this blog are the author’s, and do not necessarily represent the views of Right Pride or GOProud.