How John McCain Could Secure My Vote

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    Sep 25, 2008 12:51 AM GMT
    An interesting point made by Republican supporters about Democrats (e.g. in this illuminating thread) is that “you’re never going to vote for John McCain anyway, so why should he care what you think?” This challenges those of us who are inclined to consider carefully our endorsement to coherently answer the (admittedly weaker) question Under what circumstances might I vote for a Republican presidential candidate?

    If we are to be persuaded to vote for Mr McCain, or some future Republican candidate, we would naturally wish to be assured that they had a 'reasonable' stance on LGBT issues. A seemingly universal, and perennial, admission by LGBT Republicans is the judgement that LGBT rights issues are subservient to other issues, be they the war or the economy or whatever. We ought to question, then, presupposing that he is not a homophobe, whether Mr McCain is doing all he can within the confines of Republican ideology to support these issues, or if he is not, that there is an overriding justification for this.

    In this spirit, allow me to propose two compromise positions that seem to me to be consistent with Republican values (by which I mean conservative and broadly libertarian values):

    First, since there is excellent bipartisan evidence that DADT is harming the effectiveness of the military and its ability to recruit and train LGBT personnel, it would seem to be entirely consistent with McCain’s emphasis of military effectiveness to repeal DADT.

    Second, on the subject of LGBT marriage, any number of compromises might be possible even within the Republican ticket: for instance, recognizing that the realities of California and Idaho (for example) are rather different, it would be consistent with the principles of small government and state supremacy to endorse the states’ right to decide for themselves; alternatively, recognizing that objections to LGBT marriage are may be recast as religious objections to the nomenclature, he might propose a federal definition of civil partnership and propose marriage as an (excluded to LGBT people) special case of this. Such compromise positions are intellectually problematic – they continue to discriminate even as they acknowledge the existence of value in LGBT relationships – but if indeed other issues are more pressing then such a compromise might well be acceptable.

    In point of fact, if the various other issues are indeed so pressing, then any sort of statement that McCain acknowledges the contribution of LGBT people to society but that the time is not appropriate might well be persuasive. Tellingly, however, no such statement, nor either of the above suggestions, is a part of the McCain platform.

    In fact the strongest argument that Mr Mcain is not a homophobe would appear to be that his Campaign Chief of Staff is, so it is alleged, openly gay. The fallacy of this argument ought to be manifest, but in case it is not, allow me to explain: my boss is a homophobe, and he is nonetheless content to employ me (an openly gay man). Somewhat conveniently, and rather unfortunately for me, I am a demonstration of this logical fallacy.

    So why then are proposals like these, that are perfectly compatible with Republican views, not on a Republican platform that advertises itself as being “for change”? In order to explain this, I introduce a scientific (i.e. falsifiable) hypothesis:

    NO LGBT issue will EVER be on a Republican Presidential ticket UNLESS and UNTIL LGBT Republicans are able to VISIBLY clinch an election for the Republican platform.

    This claim is made from the experiences of many minority groups within many democracies and draws upon a common phenomenon: political access will change precisely nothing without political power. This was true for the Clinton administration, where despite LGBT people having considerable influence in setting policy, the lack of a grassroots LGBT movement meant that there was no political power to achieve that administrations goal of opening up the military. To take a second example, contemplate why, for that matter, did Boris Johnson (the Mayor of London) – a conservative – attend London Pride?

    The ramification for Gay Republicans of this principle is this: you shall forever be repeating the mantra “there are more important issues” until you are able to use your voice specifically as LGBT Republicans to elect candidates. Having LGBT people within the Republican party will never be enough to bring LGBT issues onto the Republican ticket in any form beneficial for LGBT people. [....]
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    Sep 25, 2008 1:21 AM GMT
    [....] If you really do disagree with the Democrats, and if you’re not prepared to defer your freedom perpetually, then you must build your own political power.

    Of course, the LGBT Democrats are a lot further along this road and there is a useful corollary for the Obama campaign: this will be a close election. If LGBT freedom is to be a concern of an Obama administration, it is essential that the LGBT Democrat vote is there and vocal in the swing states. Neither "I don't do politics" nor "I preferred Hilary" nor "I'm still deciding" is enough: this election is a unique opportunity to build considerable power for LGBT reform. We must not waste it.
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    Sep 25, 2008 3:10 AM GMT
    The issue may be more pervasive than just the McCain campaign. If the quote below is correct, it suggests serious issues with our issues within the Republican party as a whole (which might be why McCain knows he won't get any traction from his base on your very reasonable suggestions).

    http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/20080922/mark-buse-039-homosexuality-rumors-controversy-mccain-039-anti-gay-ideology.htm

    || the Log Cabin Republicans- the only organization of republicans who support equality for gay and lesbian Americans

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    Sep 25, 2008 3:42 AM GMT
    I assume that you know that McCain has been a longtime and very vocal opponent of the so-called Marriage Protection Amendment. It was another hot spot of contention between him and Bush. He long argued that the states should make this decision themselves. However, the 2008 platform does advocate the amendment once again and has received McCain's (flip-flopping) endorsement. Their argument is that no matter what the states decide, the judiciary can reverse them, so that constitutional, federal protection is needed.





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    Sep 25, 2008 3:57 AM GMT
    obscenewish saidI assume that you know that McCain has been a longtime and very vocal opponent of the so-called Marriage Protection Amendment. It was another hot spot of contention between him and Bush. He long argued that the states should make this decision themselves. However, the 2008 platform does advocate the amendment once again and has received McCain's (flip-flopping) endorsement. Their argument is that no matter what the states decide, the judiciary can reverse them, so that constitutional, federal protection is needed.


    Sure, and I think this strengthens my thesis since we both know that this is highly telling as to who has political power and who doesn't right now within the Republican party. If he's said it before... why not now? My assumption on the marriage item is that my hypothetical "acceptable compromise" would incorporate a sufficient amount of (unspecified) fudge to placate LGBT voters.
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    Sep 25, 2008 12:34 PM GMT
    How John McCain Could Secure My Vote: by running for the board of our local senior citizens center. He's got the experience!
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    Sep 25, 2008 6:50 PM GMT
    TigerTim, you know the answer to that, the rightwing Christian Taliban are major shareholders in the party. If the whole LGBT Community became Republicans we might just outnumber them.

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    Sep 27, 2008 5:46 PM GMT
    Right, well let me say that I am rather disappointed that the Republicans on this site who spend so much time slating the Democratic party have so little to say to a nuanced critique of their position within the Republican party.

    I leave the rest of you to draw your own conclusions. [[Mine is that they are I*N*T*E*L*L*E*C*T*U*A*L*L*Y B*A*N*K*R*U*P*T by the way]]
  • Aquanerd

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    Sep 27, 2008 6:37 PM GMT
    caesarea4 saidThe issue may be more pervasive than just the McCain campaign. If the quote below is correct, it suggests serious issues with our issues within the Republican party as a whole (which might be why McCain knows he won't get any traction from his base on your very reasonable suggestions).

    http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/20080922/mark-buse-039-homosexuality-rumors-controversy-mccain-039-anti-gay-ideology.htm

    || the Log Cabin Republicans- the only organization of republicans who support equality for gay and lesbian Americans



    I think that this post probably comes closest to illuminating the main issue of deferences between the Democratic and Republican Parties ( not necessarily liberal vs conservative) when one decides to join, or offer support. The Democratic Party seems to be a collection if single issue groups that come together by mutual support (The "Gay Movement supports Feminists issues, the Feminists support NAACP issues, etc.) there doesn't appear to be any "vocal" descent between groups. There appears to be a decision to come together in order to build a larger number of voters, agreeing to swallow any negative feeling about another groups issues. "As long as I get what I want, I'll let them get what they want." even though I don't agree with there since, I can deal with it to make sure I maintain my power base." If you do speak out against one "Democratic" position, you are likely to be run over by the power base. Senator Lieberman a case in point. There is no room for descent in the Democratic party, at least for the leadership, and the outspoken membership (i.e. bloggers and posters.)

    Republicans on the other hand, have for the most part "for the Individual" mentality. (the Moral Majority not withstanding) They do see a "ranking of importance" on issues. They can subjugate a personal "sacred cow" in order to achieve a "bigger picture" goal. There is room for open descent on individual issues, somethings with major argument in public. I think that Palin's addition to the ticket is a case in point. The Conservatives in the Republican party (I count myself as one) were not entirely in love with the McCain Campaign. If the Democrats had been able to pick a non-Sociality, I might gone with the Libertarian. By putting Palin on the ticket, Mc Cain in effect acknowledge that the Conservatives have a place in is part, Hince the flocking back to the Campaign.

    Democrats look at a candidate and if they think that he is not in lockstep on there specific issue, it is a deal breaker. As a republican, I look at the bigger picture and look at all the candidates and see which one closest resemble my overall views.

    In a nutshell, I, as a Gay Republican, looks at McCain and see some one that while he doesn't appear to be ready to embrace all of the Gay Issues (I'm not sure I even do) he doesn't scare me. Obama and the democrats might "say" they support gay issues, overall I can not support overt socialism.

    II no I ramble, that's why I'm writing is hear and on an editorial page.

    Those who disagree with how I think and vote, are welcome to disagree, I just hope they give me the same respect.

    Cheers!
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    Sep 28, 2008 1:59 PM GMT

    Aquanerd> Republicans on the other hand, have for the most part "for the Individual" mentality. (the Moral Majority not withstanding)

    Then why is it that, other than the Log Cabin (i.e. Gay) Republicans, no other Republican group supports equal rights for gay individuals?!


    Aquanerd> Republicans... do see a "ranking of importance" on issues. They can subjugate a personal "sacred cow" in order to achieve a "bigger picture" goal.

    Why should anyone have to sacrifice their own "sacred cow" and put themselves not just last but off the roster?

    In reality, you're only talking about Gay Republicans sacrificing their "sacred cow". No other Republicans are doing that to take up the cause of your rights.Wouldn't it just be wild if some anti-abortionist said: I'm sacrificing the rights of the unborn to fight for the rights of the living and supported ENDA?
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    Sep 30, 2008 8:16 PM GMT
    And STILL republican supporters like CuriousJockAZ and JockBod48 have nothing to say to this. It beggars belief that they are incapable of seeing the logical inconsistency of their own stance....
  • auryn

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    Sep 30, 2008 8:31 PM GMT
    Photobucket

    I wonder if the fish will bite.
  • CuriousJockAZ

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    Sep 30, 2008 8:58 PM GMT
    TigerTim saidAnd STILL republican supporters like CuriousJockAZ and JockBod48 have nothing to say to this. It beggars belief that they are incapable of seeing the logical inconsistency of their own stance....


    Or perhaps we are just bored with going round and round and round and round with this same argument you've been harping on in forum after forum. Tim, you're an intelligent guy, I'm sure you'll be able to vote here in a few years (are you here legally, or illegally? Just curious...) and then you can vote for the dems till your heart is content. I respect your opinion, as well as the energy you have to back it up with all sorts of ammunition. I just have a different opinion -- NOT "Intellectually Bankrupt", just a different opinion -- so let's just leave it at that.
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    Sep 30, 2008 9:11 PM GMT
    You know - at times we can have good, constructive conversation between people - but unfortunately what we've had herein for the most part is a continuum of long winded bloviation - attempting asinine points - Tim.
  • auryn

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    Sep 30, 2008 9:12 PM GMT
    Apparently, popcorn is the best bait. icon_lol.gif
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    Sep 30, 2008 9:19 PM GMT
    I think the reason you are bored, CuriusJockAZ, is because you do not in fact have an answer!

    I have put this question to you several times, and each time you have declined to give a response more substantial than "these issues don't matter to me" without demonstrating how whatever issues *do* matter to you logically preclude a tolerant stance on LGBT issues.

    I do not think demanding an answer to a fundamental question may be called "going round and round in circles". You have very vocally lambasted the Democrats on a variety of issues.... yet when the rest of us say that something more than an "against" stance on ALL LGBT issues is not good enough for us, the burden of proof is ON YOU to demonstrate what overwhelming issue logically precludes these. This is not a partisan view: a substantial number of republicans, including Log Cabin Republicans and indeed Arnold Schwarzenegger, take this view. Because we both know there is NO such issue, you continue to evade the question.

    I am appalled, by the way, that you would suggest I might be here illegally. Do I suggest that you fuck children? or eat babies? These sorts of personal attacks are utterly adolescent.

    To other RJers: demand an answer from these people!
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    Sep 30, 2008 9:20 PM GMT
    Jockbod48 saidYou know - at times we can have good, constructive conversation between people - but unfortunately what we've had herein for the most part is a continuum of long winded bloviation - attempting asinine points - Tim.


    You'll have to translate for the rest of us, I'm afraid. Do you know what a Malapropism is, by the way?
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    Sep 30, 2008 9:22 PM GMT
    NNJfitandbi saidAnd this is because identity is fluid. No one is just one thing. And isn't a major goal of the LBGT movement to allow individuals the freedom to participate fully in society without regard to gender issues?

    Conceding that gay Republicans are voting against themselves in one sense, there may be other senses in which individuals feel better served by the Republican party. I'm an odd one to be making this point -- because I find it difficult to see how ANYONE would feel better served by the current Republican party of perpetual war, cronyism, and deregulation. I don't even need to get to the GOP's reactionary social agenda to be persuaded to vote for the Democrats.


    Yes I understand this very well, NNJ, the point is that NO OVERWHELMING REASON has been offered, nor are the people encouraging us to vote McCain in fact doing anything to change the situation!
  • CuriousJockAZ

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    Sep 30, 2008 9:29 PM GMT
    TigerTim said
    I am appalled, by the way, that you would suggest I might be here illegally. Do I suggest that you fuck children? or eat babies? These sorts of personal attacks are utterly adolescent.



    Uh, it was an innocent question, Tim, no need to get your dander up. Interesting how you didn't answer it. icon_rolleyes.gif But then THAT is your prerogative, just as it is mine when you, as you put it, DEMAND an answer.
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    Sep 30, 2008 9:32 PM GMT
    No malapropism, Tim. I said exactly what I meant. You're not the only well educated "Brit" around, if indeed you are British. Nice try though.

    Seriously, if I was as unhappy and full of complaints about this country as you are, I'd consider returning home.
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    Sep 30, 2008 9:32 PM GMT
    CuriousJockAZ said
    TigerTim said
    I am appalled, by the way, that you would suggest I might be here illegally. Do I suggest that you fuck children? or eat babies? These sorts of personal attacks are utterly adolescent.



    Uh, it was an innocent question, Tim, no need to get your dander up. Interesting how you didn't answer it. icon_rolleyes.gif But then THAT is your prerogative, just as it is mine when you, as you put it, DEMAND an answer.


    It was not an innocent question at all, and you know it. Do you ask everyone in the street whether they're in the country legally? Hmm?

    I didn't answer it because I would have thought the answer would be obvious to anyone with a moderate understanding of universities. Of course I'm here legally: I work at a major university --- but of course they obey (in strict detail) the immigration legislation in the US (as universities would in EVERY country)!
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    Sep 30, 2008 9:38 PM GMT
    Jockbod48 saidNo malapropism, Tim. I said exactly what I meant. You're not the only well educated "Brit" around, if indeed you are British. Nice try though.

    Seriously, if I was as unhappy and full of complaints about this country as you are, I'd consider returning home.


    You should have a reread of your own post then. And as I have mentioned in many many many posts, I love America! I suspect, having lived in 6 countries, that I can espouse its virtues better than you can! My friends here include a wide spectrum of political positions, from very liberal to very conservative. What I dislike *everywhere* (and this has nothing to do with country or political viewpoint) is a lack of rigour.

    In any case, the conclusion from this is that these people can do NOTHING better than make ad hominem attacks, as they have done on EVERY OTHER thread.
  • CuriousJockAZ

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    Sep 30, 2008 9:40 PM GMT
    TigerTim said

    It was not an innocent question at all, and you know it. Do you ask everyone in the street whether they're in the country legally? Hmm?

    Of course I'm here legally: I work at a major university --- but of course they obey (in strict detail) the immigration legislation in the US (as universities would in EVERY country)!



    It was an innocent question...I was curious if you are a U.S. citizen, or here on some sort of work visa or whatever. Besides, you're not just someone "on the street", you're some brainy english dude here on RJ who has all sorts of problems with America.
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    Sep 30, 2008 9:41 PM GMT
    John McCain would stand a very good chance of getting my vote if he publically opposed California's Propostion 8. It would take 3 seconds of his time in a speech. It wouldn't threaten his or anyone else's marriage.
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    Sep 30, 2008 9:46 PM GMT
    Speaking of ad hominem attacks Tim - perhaps you ought to re-examine what you called your employer a short time ago. You actually called him an unpleasant name - I won't even repeat it. I guess that's an indication of how happy you are and how much you love America. It reeks of ingratitude to me. And "six countries?" And in your twenty something years, you've figured it all out! Goodness! Try 123 countries in 49 years - I think I've learned a few things too.