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Friday, October 21, 2016

As the presidential election heats up, a question of strategy recurs: Why do candidates for the Republican Party’s nomination oppose gay marriage, directly or indirectly, when polls show a growing number of Americans becoming more tolerant of gay marriage?

The question re-emerged after Gallup released two new surveys on Tuesday and Wednesday. The first showed a record high percentage of Americans supporting gay marriage — 60 percent. The second showed for the first time a majority, 51 percent, saying that homosexuality isn’t a choice, but rather a trait one is born with.

The surveys concluded, moreover, that this trend should continue to grow in the future, as younger Americans are more likely than older Americans to “express positive views of same-sex relations.”

During a radio interview in Texas last week, Senator Ted Cruz said the Democratic Party has “gotten so extreme and so radical in its devotion to mandatory gay marriage that they’ve decided there’s no room for the religious liberty protected under the First Amendment.”

Last month, Governor Bobby Jindal promised executive action to allow discrimination against homosexuals if Louisiana’s Republican-controlled legislature fails to pass a measure to that effect: “We will be issuing an Executive Order … to prevent the state from discriminating against persons or entities with deeply held religious beliefs that marriage is between one man and one woman.”

Why would serious GOP candidates say such things when the polling data is so clear? Why risk appearing outside the mainstream?

One answer is commonplace among partisans. Conservatives are staunchly opposed to gay marriage, especially evangelical Christians. Naturally, Republican candidates must appease the base, but in appeasing the base, they end up alienating everyone else.

Conventional wisdom holds that you can’t win the presidency on a platform that conspicuously divides mainstream voters. And if you’re not aiming for the political center, you’re not a serious contender. This is why most liberals dismiss Cruz and Jindal as cranks.

It’s a good story, a variation of another story called “Demographics Is Destiny.” As the country grows more racially and culturally diverse, the country will naturally favor the priorities of the Democratic Party while leaving the older, whiter Republican base on the sidelines.

But what if it’s not true?

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  • Karen Bille-Golden

    Well, fear works then. Because I am afraid he may be right about the abilities of the GOP and their scare tactics. Who hasn’t tried to reason, (unsuccessfully), with any one of their followers? We have lots of work to do to get the opposing vote out. Is our voter base as committed or as powerful? We’ll have that answer after the next election.

    • I had a guy admit to me on one occasion that fear is what he bases his life and all decisions on. He was in a LGBT nightclub at the time, looking for a date with a transgender girl, I imagine. Then he told me that he is voting against same sex marriage. Seems that hypocrisy and fear work hand in hand. Looks to me like this country’s biggest problem is cowardly people that let fear run their lives and is used as a justification for ignorance.

      • ringostarr1

        The hardest thing to do is to reason with a liberal. Their response to logic is to tightly close their eyes and say, “Don’t confuse me with the facts of this matter, my mind is closed!!!”

        • Daniel Jones

          That was so projectionist you should apply for a job at Carmike Cinemas.

        • JPHALL

          YOU RIGHT WINGERS ARE SO SAD! You insist that others, who disagree with you, are closed minded when you yourself have no idea but ideology.

        • ralphkr

          No, ringostarr1, you have completely reversed reality, a trademark of conservatives. The conservatives have a great fear of facts becoming known because facts have a liberal bias, i.e., they do not support the outright falsehoods so beloved of conservatives.

    • Perhaps if your side was interested in facts rather than emotions, a discussion might be possible. Using fear as a motivator is wrong, but so is using false hope.

      By false hope, I mean the familiar slogans of the Left like “Social Justice” and “A living wage”. These are warm, fuzzy things that defy definition. It is not possible to have a reasonable dialog with people who can’t even define their own slogans.

    • ringostarr1

      The good news is that the more pot that becomes available, the fewer Leftist voters there will be who can even remember what month the Election is in, little less be able to find their voting box.

  • itsfun

    Religious rights vs. gay rights is a no win situation for anyone. To some religious freedom is more important than gay marriage, and to others gay marriage is more important than religion. These should not be political issues, but personal freedoms only. If people want to get married, do so. If people don’t believe in gay marriage, don’t get married to the same sex. Neither agenda should be forced on anyone. If you are a gay couple and don’t agree with a religious belief, don’t go to that church. If you are religious and don’t believe in gay marriage, but your church does, then change churches.

    • Karen Bille-Golden

      Now that makes perfect sense What doesn’t make sense to me, is that those who allow their religious beliefs to be used for political gain when in actuality the end goal of such usage really has little, if nothing, to do with one’s religious freedom.

      • Dominick Vila

        What someone should ask our pseudo Christians is to provide evidence confirming that Jesus Christ taught intolerance, hatred, exploitation, and violence against anyone.

        • Karen Bille-Golden

          Dominick, there have been some great prophets and peacemakers who have lived since Jesus’ day and many haven’t faired well. The Gospel of Love doesn’t seem to sell as well as what is spewed by todays zealots. I don’t understand that either. Where has anger and hatred ever gotten us?….it Is definitely not a road to understanding.

  • Dominick Vila

    Fear has been used by political and religious leaders for millennia, and it is likely to continue to be used as effectively as it was in the days of the Pharoes, the Roman Emperors, Napoleon, and the Holy Spanish Inquisitors. With that in mind, why shouldn’t the GOP use it? They know that they only have to mention words such as foreigners, gays, lesbians, labor unions, African Americans, Hispanics-Latinos, Affirmative Action, socialism, or atheism to get the full support of a large segment of our population. That is how they win elections, and that’s how they will remain a viable alternative for many years to come.
    The greatest fear, for those who use it to control the masses and exploit our most vulnerable citizens, is education.

    • Karen Bille-Golden

      sad, but true

    • Carolyn1520

      It’s also why the right wing media and shock jocks plays to their fears and feelings. They don’t concern themselves with facts, but they know what emotional buttons to push and what fears to play on.

    • ringostarr1

      An even bigger tool in the hand of despots is envy. Envy was the tool Linin, Stalin, Hitler and even Napoleon used to bend the will of a nation and envy is the deadly sin Obama is employing today to drive a generation of Americans into Democrat Party servitude or slavery.

    • mike

      And the Obama and the left with War on Women, entitlement fear-mongering, of a government shut that would be chaotic.
      Just more of your diarrhea of the brain.

  • atc333

    Until moderates Independents, and Democrats, and those in charge of determining how their campaigns are run wake up to the reality that the GOP will continue to win until such time as the Democrats and Moderates actually begin to spend time and money explaining to the voters who simply stay home the consequences of 3 GOP Administrations failed economic polices, and how it has wounded the US economy, and its people with tax cuts for job creators, deregulation, and their failure to address the inequities of the current tax code. Forget the negative personal attacks on individual GOP Right Wing Candidates, Spend the time and money to show the reality of the damage Reagan, Bush I, Bush II, and the GOP Majority in the House and Senate have done to this Nation and it People. People will not get out and vote unless they understand the consequences of staying home, which in fact are all around us. Our nation’s economic history proves just how wrong the Right Wing GOP economic policy is. Massive deficits, shrinking middle class, expanding numbers living in poverty, massive redistribution of wealth to the top 2%, more exporting of jobs and entire assembly lines offshore, blocking tax reform, refusing to lower student loan interest rates as Germany now can offer free college education to foreign students, to name just a few.
    2016 can be a new beginning.

    • ringostarr1

      Except for an 8 year respite the Presidency of the United States of America has been in the control of the Peoples Party of Perjury since 1993. Before you vote in 2016 you should really consider whether your economic prospects were better under the GOP or under either of the two Democrat Presidents who pushed the North American Free Trade Agreement (Bill & Hillary Clinton) or the Trans Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement (Barrack Obama). In fact Hillary is so tone deaf to Middle Class Americans that she is still shilling for sending your jobs to Asia.
      When he was elected in 2008 Obama promised us that he would create “well” paying jobs. The only thing that he failed to mention was that the “WELL” paying jobs that he intended to create were all going to be created in his childhood home of Indonesia.

      • ringostarr1

        Talk about the top 1%, Hillary and Bill are members of an even more exclusive club, they’re members of the top .01%
        And neither Bill or Hillary created a single permant job on their march to the top of the income heap. No, not the first permant hotel maid or crudité server.

      • Robert Eckert

        “you should really consider whether your economic prospects were better under the GOP or under either of the two Democrat Presidents” Are you living in some different world? The Clinton administration saw America’s greatest standard of living ever, preceded and followed by Bush recessions, of which the Bush Jr. recession was the worst since Herbert Hoover and may take a generation to recover from, although at least Obama has us moving back in the positive direction.

      • ralphkr

        By Jove! ringostarr1, you are so correct in advising us to compare my economic prospects under the business oriented GOP vs. tax & spend oriented Democrats. I am in a particularly good position to compare how my income varies since I have been retired since the early 1980s and my income consists of a modest pension (possible a little more than SS pays) and the rest from investments so my income varies with the national economy. Under the horrible tyranny of Clinton my income was in the $115K-$120K range, under the glorious leadership, of Bush my income soared negatively to under $55K, and since Obama’s disastrous to the economy reign my income took 2 years to break above $110K. Yep, not a hard choice to make between over $110K with a Democratic Prez or under $55K with a Republican Prez…Why just look at how much less income tax I had to pay when Bush was president than when Clinton was president. Amazing how much less income tax you pay when your income is cut by over 50%.

        • ringostarr1

          It will also be amazing how much more income tax that you’ll have to pay once your Social Security check and Medicare Benefits have been means tested under a future Democrat President while Obama’s policy to tax the rich in order to give those with less more. More of what you have that is. However since you are in your 90s now you’ll never know what fun you’re missing

          • ralphkr

            Well, ringosarr1, since I do not collect Social Security nor have Medicare benefits it shall not have much to do with me personally. However, I have never felt that pensions or medical benefits should be means tested. The next step would be if you have a car accident and you have enough money to cover the damages then your insurance company won’t have to pay.

          • ringostarr1

            What you seem to be suggesting despite your statement to the contrary is a Fascist economic system. In your example a car wreck is a tax on the 1% despite your argument to the contrary. Tell me prey tell, how much is Hillary Clinton paying you to post on this sight? I hope it is more than Vladimir Putin is paying those poor buggers that he has in his Internet Research Group salt mine in St. Petersburg. They make $700 and 15 free lunches per month for 12 hour days and they are expected to make 80 separate posts each and every day..

          • ralphkr

            By Jove, you have shown yourself to be another conservative who is unable to understand written English or understand what a Fascist economic system is even though your party is busy converting the USA to Fascism. Means testing for pension or insurance payments is not a Fascist theory since true Fascism is that the government exists to serve big business and the most wealthy, i.e., current Republican party stated policy. By the way, how is my statement that I do not get either Social Security or Medicare promoting a Fascist economic system? For that matter, where in my post did I even mention a Fascist or any other economic system? All I did was take your example of means testing to its logical conclusion. By the way, neither Clinton nor Putin are paying me to post on any Internet Sites (I am not too sure how one posts on a sight…perhaps graffiti painted on it). I must say that the Putin bloggers sound like they have a pretty good job although 80 posts in 12 hours seems like frightfully low productivity.

    • 1standlastword

      You are spot on in all you say but the problem with our democracy is much more dire and includes all of government included our corrupted SCOTUS.

  • 1standlastword

    “The bad news is that tolerance is no guarantee of Democratic success. ”
    I say that “voting” is “no guarantee of Democratic success”!!!
    The point the author makes is the “majority” is not an advantage in the face of radical extremism, gerrymandering and money in politics: In reality it doesn’t matter what the issue of concern maybe: gay marriage, a living wage, protection of the ecosystem, reproductive rights, health insurance, student loan debt…WHATEVER — We The People, are disregarded by our government because the government increasing does less and less for the voters. I realize I’m over extending the thesis but this my position is highly relevant.
    No matter what the issue it seems main street comes up short! Too BIG TOO FAIL, bad trade agreements, corporate wars…you name it…main street ends up taking it in the shorts.
    When we think we have a guy and people working for us is exactly when we get screwed with some policy we don’t get to vote on but the corporations stand to WIN BIG. Today our fearless leaders are negotiating a death warrant trade agreement that will leave main street getting it in the shorts…and did we know the republicans stuck a $800m cut to heath care in it…yes they did.
    So if voting is no guarantee of democracy could we win back our democracy if we all in protest withheld our vote? I fear so day we will have to.

  • mike

    Talk about fear. Does NM fear the Clinton’s??
    Yesterday National Memo had an article from Ramesh Ponnura on “16 questions Hillary Clinton should answer” but now the article is gone from the site. Why?? Did the Clinton Bully machine demand National Memo to remove it??

    • ringostarr1

      No, understanding and “piece” is stronger than fear. The Bill, Hillary, and Chelsie Clinton Charitable Trust just gave National Memo a small “piece” of the trust fund’s endowment. As Ogden Hash once said concerning relationships, “Candy is dandy but liquor is quicker.” I should remind Mr. Hash that a fist full of C-notes will get you lucky faster than a case of the best Champaign. The Clinton Campaign just got lucky at NM’s expense, that’s why Ponnuru’s article suddenly vanished.

      • mike

        I guess money is a form of bullying. Take my money or you are out of the club, don’t take it and all hell will break loose. Silence, get everyone on the same page.
        The hell with finding the truth.

      • Siegfried Heydrich

        Sigh . . . that was Ogden NASH. And the article is still there, it hasn’t ‘vanished’.

    • Charlotte Sines

      I don’t know what you are talking about. I just finished reading that article and it is 9:30 PDT on Saturday 5/23/15. The article is still there.

      • mike

        I see it was pushed into the politics section. Unlike others that stated on the first page.
        PS: the article was totally ignored by all but two lefties on NM. The rest didn’t want to face reality.