Top Tier Cowardice

Mike Gavel is not a bigot. He is also not a “top tier” candidate. He came out unequivocally in favor of legalizing gay marriage.

Pam Spaulding wonders:

Could you even fathom the top tier Dems giving a simple, straightforward answer like this

And of course they won’t. Those few extra votes are far too important to waste for those queers anyway, right? We are not just talking people who are homophobic theocrats either. We are talking voters who hate gay people so much they would rather vote against every other position they hold dear than elect a President who would legalize gay marriage. Those are the votes being purchased with weak support for separate but almost equal civil unions and brave silence on marriage itself.

And the calculating bastards know they can count on our votes, because we will not throw ours away on a single issue and risk another Bush in office. Bigotry and profound stupidity are walking hand in hand, and while it hides under a shroud of religious piety, we can see it for its true self when it rears its frothing head and screams about sodomy and “protecting the traditional family”. It is the same irrational hatred that has fueled every bit of prejudicial violence and oppression since humans started keeping track of themselves. It is a mark of nothing more or less than shameful cowardice.

I understand wanting to collect votes, and how seductive the hiss of silver tongued consultants woos even the most principled public servant. But I cannot understand how top tier candidates can misread their own performances and state. After all, to embrace fear so fully for the sake of victory is to lose the freedom of movement and power that comes with true courage.  The act defines the orator.  Homophobic positions may gain some play with a few voters, but the cost is the ethical and rhetorical power of the candidate himself.


2 Responses

  1. Elliot Spitzer (via Bloggernista):

    Just as the right to marry confers important benefits on individuals, the institution of marriage produces incalculable benefits for society, by fostering stable familial relationships. Same-sex couples who wish to marry are not simply looking to obtain additional rights, they are seeking out substantial responsibilities as well: to undertake significant and binding obligations to one another, and to lives of “shared intimacy and mutual financial and emotional support.” Granting legal recognition to these relationships can only strengthen New York’s families, by extending the ability to participate in this crucial social institution to all New Yorkers.
    Your’s is a fine post, and you are right about the ‘rock and a hard place’ for voters of principle.

  2. […] 16th, 2007 I was thinking about politicians who seem to set their stance based on the preferences of a few bigots, and […]

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