As in the last Presidential election, the demonizing of Gay people served the Republicans quite well, as that one issue likely helped mobilize homophobic churches (and there are a whole lot of them) to get their congregations to "vote the way God would want you to vote," even with some of them bussing their members to the voting booths. And a good deal of the institutional Church is comprised of homophobic churches which, to one degree or another, still make their theology of genital placement quite clear to their congregations.
However, what is even worse than the cynical machinations of the McCain campaign of which Besen writes, is the predictable move to the "Right" that has been evidenced by Obama this past week. This article, "Obama’s swing to right sparks warnings from 'left' backers," by Bill Van Auken highlights Obama's shift to the Right, in order to pander to the "ruling elite."
He concludes his article by writing:
"If the candidate [Obama] is more openly promoting his right-wing agenda now, it is not in interests of gaining votes. Over two-thirds of the American people want an end to the war and the overwhelming majority is hostile to the Bush administration; he does not have to appeal to some vast right-wing constituency. On the contrary, Obama is making his pitch to the ruling elite, attempting to cast himself as “presidential,” i.e., someone who is prepared to do whatever it takes to defend the interests of American capitalism, both at home and abroad."
This article's conclusion is not mere hyperbole that merely serves a Socialist agenda. Rather, it highlights the reality of what we may see as the Social Darwinism that has fueled the very strong capitalistic, fundamentalist and exclusionary strains that runs through the American psyche, and a psyche that is held by most of the "ruling elite," the Power Elite, of which I wrote in the previous post.
Both McCain and Obama know that they must, each in their own way, pay homage to both this Power Elite as well as the psyche of Social Darwinism that extols as virtues free enterprise, rugged individualism, competition, conflict, and the survival of the fittest. The unfortunate fact of American life is that these traits not only characterize the Power Elite, the "ruling elite" to use Van Auken's term, but also characterizes most of the American people, even many for whom these values are directly responsible for their own angst and recognized dwindling life-chances.
The irony of this scenario is that there is now highlighted a basic conflict between the disenchantment of most of the American people with the current economic and political climate in America with their Social Darwinist values, and both candidates are appealing to those Social Darwinist values as, consciously or not, they regard these latter values as trumping the public's perceptions of their dwindling life-chances under the status quo. And they expect that the disenchantment that most of the public feels will be trumped by those Social Darwinist values, and they both may well be correct in this assumption, an assumption that is seemingly ignored by Van Auken's article.
The upshot of all of this pandering to the "Right," be it "religious," or corporate, or political, is that many "conservatives" will be mobilized and organized to go to the polls and vote for their own perceived interests in the person of McCain. And many "liberals" will not be able to bring themselves to vote for McCain or for Obama, whom they will see as a sell out and, therefore, they are likely to abstain from voting. And the "undecideds" will more than likely vote for McCain as he more directly (and has consistently) and honestly reflects the very strong Social Darwinist ethic that will likely appeal to them more than does the recent shift to the Right of Obama. Moreover, there seems to be a significant number of Hillary Clinton supporters who will abstain from voting, given their antipathy toward Obama.
By McCain moving even further to the Right, and Obama shifting to the Right, and thus taking the wind out of the sails of a lot of young people, and others, who believed in his candidacy based on "change," the odds at this point of McCain winning the election is exponentially increased, and it may be again seen that that increase is in large part accomplished on the backs of LGBT people whom secular and "religious" fundamentalists, and those who feel the need for scapegoats to "explain" their own angst and poor life-chances, love to hate.
And of course, the perceived need for scapegoats segues into the issue of "race" that, when all is said and done, is the elephant in the room, and that may play the biggest, albeit formally unacknowledged and disavowed, role in a possible McCain win in November! And neither entrance nor exit voter polls are likely to ascertain that likelihood! And Obama's shift to the Right makes such a race-based voter public disavowal seem even that much more credible, albeit fallacious in my opinion.
Again, we may be seeing both the fact that racism (and misogyny) and homophobia are inextricably linked, and the commonality between African Americans and LGBT people in regard to their being victims of both discrimination and scapegoating for the ultimate profit of the Power Elite, aided and abetted by its "religious" and secular allies who drink the Kool Aid of the mantra of Social Darwinism from which, ironically, many, if not most, certainly do not profit!
Given all of these factors, it is my opinion that, as of this time, I think that McCain will win the Presidential election!