Monday, August 18, 2008

MCCAIN'S APPEAL TO "EVANGELICALS" AND THE FATE OF PROPOSITION 8 IN CALIFORNIA

This article unwittingly highlights a problem that all of us who oppose Proposition 8 in California will find disquieting.

"...there are signs McCain is winning over a group that has regarded him with suspicion on grounds including his past criticism of Religious Right leaders and his support for stem cell research.

"A nationwide poll of registered voters by the Pew Research Center from July 31 to August 10 found McCain had the support of 68 percent of the white evangelical Protestants surveyed, up from 61 percent in June.

"Obama's support was almost unchanged at 24 percent -- an indication McCain is making headway with undecided voters in the group."

The fact is that McCain would have gotten most all of the "evangelical" vote anyway, given the reactionary mind-set of most all of them! That he's increasingly "appealing" to them indicates that increasing numbers of self-professed "evangelicals" will likely be motivated to come to the polls and vote in November.

The major danger to McCain was always, not that "evangelicals" would not vote for him, but that many, if not most of them, would stay away from the polls and not vote at all, given his history of thumbing his nose at them. But at that time, he wasn't running for President! So, then came his subsequent realization that he would now have to court their support if he was to have a reasonable chance of winning the upcoming election. And this pragmatic strategy has worked!

Even James Dobson, who once said that he'd never endorse McCain for President, has recently said that he is reconsidering his position:

''Barack Obama contradicts and threatens everything I believe about the institution of the family and what is best for the nation," Dr. Dobson said in a statement to The Associated Press. 'His radical positions on life, marriage and national security force me to re-evaluate the candidacy of our only other choice, John McCain. I have not endorsed him, but … I have concluded for the first time that I might. If that is a flip-flop, then so be it.'" [See here.]

The fact is that by McCain further appealing to "evangelicals," and thereby motivating many of them to vote for him in November, the fate of Proposition 8 that is designed to overturn the California Supreme Court decision legalizing the right of same-sex couples to marry is now in much further jeopardy, as virtually all of these "evangelicals" who do go to the polls will certainly vote in favor of Proposition 8.

To the degree that these people with a reactionary mind-set will more likely go to the polls to vote for McCain, it's to that degree that more people will vote in favor of Proposition 8! The unfortunate fact is that the "evangelicals" and reactionaries who would vote for McCain are not only likely to vote in favor of Proposition 8, but have shown themselves to be far more organized and mobilized than are "liberals," as we saw in the 2004 Presidential election. [For example, see here.]

That is why more aggressive education and activism on all fronts in this civil rights struggle is needed so that people of good will in California will increasingly come to see the need to affirm "equality under the law" for all citizens, and will do the right thing by becoming motivated to go to the polls in November and vote against the mean-spirited and discriminatory Proposition 8.

I'm afraid that without more aggressive education and activism to counteract the effects of increasing numbers of "evangelicals" who are likely to go to the polls in November in California, the consequences may well spell doom for the future of same-sex marriage both in California and in most all of the other states in the U.S. as well.

Given the very strong "conservative" current in the U.S., reinforced in the secular world by such popular TV personalities as Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly, and by many, if not, most radio talk show hosts (Michael Savage, for example, has about 8 to 10 million listeners a week throughout the U.S. and Rush Limbaugh has a minimum of 13.5 million listeners a week), it is my opinion that far more "conservatives" will be motivated to go to the polls to vote for McCain (and, hence, in California, vote for Proposition 8), than "liberals" will be motivated to go to the polls and vote for Obama (and, in California, vote against Proposition 8).

Should Proposition 8 be affirmed, it can be expected that same-sex marriage will be held back for generations to come both in California and in other states as well, more homophobic people being further emboldened by its passage!
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2 comments:

Chino Blanco said...

LDS (Mormon) 'Yes on 8' Game Plan

I've posted a letter sent from Boyd K. Packer on July 28th to the California LDS stake presidents:

BKP July 28

Apparently, there is a plan in place to put up one million 'Yes on 8' yard signs at 7:00 am on September 22nd.

Jerry Maneker said...

Thanks for this, Chino. As you wrote in your comment on that issue, it is an attempt to write discrimination into California's Constitution! That's the bottom line of Proposition 8.