Saturday, May 04, 2013
The Next Wave
Most people know me as being a fairly level headed conservative; not the right wing zealot type or the religious fanatic that prows the hallways of Republican conventions. Just an old fashion traditional "American Values" kind of guy. Someone who would have been proud to don his "I like Ike" button or who would have supported TR during the turn of the century (no--the other turn of the century). So, what would a traditional middle-class Southern intellectual type to think of gay marriage? Boy, is that ever a loaded question!
Gay marriage seems to be coming out all over the media and throughout elections across the country. Rhode Island just became the 10th state to recognize gay marriage. Kentucky ,known for its conservatism, voted gay marriage/ civil unions down...overwhelmingly as I recall... in 2004. 33 other states have either voted it down or it's banned by their constitution. However, the issues keeps growing and expanding. Among youth, especially the next large voting bloc that replace us aging Babyboomers, gay marriage, let along being gay, is essentially a non-issue. According to a May 2012 Gallup polls, 76% of the young adults (18 to 34) have no problem with gay relationships and 66% support gay marriage. In general, 54% of all Americans now support some sort of same sex union.
Nationally there are approximately 9 million gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered individuals in America. That's roughly 1 in 10. In the big scheme of things, that's not a lot. Among Democrats, gays have long been accepted. As a group, gays support about 70% of that party's candidates. However, it's interesting to note that one of the largest gay oriented groups is the Log Cabin Republicans, who are otherwise, a relatively conservative bunch. But around other Republicans, they're usually treated as if they have kooties or something. While 2/3 of Democrats support some form of gay union, it's interesting to that among the largest political bloc---Independents---the number is 51%. Among Republicans, it about 24%.; surprisingly only in that the number is that high. In terms of population, the number is about 3.8%, and in terms of buying power, that tranlates to $790 billion dollars with projections to break the $1 trillion mark within the next few years. What's more, as a group, they seem to be LGBT conscious and tend to spend their money where there is "friendly" LGBT company policy. And those kind of numbers over ride any political party consideration. So, what a down and out conservative political party like the GOP to do?
In the last election, conservatives started early and threw everything they had at Obama and Company, and they still came up short. Actually, it was a lot worse than that. In terms of voting blocs, they got their pachyderm tuchies paddled. Granted, Romney was not the best candidate for the job (or even second or third best). He was just the one with enough money to buy the Primary.
The traditional core base of the GOP---white males---is fast declining in numbers. Among women, the GOP even did bad there. They were terrible with minorities, especially among Hispanics, who are the second largest group behind whites. While most Hispanics, and indeed black voters, tend to be conservative, they were simply written off. Why? Even the one minority the GOP has been able to count on, Cuban-Americans, are shifting away. Looking at the numbers, most of these groups support a more positive attitude toward gays (66% are either moderate or liberal compared to 34% who are conservative). Rather than making use of the Log Cabin's 43 state chapters, they did nothing.
The Republican Party needs more than a makeover. At this rate, it's a good candidate for an autopsy. The GOP needs to decide what it wants to be and who it wants to represent. Right now, it's totally out of touch with most Americans. It can't even get its act straight on the one issues most Americans, regardless of party agree on, which is ending illegal immigration. You would think they'd get that one right wouldn't you?
Of course the Democrats have nothing to crow about. They haven't got the American People dialed in either. They continue to slid further to the Left, which is not where most Americans are. We got a horrible economy; a non-existent foreign policy; cover-ups, questionable government spending; stonewalling; government by executive decree; refusal to stop illegal immigration; failing schools; raising healthcare costs thanks to "Obamacare", and the list could go on. However, they seem slightly closer to the public opinion than the Republicans. Most of us are in the "one-size-doesn't-fit-all" Middle.
My personal opinion is this: we need to focus on what matters. Things like the economy, gangs and crime, terrorism, taxes, the environment, failing schools, illegal immigration, and rebuilding the infrastructure. I may or may not agree with what you do in your personal life and visa versa. I certainly have no business saying who you can or should love. Frankly, it's none of my business and I really don't need to know. Demographics, however, may have the final say with its 76% approval the next generation. Individual freedom was what the GOP once all about. And that's something I think Ike would like.
Acceptance of Gay/Lesbian Relations Is the New Normal
How Many Americans Are Gay or Lesbian
Americans In Debt
2/3 of Democrats now support Gay Marriage
LGBT $790 Billion Buying Power
How Groups Voted in 2012