This morning I responded to an article that was posted at Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters by Alvin McEwan about how the LGBT Should get out and vote which was caused by an Associated Press article that appeared Sunday which warned that the lack of anger of gay voters as midterm elections approaches could affect the outcome of many races
If Democratic candidates are counting on long-standing support from gay voters to help stave off big losses on Nov. 2, they could be in for a surprise.
Across the country, activists say gay voters are angry — at the lack of progress on issues from eliminating employment discrimination to uncertainty over serving in the military to the economy — and some are choosing to sit out this election or look for other candidates. President Barack Obama’s hometown of Chicago, with its large, politically and socially active gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community, offers a snapshot of what some are calling the “enthusiasm gap” between voters who came out strong for Obama and other Democrats in 2008 and re-energized Republican base voters, including tea party enthusiasts who say they are primed to storm the polls.
It didn’t help that the controversy over the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy for gays erupted less than two weeks before the election, when a judge overturned it, then Obama’s justice department decided to fight the judge’s decision. On Thursday, the Defense Department declared that “don’t ask, don’t tell” is official policy but set up a new system that could make it tougher to get thrown out of the military for being openly gay.
“It’s all talk and nothings happening, and I’m just over it,” said Coatar, 62, a church business manager who said she’s as concerned about health care and homelessness as about gay issues. “I don’t know who to vote for and the election is a week away.”
Now the AP article, like McEwan’s column today is bullshit on so many levels it’s hard to count. The LGBT Community has nowhere near the voting block power to cause any problems in the midterms. As sad as it it lets be honest. If we had any real voting power at all would politicians abuse the LGBT Community as it does. Also lets not forget the fact that the LGBT Community are not the only ones that are disillusioned. The entire Progressive side of the Democratic Party and it’s followers are very pissed off also. There will be more than enough blame to pass around if the Democrats get slaughtered in the midterms
This is definitely a set up to blame the gays for the Democrats impending implosion. It goes without saying that the person who is most to blame, Barack Obama, as usual, gets a pass. But among voters,who is REALLY to blame if it comes down to the wire? How about young voters? Take this statistic for example:
“One statistic from Rock the Vote, the most aggressive organization behind youthful political participation, illustrates the difference between now and 2008 — just 280,000 young voters signed up in its midterm elections voter drive, a fraction of the 2.5 million who eagerly put their name on voter forms two years ago.
There’s your “enthusiasm gap” right there. And then there are African American voters. Will they come out in the same numbers as they did when Obama was on the ballot? Of course no one is going to touch THAT third rail. Just ask anyone who raised an eyebrow about Prop 8. But it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that those two groups, two of the most fervent supporters of Obama, will determine the outcome of this election (if it is even close, that is). Why do you think Obama has been campaigning so vigorously to those groups? It is a shame, but politicians go where the votes are. They are rallying AA’s and youth because they need them. Us? Not so much.”
People also ignore the historical trends when it comes to midterm elections (the party of the president in power almost always loses Congressional seats…sometimes a lot of seats as happened in, say, 1916, 1928, 1938, 1946, 1954, 1966, 1974, 1994, 2006).
But the logic in this and the idea that perhaps the LGBT community might be being set up as a scapegoat of blame does not seem to enter into some peoples thought processes/. And to make matters worse now some LGBT bloggers and organizations are “reacting” and taking the AP story and running with it. And that MUST STOP for two reasons. It validates the AP article and it DOES set us up to be scapegoated.
Rally the vote, yes, Like it or not we should vote. Go to the polls, hold your noses and vote Democratic (Unless that are Blue Dogs because it doesn’t matter if they lose they are really Republicans anyway) Vote because we know the Republicans are evil and the The Party candidates are fucking insane. But PLEASE LGBT BLOGGERS, ORGANIZATIONS and NEWS SOURCES don’t use the piece of crap AP Article to scare people into voting because we’ll “look bad” and do the community a favor and discredit the article and tell the AP to put this article in the trash where it belongs.
There’s a post today written by Alvin McEwan of Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters: (and cross-posted at Pam’s House Blend) entitled “The LGBT community should NOT sit this election out”.
Besides being the author of HBHM McEwan is also a board member of the SC Pride Movement and a member of SC Black Pride. Which to me makes this article even more disturbing because of it doesn’t show much PRIDE and FAITH in the LGBT community and in my opinion is nothing more than an apologist post for Barack Obama and a shill for post for the Democratic Party. But what makes it even worse is the fact that McEwan attacks the very fabric of why we have made what gains we have over the past 40 years and compares the LGBT community to a bunch of spoiled children.
Let me make this short and sweet. Any LGBT thinking of sitting this election out should think long and hard about whether it is a wise thing to do for the community. I say that on the basic principle that no American at any time should surrender his or her right to vote. Me as an African-American will never do that no matter how angry I feel…….
The LGBT community has had a wonderful year. Prop 8 was overturned, the Florida anti-gay adoption law is gone, the exposure of George Rekers opened so many’s eyes to religious right junk science, the nation rallied around our youth when those awful suicides took place, and this week will mark one year since LGBT-inclusive hate crimes legislation was signed into law. I have a serious problem reducing all of the positives of this year to one big minus simply because of DOMA and DADT…… (Alvin you forgot to mention ENDA and the Federal Benefits Act )
But mostly, I have a serious problem with our community getting so angry at what Obama didn’t accomplish that we ignore what we did accomplish. Please notice I said we as in the LGBT community and our allies……
This by no means is a defense of the Obama Administration or the Democrats, but an attack on how the LGBT community is yet again “reacting.”……..
We reacted because the police kept harassing us as Stonewall,
We reacted because Anita Bryant told those lies about us in the 70’s,
We reacted because of the AIDS crisis,
We reacted because of the Proposition 8 vote.
Our history seems to be a pattern of reacting. When you react, you lash out and are on the defensive. You are not in control of the situation because you are trying to rally yourself from whatever calamity that has been thrust upon you. And that has been our problem.
These are the “highlights” of McEwan’s article, which you can read in full cross-posted over at Pam’s House Blend
I’m just astonished that any LGBT person could write something like this. especially a person of color. I wonder if McEwan stopped to think where Black Civil Rights would be today if African Americans did not react in the 1960’s/ No Marches, no rallies, no Martin Luther King speeches. How far and fast do you think that battle for equal rights would have occurred if MLK just had meetings at the White House and the Black Community just voted and called Congress? .
But I suppose what galls me the most is his section about “reacting” where he brings up the Stonewall Riots, Anita Bryant(?), and Prop 8. Because he is totally off the mark, wrong and waaaaay out in left field.
If NOBODY reacted because the police kept harassing us as Stonewall, we’d all be hiding in dark bars still to this day.
If NOBODY reacted because Anita Bryant told those lies about us in the 70’s, Anti-gay adoption would have swept the US and not only have been contained to a few states.
If NOBODY reacted because of the AIDS crisis, Hundreds of thousands more of our brothers and sisters would be dead because Regan and the Government would have continued ignoring it.
If NOBODY reacted because of the Proposition 8 vote. There would have been no appeal by Olsen and Boies because our Gay Inc organizations DID NOT WANT to go that route.
If NOBODY reacted about the lack of movement on DADT we would probably still be waiting for something. Anything to happen.
“Reacting” has gotten us what little we have. That has is not the problem as McEwan states. If anything we need to keep reacting, exerting pressure, and in some cases openly embarrassing and attacking elected officials both Republican and Democrats because that is what leads getting elected officials moving because as we’ve seen over the past two years calling your Congressman just doesn’t seem to work.
The bottom line is that those of us who usually will go out on November 2nd and vote.. As we always do. We’ll drag our second class LGBT asses to the Polls and we’ll hold our noses and vote for the Democrats because we know Republicans are evil and Tea Party candidates are insane. and the Democrats suck less (The Dem’s NEW slogan this year)
As for McEwan trying to rally the LGBT Community to vote by attacking us, our fight and our history is unacceptable and truly insulting and is also helping to set up the LGBT community to take the fall if polling numbers are down and the Democrats get slaughtered in the mid-term. Because lets be real here. The LGBT Community are not the only people disillusioned by the Democrats over the past two year, and if we actually had the voting power to swing an election do you think that we’d be in the position we are in now.
McEwan does his own community a great disservice by laying this falsely at our feet. Because in the end if the Democrats lose the midterm elections they have nobody else to blame but themselves for thier spineless leadership, and gutless political stand against the Republicand and the Tea Party
Well it seems Barney “Democrat first, Homo second” Frank wasn’t none too pleased by yesterday’s GetEQUAL action at a House Labor Committee:
”What a stupid thing to do.” Those were the first words an agitated Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) spit out when commenting on the Get Equal protest that happened Wednesday morning, April 21, at a meeting of the House Education and Labor Committee. On Sunday, the openly gay Frank said the committee would be marking up and voting on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) ”this week or next.” The activists, led by Get Equal co-founder Robin McGehee, weren’t waiting. Signs and markers in hand, they walked right up the aisle of the hearing room on Wednesday to Chairman George Miller (D-Calif.), offering him a marker to mark up the bill right then. Frank called the action ”immature, tacky” behavior on Wednesday afternoon and said that ”George Miller and others are working hard” to see the bill passed in the House.
“Immature and tacky behavior” *chortle* This coming from an openly gay politician who sits back and defends the Obama administrations after it spits on us (Rick Warren at the inauguration), lies to us, (DADT will be repealed this year), and stabs us in the back, (The DOJ fighting against us, insulting us, and lying in DOMA cases.) Perhaps Frank should get off his ample ass and make a stand and join us and finally be a Homo first and a Democrat second instead of the other way around,.