What a difference a week makes. Last weekend may have been “emotionally trying,” but this weekend makes me feel glad to be alive, even though I woke with a headache (coffee and Excedrin helped ease the pain) and even though the format of this radio talk show I was on did not allow me to present my ideas as I would have liked. Still, I had fun on Harrison’s show.
I took the day pretty easily, reading for class, checking blogs, tidying up a bit, then went out to a late afternoon barbecue hosted by a new friend (a man I met when dining with a blog-reader) and his partner. The food was great and the conversation was just as good. And no one called me names when I came out as a Republican, even though the guests were (as far as I could tell) all gay.
I regretted that I had to leave early for my radio appearance. While I had known Harrison before, I was not familiar with his program. I had assumed it would be like some of the conservative talk shows (albeit with a different angle) I have listened to, where the host asks pointed questions and then allows the guest to reply. If he was like Sean Hannity, he would cut me off before I could make my case and then repeat his talking points. If he was like Larry Elder, he would let me have my say and then tear apart my arguments.
Harrison was different, more an entertainer with a left-wing (he might say “progressive”) edge than a conversationalist. (At least on the air.) Oftentimes he would interrupt me with some sound effect, usually the chimes of a cash register.
Because they had billed me as a Log Cabin Republican, assuming that a Log Cabin Republican was merely a Republican who happened to be gay, I was able to distinguish Log Cabin from rank-and-file gay Republicans, noting that despite Log Cabin’s failure to endorse the president, an overwhelmingly majority of gay & lesbian Republicans voted for Mr. Bush, the Republican presidential nominee, in last fall’s election.
When I made it clear that I supported the president primarily for his foreign policy, Harrison quickly brought up Weapons of Mass Destruction. I noted the Duelfer Report and recent revelations in the U.N. Oil-for-Food scandal which show how Saddam was paying off officials in a number of countries, including French Interior Minister Charles Pasqua. That tyrant wasn’t just bribing the French. He was bribing officials in other nations as well, including two other permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (Russia and China). He had planned to resume his chemical and biological weapons program as soon U.N. sanctions were lifted.
Harrison asked me if I would still support the GOP if it excluded an ethnic group from marriage. I noted that there were no plans to do so and pointed out that most Amercians define marriage as the union of one man and one woman, even some very socially progressive individuals (which “THE HARTFORD COURANT” reported in an article which I referenced here). I also noted the diversity of the GOP, pointing out how Connecticut’s amazing Republican governor, M. Jodi Rell, signed the Nutmeg State’s groundbreaking civil unions law.
I made clear my opposition to the Federal Marriage Amendment. So upset was I at the president’s backing of that amendment that I had written in Rudy Giuliani for president in the California Republican primary last March. (Don’t worry, as soon as I contrasted the Republican incumbent to the Democratic nominee, I realized how the former would serve our nation much better than the junior Senator from Massachusetts. I came back to Bush in the spring, supported him when I joined this blog in October and voted for him for president.)
On the radio program, it seemed there was more casual banter than serious conversation. And while I am always eager to engage my ideological adversaries, I did enjoy the experience. Harrison and his staff were warm and welcoming. And while he may have baited me a bit while we were on the air, he joked with me when they cut to commercials.
While it wasn’t what I expected, I did have fun. I do hope that the program entertained its listeners as well as Harrison and his staff entertained me.
-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com