According to Log Cabin’s web-site, its national convention will feature a “Town Hall Meeting” on Presidential Endorsement, described on the convention’s Schedule of Events as “The Road Ahead?”
In anticipation of that event, I had thought to set up an organization called, “Gays & Lesbians for John McCain” to show that while we don’t always agree with the Arizona Senator (he backed an unsuccessful proposal in his home state to bar recognition of same-sex relationships), many gay men and lesbians support this courageous veteran because we know he is sound on the most important issue of the day, the war against Islamofascism.
Indeed, we realize that that issue is particularly important to gay people, given the strong anti-gay bias of Muslim extremists and the continual persecution and execution of gay people in Islamic theocracies, like Iran.
I had considered setting up the organization as a vehicle to gather names of prominent gay Republicans backing John McCain to show Log Cabin that there was a burgeoning movement backing his White House bid. Should they fail to endorse (as they failed in 2004 to endorse the GOP nominee), they would further marginalize themselves.
But, I’m optimistic Log Cabin will endorse McCain. Should they fail to endorse, however, the title of this post would become moot. At present though, I don’t think such an organization would really sway any gay voters, primarily because those gay men and lesbians who would consider John McCain don’t play the kind of identity politics that gay activists believe we play. We see ourselves as Americans who happen to be gay and vote for the candidate whom we believe will best serve the national interest.
When we look at the two candidates for the Democratic nomination pandering to the left-wing of their party and consider the threats abroad, we know that John McCain is the best candidate for gay and lesbian Americans because he is the best candidate for all Americans.
Gay Americans don’t need a gay organization telling us as much.
Should Log Cabin fail to endorse John McCain, however, we would need such an organization to correct the false impression its non-endorsement would create. Four years ago, with no gay Republican organization (or outlet) to present an alternative view, the media coverage of that endorsement suggested gay Republicans were single-issue voters and would desert the president in droves. (Log Cabin’s then political diretor predicted Bush’s gay support would be “in the single digits.”) That silly notion was dispelled when exit polls showed that Bush retained nearly the same share of the gay vote in 2004 as he did in 2000.
This year, gay conservative bloggers have access to the mainstream media that we lacked four years ago. And should Log Cabin fail to endorse, we’ll point out that they speak for only a small minority of gay Republicans, citing the 2004 exit polls as proof of our point.
Given the stakes of this election, it troubles me that an organization calling itself Republican would need conduct a “Town Hall” meeting to determine whether or not to endorse its party’s nominee. With the prospect of Hillary or Obama leading the Democratic ticket at a time of war, that a Republican group would be endorsing the Republican candidate should be a given. John McCain undersands the stakes in the War on Terror.
That’s why this gay Republican is backing John McCain even as he disagrees with him on a number of issues. On the most important issue of they day, he gets it right. And that great conservative and Log Cabin convention speaker, John Bolton, agrees.