I am so over this campaign season.
I'm tired of the stupid ads--or more accurately, the ads that are so clearly aimed at stupid people, which is evidently what the "experts" think we all are. And I am doubly, triply tired of the unremitting use of "wedge issues" aimed at dividing Americans from one another.
The best cartoon I have seen lately pictured a man with a rifle, standing in his living room with the remains of the TV he had shot. Caption: "I'm John Q. Citizen, and I approve this message!"
I don't have to tell the gay community anything about wedge issues, of course. You have been the wedge issue of choice for several years now. As I said in my Star column this morning:
When the New Jersey Supreme Court, consisting of four Republicans and three Democrats, held unanimously that "denying commited same-sex couples the financial and social benefits given their married heterosexual counterparts bears no substantial relationship to a legitimate government purpose," the joy and relief was palpable. Republicans were ecstatic. (Gays were generally pleased, too.) Nationally and locally, GOP candidates fell all over themselves proclaiming the centrality of the issue, and the mortal danger posed to the republic should we fail to amend the constitution to ensure that same-sex couples will never, ever be able to file joint tax returns.
Of course, you aren't alone. I've gotten more ugly mailers than I can count accusing incumbents of "using our tax dollars for benefits for illegal immigrants." (If you are gay AND Latino, God help you.) Catherine Densborn--whose photo on her yard signs prompted my seventeen-year-old grandson to dub her "Cruella DeVille"--is accusing David Orentleicher of wanting to "clone babies." (He supports embryonic stem-cell research.) Mike Sodrel--who is supposedly a free-market libertarian--is doing everything he can to hang pro-gay and pro-choice labels on Baron Hill. (And I thought libertarians were supposed to be AGAINST government interference in our lives!)
I just hope that when you gay folks can spare a few minutes from your busy jobs being footballs for the right wing, you will go to the polls and vote against those who want to cling to power by exploiting the powerlessness of others.