Okay, we all know the results of the election, but the purpose of this opinion was to motivate homosexuals to get out and vote. It didn't work, but it was a noble effort.
There Ain't No Good Guys, There Ain't No Bad Guys
A Gay Opinion 8/15/00
by R.A. Melos
(Note to Non US readers, two of the major political parties in the US are Republicans and Democrats. Third parties only count when the have lots of money.)
I'm not the most politically minded person in the world. In fact, I usually vote for the best looking candidate. My ex-lover, the stud formerly known as Mr. Right, used to say the Republicans were the best party for the economy. I wonder what he would have to say now that the Democrats have been running things during one of the best economic booms in the history of the United States?
Heck, my ex-stud even shares a birthday (many years apart) with President Clinton. Wow! That actually explains a lot about both of them. Although I can't really pick on Bill Clinton anymore since I forgave him for being a liar and a cheat. All it took was a recent news article which reported, during Mr. Clinton's visit to the Kennedy Compound in Hyannis Port he stopped at a local ice cream shop and shared a cone with his dog, Buddy.
I fully respect this as an act of a decent man who couldn't help making a few mistakes, since I share most of my food with my dog, Zeus. My dog is partial to rainbow sherbet, the kind with the lime flavor in it, but not cherry.
Anyway, politically I used to agree with my ex-lover, but since he outed me I have become more aware of politics as an out and open gay male, as opposed to my former closeted self who was more concerned with money and looks. Yes looks.
I actually did consider looks when voting in elections. After all, I was going to have to see this person's picture plastered all over the newspapers, the television, and the Internet, and I wanted to see someone attractive to the eye. (Come on, straight women have voted this way for years. And if women had been privileged to vote in the early days of our political history fewer of our Presidents would have been so ugly. Realistically Lincoln wouldn't have even run.)
So, since both of the current candidates have a potential to be cute, I actually have to take more into consideration than my own selfish desire to look at a hot guy. I have to take into consideration the issues. And more important than the issues, I have to place my trust in one of these candidates.
Trust, for me, is something not easily given. Having been personally burned
by someone I trusted with my heart, it's hard to give my trust to someone who
is even that much more removed from me, since this is a person who will be helping
to run the country in which I live.
Bill Clinton had my trust and lost it with his lies, but managed to regain it. I was slightly disappointed in his urging the military to adopt the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, which again can be explained by his personal character flaws, but I now see the wisdom in that move. For the first time in history the possibility of homosexuals serving in the military was acknowledged. No other American President elevated us, the homosexual community, to the same level of respect as William Jefferson Clinton has done.
I shudder to think of the damage a Republican President can do to the homosexual community. Yes, I know the Vice-presidential candidate has a lesbian daughter. He is also quoted in several new publications including The Advocate, as loving his daughter but not accepting her chosen lifestyle. Geez, how Republican of him.
And while on the topic of Republican attitudes toward homosexuality, let us not forget the display of the Republican delegates from Texas who stood with heads bowed in protest while a prominent Republican who is also homosexual addressed the Republican national convention. Their silent prayer speaks volumes about the true closed mindedness of the GOP.
In contrast, the Democratic national convention was sprinkled with several homosexual speakers, and no one has made a protest, silent or otherwise. This isn't to say the Democrats are entirely pro-gay. However, hopefully, future First Lady Tipper Gore has become a strong voice of respect and support of homosexual rights. And face it, no matter how much they might deny it, as long as there is a straight man in the White House, it is the First Lady who really has the power.
Back to issues, I'm only 37 so social security issues don't worry me, as I do not believe there will be social security when I am old enough to actually collect. As for health insurance reform, I trust doctors as much as I trust my ex-lover, possibly even less, so it is unlikely I'll be running to one for every ache and pain.
My concerns are more along the lines of equal to straight rights. I'm more interested in knowing my rights as a gay man are as protected by the laws of this country as those of the straight man. I will not settle for being second class. Just as women, Native Americans, and blacks before me fought and spoke for their rights, it is now the time for the homosexual to have all the same rights; including equal marriage rights, not some civil union, which is a step in the right direction, but just not enough.
And even if the homosexual community reaps all these rewards, it will not erase the prejudice and the hate of many straight people, or the years of emotional and physical pain suffered by the homosexual community. So, while I obviously support a democratic Presidential candidate, I still have reservations about the speed with which changes are occurring.
Yes, change is coming in the way mainstream society looks at homosexuality, and in the way homosexuals look at mainstream society. Respect is a two way street, and we need a candidate who can command the respect and trust of all the people.
So, when it comes to choosing a President, I no longer look for good guys and bad guys, or even the best looking. I'm looking for someone I can trust to respect me as a person, and respect and support my rights as a human being. Amazingly, I'm looking for the same qualities in a life partner. For my sake, and the country's, I hope I get both.
Remember, all votes count. Get out and vote, or don't bitch about the results.