Republicans – and the broader group of people who simply don’t want to see the Democrats in power – might want to consider a strategy of attempting to reach gay voters, whom they’ve basically ignored.
Actually appealing to gays by supporting gay marriage and other forms of legal equality in adoption etc. would be one approach, but there are others for people not ready to go there.
Gay people tend to gravitate to urban areas governed by Democrats, partly so they can find each other and partly because liberal Democrats do sometimes eventually get around to enacting legal reforms gay voters want (usually when they begin to lose campaign donations for talking the talk without walking the walk). As such, they experience all the costs of living under Democratic misrule as do other urban groups. Four broad areas: crime, schools, economic opportunity, foreign policy.
Crime – Many gay people live in cities with gun control, and perusing the gay press in places like Washington, D.C. or Baltimore reveal not just heterosexuals being stabbed on public transportation by people demanding cameras or leather jackets, but gay people in gentrifying neighborhoods and transgender people in less gentrified neighborhoods being assaulted, killed, hospitalized. Candidates should address anti-gay hate crimes as a reason for ending gun control.
Schools – As Democratic LGTB activists themselves continually complain, gay kids and “gender nonconforming” kids are routinely bullied on playgrounds around the country. At one presentation on this problem I asked the gay activist if his group compiled statistics on bullying by school type – public, independent, parochial etc. He admitted they do not. I suspect most bullying happens at public schools, and that school choice is the best solution.
Very few parents, even ones deeply opposed to homosexuality and in complete denial about their own child’s orientation, would send their child to a school where she or he came home black and blue. School choice would allow progressive yuppies to send their kids to schools that celebrate LGBT history, gays to send their kids to schools where gay parents are not an oddity, traditional religious folks to send their kids to schools that conform to their values, and parents of gay kids who don’t want to think about these issues to find a sporty all girl’s school for their daughter or an artsy school for their son where the kid doesn’t come home with a black eye. Candidates should point out how school choice improves education, and also makes for more peace and tolerance by allowing people to freely associate with whom they choose.
Economic opportunity – Like many other striving minority groups, from Jews, to ethnic Chinese outside of China, many gay people who feel discriminated against in large bureaucracies or corporations start their own businesses. It’s very common for a high percentage of urban realtors, mortgage brokers, property developers, restaurateurs to be gay – and for them to hire gay employees.
It’s also the case that in Democratic cities they face extra layers of regulation, both because the city has additional regulations on top of county and state regulations, and because the city politicians are Democrats who believe more regulation is always good. One famous gay restaurant developer in D.C., Eric Hirschfeld, spoke before the city council and to the press about how he could only start his popular gay oriented (“Cheers for queers”) Duplex Diner by ignoring the thicket of laws and regulations. Candidates should point out how regulation hurts gay, women, African American, etc. entrepreneurs.
Foreign policy – Under eight years of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s and President Barack Obama’s Democratic foreign policy, jihadists who hate gays and execute them in the countries they control, reportedly even tracking them down on social media, have expanded into more and more countries, and even killed a gay American Ambassador.
Another Islamic theocracy, Iran, forces gays to undergo transsexual surgery as a “cure” under its interpretation of Islam, and was rewarded by the current Democratic administration with $150 billion in frozen bank funds and the ability to create nuclear weapons. Whether your approach is to arm the Kurds, create a no fly zone, or the Senator Rand Paul approach of ending subsidies to and gifts of arms to anti-American regimes, pointing out that Democrats have expanded the reach of terrorists who kill gays, and that you would reverse that, seems a wise thing to mention.
Some Republicans may find it difficult to incorporate gay outreach into their campaigns even with these suggestions. That’s not the only way to try to reduce the Democrats’ unearned 65 percent share of that vote though.
One could also weaponize third party candidates, something that happened in the last election cycle, where in a handful of races, Democrats or the GOP paid for advertising for a Libertarian or other candidate whose views were thought to ensure they would pull votes away from their competitor. In North Carolina for example, Libertarian Senatorial candidate Sean Haugh’s pro-pot, anti-war views were thought to pull mainly from Democrat Kay Hagen.
By failing to invest anything in targeting gay voters, either to get them to vote for GOP candidates, or to get them to vote for Greens and Libertarians instead of Democratic candidates, the GOP seems to be leaving votes on the table.
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