An open letter to Michael Steele, R.NC. Chairman,
Hello. My name is Mike. I live in Michigan, just north Toledo.
Today, while driving home, I was listening to NPR (because I’m a liberal). Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter of California was on the radio program “All Things Considered”. Representative Hunter was providing his opinion on why the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy should not be repealed. During his time on air, Congressman Hunter defended Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell by saying, “… [T]here has to be a special bond (between people in the military). I think that bond is broken if you open the military up to transgendered, to hermaphrodites, to gays and lesbians…Part of this whole thing is not just gays and lesbians. It’s the whole gay, lesbian, transgendered, bisexual community. If you’re going to let anyone in no matter what sexual preference they have you’re going to get anyone.” I’m paraphrasing a little, but you can listen to the congressman’s exact words here. I think you’ll agree that I am not misrepresenting what this distinguished soldier said.
At this point, a small digression becomes necessary. When, in 2003, I first became aware of the AP interview with Senator Rick Santorum in which the senator seemed to be equating homosexuality with pedophilia, polygamy and bestiality , I shook my head and thought, ‘wow, what a jerk’.
Back to the point. When I heard Representative Hunter on “All Things Considered”, I had an epiphany of sorts. I realized that Senator Santorum was not just a lone servant of the people who had a fundamentally flawed view of homosexuality, he was, just as Congressman Hunter is, a manifestation of a larger problem: the GOP doesn’t know what homosexuality is.
Really, all most republicans seem to know is that, in general, they don’t like gay people (with the obvious exceptions of Senator Larry Craig and Congressman Mark Foley… sorry, I promise that’s the last mean-spirited partisan thing I’ll write).
On occasion, members of the Republican party have been known to accuse (with more than just a little justification) liberals of being out of touch with the average, mainstream voter. However, when it comes to homosexuality, many republicans seem not so much out of touch with the voters so much as completely oblivious to the last 30 years of scientific study, psychiatric analysis and critical thought. In short, on this issue the party seems out of touch with reality.
There is an easy solution however. Why not organize a simple, half-day panel on what homosexuality is, what it means to be homosexual and how being homosexual affects a person’s day-to-day life.
The panel could be small, done on the cheap and travel pretty lightly all over the country, ensuring that every member of the Republican Party can be brought up to speed. It will still be possible to mount opposition to gay rights and agendas, but the arguments will be coming from a sound, reality-based opposition.
I would be more than willing to put such a panel together. Although I do not have many relevant qualifications, I work cheap, travel well and have no particular affinity for my current job, so I wouldn’t feel at all conflicted about leaving it.
Please feel free to contact me at your convenience to discuss my idea in more detail.
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