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Location: Kansas City, Missouri, United States

Doing my part to irritate Republicans, fundamentalists, bigots and other lower life forms.

Friday, September 16, 2005

A modest proposal for 'converting' conservatives to the Democratic Party

It was one of those theoretical discussions. More of a brainstorming session, actually. The subject was one that's been discussed in Democratic and progressive circles ever since the last presidential election: How do we win the votes of conservative voters?

The answers ran the gamut from the practical ("Promise 'em to lower their taxes") to the fanciful ("Tell 'em that from now on to simplify vote counting Democrats and Republicans will vote on different days - Democrats on Tuesday and Republicans on Wednesday") to the profane ("Piss on the conservatives! They seem to like it").

Most of the rest of the answers were pretty predictable. Keeping hammering the deficit. Point out what a colossal boondogle the Medicaid prescription drug plan is. Use short, simple statements filled with strong words that appeal to the emotions.

Being out around a group of straight progressives, I could tell that they would be uncomfortable bring up the "G" word in front of me. So when it came my turn to make a suggestion, I did it for them.

"Use the gay issue as a wedge," I suggested. For a few seconds it was as thought the dropping of jaws had sucked all the sound out of the room.

"Wha ... wha ... what do you mean?" I was asked.

"I mean point out to them the link between voting Republican and raising gay kids."

For examples you don't have to look much further than Dick Cheney. The vice president's lesbian daughter was certainly discussed following the presidential debates.

Or how about anti-abortion nutcase Randall Terry? Gay son (though in the interest of fairness I should point out that Jamiel is only Terry's adopted son and not his biologically - but then some rightwingers believe if you raise kids in a strong moral environment they will automatically turn out straight).

Newt Gingrich, the sugardaddy of modern conservatism? No gay or lesbian kid that I know of, but he does have that lesbian sister, Candace. Come to think of it, she may only be a half-sister. Newtie did grow up in the South were family trees either lack branches or have so many branches grafted on that it's impossible to keep track of one's relations without an annotated flow chart.

Let's not forget perennial presidential candidate (and perennial loser) Alan Keyes who threw his lesbian daughter, Maya Marcel-Keyes, out of the house. How's that for Republican family values?

Then there's conservative gadfly Phyllis Schlafly, founder of the ultra right-wing Eagle Forum, who's son came out. Mommie dearest's organization was among the group calling for even stronger planks against homo-seck-shuls at the 2004 Republican convention.

Speaking of eagles, let's not forget former Attorney General John ("Let the Eagle Soar") Ashcroft and the fine job he did raising the two out of three of his children who are apparently - at least for now - heterosexual. Rumor has it that when oldest children John ("Jay") Jr. started coming out to some of his former classmates, John Sr. stepped in and issued an ultimatum involving disinheritance. There's also speculation that Papa John stepped down from the Bush Administration once he got wind that at least one national gay publication was pursuing a story on the gay son of Ayatollah Ashcroft, head of America's TaliBornAgains.

Six major Republican and conservative leaders right off the top of my head. If I wasn't so lazy, I'd do a google search to find even more. Or speculate about how many Republicans have their offspring safely locked away pending a visit by a "straight eye for a queer guy" traveling fun-D'uh-MENTAL-ist makeover team.

The right has been using shaky math and psuedo-science for years and it's worked. They have convinced the sheep in their flock that the typical gay man has more sex in a year than a whole red light district of Bangkok sex-workers has in a decade and that lesbians are emotional unstable predators.

Now it's time we turn the tables on them and let the world know that it's neither nature nor nurture that produces gays and lesbians. It's voting Republican.