When the Obama tide swept to victory in California, it didn’t lift everyone’s boat. While the chickens could now spread their wings, back into the closet went those American lovers deemed unfit for marriage. Gays were officially declared inferior.
Like it was for Franklin Roosevelt, President Obama’s mandate is to “do something” about the economy. In their anxiety to maintain that consensus, both men needed to throw overboard those pesky moral issues that might rock the political boat.
In the case of FDR and Eleanor, it was the “colored question”. Today, it is another civil rights issue which is being sunk by a liberal politician forced to put politics first. The shiv used in FDR’s day was the now discredited notion of “separate but equal”. He needed the segregationists to support the New Deal. Obama’s equivalent is called “civil union”. He needs to stroke the homophobes.
Even as the Obamites rejoiced, some realized that this victory was, in some respects, change for the worse. The immediate reaction by some was to picket the local Mormon Church. Who is it that actually imagines that enough Mormons can be brought around to alter the electoral balance? Or is it that by attacking religion in general that we assuage irrational fears? Just who, exactly, believes that by making Gay Rights a challenge to God, every Americans right to marry will become more obvious?
The basic mistake here flows from a faulty analysis of the recent election results in California- a mistake born from a partisan unwillingness to see Barack Obama, et al, as just another politician. Gays didn’t lose because of the Mormon Church. They lost because the overwhelming Obama majority didn’t have coat-tails. It is to this group, not religious conservatives and other traditional homophobes, that the failure to support Gay Marriage should be attributed. Is it more likely that the necessary support will be found by antagonizing the already overly excited conservative minority, or by massaging the ample majority for “change”? Clearly, it is from the “no shows” in the “liberal” coalition that future success can be found.
These people should be ashamed of themselves. Many of them, for years, have championed progress by dismantling, piece by piece, the ideas that supported the ugly assertion that separate was equal. Today, that logic seems to have been conveniently forgotten. Gone too are the consciousness-raising skills that allowed other minorities to expand peoples minds to the point where black liberation was won in a white racist society, women’s lib established in the midst of male chauvinism, and a war ended under the noses of the military industrial complex.
That’s what we need today. Stop screaming at Mormons. Our majority is already among us; they simply need a soft re-awakening: A bit of theater, an artistic illustration, something happy, something gay.
What better place to showcase the Human Comedy than Illinois, where they have selected clowns as representatives for generations? What better foil exists to attract publicity and stimulate debate than the President and his wife? What better time to alter the course of history than when the gush of “change” is flooding strongest? We must construct a happy process by which we make it clear that it is not enough to simply talk about wanting change - you actually have to do something. What must be changed, as in all previous civil rights campaigns, is that need among so many to find their own worth by the ugly assertion of superiority over others.
A ballot initiative should be placed on the next statewide election in Illinois. This motion would allow Barack and Michelle to annul their marriage. Then, they could get themselves one of those civil unions. If that’s what they think is best, then that’s what they should have! Who would deny our First Family the right to have the best?
Silly, you say? Yes, that’s the point. What news outlet would ignore such an effort? Which comedian would not incorporate the story into her or his routine? What would the conservative position be? Would they actually vote for it, or would they support the President?
Within this farcical architecture, real consciousness could be constructed. There is no better way to demonstrate how absurd some dramas are than to create a show that reveals them to be utterly ridiculous.
We probably wouldn’t win. But, we could have a really good time. Election nights aren’t what they used to be: Let’s make the next one in Illinois the best party of the new millennium.