Gay rights aren't toys for pols to play with.If Republican presidential candidate John McCain wants to energize his party, he'll have to pander to bigots and use gay rights as "wedge issues" to create divisiveness and friction among voters.
Does that suggestion make you see red, too? It's the advice of an editor at the conservative magazine The Weekly Standard who spoke on the show "Fox News Sunday" about the McCain campaign. The liberal web site Think Progress reports that executive editor Fred Barnes said McCain can appeal to more conservative voters by selling out LGBT folks.
"Here's what he needs to do!" Barnes trills:
He needs to touch on some of the social issues that energize the right....gays in the military for one...gay marriage is another one. These are both issues that McCain is going to have to use. You can't ignore the right. If he does, he'll lose.
It's difficult to remember sometimes that equality for our gay and lesbian loved ones is progressing: for example, gay marriage became legal earlier this year in California. But plenty of politicians (and journalists) are all too happy to strip LGBT folks of their dignity and play politics with people's lives.
Is whipping up a frenzy about gay rights a smart strategy for McCain? Depends on your definition of "smart." But pay attention, politicians and journalists: gays aren't "wedge issues," they're people.