Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sitting Out An Election Is Not An Option

I read the post from Paula Brooks of Lez Get Real urging GLBT people in Massachusetts to sit out today's US Senate special election, between Martha Coakley and Scott Brown and I have a few things to say about that.

Are you fracking crazy? It is never a smart play for a minority group to sit out an election.

I don't care how mad or upset you get with the party hierarchy, or couch your displeasure with 'tough love' rhetoric, you're not 'punishing them' by sitting out the election, you're punishing yourselves.

I have to chuckle and shake my head in sadness at the fact that once again, white fauxgressive GLBT people wallowing in vanilla flavored privilege are falling for the okey-doke from Republifools like Brown and acting against their own economic and political interests because they're 'mad' at President Obama and the Democratic Party.

Yeah, right. You white gays are pissed off because the Prez hasn't done what you wanted him to do in one year on the job and supports civil unions but not marriage.

Hello..we were on the brink of a depression when he took office. Let's also not forget that Obama is still cleaning up the mess from Dubya's toxic waste of a presidency.

And let's get real, you're still hatin' on him because he beat Sen. Hillary Clinton, the HRC endorsed candidate in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary.

He's the president that SIGNED hate crimes legislation and made it the law of the land and will sign ENDA when it hits his desk.

It's also time to smell the legislative coffee and deal with the reality that permanently repealing DOMA requires CONGRESSIONAL action, not an executive order. If Congress doesn't pass that DOMA repeal legislation, it can't appear on his desk to sign it.

Frankly, while I'm in favor of marriage equality, I still believe that making it the lead GLBT issue was a colossal mistake. It has slowed the positive forward momentum the GLBT community built up with the previous strategy of passing comprehensive rights laws. It has wasted precious time, resources and treasure on a issue that isn't going to benefit the vast majority of GLBT people, and only serves as a intersectional organizing and fundraising mechanism for the Sacreligious Reich.

You peeps like Paula Brooks who are advocating sitting out today's election got it wrong. If you vote in today's election, you INCREASE your leverage. If your votes are the ones that allow Martha Coakley to finish out the late Ted Kennedy's senate term, it's a little difficult for Senator Coakley to ignore GLBT issues if its shown that GLBT voters were the ones that put her over the top.

My observation that it's never a smart play to sit out an election comes from bitter experience.

Back in 1994 we African descended Texans were pissed about minor disagreements we were having with Gov. Ann Richards administration and the same 'sit out the election to teach them a lesson' call went out.

The problem was that call went out in the same year of the 'Angry White Male midterms'. Our sitting out that 1994 election cycle in the face of an energized GOP leaning electorate paved the way for George W. Bush to be elected governor of Texas, and halted the progressive cleanup of the mess the previous Republican governor left behind.

The only reason we kept anti GLBT and anti civil rights legislation at bay in the 90's was Democratic control of the Texas House, where we killed bad legislation in committee. Us sitting out the 1994 cycle narrowed the Dem advantage in the Texas House to a scant six seats and put the GOP in a position to illegally buy their way into a majority in 2002.

We also lost the $2.5 billion budget surplus that Gov. Richards had painstakingly built up over her term after inheriting a $6 billion budget deficit. In my home county it cost us the seats of every sitting African-American judge as well.

How many times will white gay peeps continue to fail to get the message that voting for anti-GLBT rights Republicans because you're 'mad at Democrats' or sitting out elections is a politically delusional act?

If that wording is harsh, then what would you call letting someone into political office who hates the GLBT community as Scott Brown does and giving them the power to negatively impact it?

Damned sure wouldn't call it 'smart politics'.

If African American and other GLBT peeps of color know that Republicans are not our friends, will fight tooth and nail to see they DON'T get elected, and under any circumstances will not vote for them, why haven't y'all gotten that message?

And that's keeping it real for you vanilla flavored GLBT peeps who agree with Lez Get Real.

Sitting out an election is not an option.

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