Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Self-Loathing Strikes Again

Democrats, gay and otherwise, are often quick to blast gay Republicans as "self-loathing" when the latter express their partisanship. After all, their logic goes, how can any self-respecting gay man or woman support candidates who wish to undermine one's basic right to exist or be considered equally under the law?

They're right, too. Too bad that just as often, gay Democrats are equally self-loathing. Consider the high-profile Pennsylvania Senate race this year, where an anti-gay Democrat is going up against notorious anti-gay Republican Rick Santorum.
more . . .

Bob Casey, Jr., offers a "kinder and gentler" alternative to Santorum, whose opposition to gay marriage and gay people in general is well known. However, strip away the veneer of kind and gentle, and the same old tune starts to play:

  • Both Casey and Santorum are opposed to gay marriage. Democrats counter that Casey supports "civil unions," which is equivalent to defenders of segregation claiming they're not racists because they support separate voting facilities for blacks which are almost as good.
  • Both Casey and Santorum are opposed to sexual freedom. Both believe that the government has an important role to play in regulating, restricting, taxing and otherwise approving various life decisions.
  • Both Casey and Santorum believe that the government, and not parents, knows best about how to raise children -- whether those children are adopted, or whether those children are one's own biological children.
  • Both Casey and Santorum love big-spending, high-taxing government. Santorum has supported deficits (a hidden tax increase) and soaring spending for years, while Casey's platform calls for increased expenditures in everything from government education bureaucrats to expanding the Iraq War.

I could go on and on, but the striking thing isn't that Casey and Santorum are largely two shades of the same color -- that's common when it comes to comparing Democrats and Republicans. It's rather more interesting to note that Pennsylvania's ballot system has been so distorted by the old parties that there's no room on the ballot for alternatives from the libertarian or even old-line socialist/social conservative movements.

Pennsylvanians are being told that the Casey/Santorum race offers them a choice. But if your issues of import include marriage equality, freedom to raise one's own family, deficit/tax/spending reduction, the Iraq War and other foreign adventures, or even freedom to pursue medical stem cell research in the private sector, there's not a dime's worth of difference between the two candidates.

Libertarian PA Senate candidate Tom Martin is campaigning to improve the ballot access proposition for political candidates who believe that candidates who offer an alternative view on the major issues I listed get to crack through the stranglehold on the electoral process.

A quick surveying of his political platform shows real differences with the Casey/Santorum platform, including putting one's marriage and family decisions in the hands of individual families to deliver true marriage equality; reducing taxes and spending; and getting America out of the Iraq morass.

Wouldn't it be great to have that choice? It's up to us to make it happen, and that involves lobbying for ballot access equality (i.e. true democratic elections) and also poking holes in the contrived "differences" between the essentially identical Republican and Democratic platforms in elections throughout America.

Are we going to permit the duopoly monopoly to continue to subvert real debates about gay issues, economics, geopolitics, etc. through ballot access restrictions, hacking wikipedia entries (as has happened repeatedly in the Outright Libertarians wiki entry), campaign "finance reform" laws which ensure massive streams of money to Democrats and Republicans but no funding for third party campaigns, and "publicly sponsored debates" where only two variations on one side of any given issue are presented?

Ultimately, supporting such a status quo is self-loathing defined -- not only for gay people, but for every American who seeks a real debate on the issues which influence the success, integrity and prosperity of our country.