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This is my humble plea. While I agree that Obama would likely mop the floor with this bigoted asshole, it's just too dangerous. Not because he might win- I don't actually fear that- but because I don't think it's worth giving legitimacy to his theocratic views.

Namely, I don't want the most anti-gay douchebag to have a world stage.

Wait, I can hear you now. "Well, it will prove once and for all that the republican party is out of step with American values."

True.

"It would be a contest about cultural issues and we'll win them, once and for all."

Okay, maybe.

"He'll be such a joke that we'll win in a landslide."

Well, that's probably true, as far as "landslides" go in current elections.

But I don't want to appeal to you as Democrats right now. This diary has nothing to do with Democrats and their future electoral dominance if Santorum wins the nomination. It has to do with something more valuable than that.

Jump over the orange thing that y'all have creative names for, and let me explain.

First, let me tell you a story about my nephew.

In late 2008, there were ads on TV for commemorative Obama coins. My nephew, who shared my family's enthusiasm for Obama, was nevertheless stumped. "Those are cool," he said, "but why do they have him in front of a flag? Isn't he going to take all the American flags down?"

He lives in a semi-rural Idaho town, and this is what he heard in the schools. I laughed at how confused he must have been, to hear all this anti-Obama rhetoric, then come home to a family who was enthusiastic about this anti-American, Muslim, Socialist traitor who wanted to become president only to undermine Real American Values.

But the thing is, when we have a general election, it boils down to two personalities, two ideologies, two ideas of what America stands for. And that is why my nephew heard these things about Obama. Because the kids he went to school from heard it from their parents, who heard it from the "news," so it must be true.

Or, at least, there must be some reason to believe that, right?

-------------

Okay. I know as well as you do that if Santorum wins the nomination the general election will be about social issues. We'll win on those. We'll win if it's about contraception and gays and all that other nonsense the republican party's base wants to hear.

But I don't think it's worth it. Here's why:

In April, Justin came home from school and found his mother at the top of the stairs, tending to the saltwater fish tank. "Mom," he said tentatively, "a kid told me at school today I'm gonna go to hell because I'm gay."

"That's not true. God loves everybody," his mom replied. "That kid needs to go home and read his Bible."

Justin shrugged and smiled, then retreated to his room. It had been a hard day: the annual "Day of Truth" had been held at school, an evangelical event then-sponsored by the anti-gay ministry Exodus International, whose mission is to usher gays back to wholeness and "victory in Christ" by converting them to heterosexuality. Day of Truth has been a font of controversy that has bounced in and out of the courts; its legality was affirmed last March, when a federal appeals court ruled that two Naperville, Illinois, high school students' Day of Truth T-shirts reading BE HAPPY, NOT GAY were protected by their First Amendment rights. (However, the event, now sponsored by Focus on the Family, has been renamed "Day of Dialogue.") Local churches had been touting the program, and students had obediently shown up at Anoka High School wearing day of truth T-shirts, preaching in the halls about the sin of homosexuality. Justin wanted to brush them off, but was troubled by their proselytizing. Secretly, he had begun to worry that maybe he was an abomination, like the Bible said.

.....

"Justin?" Tammy Aaberg rapped on her son's locked bedroom door again. It was past noon, and not a peep from inside, unusual for Justin.

"Justin?" She could hear her own voice rising as she pounded harder, suddenly overtaken by a wild terror she couldn't name. "Justin!" she yelled. Tammy grabbed a screwdriver and loosened the doorknob. She pushed open the door. He was wearing his Anoka High School sweatpants and an old soccer shirt. His feet were dangling off the ground. Justin was hanging from the frame of his futon, which he'd taken out from under his mattress and stood upright in the corner of his room. Screaming, Tammy ran to hold him and recoiled at his cold skin. His limp body was grotesquely bloated – her baby – eyes closed, head lolling to the right, a dried smear of saliva trailing from the corner of his mouth. His cheeks were strafed with scratch marks, as though in his final moments he'd tried to claw his noose loose. He'd cinched the woven belt so tight that the mortician would have a hard time masking the imprint it left in the flesh above Justin's collar.

If you haven't read this article, please do so now. It's okay. I'll wait.

Done now?

The thing is, this is what happens to gay kids when we start fighting "culture" wars.

And if Santorum is the nominee, it gives legitimacy to the view that gay is a choice, a sin, an abomination.

For the sake of "fairness," the MSM will have an all-straight panel debating the ills of homosexuality, just like they find wiggle room to justify absolutely freaking backwards laws.

-----------

Now, let's go back to my nephew. He's got a smart, compassionate family, but he still spends a majority of his time at school.

If Santorum is the nominee, the rumors in school won't be about how Obama wants to take all the flags, it will be about how gays want to run the country. They're sinful. They're pushing us towards that Man On Dog society.

And, in the sake of "fairness," the MSM will push this debate to its limits.

And we as Democrats can sit back and rub our hands at the beauty that is a party self-destructing, but we as humans won't be able to stop the tide of anti-gay rhetoric that will be a central theme of this culture war.

And, yes, it's a war I want to win. But not with collateral damage like this:

"I should have knew something was wrong, but he seemed happy," Philip's mother Gena Parker told News Channel 5. "After he did what he did, we found out a lot that we didn't know and there is a lot of bullying that goes on at the school."
Or this:
Jamey Rodemeyer sent out many signals on social networking sites that he was struggling with his sexuality, and although he encouraged others on YouTube to fight off the bullies, things didn't get better.

The Buffalo, N.Y., boy, 14, killed himself this weekend after posting an online farewell.

A student at Williamsville North High School, Jamey had been tormented for the past 12 months by cyberbullies who made disparaging comments with gay references on his Formspring account, a website that allows anonymous posts.

"JAMIE IS STUPID, GAY, FAT ANND [sic] UGLY. HE MUST DIE!" one post said, according to local reports. Another read, "I wouldn't care if you died. No one would. So just do it :) It would make everyone WAY more happier!"

Or this:
Following a rash of suicides among gay teens last year, a 19-year-old gay filmmaker who recorded an “It Gets Better” video committed suicide this week, the blog Queer Landia reported Thursday.

.....

In his video for “It Gets Better,” a project in which adults tell kids someday their lives will be brighter, Borges talked about the homophobia he experienced. He said his “extremist Christian” family called him “disgusting,” and kicked him out of the house in October. He recounted an instance in which he said his mother performed an exorcism to try to make him straight.

He also said that he dropped out of high school because of physical and public assaults by his peers. But Borges said it had gotten better for him. “You will love, be loved, and I love you...You are not alone,” he said.

I could go on. But I hope by now you get the point.

It's not worth ratcheting up these so-called "culture wars" that may bring us electoral dominance. It's just not.

I just don't think it's worth it.

Honestly, I'd rather have a razor-thin election between Romney and Obama than a landslide election between Santorum and Obama.

Because let's not kid ourselves, the MSM will do everything they can to prove they are "fair" on the issue of homosexuality.

We will win the war. But it's simply not worth the collateral damage.

All the electoral defeat in the world isn't worth that.

Originally posted to Le Bois de Bleu on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 02:14 PM PST.

Also republished by Milk Men And Women and Angry Gays.

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