Op-ed: Hey Republicans -- Grow A Pair, Already
BY RJ Aguiar
December 06 2012 12:29 PM ET
I can understand why you might have relented on these issues before. The United States is a very large and diverse country with an incredible wealth of differing opinions. So when you’re one of only two major political parties in the country, the likelihood that everyone will agree on every issue is virtually nil.
But I’ve watched for years as loud-mouthed, fanatical, borderline-rabid hyper-conservatives have pushed around all of the rational, reasonable moderates of the party. Yes, it is in the nature of the democratic process that you’ll need to compromise in order to get things done (or at least that’s how it’s supposed to work—ahem). I know that these moderates were also the only ones willing to compromise over certain issues (funny thing about moderates—they tend to behave more rationally). But now I think it’s time for moderates to stop enabling their hyper-conservative peers and start playing hardball.
I’ve heard a lot of conservative pundits weigh in on their defeat in the 2012 election, and not one of them has even come close to admitting “hey, maybe we screwed up with the whole being against equality thing…” Not only have voters indirectly supported LGBT rights by giving many antigay candidates the axe, but they have supported it directly for the first time in history. Yet leadership among the GOP seems to be ignoring this reality completely. Not only are they standing by their original stance, some are even arguing that they need to be even more conservative in their stances.
Now if I were, say, a member of GOProud, I would be absolutely livid. I now have concrete evidence that an antigay stance does absolutely nothing to benefit the Republican Party. You can even argue that such a stance proved to be harmful. Dare I say that this past election has proven your fanatical counterparts wrong. As far as opportunities go, this is as good as it gets. You now have enough evidence to go marching over to your antigay counterparts and say to them “Look, you had your chance, and now you blew it. Now it’s our turn.”
By the way, it’s not like I’m asking you pro-gay Conservatives to do something completely outside the scope of your party’s values. Dare I say that letting LGBT citizens have their rights is the kind of “you stay out of my business, I’ll stay out of yours” mentality that your party should be about. Granted, I hate squeaky wheels as much as the next person. Dare I say that’s why your party has been taken over by a very misguided and enthusiastic few. But if you don’t start making some noise and attracting attention, your party is on track to at least make the same mistakes it just finished making earlier this month (and that’s a best case scenario). Dare I say that the future of the GOP (as well as the LGBT) depends on it.
This is why I feel comfortable committing the unspeakable sin of giving strategy tips to my opponents. We may have our differences of opinion regarding, say, the current economic situation and what our next best move may be to fix it, but we can at least agree on one thing. These loud-mouthed, close-minded, super-evangelical-crazies who believe that “gay people want to destroy modern society” have got to go. After all, isn’t this what America is supposed to be about? Putting aside our differences and working together to solve a common problem? Well, in this case, the enemy of my enemy is my friend, literally in some cases, which is why I felt compelled to write out this little pep talk. So I’ll say it just one more time. Gay and pro-gay conservatives, step up your game. Do it for us, do it for your party, and do it for you.
R.J. AGUILAR is one half of the blogger couple behind NotAdamAndSteve.com. He and his partner also run a daily YouTube vlog at youtube.com/shep689.