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In 2004 Karl Rove knew that the re-election of George W. Bush, because of Iraq, would be extremely close. Karl knew that the Republicans would need a large voter turnout of far right, extremist evangelicals for W. to hold onto the White House. The question for Rove was: How best to incentivize far right, extremist evangelicals to come out to vote? The answer was state gay bashing initiatives.
"This was the election where gay marriage, civil unions, and basic rights for gay men and lesbians were put on ballot initiatives in 11 states; where gay bashing was unabashedly tossed into closely contested Southern races; where gay issues were discussed in live-televised debates (and then hotly contested later); and this was the election with a postmortem that worried whether gay marriage had thrown the election to the Republicans. This was, after all, the election between the first presidential candidate to support civil unions and the presidential candidate who sponsored a federal anti-gay-marriage constitutional amendment." Link
This election cycle, instead of gay bashing initiatives encouraging Republicans to come out and vote for the third four year term of George W. Bush in the person of John McCain, we have Sarah Palin.
I watched the weird hysteria, cult-like hysteria, over Palin being picked as McCain's running mate last week. Odd, I thought. However, after researching Sarah Palin, it is now clear that the choice of Palin is equivalent to a national gay bashing initiative. Those far right, extremist evangelical voters are now incentivized to come out to vote for an up-until-now, boring, John McCain candidacy. Why? Because now a far right, extremist evangelical is on the ticket with McCain. The far right, extremist evangelicals finally get a chance to vote for one of their own in the person of Sarah Palin. Sarah Palin could be defined as a personalized Republican gay bashing, abortion bashing, stem cell bashing, and science bashing initiative rolled into one. A get-out-the-extremist vote effort wrapped up in the smiling, attractive face of an evangelical extremist.
George W. Bush was no far right, extremist evangelical president. Bush knew which words to say to pull the chains of said extremists....but he wasn't really one of them. Not really. Sarah Palin is. Sarah Palin proudly believes in the entire far right, extremist evangelical package. That's why there was such cult-like hysteria during the RNC last week. Finally, the anti-science, supernaturalists had their own candidate.
While the pick of an extremist, like Palin, excites fellow extremists to come out and vote for one of their own....at the same time, it is a megaphone announcement to the rest of us that hate, intolerance, superstition, and ignorance have taken full control over the Republican Party. The party of traditional values. The party that has no qualms about blanketing the states with hate and intolerance initiatives that divide us one from another, if that can help them win. The GOP has now found an extremist so extreme...that she is more than willing to allow her vulnerable family to be exploited for the sake of getting more extremist voters to turn out in November. Traditional values.
Non-extremist voters have a clear choice. We can choose an extremist future for America with McCain-Palin. Extreme abroad with neo-con adventurist wars of choice for oil and gas....and extreme at home with division, intolerance, hate, and anti-science ignorance from the Supreme Court to our local public schools. Or...we can choose a more 21st century approach for America with Obama-Biden....relying on science, encouraging unity, tolerance and equality at home while negotiating, like rational human beings, with all other nations abroad.
America has the choice to go back 100 years in our approach to 21st century problems, or go forward. The Republican Party, with the Sarah Palin pick, has turned their back on going forward and is already headed back to the past.