Hillary Clinton’s dishonest spinning of her gay rights positions received an endorsement today, as the U.S.’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization chose her as its choice for President. The Human Rights Campaign’s board of directors, made up of community leaders nationwide, voted to endorse Clinton, and said in a statement:
“All the progress we have made as a nation on LGBT equality — and all the progress we have yet to make — is at stake in November…Despite the fact that a majority of Republican and independent voters today support federal protections for LGBT Americans, the leading Republican candidates for president have threatened to halt progress as well as revoke, repeal, and overturn the gains made during President Obama’s two terms…”
This statement means, in essence, that the largest group of LGBT advocates have openly endorsed the Joy Behar approach to civic responsibility. Behar, on “The View,” you may recall, said brazenly (well, she says everything brazenly) that she’d vote for a proven rapist as long as he “voted” for issues that were important to her, a.k.a. abortion rights. Single issue voters of this low ethics threshold are irresponsible and breach their civic duties by making democracy itself incoherent and too easily manipulated—by cynical, ethics-free, power-mongers like Hillary Clinton. Are they even aware, I wonder, that openly associating a group with a candidate of proven ethical bankruptcy—even on the issue they think she embraces!–calls into question their own integrity, trustworthiness and values?
The disconnect between conservatives and LGBT Americans stems in part from a false belief that gays and other Americans of non-traditional sexuality aren’t as red, white and blue as they are. Being American means caring more about, say, the economy, unemployment, the debt, the collapse of schools, the miserable state of colleges, terrorism, racial distrust, the still burgeoning cost of health care and the welfare of your neighbors, children and fellow citizens than about narrow, single issues of special concern to you or your “tribe.” I think this way; so do most of the LGBT people I know. It is the ethical value of citizenship in action. Could I respect someone who found Donald Trump appropriately nauseating, knew he would be a human and cultural disaster for the nation, but supported him solely because he swore he would protect LGBT interests? No. Of course not.
This endorsement of Hillary Clinton is exactly as irresponsible.
As a start, I will note that the endorsement is irresponsibly stupid, because it is stupid to trust Hillary about anything. That is a historical fact. She flipped on these issues before, and makes her determinations based on careful, calculated readings of polls and her own interests. I can’t see a likely scenario where she would turn on the LGBT community, but observe, please: this is a woman who claims to be an advocate for victims of sexual harassment, abuse and rape, who probably undermined untold numbers of such victims to ensure that her ticket to power via Bill stayed punched. Who could the The Human Rights Campaign endorse instead? Gee, I don’t know: how about anyone who has not undermined victims of sexual abuse while posing as their champion?
Then there is the fact that the The Human Rights Campaign is scare-mongering. The rights of LGBT citizens are not going away, nor is there any credible threat to them. Once any Republican candidate, including those who are making the naked appeals to anti-gay bias, gets out of states with large lumps of primary voters marinated in anti-gay mythology and into the general population, we won’t be hearing very much about the issue at all.
Then there is the fact that a President couldn’t halt or reverse progress in this area if he wanted to. The scare tactic is based on the theory that the Supreme Court is at risk: a conservative President would appoint more conservative justices, and Obergefell v. Hodges would be reversed. Anything is possible, but to call that scenario remote is still giving it the benefit of the doubt. Major Supreme Court decisions, regardless of their vote (that one was 5-4), are virtually never reversed. Nor are rights articulated by the Court ever taken away, though they can be refined. When a decision leads to something as national and substantial as hundreds of thousands of couples getting married and starting families based on the quite legitimate assumption that a Supreme Court decision is final, the Court does not court chaos by trying to turn back the clock.
The principle of stare decisis is, as it always has been, very, very strong. It is Latin for “to stand by that which is decided,” and is an ancient and general maxim that when a point of contention has been settled by a decision, it creates a precedent will not be contradicted except in the most extreme and unusual circumstances. I doubt that enough conservative justices with sufficiently valid credentials could be found who would advocate over-turning Obergefell, and if they could be, they would not be confirmed.
Moreover, it is a slur on the GOP to say that all of the leading candidates say they would seek to reverse LGBT rights. Carson suggests that, but he is irrelevant. Cruz does, but he knows better: it is more concerning to me that he misrepresents the limits of Presidential power. Trump? Who knows what he’s thinking.
And who knows with Hillary? Endorsing her diminishes the credibility and respect due to any group that falls into her circle of aiders, abetters and familiars, and is a surrender to ethics corruption, or as, may be true in this case, an admission of it.