Wednesday, November 05, 2008

What Prop. 8 Says About America

In the first presidential election since social networking sites like Facebook and My Space came to be, it was obvious that two things were of the utmost importance to these new participants in the political process.

The first was obviously getting Barack Obama elected. The other non-stop topic of online conversation among my friends on these sites was gay marriage. So it really shocked a lot of them when the state of California voted for Obama by 24 points and still passed Prop.8, which overturned CA’s ban on gay marriage.

Now, I’ve never had much use for the issue of gay marriage at all, on either side.

One side is trying to convince people that acceptance of Gay marriage will lead to the downfall of the traditional family. There is of course no evidence to support this.

On the other side, gay rights advocates argue that gay marriage is a “civil right”. This isn’t quite true either, since gay marriage is a right that is denied to everyone, not just to some. Legally speaking, the fact that you want to do something and you legally cannot, may be unfair and make some folks unhappy, but it doesn’t make the prohibition of that thing unconstitutional.

Really the entire debate is one of semantics regarding the definition of the word “marriage”. That’s not meant to insult anyone, but with civil union and domestic partnership laws increasingly giving the same rights to same-sex couples as traditional couples, this topic remains very much an emotional one.

Either way, the argument has raged over the last few days, but the really interesting part of the Prop. 8 result was that was it was so far off, from the otherwise lopsided victory of Barack Obama in the Golden State.

What this tells me is that while Obama’s victory was significant, last night’s election was not a realignment as some have suggested.

Obama’s victory was primarily a rebuke of the Bush administration, however the reason that folks were upset with Bush had nothing to do with the basic conservative principles that the party has run and won on over the last 30 years.

The President’s unpopularity stems primarily from a mismanaged war, the response to Hurricane Katrina and an economic crisis which had nothing to do with any policy that Bush has ever signed into law or promoted. These failures were not the products of traditional Republican ideology by any means.

Prop 8’s passage as well as the passage of several other gay marriage bans across the nation, shows us that while folks are discontent with the way things are going right now, they still favor traditional values, at least when it comes to social issues.

Barack Obama would be wise to keep this in mind, since he ran as a centrist. If he moves too far to the left, especially on issues such as this, he risks losing many of the voters who supported him on Tuesday.

Fair or not, America remains center-right, and like it or not these issues have a history of pushing the voters even further in that direction.

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1 comment:

knowitall said...

It shows that some of the people still have conservative values, and that they aren't all in agreeance with the liberal illuminati.