I respect that you can’t force everyone to agree with you and that there will always be a certain segment of society that will oppose social progress because it’s part of their identity, but punishing others because they choose not to discriminate is a special brand of asinine.
Two Republican Texas lawmakers have filed bills that would cut funding for schools and universities that have policies supporting their LGBT students and staff.
Last fall, the Pflugerville School District announced it would be the first in Texas to offer domestic partner benefits to the same-sex partners of its teachers and staff. State Rep. Drew Springer (R) isn’t happy about this, and has filed a bill (HB 1568) to cut 7.5 percent of a district’s healthcare funding if it offers such benefits.
During his appearance on Meet the Press yesterday, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal implied that he doesn’t believe the Republican party needs to support social equality, such as marriage equality, to win elections (so much for not being the “stupid party”), but I’m not convinced.
I don’t believe any form of discrimination will be seen as socially acceptable or electable in the future outside of local elections where small pockets of voters can be pandered to directly. A point that Jon Hunstman articulated quite well in a column published last week.
But it’s difficult to get people even to consider your reform ideas if they think, with good reason, you don’t like or respect them. Building a winning coalition to tackle the looming fiscal and trust deficits will be impossible if we continue to alienate broad segments of the population. We must be happy warriors who refuse to tolerate those who want Hispanic votes but not Hispanic neighbors. We should applaud states that lead on reforming drug policy. And, consistent with the Republican Party’s origins, we must demand equality under the law for all Americans.
The Republican party also needs to adopt reform ideas that aren’t rubbish, a point which Huntsman does not concede, but doing so would be for naught if you continue to campaign on conservative identity politics that isolates voters.
Of course if you sidelined the social animosity, the proud stupidity, and failed economic policies, the Republican party wouldn’t have much of an identity (or many members) left.