By Thom Senzee
Poor, white, conservative, rural voters have been duped by moneyed Republicans. For decades now they’ve fallen for a line of B.S. aimed squarely at keeping them separate from people like me — gay and liberal, but also working-class — both in background and income.
The line of red-meat political dogma that some have been labeled the “Three Gs” for “gays, god and guns,” claims that unless these folks vote for Republican candidates, they can bet on having their guns taken away from them by pro gun-control liberal Democrats, who’ll also force them to accept LGBTQ people’s right to live and work freely among them even in the reddest of rural American communities—all the while denying them free worship of their frequently evangelical, Christian faith.
Here’s the news: Whether or not you acknowledge, accept or like it, in principle LGBTQ people were endowed by our creator with an equal rights to the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness—just like everybody else. The fact that the reality of manifesting said rights may be a work in progress is just the reality of the American experiment. It too is a work in progress. We’ll get there, eventually.
But now with at minimum 20 years of this bogus divide-and-conquer strategy under their belts, it’s time to point out that, in effect, Republicans have already come for your guns, poor, white America. I don’t care how much you love Trump or how red your politics, if you can’t afford to go to the doctor or take your kid to the dentist, how can you afford to buy that shiny new AR-15 you may covet?
Likewise, If you can’t buy that new four-bedroom home on a few acres of land next to that nice lesbian couple with two horses, what good does it do you that your church won’t let them come worship alongside you, much as they may also love Jesus? Given the fact that what the GOP really wants—and you know it’s true—is zero taxes for billionaires and corporations, while you, the workers of America vote them in and pay their way, will you please explain to me exactly how they are doing anything to help you prosper?
Are you really getting anything more than a cheap thrill out of having a charmless Archie Bunker, i.e., Donald Trump, lie to our faces and tell us how we owe everything to Saudi Arabia—all for the sake of seeing liberals say, “Oh, my God! I can’t believe he’s saying that!” By the way, I hope you’ve noticed, we stopped clutching out pearls that way about a year ago. These days, all we do is catalog, for the historical record, every transgression, every lie, every crime against American values that Trump commits each day. Generations to come will be interested in this era.
I’m tired of this polarity and division. Wouldn’t you too rather just have an America where we all can simply live and let let? I remember an America where that was an attitude worth cultivating. As Roland Martin recently said during an interview on MSNBC, this is the time for Democrats to stop fearing white people who live in Red America. I agree with Martin. I’d add that we LGBTQs should stop fearing our straight, rural cousins.
Democrats should go to rural, Red state whites, just (as Martin points out) like Donald Trump did to a marginal degree with regard to African Americans and point out how for granted the other party has taken them. Say to poor, white rural voters, whose economic standings have continued to slide under Trump and the Republican Party, “What the hell have you got to lose?”
That’s exactly, as again Martin notes, what Mike Espy is doing in Mississippi as he runs as the Democrat in America’s final senate race of 2018 against racist incumbent Senator Cindy “Public-Hanging” Hyde-Smith.
May the best candidate win.
Thom Senzee is author of the All Out America syndicated column and an award-winning, 25-year veteran journalist and political commentator. Follow him on Twitter @tsenzee.
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