"Whatever you do, don’t say the 'M' word."
That seems to have been the plan of action for the top three democratic presidential candidates, as they engaged in yet another, so-called “debate” last Thursday night in California.
I say "so called" debate, because it’s difficult to fathom that there has been much of any debate among the candidates at all. When candidates from either the left or the right are allowed only thirty or sixty seconds to respond to a question or an issue - - which is largely the ways things have gone, given the enormous number of candidates running - - it seems more appropriate to call it a "showcase" rather than a "debate."
But that’s a separate issue.
The real story from Thursday night’s “showcase” was the interesting avoidance of the "M" word - - "marriage" - - by Obama, Edwards, and Clinton.
The event was hosted jointly by the homosexual rights activist group "Human Rights Campaign," and the Logo television network, a tv network targeting America’s Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender audience, via subscription satellite tv distributors.
As one might expect, governmental sanctioning of gay-lesbian relationships was a hot issue at the event. But instead of talking about gay and lesbian "marriage," the candidates avoided the word "marriage" altogether, preferring instead to use the words "civil unions."
Despite insinuations that something "other than marriage" is something "less than marriage," Obama, Edwards and Clinton refused to use the "M" word when speaking of same-sex couples. There was plenty of talk of "loving relationships," "rights," "committed couples," "happy American families," and the like. But the word "marriage" was avoided.
Instead, the candidates chose to refer to "civil unions," almost as though the terms "marriage" and "civil unions" are interchangeable. And this begs a couple of different questions.
First, why is it that the candidates refused to put the word "gay" or "lesbian" adjacent to the word "marriage" in a sentence? The answer is easy: rightly or wrongly, talk of gay and lesbian marriage is a political loser just about everywhere in America right now.
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.