Opinion

The GOP Is Not Going to Divide Over Gay Republicans

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Posted: Mar 04, 2021 12:01 AM
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The GOP Is Not Going to Divide Over Gay Republicans

Source: AP Photo/John Locher

There is nothing that would make the left happier than for the GOP to leave the votes of a huge portion of the gay community on the table, but that’s not going to happen. See, the Republican base looked around, saw it better stop being so finicky about allies, and it changed. We’re not going to win by subtraction. We’re going to win by addition. Okay, we can make an exception and subtract aspiring MSNBC meat puppet Liz Cheney. She’s terrible.

But there are some people who see a lane for personal prominence they can’t otherwise earn through refighting battles that we called a truce on years ago. Well, we’re not kicking out gay Republicans for being gay. We will kick gays out for being Fredocons who collaborate with the enemy. We’ll kick anyone out for being a Fredocon who collaborates with the enemy. If you are loyal, you are welcome.

Our goal must be, at a minimum, to hold 50 percent + one of the American voting population. In a two-party system, it’s unlikely to get a lot more for any length of time. If you get 55 percent it’s a landslide, but that’s the nature of the beast. Arbitrarily excluding groups is therefore ridiculous, and the silliness starts with identifying people by groups. Are all gay people the same? No, some are conservative, some liberal, and some don’t care at all about politics. The same with trans people. If you’re trans and a conservative, you’re welcome in the GOP. If you are trans and support the whole erasure of womanhood agenda, we are probably not the party for you. This is also true if you are cisgender and support the whole erasure of the womanhood agenda. And it is also true if you use terms like “cisgender” unironically.

The GOP is always going to split on these social issues. It’s the party where the people who still oppose gay marriage will go, but that’s not to say it can’t also have people who do support gay marriage. In fact, the main response to the gay marriage issue for the GOP base in 2021 is to put it at about #9,001 on the priority list. We have a desiccated old weirdo in the White House drooling as he watches the damn commies run rampant wrecking everything good about America and selling us out to the Chi Coms, and the last thing we are interested in is if Ted Cruz attends Jim and John’s destination wedding in Cancun.

Life is about choices. Strategy requires priorities. And, as Mick Jagger said, you can’t always get what you want.

If our priority is defeating the full-frontal assault on every aspect of American life, we are going to need to go to battle stations with all hands on deck, and not on some Bulwark cruise ship either.

In other words, we can disagree about some issues but work together on what we agree about most. That’s how coalitions work. That’s not some brilliant insight either – it’s Politics 101.

I hate to bring up Ric Grenell here because the least interesting thing about him is that he is gay, but he represents the choice to win that conservatives are making. I was on an expressly religious show a bit ago with very conservative Christian folks – I had to watch my mouth – and when Ric’s name came up, they cheered. They adore him. A few years ago, that might not have happened, but the fanatical support for him among people whose stereotypes say they must reject him for his sexuality – Ric is particularly beloved by gruff and grizzled military vets – would blow liberal minds if they ever bothered studying their opponents. It’s no surprise to us, though. Ric is hardcore, conservative woke, and a terrific communicator who takes no guff. That’s why the base digs him. That’s why I think he will be president someday.

There have been some ankle-biting attacks on him recently though from within the right – the idea of Ric Grenell as any kind of progressive is literally too stupid to express without laughing – and it’s easy to see why. You can sometimes distinguish yourself through opposition when you can’t distinguish yourself through actual achievement. It’s a cynical flex dressed up in faux moral guardian garb, and besides being counterproductive (except for the people doing it) it’s tiresome and boring. But there’s going to be an element of the GOP that’s going to respond, not a majority or even a significant minority, but within our boutique culture, we have seen that people can grift effectively within niches. That’s what this is – if you get a five percent fan base among 50 percent of voters, that 2.5 percent is still a lot of people in terms of absolute numbers even if that bunch is not particularly important in the big picture.

The GOP did very well in the last election in terms of embracing true diversity. The kind of diversity that we need is not the libs’ ridiculous box-checking that morphs individuals into categories. The diversity we need is the ability to welcome and work with everyone who shares our basic American values of patriotism, freedom, the defense of family and faith, and the Bill of Rights. That does not mean lockstep agreement on every detail – after all, we are not Democrats – but it does require an understanding that a >50 percent + one coalition requires us to work with people we sometimes do not see exactly eye-to-eye with. We need to accept an 85 percent ally – call it “the Susan Collins Corollary.”

In 2012, Mitt Romney, to his everlasting shame, kicked Ric Grenell off his campaign because Ric is gay. Mitt lost – and this was yet another example of the kind of incompetence, spinelessness, and weakness that ensured he failed. But when we don’t pull that kind of crap, we win. Look at the results in 2020. We nearly took back the House, and if you look at the people who got elected, they did not look like a Romney family reunion.

What’s impressive is not, “Oh goody, we got one of these and one of those and aren’t we woke,” but the fact that we effectively leveraged the talents of every kind of person without arbitrarily denying ourselves the talents of anyone. When you exclude based on superficial factors, you’re not just being unAmerican and obnoxious. You’re depriving yourself of combat power for your campaign.

We need to, and will, reject the haters and the cynical dividers. That’s not to say that we must demand lockstep agreement on every issue, including some of the most emotional ones. We need to be a party that has conservative gay married men and conservative people who don’t believe in gay marriage, a party where we can agree to disagree in order to unite to fight for bigger priorities. When someone demands we purge the gays, dissent. And when someone says we must purge the traditional marriage folks, dissent. 

Don’t give in to the grifters. Don’t make the Dems smile. We need everyone for the big fight. And the big fight is here.

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