Jim Neal

My responsibility

Filed By Jim Neal | December 27, 2007 10:11 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics, Politics
Tags: Elizabeth Dole, Jim Neal, LGBT, NC, Senate

Pam, thanks for your warm welcome to The Bilerico Project community. I look forward to sharing my views on issues important to the LGBT community on my newest URL in the blogophere! Our campaign’s all about reaching out to grassroots supporters to build a transparent dialogue between the voters and me. We don’t need the support of the Democratic institution – large grassroots support is far more important to the Jim Neal for Senate campaign.

I’ve said this and will repeat it yet again: I don’t want nor do I take for granted anyone’s vote merely because of my sexual orientation. At the same time I am aware of the historic nature of this campaign and I recognize the responsibility I have to the LGBT community to represent their interests as being consistent with America’s best interest.

In North Carolina I have tremendous support from all walks of life who are tired of Senator Dole’s ineffectiveness and out-of-touch representation from the exile of her numerous residences. North Carolinians deserve better, and I’m prepared to step up and be the leader in Washington who works for the good people of this state.

As Pam mentioned in her welcoming post, I’m not interested in an incremental approach to securing basic civil rights for LGBT citizens. We are all on the same ark, folks. We sacrifice our authenticity and conviction when we entertain political solutions which advance some of us at the expense of another. It ain’t right. To those arguing otherwise I’d urge them to look back a generation in our nation’s past where they’ll find a simple truth: civil rights is an all-or-nothing proposition, not a separate-but-equal proposition.

I’ve always admired public servants who are not afraid to take a stand on principle. Certain civil rights issues, including both ENDA and the Matthew Shepard Act, won’t rise above petty politics until more than a handful of people start making noise in the kitchen. Some would call that starry-eyed idealism; I’d call it virtue. I think it’s commendable and courageous. After all, more of the same begets more of the same.

I’ve had enough of the same—I want some tangible results. That’s why I am running for the Senate. I hope you will be supportive of my candidacy.


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Let me be the first to welcome you onboard! Your attitude is both encouraging and refreshing, would that it were shared by more of your future Democratic colleagues.

I would challenge you on one thing though, something I hope you'll take with you into this upcoming campaign season:

The politics around ENDA and the Matthew Shepard bill are not "petty". Not in any way. The ability of American citizens to make a living and to have our families be able to seek justice if one of us is the victim of a hate crime are not petty issues either, sir. Not to us. It is the Congressional Democratic Party leadership which considers them that way.

Real lives are affected by the lack of these protections, and if Congressman Barney Frank is correct and as he stated as recently as last week that gender-variant LGBT people will once again be excluded from ENDA even with a Democrat in the White House in 2009, according to current estimates it will be another fifteen years at minimum before the rest of us will be able to enjoy the same basic civil rights as the suit-wearing, straight-looking, gays and lesbians who control the bulk of our community's wealth and political influence will once such an exclusive bill is passed.

This kind of politics is NOT petty, sir. This is people who should know better playing political games with people's lives to aggrandize themselves and their Party at the expense of the poor and disenfranchised. This is our right to pursue the American Dream being used as a poker chip to help politicians to maintain and increase their own political power and influence, not caring who they harm in the process of doing so.

I'm hoping that you understand this, Mr. Neal, that you will keep this in mind as you campaign, and most of all, that we can count on you to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

Thanks for listening.

Rebecca,

Very well-articulated. I guess I didn't communicate as well with my posting. I hear you.

My point is that civil rights legislation such as ENDA and the Matthew Shepherd Act to which you refer are being relegated to petty political brinksmanship. The underlying issues are anythig but petty. As we both agree, they are very real and very personal.

I will not play political games with anybodys' life. We are better than that as a nation. We deserve better of our elected representatives in Washington.

That's why I am running for the US Senate.

thanks,

jim

Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | December 27, 2007 3:30 PM

Welcome Jim! Its great to have you abroad the Bilerico train.

Its critical that we have more openly LGBT people in elected office.

Good first post, Jim!

I got what you meant the first time through. You're in favor of trans-inclusion on MSA and ENDA. Cool.

What I don't get (and this is just a bigger question for the audience, not related to your specific campaign) is why Black, latino, female, etc. candidates need to say that they don't want anyone to vote for them because of their identity, but straight, white, male, protestant candidates don't. Even though I think that there are probably more people who would vote for those people just because of their identity than would vote for a woman because she's a woman, a Black person because she's a Black person, etc.

Either way, whatever. Get Dole out!

I got what you meant about "petty politics," Jim, but how do you propose we avoid having to play the political game? While I agree that civil rights shouldn't be held hostage by political oneupsmanship, I don't know that anything will win this for us other than direct engagement in the political process. By your candidacy alone, you're willing to step into "petty politics."

I guess what I'm saying is that while some of the posturing is simply ludicrous, politics in general isn't "petty." While I'm not a North Carolina voter, I have to admit I want someone to represent me who will take strong stands and then use wile and wits to pass legislation I want someone who will engage fully in "petty politics" and who will win. :)

You don't have to apologize for being a politician - you just have to be good at it! *grins*