I realize up front that I will likely be savaged and trashed for my opinions in this post. However, after receiving a plethora of e-mails from Democrats with the catch phrase "Not Voting is a Vote for Tea Party Republicans," I am beyond over the standard Democrat bogey man ploy to sucker LGBT voters into voting for those who have no intention of actually furthering our equality. Thus, I have been responding with this catch phrase: "Not Voting is Saying No to Being Played for a Fool Yet Again."
I first cast a vote in an election over 38 years ago and since that time I have never failed to vote in any city, state or federal election. That track record may change on November 2, 2010, as I seriously consider not voting. Yes, that's right, I may not vote in the coming election. From conversations with others I am not the only one who is leaning toward staying home from the polls.
The common statement I am hearing is that voting will "make no difference." Typically, the speakers making these remarks then launch into a discussion of the debacle of the Democrats, who were given a mandate and commanding margin in both houses of Congress and control of the White House only to see the huge advantage all pissed away. Obama blames the Congress; the House blames the Senate; and the Senate blames the White House and everyone else. No one takes responsibility either individually or on the part of the national Democrats as a whole.
Frankly, I share the above sentiments of these individuals to some extent myself. My larger reason for staying home, if that is what I choose to do, is that I refuse to once again be played for a fool and a cretin by the Democrats. It is one of the few tools I have to protest the incessant lies and deceptions. Yes, most Democrats say all the right words while campaigning but then they deliver nothing once in office. As a community, LGBT Americans are rewarding the Democrats for their lies and betrayal if we yet again and again give them what they want - our money and votes - with no accountability demanded or consequences being inflicted for betrayal and broken promises.
The message to the Democrats from the LGBT community is clear: you can lie with impunity, you don't need to keep any of your campaign promises, and you don't need to deliver on anything because the idiot LGBT voters will still come out and vote for them no matter what. With this constant message being sent by the LGBT community to Democrats of all stripes, why on earth should the Democrats ever change? They are getting exactly what they want and do not need to do anything to get it.
Indeed, at times the cynic in me believes that the actual Democratic Party goal is to keep LGBT citizens inferior indefinitely. That way, each campaign cycle the bogey man in the form of the GOP can be trotted yet again. Yes, the GOP may be worse, but then Democrats haven't done anything of substance for LGBT Americans either.
My second reason for not voting relates to the recent wave of gay teen suicides. It's true that the Christian Right, Mormons and Roman Catholic Church bear the greatest responsibility for the unrelenting anti-gay message that forces youth to see suicide as their best solution - a point I reached myself twice in the past. But by failing to act to repeal DADT, enact ENDA and repeal DOMA, the Democrats also bear responsibility.
First and foremost among the Democrats sending out a message of hopelessness to LGBT youth is Barack Obama. Oh yes, he says nice things in pretty speeches, but if one follows his actions, it becomes clear that the pretty words mean NOTHING to him. Just as, in my opinion, LGBT lives and the careers of LGBT servicemembers in the final analysis mean nothing to Obama.
And I suspect our gay youth are savvy enough to figure out that we are all being played. They realize that there is no guarantee that "it gets better." Their proof: the continuation of DADT and DOMA by a president who claims to oppose them and the fact that ENDA has gone nowhere even in the Democrat controlled House of Representatives. Almost two years and we have made zero substantive progress.
My third reason if I choose not to vote is to make my open disgust with Obama tangible beyond merely writing blog posts. It is becoming more and more clear, at least to me, that Obama is part of the problem no matter what his apologists may say. In evaluating a politician, I look at action and results, not lip service and obviously insincere statements.
That said, let's look at Obama's actions versus his disingenuous rhetoric - rhetoric that I experienced first hand when he spoke in Virginia Beach in February, 2008. Rhetoric aimed solely at securing votes and money. First, during the campaign, who does Obama select for appearances at campaign functions? Anti-gay, ex-gay supporter Donnie McClurkin. And when confronted with McClurkin's anti-gay positions and slimy ex-gay past, what does he do? Obama keeps McClurkin on the program.
Then let's move to the inauguration. Who does Obama select to deliver the invocation? Rick Warren, homophobe extraordinaire whose finger prints are all over anti-gay agendas in Africa and whose church website had anti-gay rhetoric all over it.
Then, of course, we have the on going DOMA and DADT litigation. What do we see from Obama? A vigorous defense of the anti-gay policies and, based on the latest reports, and appeal of the DADT ruling and worldwide injunction against DADT discharges.
And just this past Thursday, Obama made statements promising that DADT "will end on my watch", yet he has zero ability to make that happen if he proceeds with an appeal of Judge Phillips rulings. There is zero guarantee that the Senate will ever vote to repeal DADT. Likewise, given the Christian extremists among the conservative block on the Supreme Court, there is zero guarantee that DADT will not be upheld if the case makes it to the Supreme Court. Ditto for DOMA
The sad truth is that the LGBT community is being played again. Obama believes that we are simpletons and fools and wants us out voting on November 2, 2010. My message to Obama and all Democrats: you want my vote, then all Democrats as a whole need to start delivering. I want to and will hold them jointly and severally responsible. I am over being played and cynically lied to. If the GOP benefits in the short term, that is the price to be paid in ending Democrat indifference and outright lies.