Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A seat at the table: GOProud and Ann Coulter

When I was more involved with HRC, I would frequently get angry at how HRC is little more than an arm of the Democratic Party. Whether it's refusing to reach out to Republican candidates, signing on to left wing agenda items like pro-choice initiatives and Obamacare, or pre-emptively endorsing Obama before the GOP even has a candidate, there is plenty to be frustrated with HRC. Many members don't even pretend anymore - they are happy HRC is locked in with the Democrats' agenda.

I was ready to cut off all ties from HRC when a good friend of mine pointed out, it's hard to make change or even be part of the discussion if you don't have a seat at the table. She observed, if I left HRC, there would be no one locally to point out the shortcomings of the group. Nobody to advocate for less partisan events and initiatives that conservatives and liberals alike can work on for the benefit of the GLBT community. To effect change in the local HRC group, I had to have a seat at their table - so I could work from within. Likewise, HRC clearly does have a seat at both the President's and DNC's tables. They are effective at reaching out to Democrats and pushing their issues.

I thought about this - and this seemed to fit with my ideas about the GOP. There is a lot to like about the Republicans, but there's also a lot to get angry about. Some in the party clearly show their hypocrisy when advocating "small government" then completely ignoring that foundational tenet when it doesn't suit them on social issues. Still, even with the indifference, ignorance, or in some cases (many fewer than liberals would have you believe) animosity towards gays in the GOP, it's still my party. And it's my job to stay involved, promote it's fundamental positions, and make it better. I want to promote limited government, free markets, strong national defense, etc. To do this I need to stay involved in the GOP - keeping my seat at the table.

The sad thing is, national LGBT groups like HRC are either unwilling or incapable (both?) at finding a seat at the GOPs table. They spend their time villainizing Republicans as a whole, name calling conservatives, and all the while congratulating the Democrat's for doing very little. This is counter-productive. We need GOP votes for things like gay marriage and other priorities. Yet HRC seems more interested in maintaining enemies than making friends and changing minds.

Enter GOProud. This group has assembled an all-star cast of conservatives on its advisory board. It's building relationships with many Republicans in congress. It' establishing a rapport with the policymakers and the populous alike. Yet it gets slammed for doing this! Ann Coulter has agreed to be on its advisory board - a huge deal! While I don't agree with Ms. Coulter on many things - she's an important, forceful, and incredibly visible figure in the conservative movement. By agreeing to the advisory position at GOProud, Ann Coulter is publicly defending and announcing the right for gays to have a seat the conservative's table. Now that we have that seat - it's time to use it and make a change. While HRC's contempt for Republicans has made it impossible for them to change the hearts and mind of the party, GOProud has effectively made visible the place for gays in the GOP.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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