Opinion Pieces


Socially Conservative Values Pushed to Backseat in GOP Convention July 23, 2016 by Rick Hardison

Watching the Republican National Convention as a social conservative was like a trip to a bad Chinese buffet. I had low expectations going in, but the egg roll was worse than I imagined.

Consider how socially conservative values took a backseat this week, even compared to the president’s progressive agenda.

In 2013, Richard Blanco was selected to read a poem at President Obama’s second inaugural ceremony. Blanco’s poem is a piece about the daily life of the average American worker. It’s a non-controversial poem with an optimistic tone. The headlines after his speech made very little about his poem. The main thing people seemed to notice was that he was the first openly gay person to speak at an inaugural ceremony.

Moments later the president gave his address and made a passing reference to Stonewall, a gay bar in New York City that was raided by police in 1969, and has since then become a symbol for gay rights.

The day the president began his second term Blanco did not talk about his gay pride, and Obama did not make a political case for gay marriage. But the inclusion of an openly gay poet and the one-word reference to Stonewall were seen as major advancements for the LGBT cause.

Fast-forward three-and-a-half years to the RNC, and the so-called conservative party openly championed liberal social stances more than the president did years earlier.

On Thursday the co-founder of PayPal, Peter Thiel, encouraged everyone to vote for Trump.

“Of course, every American has a unique identity. I am proud to be gay. I am proud to be a Republican. But most of all I am proud to be an American,” he said to a roaring crowd. We went on to talk about how the GOP must stop being distracted by “fake culture wars” so we can focus on the economy. More applause. Standing ovation.

Don’t get me wrong. Both parties should be proud to have gay supporters. The homosexual community cares about lots of issues, not just gay rights. All politicians should court their votes.

But Thiel’s comments were planned and strategic. The Trump campaign knew what he was going to say. Therefore, the inclusion of Thiel’s speech is an open rebuke to social conservatives.

The RNC did not make subtle reference to the gay community like Obama did years ago. It offered direct praise, and attendees that didn’t join the chorus of pride stuck out like ultra-right-winged zealous bigots who don’t get it.

Thiel’s six-minute speech is a harbinger of what may happen if the Donald ever occupies the Oval. Social conservatives will feel sick, like they had way too much fried rice.

Marriage is still between a man and woman. Kids deserve a mom and a dad.

That would make America great again.



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