Friday, June 15, 2012

Gay Marriage in the State of Washington: take two

Will it be 33 of 33?  There is a good chance.  Washington State will have gay marriage on the ballot this November.  Opponents to gay marriage have won 32 of 32 ballot measures so far.  So why do they have a shot at it again?  After all, a clear majority of Washingtonians favor, or are not opposed to, gay marriage.  The state has had a civil union law for several years, and all the brouhaha about that died down some time ago. 
Here is why.  Those in favor, or not opposed, almost take it for granted that it’s a good idea.  It has ceased to be a lightning rod issue for them.  Driven by fear and disgust, those opposed are rabidly opposed for all kinds of strange, but deeply held, emotionally charged reasons.  With vengeful hatred in their eyes, they will vote.  They are already determined to get rid of a president they detest for all kinds of spurious reasons.  They will be aided and abetted by Tea Party type propaganda, along with Republican candidates too scared of the far right wing to say or do anything that might offend them. 
Voter turnout, even in presidential election years, is not all that great, so the side that can claim the most emotionally charged and committed voters will likely win, and right now that looks like the far right, supplemented by those who go along to get along.
Progressives, or liberals, or moderates, whatever you want to call them, have a tendency to get all hyped up about this or that, hold rallies and protests, and then burn out.  They can’t sustain the effort.  They have learned how to organize, but not how to deliver the votes.  On most issues, they are driven more by the desire to do good than by fear, and fear is a more enduring motivator than the desire to do good.  The sarcastic epithet, ‘Do Gooders,’ makes the point: well meaning pansies who can be politically bullied with impunity.
As far as Eastern Washington is concerned, the outlook is dimmer yet.  Voters who are not conservative Republicans tend to cede every election with little more than a whimper, and seldom do anything, in a constructive way, to hold office holders accountable.  Far right conservatives, on the other hand, do everything possible to see that candidates submit to their demands, at least in public.
Will it be 33 of 33?  According to the Magic 8 Ball, the outlook is good.

2 comments:

Country Parson said...

By the way, I do not endorse fear as a motivator, I just recognize it for what it is. I believe that there are other tactics progressives and moderates can use to good effect.
CP

Anonymous said...

Very shrewd analysis. W.B.Yeats, The Second Coming:"The Center cannot hold. The Best lack all conviction, While the Worst are full of passionate intensity." (Ireland, 1922). Dr B