Ok, the advent of Trump has been thoroughly depressing. What good news can we glean from our political world? How about Hillary Clinton focusing on the LGBT stances of the GOP and of Mike Pence? What makes this good news?
Sure, HRC could be taking this stance because she genuinely believes that the government should not discriminate against LGBT people. Or, one could be thinking that she is pandering to a small portion of her base.
I cannot help but think that Clinton will only focus on issues and themes that are focus-grouped/poll-tested winners. That is, that Clinton has many ways to attack Trump and Pence, and she has chosen to focus much of the attention on LGBT. This kind of surprises me since it was not that long ago that the Democrats were afraid of issues relating to LGBT, that referendas in states on LGBT issues would be seen as hurting the Democrats' chances in those states due to the effect on turnout.
What has changed? Mostly American public opinion. The Republicans, with their heinous platform and with Pence as the poster boy of intolerance, are fighting old wars. HRC, I am guessing, has done the homework to figure out that the polls we know about are pretty valid--that the tide has turned. Sure, there are states and parts of states where intolerance towards LGBT play, but as Hillary Clinton looks to the patterns across the country, the need to pick up a number of battleground states, she is seeing this issue as a winner.
Yes, because I am cynical about the Clintons--that Bill always went by the polls and that Hillary is not going to base her campaign just on what is right but on what will work, I have some hope about where the country is on this. Of course, we still have way too much support for xenophobia, for anti-Muslim stances, for racist politicians (that go by the name of Trump), but I see glimmers of progress in HRC's stances. Given the awfulness of the GOP convention, complete with homophobia, racism, xenophobia, ignorance, hate, white supremacy, misogyny and all the rest, I will take what I can get.
I think one of the major priorities at the DNC in Philadelphia is to finally end the idea that Hillary will represent a return of Bill's 90's triangulation. As Scott Lemieux mentioned a few months ago (http://bit.ly/2ako0fP) Hillary was always the more liberal of the two, which made some aspects of this year's Democratic primary a little bit ironic (or, in the case of the farthest of the far-left fringe trying to defend Trump's isolationism and re: "Lock her up," pathetic).
Democrats, obviously, have to be very careful as this decade closes out. Its social democratic and centrist wings are roughly analogous to Radical Republicans vs. the Lincoln moderates or the Northern left vs. LBJ right now. Regardless if the GOP survives or goes the way of the Whigs a conservative will eventually be elected POTUS in our lifetimes. But it is essential that when that happens it won't ever be on a platform of racial resentment again.
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