Supporters of justice were very pleased the Supreme Court helped advance equality and gay rights. However, some celebrants are applauding in the wrong directions. Many on Facebook, and surely elsewhere, are promoting Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, who are not Supreme Court Justices, as leaders that made this happen. Bullsh*t.
Please research that Obama and Clinton opposed gay marriage until very recently. They opposed gay marriage when polls showed only a minority supported it, and supported it, only after heroic activists helped advance this issue and polls began showing majority support. Google the Gallup polling trends, and discover Hillary and Obama’s “evolving” support directly correlates with public opinion.
An ABC News timeline of Obama’s “evolution” on gay marriage shows his poll chasing clearly. In 2004, Obama said “marriage is between a man and a woman.” In 2010, Obama said “I have been…unwilling to sign on to same-sex marriage primarily because of my understandings of the traditional definitions of marriage.” In 2011, Obama’s Communications Director said, “The president has never favored same-sex marriage. He is against it.”
According to a Washington Post timeline of Hillary’s “evolution,” she too flip-flopped like Obama. In January 2000, Hillary said, “Marriage has got historic, religious and moral content that goes back to the beginning of time, and I think a marriage is as a marriage has always been, between a man and a woman.” In 2002, Hillary was asked by Hardball host Chris Matthews if she thought New York should recognize gay marriage. Hillary unequivocally responded with a resounding, “No!”
So exactly when did Hillary and Obama “evolve”? Another Washington Post article reports, “Obama came out in support of same-sex marriage in 2012, and Clinton in 2013…” There you have it. These professional politicians did not lead this effort, but merely responded to public opinion.
Newsflash: This is not leadership! That is followship.
The real leaders were the thousands of gay rights activists that helped legalize gay marriage in many states, which also raised awareness.
The same goes for the billions of dollars being wasted destroying millions of lives in the drug war. The heroes are the activists getting sane marijuana laws passed in the states. When peaceful people are no longer imprisoned for marijuana nationwide, please do not applaud Clinton or Obama, who have not led, but poll chased, on this issue also.
Remember when Bill Clinton signed the anti-gay marriage Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman? Once again, Hillary also supported this until recently.
Now that we have established that Obama and Clinton are not leaders on this issue, we can now identify politicians that were real leaders before it was en vogue. Bernie Sanders was one of only 67 courageous U.S. representatives to vote against Clinton’s DOMA in 1996. Also, a letter Bernie wrote in the 1970s about homosexuality, recently re-published on Alternet, indicates he was “evolved” decades before Obama and the Clintons.
Not so ironically, the same was repeated during the Iraq War. Despite evidence that the Bush Administration was lying to justify an illegal war that ultimately cost trillions of tax dollars, Hillary supported war while Sanders joined a minority in opposing it.
We are facing profound economic and environmental challenges in our world and we can no longer afford to elect mere followers with eyes glued to opinion polls. We need courageous leaders that are guided by a sense of justice.
We have abundant evidence to indicate that Sanders is a sincere leader on almost every issue of deep importance, especially regarding democracy, economics, and environmental issues. He is catching up to Hillary in the polls, drawing massive crowds, and millions in small donations, as opposed to Hillary’s Wall Street war chest.
Most crucially, the climate clock is ticking a few seconds from midnight. We cannot afford more weak efforts toward clean energy. All indicators point to Hillary being nearly identical to Obama, and the truth is Obama has given forked tongue lip service about climate change.
Obama bragged: “I’ve directed my administration to open up millions of acres for gas and oil exploration across 23 different states. We’re opening up more than 75 percent of our potential oil resources offshore. We’ve quadrupled the number of operating rigs to a record high. We’ve added enough new oil and gas pipeline to encircle the Earth and then some.”
Additionally, Obama has helped perpetuate billions in subsidies to the fossil fuel industry, which Sanders has worked to end. What we need is a transformative energy revolution, and it will require actual leaders, grassroots up, to help make this happen. More following means more polluted waters, soils and skies.
We all need to applaud gay marriage or any other beautiful success, but clapping intelligently will accelerate our progress much more effectively. Leadership identification is equally important.
Please see that each one of us can also be important leaders, with great power to ripple ideas to friends and family, and outward to all.
Regardless of all this, Hooray for the Gays! May we all live happily ever after in loving justice and respect.