Harking back to Republican strategies past, conservative icon Fred Barnes, who edits The Weekly Standard, advised John McCain to “touch on” gay social issues, which will “energize” the right his way…
Here’s what he needs to do, he needs to touch on some of the social issues which energize the right… In particular, gays in the military for one. We know Barack Obama is for allowing gays in the military, and Bill Clinton tried to do, but backed off. This is not a popular issue. Gay marriage is another one. These are both issues that I think McCain’s going to have to use. You can’t ignore the right. If he does, he’ll lose
While such a plan may have worked in 2000 and 2004, recent polling suggests gay rights aren’t as much of a wedge issue. As On Top points out, a June, 2008 Gallup poll shows that Americans are evenly split on the morality of homosexuality. Meanwhile, a survey from last year found that 55% of citizens feel gays should be allowed to serve in the military. Even more compelling are the youth voters, who overwhelmingly support Obama and gay rights. If McCain tries to exploit the homos – well, he could further alienate that increasingly important voting bloc.
Could it be that Barnes is simply out of touch with electoral politics? We sure as shit hope so!