Saturday, May 26, 2012

(Opinion) Why Nobody Cared When Obama Came Out For Gay Marriage

There are many words you can use to describe a politician, words like corrupt, hypocritical and dishonest would come to mind for many but what one word you cant use to describe politicians and politics is unpredictable.

Many liberals as well as conservatives suspected that President Obama was in favor of the advancement of gay rights with his repealing of don't ask, don't tell and stated disapproval of the defense of marriage act. Obama should receive some praise for taking the position but the timing of his decision was convenient to say the least. 

The latest polling on the issue of same sex marriage indicated major gains in approval suggesting a relatively even split between people who are in favor or disapprove just a few days before his announcement live on ABC. Two states came out against same sex marriage which  put the issue of same sex marriage on the national stage which would have made sure Obama's announcement of his position would be become an nationwide debate.But for all  the planning of the Obama Whitehouse, the announcement of his position has not had the effect Obama may had hoped for. 

According to polling carried out by the pew research center, 52% of  respondents reported  that Obama's announcement had not affect their opinion of him, 25% saw him in a less favorable light and 19% more favorably which meant that when the president said he was for gay marriage 52% of Americans said 'so?' and 25% said 'eeeuww'.

This is no shock in a political climate where the issue of the economy trumps all others as there's a long history of the rights of others (especially minorities) playing second fiddle in America and gay rights is just the most recent. With the Obama Whitehouse in full knowledge of this it is hard to fathom what they sought to gain with Obama's approval rating faltering and Mitt Romney making gains in the polls, stating his position on a issue that divides opinion across social, cultural, and religious lines, is clearly not the wisest decision to make.

The statement of his position look to be a totally political measure to get  republicans talking on a issue that they greet with an open dislike as they now suffer over issues to do with sex, an issue republicans politicized in the first place . This explains the furore over Rush Limbaugh comments over the issue of contraception and presidential candidate Rick Santorum reiteration of his stance towards issues to do with sex as republican positions haven't really changed since the sixties despite society's attitude to sex relaxing over time.

This is why democrats have the women's vote and Obama has a large margin over Romney in women voters as republicans take positions that can be perceived to be anti women. However Obama's statement of his position on same sex marriage is only a short term measure as this election this going to be about the economy as the two wars that have dominated American politics are winding down and more people are starting to pay more attention to their pocketbook.

In sum, while Obama statement of his position on gay marriage is timely and should be merited, but it should be seen for what it is, a short term political measure. In the upcoming election his answers to fixing the economy will matter more than is position on same sex marriage as minority issues tend not to breach the national debate during elections and tend not last long to in national debate if they finish, politics is not about issues, it is about climates and Obama may not have been right in stating his support for gay marriage  but it will do little for his reelection bid.                  

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