by Brent Budowsky
With the unfolding fiasco afflicting Gov. Mike Pence (R) in Indiana on the matters of “religious freedom” and gay rights, let’s take him off the list of potential GOP nominees for president in 2016 and consider the longer-term damage to Republicans of their widespread attitudes of intolerance.
Today we will address two major issues: the intolerance toward gay rights in some circles on the right and the intolerance against those who have chosen to sign up for ObamaCare.
There is a common denominator of these attitudes of intolerance, and it’s this: Those who are intolerant of gays and lesbians are intolerant of expressions of the personal freedom of others that do not affect them all at. Those who are intolerant against citizens who have signed up for ObamaCare are intolerant of expressions of commercial freedom that do not affect them at all, either.
The national backlash against Pence and the Indiana Legislature extends from average Americans to leading corporate CEOs and even officials of the NCAA. As I recently wrote on The Hills Contributors blog, Pence has lost serious consideration for the presidency in 2016 because of his pandering to the intolerance of the right, which is out of touch with mainstream America, and his vacillation and indecision reacting to the crisis that he himself created.
Should an employer have the power to put a sign on the door that “no blacks need apply,” “no women need apply,” “no Hispanics need apply” or “no lesbians or gays need apply” to be hired for a job, to be served in a restaurant, to purchase an automobile from a car dealer or to buy a home in a neighborhood?
Of course not. This is the antithesis of the American idea. This is what I mean when I wave the flag. Shame on those who wave the flag without ever learning what it stands for.
If I want to date or marry a woman, why should I care if another man dates or marries a man, or if a woman dates or marry another woman? Who someone else loves, marries or partners with has no effect on me. Let everyone make their own choices to lead their lives as they please. It is none of my business — or yours — who someone else loves.
This should be a fundamental truth and a fundamental right under the Constitution, and I predict the Supreme Court will soon agree.
Similarly, if someone on the right does not want to sign up for ObamaCare, they should not sign up. If millions of citizens want to sign up for ObamaCare, their right should be respected and their choice should be honored.
It does not affect those who choose not to sign up for ObamaCare if others do. It does not affect those who of us who straight if others who are lesbian or gay fall in love with and marry whomever they choose.
If Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) believes ObamaCare is the best choice of his options — and he does have options — and then attacks the program he signs up for, that is his problem. It is a free country. Let the junior senator play whatever political games he likes, and let the voters decide his fate — this is why so many Democrats hope the GOP nominates him in 2016!
I believe the Supreme Court will uphold ObamaCare subsidies, but if I am wrong and it does not, the politics will not be good for Republicans when moms and dads find their sons and daughters will no longer be covered by their insurance, when millions of people with pre-existing conditions are told “tough luck” by Republicans, and when hard-pressed consumers are forced by Republicans to pay higher premiums.
If Republicans do not learn that tolerance is the heart of Americanism, they will pay a heavy price at the polls.