As many who follow politics know that there is a thing called The Beltway Common Wisdom. This wisdom informs many in Washington and around the nation of just how each party and each person should conduct themselves as well as which type of political campaign that he/she should run. The common wisdom was that Republicans can do much better in elections when they bring in or harkens on social issues. Well that may not be the case anymore.
“This election will be the first since the 1990s without a measure to ban gay marriage on any state ballot, yet the divisive issue is roiling races across the country during a time of tumult for the gay rights movement.” “In Minnesota, New Hampshire, California and New York, gubernatorial campaigns have become battlegrounds for rival sides in the debate, with the Democratic candidates supporting same-sex marriage and the Republicans opposed.” “In Iowa, voters will decide whether to oust three state Supreme Court justices who joined last year’s unanimous decision making the state one of five where gay marriage is legal.” “And in Rhode Island and California, Democratic candidates are seeking to become the fourth and fifth openly gay members of Congress.” “The Californian, Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet, has a husband and 4-year-old twins, and would be Congress’ first openly gay parent.” “The races are unfolding on a rapidly shifting gay rights landscape, with activists elated by important court rulings, irked at setbacks in Washington and jolted by high-profile cases of anti-gay violence and bullying-provoked suicides.” (Crary, David, 10/17/2010, Associated Press, Gay marriage surfaces as an issue in state races, Retrieved from firstname.lastname@example.org).
For the first time in a very long time, many Americans are no longer afraid to stand up for who they are. All of us feel more confident about speaking plainly and clearly about what we think and how we feel. Change has not only come to Washington but to America as a whole. Apparently social issues are not a winning strategy any more for any party. Social issues are now the issues of all and those who would normally stay quiet are now speaking out. So much for the beltway common wisdom.