The politics of hate
While it’s difficult not to be at least a little amused by the finer points of Romney’s presidential campaign strategy outlined in a leaked PowerPoint presentation that lumps together France, taxes, Massachusetts, Hollywood values, moral relativism, Hillary Clinton, and jihadism as the “bogeymen” from which he’ll save America, if we ignore his thinly veiled hatemongering, we do so at our own peril.
Let’s be honest here: “Massachusetts” in this case is really just Romney-speak for “same-sex marriage.” And “same-sex marriage” in the minds of conservative voters and the Religious Right whom Romney is eagerly courting is really just code for the so-called “gay agenda,” which they believe threatens to destroy this country. That the gay agenda would get lumped together with jihadism (i.e. the terrorists whom on a daily basis we are told America is hunting down and killing) is not really about how serious a threat Romney perceives GLBT people to be, but rather how seriously he wants you to take the threat.
Romney’s PowerPoint sheds light on how he might spin the gay issue during his campaign. He will present GLBT people as a danger, as much a danger as the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11. Moreover, his inclusion of Massachusetts is telling because it demonstrates his belief in the power of homosexuality to mobilize voters. How do sleazy politicians like Romney mobilize voters? The answer is by scaring them. He realizes full well the power of the GLBT bogeyman to frighten voters. The leaked document demonstrates that Romney understands conservative America’s fears and is ready and willing to enflame and exploit those fears.
We all know what happens when a despised minority is vilified and held up as a bogeyman. Innocent people get hurt. Sometimes they even get killed.