Vote No on Harold Ford

It seems I’ve been saying “no” a lot lately. Ever since Daddy Dobson showed up with his Vote Yes on Amendment 1 thugs, I’ve been in a contrary and irritable mood. I have three neighbors, in my typically tolerant and diverse neighborhood, who have Vote Yes signs up. One right next to me. They are the same couple (well, the wife anyway) who stood outside our house with us when a water main broke, flooding our house and pool, and called and recalled the water department trying to get someone out there to stop it. They’re also the same ones whose kid busted a window and the husband promptly had replaced at his expense. They’ve warned us about a freezing A/C line too. What makes people who are seemingly so nice be so vindictive?

I don’t know the answer to that. Fear, I guess. I want to go up to them on Nov. 8th and ask them if they feel like their marriage is now safe now that I can’t partake in their privilege. What do they think will happen if I marry the person I love? Does the husband fear his wife will see a new possibility and leave him? Are they afraid their son will no longer think it’s a bad thing to love someone? Like a great bumper sticker says: will I be judged for loving or will they be judged for hating?

Anyway, that’s a whole other post. This thread is all about why I say “no” to Ford. On election night, I’ll be covering the Ford/Corker race on Pam’s House Blend. Today, I’m saying “no.” I’ve been saying no on other blogs and it’s not getting a warm reception. I think I’m close to being called a troll or Republican plant. Why? Because I don’t swallow like a good little queer should?

I don’t buy the bullshit that we have to get Democrats, or at least Democrats like Ford, elected to make change. That’s utter horse hockey. Ford has been adamantly against anything to do with gay rights. Someone tell me how this is different from Corker or some other Republican. The argument is that he’ll be one of few that will think this way and that the other, more left leaning, Democrats will out weigh him and the anti-gay others. I beg to differ. Back when we had Clinton, we thought that he’d certainly be amenable to gay rights. We were crazy enough to get on the damn platform on election night and support his sorry ass. What did we get? DOMA and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. That was done by a supposedly gay-supportive Democrat. We’ll be better with Ford how? I don’t see that happening.

There’s also the argument that we’ll push him back to the left once he’s elected. How? I mean he just got elected, basically rewarded, for being anti-gay. How many people do you know will change a tactic that has worked for them? It worked for him to be as “nasty as he wants to be.” Why would he change horse midstream? We won’t move him back to the left. You don’t get a misbehaving child to behave by rewarding their bad behavior. The kid will always come back using the same tactic to get that same reward again.

Not only are we rewarding Ford, but the DNC who has turned its back on the gay community. They have given buttloads of money to the Ford campaign, and they haven’t disciplined him for being anti-gay. They just keep throwing more money at him. While you have candidates like Angie Piccione in Colorado, who is very pro-gay, going against the author of the Federal Marriage Amendment, Marilyn Musgrave, and Angie barely gets a dime from the DNC. Don’t tell me that just because we are in the South, in the heart of the Bible Belt, that we have to run nasty, anti-gay campaigns to win an office. That’s BULLSHIT! Recently, an open lesbian and Democrat won office in a predominately black neighborhood of Birmingham, AL. She got no support financially or otherwise from her fellow Democrats or the DNC, but she won anyway!

How hard would it have been for Harold Ford to simply say, when he went off about the NJ marriage court ruling, that all Tennessee families deserve to be treated fairly and that we shouldn’t try to make life harder for some families? Making lives better and helping families is a good thing and it is, in fact, one of Ford’s campaign messages. I received a mailing the other day saying that Ford believed in “enable[ing] communities and families to thrive.” How can families thrive when he’s voting for and supporting amendments that DISable us from thriving?

I wrote a letter to Ford (see thread below for full letter) and sent the mailing back asking him this very question. As a black man, he should know and realize that families come in many shapes, sizes, and forms, and not all are related by blood or marriage. The black community is a testament to this fact. What Harold is doing is hurting ALL families. He’s not just blatantly chastising gay families and making our lives harder, but he could very well be making it harder for other families.

Just like another great bumper sticker says: Be careful who you hate, it could be someone you love.


At 12:02, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, thought I'd visit your blog after seeing your comments on TGW. I'm voting for Ford even though I find his comments about gay citizens awful. I didn't see why any democrat would vote for anyone other than Ford until I read your posts, and now I understand why you just couldn't do it. I'm not gay so can't understand what it must be like to have your neighbords putting up "Vote Yes" signs and having to deal with such a regressive society. That must be really horrible. I still hope Ford wins simply for the legislative agenda reasons (plus I'm an environmentalist and want to throw up when I read Corker's positions on environmental issues). But I can see why you couldn't vote for Ford. I enjoyed reading your blog!

At 09:31, Blogger Stuffed Animal said...

I heard some alarming stuff on the radio this morning about Harold Ford, Jr, and decided to look into his past. Evidently, Carrie, Lesbians and Gay men aren't the only people who had reason to fear him getting a US Senate seat. Here's what I found on a website called irregulartimes.com:

"Harold Ford Jr. has not been a strong friend of progressives during his tenure in the U.S. House of Representatives. He’s flipped and he’s flopped, casting votes on issues depending on what way the favored political winds were blowing from. He’s said that he supports gay rights, but voted against them on many occasions. Harold Ford Jr. has refused to support H.R. 952, legislation that would make it illegal for the U.S. government to send prisoners held in the United States to foreign countries to be tortured. Congressman Ford has also not supported H.R. 1157, a bill that would revoke sections of the Patriot Act that allow government agents to secretly search through the financial and library records of law-abiding American citizens.

In spite of the fact that he is a Democrat, Congressman Harold Ford Jr. has often stood with George W. Bush. He’s provided support to President Bush’s attacks on separation of church and state, freedom from cruel and unusual punishment, and protection from unreasonable search and seizure. Harold Ford Jr. has been a shameless self-promoter in the U.S. House of Representatives, trying to make a name for himself by criticizing Democrats for not being Republican enough. Harold Ford Jr. has quickly become the Joseph Lieberman of the U.S. House of Representatives."

Just like you can't tell a book by looking at the cover, you can't tell a person's politics by looking at his color.


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