Friday, June 07, 2019


     So, say you're a solid conservative state Senator, with a record of voting along party lines; and say you're running for Mayor of the state's largest city.

     What wouldn't you do for votes?

     Jim Merritt plans to walk in the Indianapolis Pride Parade this weekend.  The parade organizers, pointing to his voting record in the legislature, aren't happy about it.  Unwilling to find themselves branded as exclusionist, a compromise has been reached, in which he will be marching as a private citizen and not as a mayoral candidate.

     Look, I'm not going to offer up any broad value judgements here, other than to note that the local rainbow types tend to avoid the sort of debauchery reportedly found in coastal metropolii when they have their parade and picnic; it's a sedate enough event that the local office-holders usually make an appearance, Democrat and Republican alike.  It's not my party but if they wanna go tromping down the street, waving banners and whooping it up, fine; they're Americans; they can do that.

     On the other hand , if you're a state Senator with a serious social conservative voting record, it's pretty much flat-out pandering to show up and stick a rainbow ribbon in your lapel.  All it does is alienate your base and make people who'd never heard of you go look up how you voted.  I'm sure there will be Republican voters in the Pride Parade crowd -- this is Indiana, after all --  but it's a demographic uniquely positioned to be disinclined to forgive his RFRA vote.

     It makes you wonder if he'd bite the head off a live chicken if he thought it would get him that cushy office high up in the City-County Building.  I'm pretty sure his party can find a better candidate.

     The debate about civil rights for a long-despised minority vs. religious practice is one worth having  -- not in my comments section, but at a societal level -- and it's ongoing.  Many people have deeply-held feelings about their positions on these issues.

     From the evidence, state Senator Merritt isn't one of them.  You have to wonder what else he'd be flexible on.  Possibly everything.


Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

Merritt hasn't got a chance anyway, given the demographic shift in Marion County that gave us a bare Democrat majority on the City-County Council and a Democrat mayor (following a mayor who may as well have been a Democrat).

GOP dominance of Indianapolis (more or less) got a 50-year reprieve out of UniGov, and since a plurality of Indy GOPers have now fled past the county lines, that's over and done. Welcome to another Democrat-run city for the foreseeable future.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Ms. X

Somebody needs a clue-by-four up side their head. Hope you do not have to deliver it in person.

Roberta X said...

I should rather think that delivering it in person would be a good deed.

Roberta X said...

Fuzzy, it's the facile mendacity that bothers me -- and all politicians have it.

pigpen51 said...

I agree that this is a poor forum to debate the topic of religion and minority rights. I read the book Everything I need to know, I learned in kindergarten. I think that covered the subject well enough.

Roberta X said...

Pigpen51, it's also a topic on which a healthy society can entertain a wide variety of opinion and work fine. Online debate usually tends toward finding One Single Notion, which rapidly becomes dysfunctional no matter what it is.

The people down the street -- let alone the other side of town, or across the country -- will always persist in having their own damfool notions, often very different from one's own. This is an immutatble constant.

RandyGC said...

These are 2 subjects I don't even want to debate, as debate (in my mind) has as a goal determining the "correct" position.

I prefer discussion where folks just lay out where they are coming from on an issue and everyone asks questions to understand those positions without trying to change minds.

I've had many discussions with folks on all parts of the spectrum where we knew we weren't changing minds but actually enjoyed the conversation while we learned why the other guy was "wrong" ;-)

There are issues I am willing to engage in verbal warfare (i.e. debate) such as the Bill of Rights, but who you pray to and what you do with another consenting adult out of my eyesight aren't things I care much about.

pigpen51 said...

I do think that in this country, we need to be able to debate the hard issues, without fear of being shutdown due to our opinions, or without worrying that we will hurt someone's feelings because of our own ideas. As you mentioned, in a healthy society, we should be able to debate nearly any issue, and allow for all opinions, no matter if some seem abhorrent to us. For our republic to work effectively, it takes everyone, working toward a common goal, that of moving our society always forward, towards ever increasing equality and freedom for all.
I think that one of the most important qualities we should try to instill in our children while rearing them, is the willingness to both allow for other opinions, and to being willing to change their minds when faced with evidence that they are wrong. I have been fact checked in debate with others before, and I am always quick to thank them and to acknowledge that I was wrong and that I accept the new facts as correct.
I should have said that I always TRY to be quick to change. Sometimes, I know that I persist in my own opinions too long, as I am human, and that is just a failure on my part. The main thing I wish we could as a society learn is that if we want freedom and liberty, we must also be ready and willing to allow everyone else to enjoy that same degree of freedom and liberty. Of course, as we often see, that is often not the case, to our great shame.

Antibubba said...

He's a politician, Roberta--if it would get him elected he'd put much more than a live chicken's head in his mouth.

Please let us know if he shows up in leather chaps.