progress, not perfection

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Much has been written about Obama's strengths on LGBT issues, and the current issue of The Advocate has Michael Joseph Gross asking "Should You Believe in Obama?"


Obama is certainly not perfect--e.g., his disappointing stance on marriage equality, which Gross covers well--but he's so much better than McCain on LGBT issues that they may as well not be in the same race. Gross' concluding anecdote shows this well:

Kevin Thompson tells the story of a U.S. Senate campaign fund-raiser at the gay bar Cocktail in Chicago. After Obama finished speaking, he walked to the edge of the crowd and asked a gay guy, "Could I please bum a cigarette?"

Today, Thompson says, that guy can't stop recounting the exchange to his friends. Of all the anecdotes Obama's friends repeat about the time he's spent with gay people, this is the most mundane. As such, it is also a powerful testament to the candidate's humanity, atavistic and futuristic, both at once. Thompson laughs, quoting his friend's boast, a string of words that add up to something truly new under the sun: " 'I can't believe that the future president of the United States and I smoked a cigarette together in a gay bar.' "

Can you image a similar story about McCain? (I didn't think so...) Humanizing anecdotes don't make up for triangulating policy decisions, but giving up on progress to chase perfection is not a viable option.

Obama Pride
LGBT for Obama

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on August 25, 2008 2:02 PM.

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