Reflecting On US Voters’ Choices In The 2012 Elections

Nothing says “Voter Approval” more than anonymous drivers honking their horns while quickly driving by.

I probably should not admit this, but whenever I see dudes in groups of two riding around on bicycles in suits and ties, my years of conditioning cue me to think, “Hmm.  How gay.”  The irony of course is:  They’re generally anti-gay.

The Mormons still don’t like the gays.  Oh, they “love” the gay people, they just hate the gay people’s love for each other.

But the Mormons tend to adapt as popular opinions shift.  For example, historically, when they realized their plans for missionary growth would be deterred by their sacred text’s racial discrimination against blacks and other non-white races, they did the practical thing – they changed their sacred texts.  God evidently considered things further and changed his mind.  Who knows?  Maybe in our lifetime, the head Mormon prophet will hear from God again and change his mind about the gays.  Regardless, I’m not waiting around for either of them to develop an informed conscience.

Christians, who are feeling holier-than-Mormons, shouldn’t gloat too much.  The Pew Forum’s 2012 exit polls showed that 79% of Evangelical (Non-Mormon) Protestants voted for Romney.  This surprised me because I grew up in an Evangelical Protestant denomination that considered Mormonism and “all that extra Joseph Smith and Jesus came to America” stuff to be a dangerous cult.

We saw some sea-change in cultural mores in this most recent election.  Californians, in passing Prop 30, raised sales taxes for everyone and income taxes significantly on the rich.  Idahoans, who are maybe as conservative as any state, and who voted 65% for Romney, voted “No” on the education Prop 1 (and 2 & 3), pushing back on their ultra-Republican legislature’s moves to weaken public school teachers’ job securities and collective bargaining powers.  Colorado and Washington passed recreational marijuana use laws.  All of these moves were by popular, democratic vote of the citizenry.

Those trends are fascinating, and I suspect things will swing back in more conservative ways in the next mid-term election (like they did in 2010).

I don’t follow politics in general closely.  But I do follow LGBT issues with a closer eye.

As the conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks pointed out, the gay vs. anti-gay issue is age-dependent.  Younger voters, who, unlike their predecessors, were not be carefully conditioned to hate the gays, are becoming a larger percentage of the voting public.  And younger voters are significantly statistically less prejudiced against gays.

While colleagues of mine viewed the latest election results as more proof of the US heading toward moral and fiscal bankruptcy, I’m not sure that’s the case.

As the following image suggests, as younger voters become a larger percentage of the voting population, more states will likely recognize equal rights for gays:

I don’t know how much more needs to be said – without putting too fine a point on things.  I was pleased to see more voters using their intelligence, education, empathetic skills, and kindness instead of following long-standing religious and cultural biases against gays.

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