Thursday, August 04, 2016

Gay Republicans are Flocking to Hillary Clinton

I was a Republican for the majority of my adult life and came from a family of Republicans. However, having watched the GOP slide to hate and extremism for some time now - I resigned from my city committee seat years ago - I have argued for some time that unless one is (i) a self-loathing LGBT individual, perhaps still scarred by a fundamentalist religious upbringing, and/or (ii) an extremely wealthy, self-centered individual (such as billionaire Peter Thiel) whose wealth insulates them from the discrimination that the rest of us face, there is no way that someone who is LGBT can support the Republican Party or its candidates at any level of government, including the presidency. As Metro Weekly is reporting, some gay Republicans have seemingly "seen the light" - or pulled their heads out of their asses - and are flocking to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential contest.  Here are some article highlights:
With three months until Election Day, Joe Swartz, a 32-year-old gay conservative, is doing the unthinkable: Supporting Hillary Clinton for president.
“I’m part of an organization called Republicans for Hillary. And we have been lambasted significantly by many Republicans about what terrible turncoats we are, how much we need to change our affiliation, and ‘My God, Trump is not great, but the alternative is Hillary,'” says Swartz. “And I say, ‘Exactly. The alternative is Hillary.’
“Imagine how low the bar of your candidates has to be,” he continues, “that people who have been on your side for 10, 20 years, people who have gone out and volunteered for Republican campaigns, are now voting for Hillary Clinton, someone they naturally loathed, because she has a modicum of normalcy.”
It’s a dramatic turnaround from 2015, when Swartz was confident Republicans would take back the White House. “We were gearing up to the idea that this is the end of eight years of Democratic rule,” he says. “It was really ours to lose.”
But then Donald Trump started winning primaries, and everything changed. After Trump had cemented his victory, Clinton became the only viable option for Swartz.
Swartz could be written off as a disgruntled Republican who can’t accept the result of the primaries, but as Trump becomes the figurehead of the GOP, several prominent Republicans and fiscal conservatives have begun to distance themselves from the party. And that means weighing the possibility of supporting Clinton for the presidency.
On Monday, Sally Bradshaw, a top advisor to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and a lifelong Republican, announced she was officially switching her party affiliation to independent, and refusing to vote for Trump. Bradshaw told CNN in an email that, if the race was close in Florida, she would be casting her ballot for Clinton.
“But,” she added, “we are at a crossroads and have nominated a total narcissist — a misogynist — a bigot. This is a time when country has to take priority over political parties. Donald Trump cannot be elected president.”
On Tuesday, Congressman Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.) became the first Republican member of Congress to come out in support of Clinton’s candidacy. 
Jimmy LaSalvia, the former co-founder of the LGBT conservative group GOProud, is another Hillary convert. . . . Trump’s actions on the campaign trail and his vision for the GOP have forced LaSalvia to “shed his partisan loyalty” and leave the Republican Party. It’s made the unthinkable — voting for Hillary Clinton — a reality.
“Hillary Clinton has been the enemy my entire adult life,” he says. “I never thought I’d vote for a Clinton, but there’s just no choice here. And even for people who aren’t ready to admit they’re for Hillary, more and more people will start to consider her, even if they’d never considered voting Democrat before.”
Another Republican risking their political career is Yale Scott, a George W. Bush appointee who worked in the White House and the State Department. He’s as Republican as they come, something all but ensured by growing up in Oklahoma. But now, the 36-year-old is supporting Clinton, fundraising for her, and volunteering at campaign events.
“I definitely still align myself with a strong faith and being fiscally conservative, but this election is so important because Donald Trump is dangerous for our country,” says Scott. “I feel like he’s a loose cannon. 

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