I was so busy congratulating ourselves and the world on Obama's stunning victory that I passed over the one thing that thoroughly pissed me off: the passage of California's Proposition 8. Speaking of the undeserved power of a mean-spirited and now demonstrably diminished minority in this country, could there be clearer evidence that it still exists? What a blemish on the name of our otherwise moderately liberal -- and fair-minded state, that we have allowed this hate-based measure to pass.
I expressed my anger about this to a gay friend at the gym, and he spoke glumly of the gay community as being "the most hated minority in America today." I actually find that hard to believe any more. Especially amongst the younger generation, such things as race and sexual orientation seem to have little interest or influence on the way they think or live their lives. My sense of this particular abomination -- as Ellie rightly calls it -- is that it was promoted and skillfully managed as a political issue by a very small minority of bigots, many of them Mormons, I've been led to believe.
Another friend -- not gay -- responded to my previous post about Prop. 8, before the election, begging fellow-Californians to join me in rejecting the initiative. "I vote 'no' to all Propositions, being a firm believer in representative vs. popular democracy," he wrote me, "and will continue to do so until presented with a proposition to end government by proposition, at which time I will happily vote 'yes'!" Nicely put. I came to much the same conclusion myself at the time of the passage of Proposition 13, the first public manifestation of what came to be called the "taxpayer revolt" that propelled Ronald Reagan into office and started the anti-tax landslide that continues to bury the possibility for responsible government until this day.
I trust that our Obama will lead us toward that "kinder, gentler" country promised by the first Bush, and that he will re-introduce a sense of responsibility and accountability not only to our society but to the government that is supposed to represent it.