Eventually the process of electing the next president will begin 20 minutes after swearing in the latest one. A quick Oath of Office, Aretha Franklin sings a little something, and we hit the campaign trail again for the next four years.
America has become the most tragic slut at the bar: Once we give in and spend a night with the trick who’s been wooing us, we immediately begin looking for the next one. I truly thought 2008 was as bad as it would get: John McCain tossing aside all the ideals and beliefs that had once made him the most popular Republican among Democrats, the vitriolic attacks on Hillary Clinton, the implosion of John Edwards, and the herpes infection that was the Palin family. Barack Obama managed to jostle my waning enthusiasm, with a message of hope, change, and reconciliation.
But look at us now. I chose to help elect a president who does not support federal recognition of my marriage, but would let me fight in one of our ongoing wars, if I wanted to. I suppose that is progress, but it’s still pretty twisted if you think about it for too long.
And now I’m pissed because Obama is the presumptive Democratic nominee, and I’ll once again cast a vote for someone who believes I am less deserving of basic civil rights than my next door neighbor. This is particularly galling because my next door neighbor is batshit crazy.
President Obama tells me he thinks my marriage doesn’t exist, although his beliefs are evolving. You know what, Mr. President? That is bonkers.
I’ll tell you why it’s bonkers: I think he’s lying. I don’t think Barack Obama has any problem with gay marriage whatsoever. He didn’t back in 1996, and I sincerely doubt he was traumatized by a gay wedding in the years that followed. Unless he saw “Sex and the City 2.” We were all traumatized by that gay wedding, but I think the nightmare brought us all closer together. So if Obama was just fine with the gays getting hitched back in the ‘90s, why would his views devolve?
Because he wanted to be elected President.
Well, I have wonderful news for Barack Obama. He doesn’t have to pull that crap anymore. Look at who he’s up against in the 2012 election. Does he really think staying mum on gay marriage is going to sway votes away from Michele Bachmann? That bug-eyed hideous gorgon is proof of the banality and poor fashion sense of evil.
But she’s got one thing going for her that Obama doesn’t: We know exactly where we stand with her. Michele Bachmann believes we are suffering from a deep affliction — a chronic case of faggotry, which can only be cured through prayer and marrying Michele Bachmann. Her beliefs aren’t evolving because she doesn’t think evolution exists.
Anyone who supports that shrieking harpy will not be recruited to vote Democrat just because the nominee denounces marriage equality and waves his birth certificate. So the time has come for him to let them go, and show that he too has the strength of his own convictions.
President Obama promised he would usher in a new political era. He promised there would be unprecedented change. And now, he’s shuffling around the responsibility of doing his job because he’s too worried about keeping it.
Obama is guaranteed the Democratic nomination. His opponent, regardless of who they are, will be conservative to the point of being Puritanical. They will represent an ideology that is part of a dying breed. It scares them, and they’re going to fight hard to keep their position, which they’ll achieve by pushing others down.
This is the moment for a brave leader to stare into the eyes of that kind of intolerance and announce that all Americans deserve the freedom to build a family of their choosing and that you’re proud to represent all of them. I genuinely believe that’s how Barack Obama feels.
If he doesn’t say so, it’s an affront to me, to my family, and to every gay person who helped elect him. If Barack Obama ignores what is right and just for the sake of broadening his appeal, he’s worse than those who malign us.
They’re just ignorant and hateful. He knows better. He’s just choosing to be a coward.
Topher Payne is an Atlanta-based playwright, and the author of the book “Necessary Luxuries: Notes on a Semi-Fabulous Life.” Find out more at topherpayne.com.