JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

Social change

As the presidential election starts kicking in, I can’t help but think something: When was the last time the Republicans engineered positive social change?

I’m being serious. I’ve been politically aware for, oh, 25-30 years now. And, across the board, when it comes to the rights of minorities, the rights of women, the rights of gays, the GOP always—without exception—lags far behind. Please, someone, give me a modern example of the Republicans leading the way on positive social progress. Something? Anything?

To me, this matters—a lot. I know the GOP says government should stay out of our lives, but—of course—this is nonsense. The government influenced the voting rights of women, the voting rights of blacks. The government usually doesn’t spearhead a movement, but it does, justly, guide said movement toward fruition. So, again, when was the last time a Republican stood up and said, “Follow me toward positive change!”

As far as I can tell, the GOP is concerned, primarily, about one thing: Money.

Never spending money.

Never urging the wealthy to use money to help the less fortunate.

Never losing site that financial gain is the ultimate goal.

Mitt Romney perfectly exemplifies this. Socially, the man is a coward. He has no guts; sticks his finger in the wind to decide which way to go. Not all that long ago, he insisted he’d be a friend for the gays. Since those words left his lips—nothingness. Hell, when the audience at a GOP debate booed a gay soldier stationed in the Middle East, Romney—a presumed leader—said nothing. Not a thing.

This is about gay marriage, but it’s not about gay marriage. It’s about courage and leadership and righteousness.

And the lack thereof.