Friday, October 15, 2004

The Mary Cheney Flap

A lot has been said over the last couple of days regarding the mentioning of Mary Cheney by John Kerry in the last debate. Lynn Cheney decries this as in invasion of privacy and an un-fair use of her daughter's sexuality. The more I think about this, the more I actually become mad at Mama and Papa Cheney and the more sorry I feel for Mary.

First, I will comment on the issue of bringing in a family members personal life into politics. Both parties are very hypocritical regarding this. Both Mr. Bush and Mr. Kerry will use the personal lives of average Americans for political gains. How many times have you heard a politician say something along the lines of, "and as I was visiting Topeka last week, I met a woman named Judy Salinger. Judy lost her job at the widget factory 6 months ago and now has no health care. Judy tells me that she has been reduced to eating canned dog food and making home made insulin out of discarded cow pancreases." These politicians use and abuse our pain, our suffering, and our problems for political gain. If we are up for grabs, why are politicians families off limits? Why am I fair game, and their kids aren't? Why does it make a difference if a politician stands up there are says, "Jone Smith is a gay American who deserves respect," or "Mary Cheney is a gay American who deserves respect." Is Joan somehow less of a person because she is not the child of a candidate. Either everyone is fair game, or leave us all out. Don't try to have it both ways.

Secondly, why is Lynn Cheney so upset about the issue? Kerry did not attack Mary. He did not call her names. In fact, he did the very opposite. Kerry talked about her as a human being, and how she deserves the same respect and rights that every other American is afforded. It is the Republican party that paints homosexuals as the freaks and less than human. It is the Republicans who invade our bedrooms to legislate morality. Lynn should be thanking Kerry for talking about the issue in terms of acceptance and tolerance, not hate and sin. She should be happy that at least some Americans accept her for who she is and doesn't question the "why."

Third, I feel sorry for Mary. To me, it must be very hard for her to feel truly accepted in her family. I think Mary's mother still has a fundamental shame about her daughters sexuality and her Father's boss wants to change the constitution in order to deny her the rights she should be entitled to. Her father is one of the most powerful people in the party that openly hates homosexuals. Mary was not even allowed up on stage at the Republican National Convention as her father accepted the nomination for VP. When have you even not seen the children of a nominee on stage after their acceptance speech?

Fourth, Mary's sexuality is well known. She is openly gay, and her father has talked about her in his stump speeches. Mary has campaigned in the gay community. If she can be used my her father, than yes, she is "fair play." Not only that, but it is the Republicans who have made homosexuality such a big issue this year. They are the ones trying to divide the nation over gay marriage.

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