By Nick Stone
I’ll admit it. I’m one lucky bastard. Because of my active role in our local and statewide Republican Party, I was fortunate enough to be selected to be an alternate delegate to the Republican Convention in Tampa next week. I could easily have a say in the future of our party, and—if we win—the future of our country. But whether or not I’m selected to vote, I’ll be there on the inside.
I’ll be talking with the deciders. I’ve been given a voice. One of the things I look forward to most while I’m in Tampa is the opportunity to meet Paul Ryan.
Ryan’s entry into the race inspires both excitement and fear in the gay people I talk to, mostly because he is an unknown quantity (except to us political nerds).
People wonder aloud, Will he take our kids away? Will we ever get the right to marry? Is my Medicare saved or destroyed by his budget plan? Can he really cut the deficit without killing the economy? These questions deserve answers, which history suggests we will see at the convention.
When I see Romney/Ryan in Tampa, I’ll be wearing a rainbow elephant, both figuratively and literally. I’ll stand with the growing number of pro-equality Republican officeholders and candidates, and if given a moment with the candidates, I will remind them of our growing number, in the GOP and across America. Will I single-handedly move the dial on equality?
Who knows? But I know I’m doing more good on the inside than I would by hollering and rioting from the outside. There is little doubt that recent pandering to the LGBT and Latino communities has assured President Obama a support among minorities that once looked shaky.
My gay friends are happily misadvised that “pandering” equals “policy,” and I often tease them to go and rent a chapel, and send me an invitation to their Obama approved weddings. Do you suppose those invitations all got lost in the mail?
Maybe they realize the truth: President Obama’s positions are hollow. His progress on gay issues is only due to a bipartisan will to move forward, or at least move on. Single-issue LGBT voters are being taken for a ride on the U.S.S. Barack, but it is a sinking ship. President Obama’s anti-coattails will sweep in a Republican House, and Senate to boot. Fortunately, Mitt Romney is probably the most pro gay Republican presidential nominee— in record, if not always in rhetoric—that America has ever seen. There is no need for gays to fret the coming change in the White House.
When I meet Paul Ryan in Tampa, I’ll be standing with a champion for our party and our country. This young, gay, conservative, pro-equality Republican is ecstatic about the Romney/Ryan ticket, and I will be proud to cast my votes in favor of America’s Comeback Team, both at the convention and at the ballot box.
Mitt Romney will make a great president, and he—and we—will be well served with Paul Ryan at his side.
Nick Stone is Vice President of the Broward County Young Republicans, the former Vice President of Sunshine Republicans GOProud and campaign manager for Scott R. Herman for State Representative, District 94.