This blogger listened with piqued interest this morning as the British Broadcasting Corporation talked with two Republican analysists about the late Rev. Jerry Falwell’s legacy. The Thomas Road Baptist Church founder’s homophobia and outrageous statements against lesbians, gays and anyone else who opposed his divisive agenda were widely known. But his role within the Republican Party during the 1980s and early 1990s was equally as important.
The panelists were correct to note the war in Iraq remains the dominant issue in the current election cycle. They are also correct to note the growing discontent among social conservatives about the current Republican Presidential candidates. Log Cabin Republican Executive Director Patrick Sammon told this blogger in an interview last month the GOP must focus on issues which unite Americans if the party hopes to maintain the White House next November. Voter discontent with the war remains high. It seems likely this sentiment will continue — or even increase — as the situation in Iraq continues to evolve in the months leading up to the first caucuses and primaries. Marriage and other social issues remain important to many social conservatives and their LGBT counterparts. The current geopolitical realities will almost certainly diminish the impact the anti-LGBT rhetoric Falwell and others used so well in previous elections. Hopefully this trend will become permanent.