As kids, when we were always asked "what do you want to be when you grow up?" I went through an assortment of answers that ranged from Organ Tuner (not like a doctor who works with organs. No no no. More like the piano thing that was at church), Cheerleader, Dolphin Trainer, Mad Scientist, etc (Lord only knows how I actually wound up graduating college, let alone come out with a job with aspirations like that...) Unlike my peers though, I never ever ever ever wanted to be the President.
While driving today an interesting commentary came on NPR about culture and Presidency. This all came about because of NPR's Question Of The Day which was about the Senate repealing 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'. Here is the quick break down of the issue: Each year, Congress approves a bill that spells out the national defense policy. But this year, the National Defense Authorization Act is being held up. Senate Republicans object to one provision -- the one that would allow the Pentagon to end the 17-year-old "don't ask, don't tell" policy. It keeps gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military.
I am not going to sit here and waste your time and tell you my thoughts on the issue, but instead what I will do is point out some cultural trends that have ensued with Presidents and gay marriage in the last 10 years. In the 90's, gay marriage was still very taboo subject matter, and around 1996 churches loved the matter because they knew that they would always win when it came to marriage. Politicians fell silent on the matter; but then again, that's what every one did. Being homosexual was an underground phenomena. In 1993 John McCain said that gay issue matters would go away in a couple of years, and that they weren't a big deal.
Mind you, politicians are out to win. Period. They will do and say whatever they need to in order to get elected and they effectively do this by adapting to the culture of the time. 10 years ago, gay people were a mystery to the masses; they were a fascinating group of outcasts. Now days with shows such as Will and Grace and icons like Ellen DeGeneres, homosexuals are a very common place part of society. I thank the media for this. And as much as I believe that our corporately owned media is corrupt and horrible, I will praise them for bringing gays to the mainstream.
Here is what I am getting at here (yes, this all has a point). In Washington, political leaders are not really in fact leaders at all. They are actually followers. They always follow the culture. They are just now catching up with the fact that gay issues are no longer that big of a deal. With that said, I foresee a more Partisan House and Senate in the years to come. American culture has shifted, and I hope to see that with time, Washington will recognize that gay matters are NOT fiscal issues, social issues, or really issues whatsoever.