Not Letting Division Define the Discourse
I’ve been in communication with Rhode Island Log Cabin Republicans Chairman Raymond Beltran since his emergence at a recent Rhode Island Voter Coalition meeting, and expect to work with him as the local political machinery moves forward. It’s important, though, to counter the liberal and mainstream media tendency to sow division where there is none — or no more than exists in any heterogeneous group. Says Beltran, in this week’s Political Scene:
“The perception of the GOP being bigoted and narrow-minded — at least in Rhode Island — is hopefully coming to a close,” Beltran said. “We’re a very different breed in Rhode Island in many ways. We have one of the most forward-thinking Republican parties in the country.”
The tricky word, here, is “perception.” The perception should change, is changing, but the baseline for the markers of bigotry should not adjust along with them. Party Chairman Gio Cicione also swings close to this edge:
Cicione, meanwhile, acknowledged that “there are factions of every party that are intolerant,” but that he was glad to have the Log Cabins on board.
“I can’t imagine there are any significant numbers there,” he said of the critics.
Again, we have to be clear about the boundaries of “intolerance.” I’m glad to have Beltran and the Log Cabin Republicans stepping forrward as a visible component of the Republican Party — emphasizing, of course, that I’m more of an ideological conservative than a partisan Republican — and I expect them to advocate for whatever positions they determine to define their mission. No doubt traditionalists like me will work with them in some cases and spar with them in others. And at no point will bigotry and intolerance be a factor.