S.J. Schwaidelson is a Minnesota writer who blogs at The Wifely Person Speaks.
I just watched the most terrifying video clip I've ever seen. It wasn't from "Alien" or some Gothic vampire flick. It was a radio talk show host delivering his message to his loyal listeners. It wasn't just the topic that was scary; it was something he said in the middle of his screed.
The speaker was Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association in his May 1 broadcast, talking about the resignation of Richard Grenell, a senior adviser to the Romney campaign who happens to be an openly gay man. Now, no matter how you feel about homosexuality, you should be disturbed by what Bryan Fischer said about Mitt Romney. Below is a quote taken from the video, and the video itself:
"Mitt Romney has been forced to say, 'Look, I overstepped my bounds here. I went outside the parameters here. I went off the reservation with this hire. The pro-family community has called me back to the table here. Called me back inside the borders of the reservation'....I [Fischer] can flat out guarantee you he is not going to make this mistake again."
Excuse me? Did I hear that right?
We the people — who, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity — were just told by some guy that his organization controls a major party candidate for president of the United States.
Now, I'm sure Romney will say otherwise, but the damage is done. This radio guy just told America that his organization, small as it is, is so powerful that presidents will bow to its will, and that we should all fall in behind him.
Is the Republican Party pandering to the ultra-right wing lobby, and at what cost?
So here's the question that needs to be asked: If Fischer and his constituency have this much power, and if Mitt Romney is elected, what comes next? Are homosexuals to be denied employment in fields other than the Romney campaign? Will they be allowed to own businesses, and live where they want?
We the people do not have the luxury of standing idly by while this kind of rhetoric is making it onto the airwaves. We the people need to stand up for the rights of all American citizens. If you don't approve of the Vatican, don't be a Catholic. If you don't approve of abortion, don't get one. If you don't approve of homosexuals, don't be one. Regardless of opinion, we the people have all the same rights as every other citizen of the United States regardless of race, creed or sexual orientation.
It's unimportant whether Fischer is telling the truth. He thinks he is, and probably a whole lot of other people think he is too. And this can spread. Fast. Unless we the people stand up against bigotry of all kinds, there will be no one left to speak when they come for the rest of us.