04/12/10-by Bridgette P. LaVictoire
A gay Republican President? What will the Tea Party say? Californians Against Hate activist Fred Karger is considering a run for the Presidency in 2012. He made the announcement at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference (SRLC) which was held in New Orleans last week.
Karger issued this statement:
“I am strongly considering becoming a candidate for President of the United States in 2012.
I would be an unconventional candidate, and if I run, I will wage an unconventional campaign.
I want to help determine the direction of this country, and in the process, work to redefine the Republican Party.
My thirty-five years of experience as a fighter in politics places me in a unique position to run. I have worked on nine Presidential campaigns; this would be my tenth. I have managed dozens of other campaigns all over the country, and would bring that wealth of experience to my own candidacy.
I would build a credible campaign, and would strive to engage and register new and younger voters. My campaign would be highly strategic and utilize the latest digital media technology to attract volunteers and raise the necessary funds. I would likely be the only true outsider running in either party.
I would be the first openly gay candidate to seek the nomination of a major political party as its Presidential candidate. I would discuss issues important to the gay and lesbian community such as: ending Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, pass the federal Employment Anti-Discrimination law, eliminate the federal Defense of Marriage Act, make Gay Marriage the law of the land and make finding a cure for HIV / AIDS and a vaccine to prevent HIV a new national priority.
Shirley Chisholm captivated the nation when she ran for President as this country’s first serious black and female candidate in 1972. Her campaign paved the way for Jesse Jackson’s Presidential campaigns in 1984 and 1988, and the election of Barack Obama as our 44th President in 2008.
Our nation is facing tremendous challenges right now. I pledge to put new effective leadership in place to end our nation’s economic crisis. I will work tirelessly to bring back the spirit in every man, woman and child to help remake America the land of opportunity and equality for all.”
Now, in all fairness, if Karger were to be elected President, he would be the first openly gay President; however, there is a certain amount of evidence that our first gay President was James Buchannan.
Of course, Karger is discussing running for President at a time when the base of the Republican Party is largely dominated by the Tea Party movement. This is a movement that, according to the latest data, only 38% of Tea Party supporters favor having laws which prevent employment discrimination for gays and lesbians, only 36% favor allowing gays and lesbians to adopt, and only 17% favor allowing gays and lesbians to get full marriage rights. The only place where they supported the LGBT Community with a majority was regarding military service.
Should Karger decide to run for President, it is not likely that he would win. Indeed, given the current political climate among the Republican Party, it seems hard to imagine him winning more than a small number of votes.