I find myself liking the idea of politicians like New York gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino, even though I don't care for people like New York gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino. Most politicians are so guarded about their actual opinions that the only basis one has as a voter to try to determine whether a candidate would represent him/her is a series of vague platitudes designed to avoid offending anyone. Ordinarily it takes a lot of digging by a candidate's opposition to find something that reveals the candidate's fundamental beliefs in a way that allows for gauging how well those beliefs match or differ from the voter's. Paladino has the gumption to come out on a major news interview and declare his disgust with homosexuality. He spells out how he found witnessing a gay pride parade to be "not right" when talking to an orthodox Jewish group while a camera obviously records the speech mere feet away.
Truly fascinating, especially from this coast.
Obviously, I don't live in New York so I won't have the opportunity to vote for any candidate on their ballot, but I can use his own words to make up my own mind about whether I would support him on Election Day.
I wouldn't, more than likely, because as is well documented I'm one of those wackjobs who does consider homosexual love to be as valid as heterosexual love, and thus at a core level Paladino would not represent that aspect of my beliefs. Or really any of my beliefs. However, in a way, I do respect that he didn't mask it or pretend to be something he's not. I get a definite scuzball vibe from him when I see him in interviews, and while I don't find that appealing as a person there is something refreshingly open about it as a voter.
I'm not saying that would make him a good governor. Probably not. Almost certainly not. Of course, there's really no way of knowing how good a candidate will actually be if elected and goes into office, but the greater the disparity between the public persona portrayed in the campaign and the private person who may be exposed when the candidate has become a politician makes it likelier that the voting public will be disappointed (or relieved, depending on the way an individual voted), so it seems like—at least on that score—he'd give the voters precisely what he appears to be.
If you are a gruff, gay-hating scuzball and you make no effort to camouflage that in the campaign, no one can later claim to be surprised when you prove to be that in office. It certainly seems a tactic that reduces the likelihood of getting in to office, but if you aren't duplicitous those of us who don't go for gruff and gay-hating may have to throw you a proverbial bone to reward that approximation of honesty if we ever hope to get more politicians reveal their true selves to us in the future. Preferably ones who aren't quite so reprehensible, but hey, baby steps. Perhaps we can cut a deal: We'll put up with your disgust of homosexuality and you agree to not pull any unconstitutional bullshit against them.
Yeah, like he'd follow that. We've already established the hateful scuzball image; following agreements would not fit with that. Oh well.
So, Mr. Paladino, I'll certainly concede you are under no obligation to like seeing buff guys in Speedos grind on each other in a pride parade; you merely need to accept that as American citizens they have the right to grind on that float, and you can find somewhere else to be at that time.
Bonus credit will be given if you admit that part of what bothers you is that you don't look good enough to wear that little in public.