Monday, October 15, 2007

All Politics All the Time

I received my first taste of the political saturation which has transformed the mostly pastoral New Hampshire landscape during my trip to my home state over the weekend. A number of my parents' neighbors have John McCain signs outside their homes while a huge homemade sign outside the apple orchard where I bought apples on Saturday advertised Michelle Obama's upcoming visit. Her husband spoke to voters on a series of spots on Boston-based media markets during my stay in the South End. The primary remains more than two months away. But the political insanity has already begun in the Granite State.

LGBT issues remain at the bottom of most voters' list of key topics upon which they will base their endorsement. The Human Rights Campaign opened an office in Concord late last month in an attempt to solidify their influence on the candidates traversing through the state (New Hampshire's civil unions bill takes effect on Jan. 1). New Hampshire ranks among the most progressive states in the country but the primary, which remains an economic juggernaut for the state, remains staunchly first. Voters will almost certainly remain focused on the War, health care and the economy. Marriage (and LGBT issues in general) remain far behind despite what activists within the movement for LGBT rights may claim. Granite Staters are an independent lot who almost always view outsiders with a certain sense of skepticism (and even disdain). Activists within the movement for LGBT rights must prove themselves to New Hampshire voters if they are to be taken seriously. Anything less will result in certain failure at the expense of donors who support them and their organizations with their money.

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