On the issues: Rep. Ken Calvert and Will Rollins on Jan. 6, LGBTQ rights and polarization.
When we say politics is a two-sided struggle, we mean it. The forces that we’re describing as opposing sides are almost always not the same people. The vast majority of Americans are not Democrats or Republicans. They aren’t progressives or conservatives. They are more like you or me.
Our political identity is usually a function of our ideology, our religious beliefs and our family of origin.
But for some people, identity is much more closely tied to sexual orientation. For others, identity is tied to race or ethnicity. For many, identity is tied to their gender identity. And for many, identity is a function of their sexual identity.
And yet, somehow, we can all agree on one thing: On a number of important issues and issues of vital importance to the nation, we as a nation have a common ground. More, in fact, than we’d like to admit. This common ground is tied to sexual orientation. This common ground is tied to race. And this common ground is tied to gender identity.
That’s right. It could be argued that the issues we face as a nation involve as much of a fight—a “two-sided” struggle—as the issues that divide us.
On issues like marriage equality or transgender rights, on issues like hate crimes, on issues like transgender bathroom access issues, we all agree: We’re fighting to protect people’s civil rights. If we don’t protect those rights, we don’t have a constitutional right to do so. This is so basic to America, and to our politics, that most of us fail to see it. We have to work to see it, and we have to work to act on it. And we have to fight to win it.
It’s not so difficult to see when we see the results of our actions. And when we see the results when we do act—in this case, we see the effects of Republican policies on LGBTQ people and on LGBT people—we’ll find that we are in agreement on important issues.
On issues like marriage equality and transgender rights, we see the Republican Party protecting the rights of an oppressed