Sunday, March 11, 2012
Who’s Pushing Amendment 1 in Watauga County?
Watauga County political activist Deborah Greene annouced Thursday on the Watauga Conservative blog that she is heading up the get-out-the-vote effort to pass Amendment 1 on the May 8th primary election ballot. Since she is herself also on that primary ballot, running as a Tea Party independent for the Watauga County School Board, she will also, as a happy coincidence, be promoting herself to the same voters who are terrified of gay people and who think extending civil rights to them would mean the end of Christian civilization, such as it is. She ended her announcement on Watauga Conservative with these words: “In His Service.”
Deborah Greene emerged on the political scene in Watauga County in a big way back in 2001-2002. She was a registered Republican then, and she organized effectively against the big issue of that day, land-use planning (“zoning”) to control the location of polluting industries such as asphalt plants. She quickly established herself as the best political strategist and operative that the local Republicans had, and she managed to destroy the careers of two incumbent women on the Watauga County Commission.
Her battle cry at the time was individual liberty, the freedom of the “little guy” against big government, and her alleged libertarian instincts subsequently fueled her split with the local Republican Party. She has made it known that after she wins a seat on the school board this November, she intends to use it as a stepping stone to running against incumbent Watauga County Commission Chair (Republican) Nathan Miller in 2012. As a one-woman wrecking crew, her talents are manifest. She is a genius of destruction.
All of which makes her embrace of Amendment 1 -- “In His Service” -- an opportunistic, fundamentally dishonest, and manipulative political move, done under cover of piety. It’s lower than we’ve personally seen Deborah Greene stoop before. Amendment 1 will take away rights from heterosexual people who choose not to get married but who nevertheless have children, property, and emotional bonds in common. It will also, of course, deny human and civil rights to gay couples who want to enter into legal unions under the law. Above everything else, it’s an occasion for the majority to vote on the rights of a minority, a vote that violates the due process clause of the 14th Amendment.
It’s the “gay part” of Amendment 1, naturally, that Ms. Greene counts on to fuel her ascension into public office on the school board. She is a master of exploiting fear, of conjuring dark conspiracies, of demonizing one group of citizens to stroke the egos of another group of citizens who know considerably less than she does. She did it with the anti-zoning hysteria in 2002, promoting every wild-ass rumor about farmers being prevented from working on their tractors in their yards. She ginned up those rumors and poured them into the ears of “low-information voters” who believed it all because it scratched their personal itch to hate, fear, and resent uppity “outsiders.”
In other words, Amendment 1 is absolutely ripe for Deborah Greene’s picking. Which does not make her a hero of individual rights, a consistent libertarian, nor an admirable human being. I, who have at times acknowledged her political skills (if not her ability to write clear expository prose), am ashamed of her. Her craven exploitation of “queer fear” does not qualify her for any elective office.
“In His Service”? No, in service of her own political ambitions and the feathering of her own nest.