I promise not to start posting a bunch of jeremiads from the national press, but the one excerpted below contains information about how the network of queer-fear-whispering may have worked to Bush's advantage in this election. We certainly know that this sort of queer-baiting went on in Watauga County.
From Rick Perlstein's column in yesterday's Village Voice:
...Minister James Dobson, the radio preacher and the mover and the shaker behind the outfit called "Focus on the Family" .... has devoted his recent broadcasts to the proposition that a certain bill Senator Edward M. Kennedy wishes to pass, with the intention of providing federal penalties to thugs who beat up people for reasons of sexual orientation, is actually an opening wedge to anti-Christian pogroms. Dobson and his cohorts have been railing that is not just a step but a giant leap down the same slippery slope that found a Swedish minister named Ake Green sentenced to prison for preaching against homosexuality from his pulpit.
Here's a version of that line, from the Maryland Family Values Alliance, which claims -- and the claim is typical in evangelical circles -- that passage of Senator Kennedy's bill "would literally throw open the door to attacks against people of faith, who could be prosecuted with federal monies for expressing their views on homosexuality!"
Or Google a text entitled "The Freedoms Christians Might Lose in This Election," by Dr. John Ankerberg. It is one of a nearly limitless train of sermons that tie a vote for John Kerry, the bill from Ted Kennedy, and the fate of Ake Green into a single, smoldering, horrifying knot.
Now go to senate.gov, type in S. 966 after clicking the tab reading "Legislation and Records," and read Kennedy's bill. Read it forward, backwards, sideways, inside out, and see for yourself that it says nothing of the kind.
Think about the fact that George Bush has relied on the diffusion of lies like this in order to win his majority [Tues. night]; that he couldn't win without the widespread diffusion of such lies....