Via Eugene Scott at the Washington Post:
The LGBT community has seen public opinion shift in recent years on a range of issues, including same-sex marriage and equal rights. A recent poll shows one more issue illustrative of this trend: Voters have become much more accepting of gay Americans seeking the highest office in the land.
There was a time when South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s sexuality — he is gay — would have made him unelectable in many parts of the country.
As recently as 2006, when Buttigieg was 24, most Americans said they would be “very uncomfortable” or have “reservations” about a gay person running for president.
That has changed dramatically.
According to a recent NBC-Wall Street Journal poll, nearly 70 percent of Americans said they would be either enthusiastic about or comfortable with a candidate who is gay or lesbian. To put that in perspective, 85 percent said they were enthusiastic about or comfortable with a female candidate.
That doesn’t mean that Mayor Pete is a shoo-in for the nomination or the White House, but at least it’s not a big deal that he’s gay.
And yes, it’s only a poll and when asked in the abstract, I’m pretty sure the respondents are pretty much shrugging it off; “yeah, sure, what the heck.” It won’t be until he’s actually in contention, as in the nominee, that the knives and the hatred will avail itself via the usual suspects.
The other consideration is that as a nation we’ve lowered the bar for acceptable traits for a president. If having a narcissistic racist sexual predator who dodged the draft five times, married three women and screwed around on all of them and still has an approval of over 80% of his party in the White House, how hard can it be for a successful mayor, veteran, and happily married man to win over the hearts and minds of a nation?
We may find out.