How Big the ‘Big Tent’?

Julaine Appling

2021 | Week of November 15 | Radio Transcript #1438

For years, some in the Republican party leadership have been talking about expanding “the tent.” They want a “big tent”—a tent that is open to all kinds of diverse opinions, which they hope would mean more votes for their candidates. One of the groups some have been trying to get solidly into this “big tent” is the Log Cabin Republicans, LGBTQ+ activists who are also fiscal and limited-government conservatives.

Seemingly with each passing election cycle, this group has gained ground. In fact, in August 2020, President Trump appointed self-identified homosexual Richard Grenell as Ambassador to Germany. In response, Grenell issued a public statement saying Trump “is the most pro-gay president in American history.” Trump then tweeted that it was his “great honor” to have that said about him. The Log Cabin Republicans were all over both Grenell’s statement and Trump’s response.

Now with the 2022 midterm elections less than a year away, the Republicans are again looking for votes. Earlier this month, Ronna McDaniel, Chair of the Republican National Committee or RNC, announced that the RNC is launching an LGBT Pride Coalition, and frankly, this action has stunned many committed conservatives.

One of our national partners, Family Research Council, issued an excellent response to this move by the RNC leadership. I can’t say it any better than Tony Perkins, president of FRC, said in an email: ”Many Republican voters who have been working to stop the transgender agenda in public schools are shocked. Just this month, in two separate states, girls have been sexually assaulted in their own school bathrooms. This has been enabled by the Left’s gender extremism, to which the RNC is now giving tacit approval. In other places, like Fairfax County, Virginia, moms and dads are trying to remove LGBT pornography from school library shelves and transgender-affirming sex ed out of the classroom. Most Americans are not sitting at home thinking of ways to partner with a movement that is trying to destroy girls’ sports, children’s privacy, religious freedom, and free speech.

“A good number of people, myself included, have no problem if individuals who identify as gay or lesbian want to join the Republican Party. The objection is when RNC leaders hang a flashing neon sign over the entrance saying, ‘We support the LGBT cause,’ because we don’t. The GOP platform made that abundantly clear in 2016 and again in 2020. And while prominent Republicans who live that lifestyle are saying they are not going to make sexual orientation the be-all, end-all, center of everything they do, then what exactly is the point of this coalition and PR campaign? Certainly not to endear the RNC to parents, the GOP’s greatest new ally, or longtime conservatives who’ve been fighting for decades to keep this extremism at bay.

“Recent polling by Harvard-Harris shows that by a 62-38 percent margin, Americans don’t think people should be able to choose their own sexes and pronouns and 72 percent of Americans (including 62 percent of Democrats) believe that there are just two sexes.

“At the end of the day, the Republican Party should welcome everyone who supports its policies, but not build a ‘big tent’ at the expense of core values. Principles like religious freedom and the scientific reality of biology are non-negotiable. Such a decision will alienate a huge number of the party’s voters. In fact, the results of the recent elections in Virginia proved that candidates who stand up for these principles will win.”

Tony Perkins is speaking for hundreds of thousands of American voters in his well-crafted response to this latest move by what appears to be a truly clueless RNC. Making this issue even more problematic is that coordinated with this GOP LGBT Pride Coalition was the Log Cabin Republicans’ recent annual gala held at Trump’s Florida resort, Mar-a-Largo Club, where they gave a special award to Melania Trump.

The Republican party is inching ever closer to giving full affirmation and acceptance—and maybe even championing—of the LGBTQ+ agenda. I don’t know of any Wisconsin GOP leaders who have spoken out against this latest news. I guess the real question is whether the GOP tent will be big enough for those who oppose all this and understand the LGBTQ+ agenda is flat-out dangerous for our children and our society.

This is Julaine Appling for Wisconsin Family Council reminding you the prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”

Julaine Appling has taught on the junior high, high school, and college levels, and for five years was the administrator of a private school. In 1998 she was asked to become the Executive Director of Wisconsin Family Council, where her mission is to advance Judeo-Christian principles and values in Wisconsin by strengthening, preserving, and promoting marriage, family, life and liberty. In addition to regularly being interviewed for Wisconsin television, radio, and newspapers, she is the host of "Wisconsin Family Connection," aired weekly on almost 50 radio stations in Wisconsin including the VCY America radio network.

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