Perry's Ad Killed Gay Baiting

Rick Perry's “Strong” campaign ad may have killed his campaign, already on the ropes after repeated gaffes. But it may have also ended the use of antigay rhetoric for political gain, says Joshua Green. The ad, in which the candidate complains that gays can serve openly in the military, earned a whopping 650,000 “dislikes” mere days after its debut. Compare this to 2004, when Karl Rove used state ballot initiatives on gay marriage to get out the vote among social conservatives. Since then there has been a cultural shift toward the acceptance of gays and lesbians, and Perry misjudged it at his own peril. “In the process of killing off his own campaign, Perry may have brought an end to the use of explicitly anti-gay rhetoric as a political tactic, at least for any candidate with national ambitions,” writes Green.