Could the overwhelming negative reaction to Perry’s anti-gay rhetoric mark an end to its use as a political tactic?
Joshua Green writes in an op-ed in The Boston Globe:
The ad, entitled “Strong,’’ features Perry looking straight to camera and declaring, “You don’t need to be in the pew every Sunday to know that there’s something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military, but our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school.’’
This put him back in the headlines, but not in the way he intended. The response was swift and dramatic. On YouTube, where political ads are judged and debated, sentiment was startlingly negative: People hated the ad, and in record numbers. In just a few days, “Strong’’ registered 6 million views and more than 650,000 “dislikes’’ – four times the number prompted by the latest Justin Bieber video. A YouTube spokesman told the website Talking Points Memo that the ad was the “most viewed video in America.’’
Obviously, this is bad news for Perry. But it could be a blessing in disguise for the legions outraged by his remarks. 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.