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The Republican Party is bent on promoting Carl DeMaio “as its big, gay proof that Republicans are evolving on social issues,” VOSD managing editor Sara Libby wrote last week when she described DeMaio as “uniquely evasive” on social issues.

But in the comments, Olin Hyde argues DeMaio’s strategy in the 52nd District race is sound:

I’m not a DeMaio fan-boy. Rather, I find myself surprised to come to his defense.

It is absurd to criticize Carl DeMaio on his silence on social issues. Rather, it reflects that he has carefully considered the implications of what he says now — before he reaches a national audience. If only all politicians were so thoughtful. DeMaio is running on a platform of fiscal responsibility. Attacking his silence on social issues is the only angle U.S. Rep Scott Peters can take given Peter’s culpability creating San Diego’s pension disaster while on city council.

I was a registered Democrat and have recently become an independent. I find both parties more ideological than practical; more interested in self-preservation than public service. The reality is that both parties are fiscally irresponsible and want to expand the role of government — only in different directions. They are not equivalent. Republicans want to socialize women’s bodies and create a Hobbesian, Christian theocracy driven by corporate interests under the false banner of “free market capitalism.” Democrats simply want to please everyone by creating unsupportable government programs to solve every imaginable problem while concurrently diminishing anyone’s responsibility for anything. They both agree to spend more than we can afford and do as little as possible to address the real threats to our republic: runaway spending, corruption by special interests and failure to lead.

Carl DeMaio invited me to his house for brunch a few months ago. He did this knowing that I was a strong supporter of Nathan Fletcher in the mayoral campaign and a founding board member of the progressive nonprofit New Leaders Council of San Diego. I was impressed that Carl reached out to an unknown person who was less likely a friend and more likely a political foe.

Carl told me that he believes the two political party system is dysfunctional, yet remains a practical necessity. The strength of both parties is reflected by the absence of elected independents or third-party candidates. In San Diego County, Republicans are a third party behind Democrats and Independents.

There were only about 20 so people at this brunch. Two types were present: half looked like stereotypes from Central Casting of Fox News junkies. They represented the impending death of the Republican Party: old, white people who complained about immigrants and fraudulent elections while occasionally promoting ill-conceived opinions that were completely divorced from facts.

The other half of the audience were far more interesting: young, smart Republicans. They represented the only possible future for the party: promoting fiscal responsible governance (sic smaller government), pro-small business (sic anti-corporate protectionism) while showing no interest in their elders’ diatribes on the three G’s (that alienate voters like me) — guns, God and gays. I found myself talking to City Councilman Scott Sherman for more than 30 minutes before I knew he was an elected official. He didn’t mention anything negative about Democrats or positive about conservative ideologies. Rather, we spoke about the harsh realities of starting and growing small businesses. Something that DeMaio also did prior to going into politics.

The latter groups are DeMaio’s people — younger, more small-business oriented people who don’t care about the color of skin or the sexual and religious preferences of a candidate. The former group of angry old people are nothing more (or less) than political necessities for raising money. Money DeMaio needs to defeat Spendthrift Scott Peters; a man who’s only “real world experience” prior to government service was lawyering for big corporations.

So it is not so ironic that Democrats will attack Carl’s silence on sexuality and social issues. Thinking these issues matters to Democrats misses the point: The only thing any political party cares about is getting elected. This depends first on raising money, second on ideological hype and thirdly on maintaining group discipline.

As an independent, Carl’s silence is actually attractive to me: It reflects he’s more interested in substantive issues, like reducing government spending, than he is on engaging in symbolic politics.

Hyde’s comment has been lightly edited for style, grammar and clarity. See anything in there we should fact check? Tell us what to check out here.

Dagny Salas

Dagny Salas was web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

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