Yeah, okay, I know enough Hoosiers to know the headline is true, but — and this is a big one — do they dislike Gov. Mike Pence enough to vote him out of office? Ay, there’s the rub.
JoDee Winterhof, HRC’s vice president of policy and public affairs, said in a statement: “Elected officials, and governors specifically, who experiment with these anti-LGBT bills that allow businesses to discriminate against LGBT people do so at their own peril.”
That’s a nice sentiment, Ms. Winterhof, but I’m not sure that boat holds water. HRC commissioned this study, so I’m at once dubious. (Sorry, just am; too many years in a newsroom not to be leary.) Secondly, it’s easy to take a poll in a non-election year and say you “do so at your own peril” when you are not a citizen of the state in question.
And neither am I. Anymore.
In the seven years I spent as a Hoosier, I spent six of them with the odious Pence as my Congressman. And I know this about Indiana politics: Hoosier voters are damn lazy. I saw it over and over and over again on the state and local level. They will vote in an incumbent every time — I even recall a local Indiana election where they voted in a councilman who was dying in a nursing home — and the default position in the voting booth is one of ardent conservatism because it seems less like rocking the boat than making a change does. It’s similar to the “Shy Tory” syndrome that we saw in Scotland after their recent election on leaving the United Kingdom.
I know a lot of decent, hard-working, socially-progressive, intelligent Hoosiers, but until they agitate their neighbors into making the change that is needed in their state — at the ballot box — you can scream “at your own peril” until the cows come home, but nothing in Indiana is going to change.
God, I hope I’m wrong.
(But, as a friend of mine so eloquently says, “Remember, I am Cassandra!”)