Single-issue voting

Gun-rights supporters get accused of being single-issue voters, and there’s some truth to this claim.  How a candidate views my ownership and carry of firearms tells me a lot about that candidate’s positions on rights and on the nature of human beings.  Are we merely the property of the state, or do we properly have individual autonomy?  Must we all be watched constantly and seek permission for the choices we make, or is such scrutiny better applied to government?  A candidate’s answers to questions about gun rights are indicative of the person’s attitudes and intentions generally.

With this in mind, we see what Mike Weisser, the so-called gun guy of The Huffington Post, is looking for in a politician.  As his article, “Clinton Should Use Her VP Pick to Put Gun Violence Front and Center,” makes clear, he’d like to see “a national plebiscite that will really test, once and for all, the alleged American love affair with guns.”  And he has a person in mind to be Clinton’s running mate, someone who would “dramatically overwhelm any Trump-ish attempt to further exploit NRA-engendered fears about the loss of Second-Amendment ‘rights.’”

Who is this paragon of anti-gun virtue?  Shannon Watts.

Yes, that’s what he wrote.  He suggests that Clinton should set aside the usual considerations of balancing the ticket by bringing in someone from a different part of the country or someone who offers skills and experiences the presidential candidate lacks.  In his view, her position on gun control gave a boost to her campaign against Bernie Sanders, considering the Vermont senator’s divergence from typical Democratic thinking on the subject.  And Weisser seems to think that a general election focus on guns would appeal to what he believes are a majority of Americans who want greater restrictions.

Weisser cites Donald Trump’s proposals regarding the Second Amendment as implied evidence of racism, labeling Trump’s statement a “white paper”—the italics are Weisser’s.  This is simple sneering, given that a white paper is something used to “argue a specific position or propose a solution to a problem, addressing the audience outside of [an] organization.”  And while Trump may not be the best candidate when it comes to gun rights, his position statement on them as given on his campaign website is an article I could have written myself.

What Weisser fails to acknowledge is that Clinton already has problems with authenticity.  Even her supporters admit that she fails to connect with many voters.  He claims that Watts has “experience, crowd appeal and media savvy,” leaving me to wonder if he’s joking.  Watts has spent her career in public relations, shaping an image for companies like Monsanto and WellPoint.  It would take skills to defend those corporations, considering, for example, the fact that the latter has been a leader in denying coverage to applicants for medical insurance.

Perhaps the likely nominee of the Democratic Party should think twice before choosing a running mate who has a history with what many of her supporters regard as Frankenfood and evil insurance.  Or not.  If the party wishes to go down to defeat, running a blatantly obvious attack not only against gun rights but against even the illusion of authentic candidates is a sure way to achieve that goal.

The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the position of

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