Last week before my computer woes, I had sketched out some notes for a post on Jay Bennish, that left-wing geography teacher who went wild in the Rocky Mountain State. I was going to note that he attacks the President like many social conservatives attack gays, not based on the president’s actual record (or rhetoric given this teacher’s comments) but on what he believes his rhetoric to be. Just as social conservatives who bash gays rarely quote the actual statements of the gays they love to loath. And have defined our lives by their own twisted image of what they call our “lifestyle.”
In his comments comparing the president to Hitler, Bennish never actually quotes the man he compares to the bloodthirsty and charismatic psychopath. To be sure from time to time, anti-gay social conservatives (unlike Bennish) do manage to quote from statements of certain “homosexuals,” but they almost always refer to the most extreme “sexual liberationists” or whatnot, sort of like someone quoting from Madonna’s book on sex to define heterosexual love in America.
As time passed and I thought of Bennish’s remarks, it occurred to me how obsessed this man is with the president. He may claim that he had hoped to make such a bold statement in order to promote discussion, but I wonder why a geography teacher would bring up a subject more suited for a Political Science or Current Events class. I’m not sure how comparing Bush to Hitler can help students distinguish between an estuary and a tributary — or even between the topography of those two very different men’s homelands.
Mr. Bennish is not the only Bush-hater to bring up the president in a discussion of something unrelated to politics or world affairs.
A few months ago, I was chatting with an acquaintance at the gym. He mentioned that he was looking for a new car; I asked him what kind. He was leaning toward an SUV. Before I could comment on his preference, he (not knowing my politics) said, “But I’m not a Bush supporter.” I wondered why buying an SUV would indicate support for the president (especially given that if an SUV in this area is sporting a bumper sticker from the ’04 campaign, it’s all but certain to be a Kerry-Edwards one).
I’m sure y’all can come up with other examples of Bush-haters bringing up the president’s nasty nature and malign motives when it seems (to the level-headed individual) irrelevant to the conversation at hand.
What is it, I wonder that makes this people so obsessed with Bush that they will bring him up in a geography class — or in the discussion of buying a new car?
These people are, in many ways, just like gay-baiting social conservatives. They’re as obsessed with us as Jay Bennish and Michael Moore are with President Bush. They’ll bring up “homosexuals” at the drop of the hat. I recall how at one GOP gathering in Northern Virginia in 1998, upon learning of my support for Henriette Warfield, then the chair of the Arlington County GOP, a woman faulted Henriette for promoting the “homosexual agenda.” This woman didn’t know I was gay (I came out only after she attacked Henriette) and was only aware that that great chairwoman had welcomed the Log Cabin Republican Club of Northern Virginia into the local party. (She could point to any policy stand Ms. Warfield had taken on gay issues.) What struck me about this woman was that of all the issues to fault Henriette, she chose the “homosexual” one.
You’ve got to wonder about those people who dwell constantly on their hatred for an individual or group, especially when that individual (or group) is not relevant to the conversation at hand — or the class they’re teaching.
-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com