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Conservative Notion of Gay Rights Essentially Nonpolitical

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 4:45 pm - May 11, 2008.
Filed under: Conservative Ideas,Freedom,Gay America,Gay Politics

In his essay “The Hubris of Politics,” (which I discovered to my delight in his new book The Politics of Freedom: Taking on the Left, the Right, and Threats to Our Liberties), my friend David Boaz talks about the problem of a Sunday paper asking students to write to a Cabinet member to address a pressing social problem:

. . . the real mistake here is thinking that all problems have a political solution. In fact, most of the social problems that people have faced throughout history have been ameliorated or solved through the voluntary workings of civil society and the market process. We didn’t relieve ourselves of the burden of backbreaking labor, or bring the world closer together through a series of transportation revolutions, by passing laws; we worked, saved, invested, and created economic progress.

in noting how the “voluntary workings of civil society and the market process” have helped ameliorate social problems, David offers (though I’m sure he’d disagree with the adjective I use) a good synopsis of a conservative approach to “gay rights” (which Bruce and I have blogged about).

While gay activists have been wrangling whether to include transgender individuals in the Employmen Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA), a growing number of corporations has been adopting nondiscrimination policies and offering benefits to same-sex domestic partners of their employees. With discrimination against gay people on the wane in the private sector, such legislation is becoming a solution without a problem.

As David might put it, the market process has ameliorated whatever problem there was. With gay people becoming increasingly visible in contemporary society, corporations understand that is makes good business sense to treat us fairly. Some might say that this is a crass policy designed to increase profits, but the fact remains that gay people enjoy better treatment in the private sector than they do in most (supposedly more noble) governmental agencies.

Even the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) acknowledges this, writing in its most recent State of the Workplace:

Today, nearly 90 percent of the Fortune 500-ranked corporations include workplace protections based on sexual orientation, going beyond the patchwork of states and localities that ban such discrimination.

A conservative approach would combine a Burkean regard to the circumstances of the situation with a libertarian belief that the private sector can more readily address social change than can government at its various levels.


Disgruntled, Divided Democrats

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 3:42 pm - May 11, 2008.
Filed under: 2008 Presidential Politics,Bush-hatred

When I called the PatriotMomWest this morning to wish her a Happy Mother’s Day, our conversation ranged from family matters to matters educational, intellectual and political. A Democrat, my Mom expressed frustration with the two Senators running for her party’s presidential nomination: “When Democrats have such a chance to recapture the White House, they couldn’t have picked a worse selection of candidates.”

While my Mom and I do differ on politics, we both agree on the Democratic contenders, her views in accord with my view that if the Democrats had a strong nominee, my party would be toast this year.

I wonder if there are more Democrats like my mother, familiar with the political landscape and the issues of the day, but dissatisfied with their choices in the current presidential contest. To be sure, we’ve read how supporters of one (of the two remaining) candidate are reluctant or unwilling to support the other should their man (or woman as the case may be) fail to win their party’s nod.  But, I have only heard passing reference to Democrats looking for a alternative to Obama an Hillary, most in context of the movement to draft Al Gore.

There do seem to be pretty strong divisions among the Democrats. They may be unified in their hatred of George W. Bush, but they’re divided amongst themselves. Despite the favorable political climate this year, the Democrats do seem in disarray.

No wonder they’re so eager to make John McCain into the new Bush. Bush-hatred seems to the the only thing uniting all too many of them.

I wonder if there are more Democrats like my Mom who realize that the only way for the Democrats to profit from this favorable political climate is to find a stronger candidate than one of the two remaining contenders.