Tonight I both gain a deeper appreciation of Stephen Green and a better understanding of why I feel more comfortable at conservative confabs than gay ones.
I’m in Santa Barbara now, semi-drunk blogging, actually the buzz is wearing off from the two delicious dirty martinis (the beverage which honors Goddess Athena) I had before dinner at the annual retreat of the David Horowitz Freedom Center.
It is the very name of David’s center (which I emphasized for the benefit of some of our critics) which explains why I am comfortable here. Conservatives today, at least the serious ones, those committed to a tradition begun in Philadelphia more than two hundred and thirty-two years ago, continuing through the founding of the GOP in the 1850s, the election of the first Republican president in 1860, the intellectual fervent engendered (in large part) by Bill Buckley in the 1950s, spearheaded by Barry Goldwater the following decade, championed by Ronald Reagan in his speeches and political campaigns of the 60s, 70s and 80s, (culminating with his electoral success in the three presidential elections of that last decade) see freedom as the defining idea of our movement.
We seek to preserve freedom at home and defend it abroad.
While conservatives promote freedom, the gay groups, even the ostensible Republican one, have become obsessed with equality, with the largest among them adopting the equal sign as its logo.
Perhaps, I should talk with the organizers of this event about supporting a gay group committed to advancing freedom, understanding that the greatest enemies of gay people are not social conservatives in the West who may question (what they call) our lifestyle and oppose legislation benefiting us, but Islamic theocrats who execute gay people in jurisdictions where they predominate and seek to destroy the nations with political systems which allow us to live freely.
And for those who think all conservatives are narrow-minded anti-gay troglodytes, well, you should know that when I have identified myself to my fellow participants, I have named this blog (which gives them a good idea of my sexuality) and they have treated me better than the average denizen of West Hollywood upon learning I am a Republican who voted for George W. Bush in 2004. Heck, they even have a lesbian moderating the first panel tomorrow morning. And I’m not the only one psyched to see Tammy tomorrow. A number of people here have expressed admiration for that gun-toting talk show hostess.
There is something more I wanted to say, something about the idea of freedom. Maybe I already said it, if not in this post, in some other. But it’s that idea which animates modern conservatism. And it’s why I’m proud to call myself conservative. I just wish more gay people would understand the meaning of that word and would see how modern American conservatism better serves our interest than does a pursuit of the amorphous idea of equality.
A free society is one which allows a great diversity of individuals and groups to build their own communities and pursue happiness in their own ones. But, a society built on that notion of equality means an ever-increasing government enforcing that concept and so limiting opportunities for individual advancement and achievement. And making it ever more difficult for individuals to live their own lives as they see fit.