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Why American Gays Not Readily Receptive to Conservatism

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 8:36 pm - March 17, 2009.
Filed under: Gay America,Gay Politics,Identity Politics

When all too many Americans comes out as gay or lesbian, while they may at first continue to adhere to the political philosophy they held before acknowledging his sexuality, after a time socializing with their gay peers, they gradually comes to adopt the political views of those around him.  Adopting such liberal political views, it seems, has become a rite of passage for the openly-gay American.

I have come to believe that more than anything else, the desire to belong, social conformity, determines the political ideology of a good number of American gays.  That belief came to mind yesterday when I read posts by two smart conservative bloggers, Tom Maguire and Paul Mirengoff reflecting on Shelby Steele’s Wall Street Journal op-ed, Why the GOP Can’t Win With Minorities. Some of the arguments Steele made on the difficulty Republicans had in reaching out to ethnic minorities could apply to sexual minorities as well.

Unlike many gay activists, including leaders of Log Cabin, I don’t think the Republican Party need develop a gay-specific outreach plan.  I simply believe the party should abandon policies which discriminate against gay people and otherwise leave us alone to live our lives as we please.  The GOP should focus instead on unifying conservative principles.  Indeed, this belief is in line with contemporary American conservatism.  As Steele puts it:

Still, an appeal targeted just at minorities — reeking as it surely would of identity politics — is anathema to most conservatives. Can’t it be assumed, they would argue, that support of classic principles — individual freedom and equality under the law — constitutes support of minorities?

Eschewing identify politics, however, might not work in an era of group consciousness.  In coming out and developing a gay identity, all too many of us contend that identity involves a certain political consciousness,  wherein we demand certain gay-specific policies in exchange for our support.

That consciousness comes from the circumstances of the 1960s which Steele believes “opened a new formula for power in American politics: redemption. If you could at least seem to redeem America of its past sins, you could win enough moral authority to claim real political power.”  Translated into gay terms, this means, we need state action to redeem America’s “homophobic” past.

As we learn of that past, we start seeing ourselves not just as individuals whose emotional and sexual attraction to our gender, distinguish us from our peers, but as victims of “heterosexist” society.  Whereas according to Steele, “American minorities of color — especially blacks — are often born into grievance-focused identities,” we are acculturated into a similar identity.  As just as for racial minorities, “The idea of grievance will seem to define them in some eternal way, and it will link them atavistically to a community of loved ones.”


On “Tea Parties” and Obama’s “Community Organizing”

The very idea of the growing “tea party” phenomenon must be disconcerting to the myth-makers in the mainstream media and the Obama Administration.  According to their narrative, when people are agitating, they’re supposed to be upset about social inequality and corporate greed.  The very notion that they’d be protesting the ever-increasing size of the state upsets the worldview of these would-be opinion-makers.

No wonder big media is paying scant attention to the “tea party” protests.  So far the Administration seems only to follow the MSM as it’s “increasingly concerned” that “populist backlash against banks and Wall Street, worried that anger at financial institutions could also end up being directed at Congress and the White House and could complicate [the president’s] agenda.“  (Italics added.)

End up?  End up?

If they’d be following conservative and libertarian blogs and/or paying attention to local media (particularly in the town where I was born), they’d realize that there already is a populist backlash directed against Congress and the White House–and not just for the bailouts of banks and Wall Street.  People are upset at the rapid increase in the size of the federal government that the president is proposing.

At the same time, this grassroots rebellion is brewing, we get a real sense of what the president’s “community organizing” really means.  As opposed to these tea parties, his is a top-down affair, with his new national outfit, Organizing for America, directing local groups to agitate for his agenda.

It’s even launching a “Pledge Project,” asking Americans to:

  • I support President Obama’s bold approach for renewing America’s economy.
  • I will ask friends, family, and neighbors to pledge their support for this plan

Over at Best of the Web, James Taranto, who like yours truly, finds this “creepy,” asks his readers for any examples of  “a Republican president, say during the past 30 years, asking people to take a similar ‘pledge’.

I wonder if it’s beginning to dawn on many of Obama’s erstwhile acolytes that the enthusiasm his candidacy generated has less to do with any concrete vision of American than it did with his powerful presence.  It was more about a man than his ideas.

The media was fascinated by a movement built around a man, yet seems much less interested in a movement, like the American Revolution, built on an idea.  I wonder why that is.

On gender difference & sexual attraction

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 3:58 pm - March 17, 2009.
Filed under: Random Thoughts,Sex Difference

Yesterday, while working out, I posed a hypothetical to a straight friend of mine, asking if he’d rather be funny-looking, but a nice guy or handsome and unkind.  He hesitate for a bit, then answered that he’d rather be funny-looking.

I had asked the question after seeing this well-built guy walk by, a straight man who always scowls and never has a kind word for anyone.  His cold presence called to mind another straight guy at our gym.  That man has a strange appearance; his workouts don’t seem to have altered his lanky physique, yet he always smiles and has something nice or clever to say when you greet him.  When I mentioned this guy (we’ll call him Larry though that’s not his real name) to my straight friend, his face lit up, “You know, he dates models.”

Somehow that made sense to me.  Larry is not the first funny-looking straight guy I know who dates beautiful women.  I’ve known overweight straight men with outgoing personalities, a great senses of humor and/or above-average abilities to listen who have dated strikingly attractive women.

Yet, if a gay guy were funny-looking, unless he were rich, he would certainly trouble finding a hot guy to date him, even if he had a most compelling personality.  The explanation is not in our sexuality, but our gender.  For whatever reason it seems men are more visual than women.  And more often than not, women just seem to value the person over his appearance.

This is not the first time I’ve noticed this nor am I the first person to say it.  It’s just something that struck me yesterday when I had that conversation . . .

FROM THE COMMENTS:  Leah writes:

Women often will take security – either physical or financial over looks.

I hate the idea that women are ‘better’ than men. We’re not. It’s just much easier to find fault with men since their faults are more ‘superficial’. Whereas it’s harder to pin point the woman’s weakness.

I Blame Sarah Palin

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 3:27 am - March 17, 2009.
Filed under: Economy,Sarah Palin


On Buying Atlas Shrugged for the second time

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 3:18 am - March 17, 2009.
Filed under: Freedom,LA Stories,Literature & Ideas

I believe I bought my first copy of Atlas Shrugged at Renzi’s Bookstore (long since defunct) in Williamstown, Massachusetts.  I either loaned that copy out or gave it away because I could not find the tattered paperback on the shelf where I keep Rand’s books.

So, last night, I headed to Barnes & Noble with a coupon determined to buy the book if they had it on their shelves.  Not only was I delighted to discover it there, but pleased as well to see it tagged with a pre-printed note “Our Staff Recommends,” underneath which someone had written in a clear and bold longhand, “One of the greatest novels of all time.”

Interesting that a clerk at a Hollywood bookstore would so label a book that so challenges the prevailing political ethos in this town.  Well, a film version is slated for 2011 release.

I wonder how I will experience the novel I so enjoyed at the twlight of my adolescence as I re-read it in the midst of my adulthood.