The more I consider Glenn Reynolds’s comment that those gay marriage advocates “pushing the ‘bigotry’ meme are in fact more interested in calling others bigots than in accomplishing anything,” the more it appears to define more than just the attitude of politically correct “journalists” and pundits toward gay marriage opponents. It also defines an entire mind-set of all too many left-of-center bloggers, pundits, journalists and even Democratic politicians.
And yes, there are some on the right who prefer labeling their adversaries on the left to addressing the legitimate points they do raise from time to time.
When I first start blogging, I would get regular hate mails from left-of-center gay people, lambasting me, usually with the standard refrain that I was hypocritical or otherwise self-loathing. They rarely took the time to address specific points I had made on the blog. When they did, they regularly misrepresented them.
They seemed to have some “need” to lash out at me, much as we Angelenos lash out at the one driver who seems to cut us off in traffic when we have been stuck on the freeway for three times as long as our journey was supposed to take. That guy did what we probably would have done in the same situation. And even if he was in the wrong, he wasn’t to blame for all of our traffic woes.
It doesn’t seem matter to some of our critics how we address the objections they raise to our arguments, they will never be satisfied. We remain narrow-minded, beholden to an intolerant right wing and self-hating. Like the frustrated man in traffic, they “need” a target for their frustration. They “need” to vent. They “need” to lash out.
Let me illustrate with an example.
Not too long ago, an acquaintance alerted me to a post of Bruce’s that he thought we should pull.Â When he first contacted me, I had not yet seen the post, so checked it and shared his concerns.
So, as a favor to him, I e-mailed Bruce, asking him to pull the post. Bruce refused. I disagreed with his decision, but honored it all the same. The post remained on the blog. I contacted my acquaintance, told him what had transpired. Instead of thanking me for trying, he lashed out at me, accusing me of hypocrisy and a few other things, none pleasant.
I made an effort, addressed his concern to the best of my ability, yet received, as a result, repeated reprimands. He couldn’t be satisfied unless I gave him exactly what he wanted. So, he lashed out.
That attitude does seem to describe some of the critics of conservative bloggers. They’d rather lash out at us than join us in the arena of ideas. I’ve said this before. But, then, this phenomenon is pretty widespread.