Perhaps the greatest satisfaction — and the greatest disappointment — of blogging comes from the comments section. There, I find that my posts often stimulate great discussion, provide interesting information or allow for general amusement. (But, too often they descend into name-calling, with ad hominem attacks replacing civil discourse, attacking those offering opposing points of view rather than challenging their arguments.)
In two recent posts, we have seen the former, with a good exchange throughout to thread following my Marriott post as well as in a few comments (following the third such posting) to my government fairness post. Via the former thread, I learned that one blogger thought Mitt Romney’s appointment of former John Bolton aide Richard Grenell to be some kind of “outreach” to gay Republicans. It was no such thing. Nor should we want it to have been.
As most of you have heard by now, Romney tapped Grenell to be his campaign’s “national security and foreign policy spokesman”. Grenell, as Roger Simon reminds us, is “openly gay.” He appears to be well-qualified for the job, having been . . .
. . . a longtime spokesman for the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. He was known by the press as a loyal, and combative, appointee to a series of ambassadors including John Bolton, to whom he remains close. He also fought a long, and unsuccessful battle for formal recognition of his partner in diplomatic documents.
His qualifications, however, haven’t prevented one extreme social conservative from losing his cool: “Bryan Fischer, the director of issue analysis for the Tupelo, Miss.-based American Family Association called the appointment “a ‘message to the pro-family community’ of ‘drop dead.'” Seems some extreme social conservatives oftentimes mimic leftists. Once again, this was no such thing. It was merely the appointment of a qualified man to an important campaign position. Grenell’s sexuality likely had nothing to do with the appointment.
Nor should we gay Republicans want it to have a factor in Romney’s choice.
We should not want the presumptive Republican nominee — nor any politician — to appoint a man merely because he’s gay, but instead should want him to appoint men and women to posts of responsibility in his campaign — and administration — primarily because they are qualified — and regardless of their sexuality (or any other difference irrelevant to their capacity to serve). In short, an individual’s sexuality should not be the reason for nor an impediment to his appointment.
FROM THE COMMENTS: Louise B offers a good case for pointing out that Mr. Grenell is gay: “To me, a social conservative, the only reason to point out a foreign policy man is homosexual is that it tells the Muslim countries to stop killing their citizens because they contribute to the society as a whole.”
ANOTHER FROM THE COMMENTS: Bookworm loves my “post caption, because it completely sums up the fact that people should be viewed as individuals — capable or incapable, smart or dumb, good or bad, etc. — first. You’ve cleverly captured the core meaning in King’s ‘I have a dream speech.'” Aw shucks, Thanks.