Wonder if that is what the IRS was trying to do with the Tea Party.
“Pick any issue currently being advanced by progressives“, writes Doug Manwaring today in the American Thinker:
. . . same-sex marriage, state-mandated free contraception, abortion, man-made global warming and strict gun control, to name a few. Publicly question or resist any of these and be prepared to be judged as an anti-science, homophobic, misogynist, racist, xenophobic, Neanderthal.
As with little Anthony, to attempt to enter into legitimate discussion or debate on these issues is out of the question, and met with severe consequences. Your have only two options: Start thinking “happy thoughts,” or brace yourself for the cornfield.
Read the whole thing. H/t: reader Heliotrope. Manwaring cites an episode of the Twilight Zone where little Anthony Freeman with his special powers will banish you to the cornfield if you don’t think “happy thoughts” or “say happy things.”
Even if we don’t agree with Manwaring on gay marriage (he’s gay, but believes “ the definition of Marriage is immutable”), we can at least recognize that instead of addressing the arguments of their critics, all too many gay marriage advocates resort to name-calling and ostracism of individuals who oppose their cause.
How often do they accuse such opponents of hatred? (More on this topic as time allows.)
In Ace’s “Headlines” sidebar, I just noticed this post at FreedomWorks: 15 Year Old Wisconsin Conservative Meets Bullying From Teachers.
Worth a skim. To be clear: By “bullying”, he does not mean physical assault, but rather a series of moral-emotional assaults from teachers who single him out for questioning (sometimes invasive) and ridicule. From Mr. Backer’s conclusion:
If teachers want bullying to end with homosexuals, other races or religious beliefs, they should want it to end with every type of bullying possible, including political views.
I haven’t done any research that would let me vouch for Mr. Backer’s story, but if it’s true, it’s chilling. Or, to say something more positive: that kid has guts!
Some weeks, life contains too many distractions and it’s hard to find time to blog. At least that’s what happened to me this week. My list of potential topics to write about keeps growing, but my time and, more importantly, my energy for writing about them has been rather limited. In the meantime, I keep coming across links and articles of interest. Here are a few things which caught my attention this week, that might interest our readers, as well, or at least generate further discussion.
I rarely look at the “Dear Abby” column these days, but this one caught my eye. I wasn’t interested in the first item about the wife whose husband of 30 years was having an affair with a prostitute from a strip club. No, the one that caught my eye was the second item, the one from the gay Democrat whose new romantic interest is a Republican, and suddenly, the Democrat finds that all his gay friends have cut him off and stopped calling him and inviting him to things. I was intrigued to see gay leftist intolerance so openly acknowledged in a mainstream newspaper column. Dear Abby responds:
I know several couples who have strong and happy “mixed” marriages in which the spouses do not always agree politically. It is a shame that you would be required to choose between the man you care for and your longtime friends, who want to ignore that there are also gay Republicans.
I see nothing wrong with continuing your relationship with Mark; however, I think it may be time for you to expand your circle of friends if this is how your old ones behave. You’ll all be happier if you do. Trust me on that.
On a related note, I appreciated this piece on “Coming Out as a Black Conservative” at PJMedia. I’m sure most GayPatriot readers can relate to it. I particularly liked its last point about the importance of independent thinking rather than group identity:
Independent thinking got you here. Independent thinking will keep you going. Group identity, or more specifically the group authority Shelby Steele writes about, degenerates into herd instinct in the unthinking. Individual rights can only be effectively defended by those who have rejected any claim upon their life. You do not belong to anyone. Your life is yours. Your mind is yours. Direct it intentionally. Choose what you believe and know why you believe it. Never let someone else, anyone else, tell you what you must think or do. By all means, consider trusted advice, but take responsibility for your decisions once made.
Also at PJMedia this week, VodkaPundit Stephen Green reflects on Rob Portman’s reversal on the issue of gay marriage and suggests that the best solution is to get government out of the marriage business in this piece. As he explains, the left doesn’t really care about what’s best for gay people: “No, for the progressive left, gay marriage is just another club for beating America’s churches into submission to the State. First Catholic birth control, then Baptist gay marriage, and so on. Progressivism is a truly jealous god and will have no other gods before it — not even yours.”
Along similar lines, earlier this week, Rand Paul suggested that the best, most value-neutral solution, would be to get marriage out of the tax code. Walter Hudson, author of the above-linked piece on “Coming Out as a Black Conservative,” also makes a related point in this article from January on “The Distinction Between Sin and Crime”: “The uncomfortable truth surrounding the marriage issue is that heterosexual couples have long been subsidized by their unwed neighbors. It is that state endorsement which homosexuals covet, along with the social sanction it implies. Under government informed by objective morality, marriage contracts would be just that, conveying no special benefits beyond the terms agreed upon. As a result, religious individuals and institutions with conscientious objections to homosexuality would never be forced to violate their conscience.”
When I put up my first post on social liberalism several weeks ago, I envisioned a series of posts that would discuss many of the implications of the fact that modern liberalism is more a social phenomenon than an intellectual one. I’ve done that in part, but have until now neglected to mention one of the largest implications of all, namely that most modern liberals make easy targets for propagandists of all stripes because their political identity is driven more by their feelings than by the facts, and so they rarely exert critical judgement over the memes and narratives of the moment.
Quite to the contrary: to exert critical judgement is automatically to invite suspicion, because it means asking difficult questions, seeking facts, pointing out fallacies, noting inconsistencies, all of which make modern liberals profoundly uncomfortable because those sorts of activities advertise the questioner’s willingness to dissent from the orthodoxy.
Circle dancing is magic. It speaks to us through the millennia from the depths of human memory. Madame Raphael had cut the picture out of the magazine and would stare at it and dream. She too longed to dance in a ring. All her life she had looked for a group of people she could hold hands with and dance with in a ring. First she looked for them in the Methodist Church (her father was a religious fanatic), then in the Communist Party, then among the Trotskyites, then in the anti-abortion movement (A child has a right to life!), then in the pro-abortion movement (A woman has a right to her body!); she looked for them among the Marxists, the psychoanalysts, and the structuralists; she looked for them in Lenin, Zen Buddhism, Mao Tse-tung, yogis, the nouveau roman, Brechtian theater, the theater of panic; and finally she hoped she could at least become one with her students, which meant she always forced them to think and say exactly what she thought and said, and together they formed a single body and a single soul, a single ring and a single dance.
To question is to step outside the circle, to resist the lure of the dance. And so the memes and narratives proliferate, pushed on by those who “feel moved” by them and are too afraid to question them.
Among the many liberals I know, this week’s meme is a viral video about “the wealth gap.” I first noticed a college acquaintance (and an enthusiastic Elizabeth Warren supporter) mention it on Facebook on Sunday, and have noticed at least three other references to it by others since then. The video is only 6 minutes and 24 seconds long, but if you’re like me, after about three minutes, it will seem like it is going on forever.
I’ve recorded some of my thoughts below the fold.
I saw this item at Reason.com the other day. It’s a short piece reflecting on a video of a speech by social psychologist Jonathan Haidt talking about how one’s “sensitivity to disgust” is supposedly some sort of predictor of one’s political views. I haven’t watched the whole video yet, but the speech was given at the Museum of Sex in New York City, so some amount of its content seems designed to appeal to the audience that would be attending a speech in that location.
Jim Epstein at Reason.com summarizes the key points of the speech as follows:
“Morality isn’t just about stealing and killing and honesty, it’s often about menstruation, and food, and who you are having sex with, and how you handle corpses,” says NYU social psychologist Jonathan Haidt, who is author of The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics.
Haidt argues that our concern over these victimless behaviors is rooted in our biology. Humans evolved to feel disgusted by anything that when consumed makes us sick. That sense of disgust then expanded “to become a guardian of the social order.”
This impulse is at the core of the culture war. Those who have a low sensitivity to disgust tend to be liberals or libertarians; those who are easily disgusted tend to be conservative.
The full video of the speech is available at the above link.
My reaction to all this is that it 1). depends on how one defines conservative, and 2). it depends on what kinds of things one labels or considers to be examples of disgust.
With respect to point 1)., I think that a large portion of the conservative coalition is rather heavily libertarian-leaning, and it just makes more sense for us to identify as conservative and vote for Republicans because the Libertarian party seems doomed to remain a fringe party, at least as long as that party’s leadership continues to endorse an isolationist or head-in-the-sand approach to foreign policy. Now while it may be the case that many traditional “social conservatives” have a “high sensitivity to disgust” with respect to issues of sex, I’m not even convinced that that is as widely the case as Haidt’s remarks suggest. I’ve heard socially-conservative Christian ministers talk about sex in ways that show they may have a better understanding of the variety of human sexual experience than many academics who claim to be experts on the subject.
On the other hand, with respect to point 2)., I can find many, many examples of “disgust” fueling the attitudes of liberals and leftists. One could begin by looking at their intense hatred of Sarah Palin and anyone like her. Some of that hatred, I would argue, was fueled by a disgust at the lives of anyone who doesn’t live the life of a modern liberal in a major coastal city.
Most modern liberals are disgusted by hunting, by the people who shop at Wal-Mart, by the petroleum industry, by the food industry, by the military, by evangelical Christians, and by the reality of life in small-town, rural America. James Taranto and British Philosopher Roger Scruton call it “oikophobia”: it is a worldview which accepts or excuses the transgressions of select special-interest groups or of non-western cultures, while it judges the familiar by a harsh standard and condemns them with expressions of disgust at the nature of their lives.
My last post generated a lot of great discussion, which is still continuing. I hope to highlight or focus on some of the strands of that discussion in future posts, but for now I thought I’d emphasize one passage with the hope of turning it into the conservative meme of the week.
Our commenter Crosspatch wrote a number of very detailed and thoughtful responses, but one paragraph of this comment is worth highlighting for expressing a cogent critique of modern liberals which everyone can understand:
Many Democrats are to people what cat ladies are to cats. The cat lady can not stand the thought of those poor kitties out there all on their own in the dead of winter so she takes them in to “take care of” them. The cats end up being packed into slums as she micromanages them but the task becomes too much, requires too much overhead, and living conditions begin to deteriorate as they are in Detroit. The cat lady isn’t really doing it to help the cat because the cat would probably have a much better quality of life if she had left it alone. She is doing it to help HERSELF not feel bad. Liberals often don’t do things to actually help people so much as they do it to make themselves feel better, like they are doing something about a problem. If you try to explain to them that they are actually doing a disservice to those they are trying to help, you are treated just like any other person who points out a flaw in a “fundamentalist’s” logic. You are attacked and ostracized.
One of the themes of Crosspatch’s comments has to do with the ways in which the leftist media and the educational establishment both set the ground rules and expectations for debate and discussion of issues to make it difficult for conservatives to respond.
One way conservatives can fight against this, it seems to me, is to generate as many powerful and accessible counter-narratives as we can to begin to change the way people view both conservative and liberal ideas.
The Crazy Cat Lady Liberal meme has that power. Although I found a reference to a similar idea from a column by John Hawkins that appeared last march the idea hasn’t caught on widely yet, and it’s time we see to it that it does. (As an aside, it should surprise no one that there really are crazy cat lady liberals who are proud of being both of those things.)
A few weeks ago, a reader at Instapundit found an interesting passage in the archives which Glenn Reynolds had first quoted in February 2002. I made note of the passage because it seemed to fit so well with both the social liberalism theme and also with the distinction (increasingly hard to recognize in the age of Obama, I admit) between liberals and leftists to which I made reference in my last post.
And whatever these perfect strangers from Kentucky stood for, however distant they were from the causes of global minimum wage, clean energy and sustainable peace, they were still able to treat people who shared almost none of their values without contempt. We were able to do the same, and to us, that was a hugely political act.
But it is the kind of political act for which the current crop of activist groups — from the Voters Rights March to Ramsey Clark’s International Action Center — have increasingly little patience. Faced with dissenting views or even devil’s advocacy from newspaper reporters, they grow hostile and deny access. When I’ve collaborated with activists on the left, as I did recently on a Web site, I’ve found them willing to censor discussions or use ridicule when certain words make them uncomfortable. When I’ve written about them, they’ve been unhappy that I’ve focused on their personal struggles and not exclusively on the issues, and as a member of the media, I’ve endured their suspicion and scorn. Were these people ever to actually run the country, I complained loudly in the summer of 2000, while I was up in Malibu covering the Ruckus Society’s direct-action training camp, it would be a bona fide fascist dictatorship.
Although the LA Weekly article ends by reiterating the writer’s allegiance to leftist goals and ideals, she intends it as a warning to her fellow liberals and leftists that they need to learn to work and play well with others. Despite her moment of clarity, she is unable to recognize that the leftist activist class is extreme and intolerant because leftist philosophies inevitably end up there.
The passage came to mind again when I saw this recent interview with Juan Williams at the Daily Caller. In the interview, Williams talks about what he learned from his firing by NPR: the liberal media will “shut you down, stab you, kill you, fire you” if you disagree, he tells Ginni Thomas.
Both examples remind me of the many political change stories that Neoneocon has collected and written about over the years. Although neither Judith Lewis (in the LA Weekly article) nor Juan Williams have abandoned their belief in leftist ideas, both have experienced a key element of leftism that has inspired many others to look more closely at conservative ideas and conservative thinkers.
In other words, the ingrained tendency of the left to go too far often unsettles the willingness of individuals to continue to believe in the narrative of a beneficent and well-intentioned politics–a belief which, however unfounded, is one of the hallmarks of social liberalism. At least that has been my experience.
What have our readers observed? Were any of you political changers? Was there something about the anger, intolerance, and extremism of the leftist activist class that inspired you to question your views or, alternately, that made you more resolute in your conservative beliefs?
One of the early hatemongers was Amos Brown, a host on a religious radio station in Indianapolis, Indiana. Brown used his Twitter account to claim that African American Tim Scott isn’t really a black man.
Tim Scott is, of course, a Republican just like Governor Haley who will appoint him to the vacant seat. All one need be is a black man in the GOP and the hatemongers come out in force with their racist name calling and radio host Amos Brown rose early to the rote attack.
On his Twitter account (@Amoswtlcindy), Brown wrote, “Gee, courtesy of S Carolina GOP, the nation gets Tim Scott an ultra-rightwing, Tea Party devotee US Senator who’s Black only in skin color.”
Wait…. I thought it was CONSERVATIVES who were the racists in the United States?
Just a refresher…. here’s what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said:
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
PS – I extend my warm congrats to Tim Scott and know he will be an outstanding Senator for the Palmetto State!
With the enactment yesterday in the Wolverine State of right-to-work legislation, freeing individual workers from the obligation to pay union dues, the unions have not reacted in a, well, dignified manner.
Take a gander at how union activists treated one conservative blogger outside the Michigan state capitol:
Via Hot Air. The same folks knocked down a tent that Americans for Prosperity (with a permit) put up on the state capitol grounds, cheering as it collapsed with people in it.
Yet, neither AOL, Yahoo! nor the Washington Post cover this on their front pages this morning. Here are some screen-captures of the Post’s front page:
In the thread yesterday to a college classmate’s Facebook post on supposed GOP voter suppression in Florida*, I made the case for voter identification laws. When I provided evidence of voter fraud, including linking articles, he dismissed such notions as “claptrap,” with another classmate chiming in to tell me to “ Learn to actually think”. Fascinating how educated liberals oftentimes refuse to acknowledge the facts conservatives present or to address the arguments we make.
And when we don’t agree with their arguments, they accuse us being narrow-minded — or not thinking. Gee, wonder if he faults former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens for not thinking, given that that liberal jurist defended the constitutionality of voter ID laws in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board.
Almost at the same time that I was reading my classmates’ attempt to dismiss my arguments with quips, I caught an explanation for the behavior of this very bright men who attended a very good college on Instapundit:
I’ve always believed that academia’s liberal bias uniquely advantages conservatives and libertarians because it guarantees that such students do not grow up in an intellectual echo-chamber. Instead, they are challenged every day to communicate clearly, order their thoughts with care and sharpen their arguments.
What is sad is that so many of our liberal peers think they are making the better argument when they’re not making arguments at all.
They’re just so used to their liberal opinion being validated.
Gay Left-Wing Radio Host Advises Gay Romney Supporter to Commit Suicide, Says He Should Not Be Allowed to Vote
Our reader Tim in MT shared this video with us that he had made after catching Michelangelo Signorile on SiriusXM radio yesterday.
The left-wing radio talker, twice in the segment (at about 2:15 & 3:45) advises his gay Romney-supporting caller to drink arsenic or other poison so he can commit suicide. At 2:57, he tells the young man that he should not be allowed to vote.
FROM THE COMMENTS: Just Me asks, “Any guesses what the outrage would be if this was Rush telling a gay liberal that he should commit suicide or be prohibited from voting?”
AND ANOTHER: Leah quips, “You vote for people who give you things? Yes that explains the selfish left.”
AND ANOTHER: V the K reminds us that
We are always lectured at by activists that gay teen suicide is the most horrible social problem in the world and that gay teenagers are so delicate that the slightest hint of disapproval from a conservative will lead to thousands of them spontaneously offing themselves. (more…)
Someone keyed the word “Obama” into two cars and slashed seats in another outside a residence that had Mitt Romney campaign signs.
CBS2 and KCAL9 reporter Rob Schmitt spoke to Ken Slown, owner of one of the keyed vehicles.
Slown actually supports President Obama!
He explained to Schmitt that he and his wife — both currently unemployed — are staying with her parents and it’s her parents who support Romney.
it would be worse in West Hollywood. Wonder how many more Romney-Ryan signs we’d be seeing in “blue” enclaves if Republicans didn’t fear the wrath of the forces of tolerance. (Alta Loma in San Bernardino County is far less Democratic than the area where I live.)
Kudos to the local media for doing what their national counterparts fail to do–cover the news.
Editor’s Note: He’s unemployed and he still supports Obama?!?!?
*and other “blue” enclaves.
Talk to any gay conservative and we will tell you how some (usually just a handful) of his liberal friends stopped talking to us upon learning of our politics. Most are more subtle in their discrimination, like the woman — at an “equality” summit — who quietly left the table where we had both been sitting shortly after I described the nature of this blog.
Others are more in your face about it. And today, thanks to our reader Timothy773, we learn that one self-rigtheous gay leftist wants his Romney-supporting friends to “defriend” him:
If you plan to vote for Mitt Romney, you are putting a nail into my civil rights coffin, and I’d rather not have friends who think I deserve anything less than equal treatment under the law. Romney supports DOMA (which directly and negatively impacts me, restricting my partner Russ, our kids, and my federal protections and tax benefits under the law), and has noted his support for an anti-marriage equality amendment as well. While you may see your vote for him as one about the economy (and we can debate who’d be better for that until the cows come home), what you intend by your vote really doesn’t matter. Your vote means that you are supporting someone who not only thinks I’m not equal to you, but who works vigorously to ensure my “less-than” legal status. Your vote for him means that you are totally fine with me being treated with disrespect.
What a prejudiced man, assuming that because we plan to vote for Mitt Romney, we want to treat him with disrespect. Now, to be sure, given his narrow views of Romney supporters, some might well feel inclined to treat him with disrespect, but not, as he implies, because of his sexuality or his relationship, but because of insistence on distancing himself from those who support a good and decent Republican presidential candidate.
Simply put, he doesn’t want to associate with those who support a different presidential candidate than he. How sad. (more…)
Twice in the past twenty-four hours or so, I have received reports via Facebook of gay men coming out for Romney, only to encounter attacks from their gay peers.
People “are surprised”, one wrote, as if writing about my own initial experiences coming out conservative, “when I say I’m a republican. They ask me how I can be a Gay Jew and a republican at the same time.” The other had a “Question for you Dan! Why do LGBT people hate conservative LGBT people … I have so many haters right now!”
Yes, why do they hate?
“Let’s be honest,” the second man wrote
. . . the left doesn’t hate me because I am mean or brash or too aggressive – the same label can be applied to many of my critics. No, the left hates me because I have the audacity to stand up to them. They hate me because I am a conservative who happens to be gay. They hate me because I won’t be bullied by them. They hate me because I have dared to wander off the liberal plantation, because I refuse to play the victim card, and because I have rejected their failed big government, single-issue, tunnel-visioned agenda.”
He concluded, ”They hate me because I am a conservative who happens to be gay.”
Upon reading the first draft of this post, the first correspondent disagreed with the language used by the second:
my frieends and I don’t hate each other they just become another person when they find out that I am a Republican. (more…)
“Gay men”, writes a reader from a “blue state”,
. . . are some of the most judgmental closed-minded people you will ever meet. I deal with so much outright intolerance from gay men. Yet if you treat anything they believe in with the same prejudice they’re on the 6:00 news calling for your head on a stick. It’s insane. I realize I’m generalizing which isn’t good, but I can literally count on one hand the gays I have met in my life that were politically tolerant.
Now, although I have encountered the hyper-judgmental gay men (and lesbians), I have met more than a handful of gay lefties who are politically tolerant, indeed, today on Facebook, a left-of-center friend messaged me in response to a quip I had offered to one of his political posts.* We had a spirited and civil exchange, with him acknowledging he may have to check out Bob Woodward’s book, the Price of Politics.
It is a reminder that there are exceptions to the intolerance we all too often face — and that many gay liberals are indeed liberal in the original sense of the term.
UPDATE 10/16/12 @ 3:24 PM EST Good news: Gallaudet president wants Angela McCaskill to return following gay marriage petition controversy
“Some proponents of gay marriage“, reads the subhead to John Fund’s piece on The New Blacklist, “would rather intimidate their critics than debate them.” If they believe their case to be so strong, why are they so reluctant to take on those who oppose it?
Jonathan Rauch had no such compunction about taking on one-time gay marriage opponent David Blankenhorn, helping the latter change his mind. There is a real-world example of the power of ideas to persuade, yet other gay marriage activists would rather ostracize gay marriage opponents than make an effort to challenge their opinions.
Fund tells the story of Angela McCaskill, “the first African-American woman to earn a Ph.D. at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., a school for the deaf and hard of hearing”:
She has now worked at Gallaudet for over 20 years, and in January 2011 she was named its chief diversity officer. Last year, she helped open a resource center for sexual minorities on campus. But she has now been placed on leave because of pressure from some students and faculty. Her job is on the line.
McCaskill’s sin? She was one of 200,000 people to sign a petition demanding a referendum on a law recognizing gay marriage, which was signed by Maryland’s Democratic governor, Martin O’Malley, in March. The referendum will be on the ballot next month, and the vote is expected to be close.
. . . .
Gallaudet University’s president, T. Alan Hurwitz, announced that he was putting McCaskill on paid leave because “some feel it is inappropriate for an individual serving as chief diversity officer” to have signed such a petition.
(Read the whole thing.) Guess, diversity doesn’t mean diversity of opinion. (more…)
“It was a weird debate,” began Jim Geraghty reflecting on last night’s Ryan-Biden match-up, “in that one candidate’s personality so totally dominated the proceedings, that your reaction to the debate will be decided almost entirely by what you think of Joe Biden when unplugged.” Read the whole thing.
And while Joe Biden may have appeared (particularly to independent women and witty conservatives) to have lost his marbles, liberals were ecstatic, causing Hugh Hewitt to quip (as I noted previously), “The left is cheering Joe Biden’s meltdown, which is itself an indication of how far it has lost its bearings.” He builds on this point by excerpting The Wall Street Journal’s debate summary:
But this 90 minutes wasn’t about an exchange of ideas or a debate over policies. It was a Democratic show of contempt for the opposition, an attempt to claim by repetitive assertion that Messrs. Ryan and Romney are radicals who want to destroy “the middle class.” Mr. Ryan’s cool under assault was a visual rebuttal of that claim, and we certainly know who looked more presidential.
Echoing the Journal, Jonathan S. Tobin believes Democrats were “delighted” with “Vice President Joe Biden’s obnoxious display” in large part because “the liberal base of the president’s party is so filled with anger and contempt for Republicans that they can’t abide even a show of civility from their champions.” (Read the whole thing.)
This manic contempt was Biden’s apparently successful strategy to “throw the Obama base a lifeline” (via Sarah Hoyt at Instapundit). What does it say about a political party that it rallies on the boorish behavior of an angry old man?
UPDATE: Jennifer Rubin has a similar perspective: ”That lefty bloggers and pundits ate up Biden’s antics is a telling commentary on how vitriolic the left in general has become.”
UP-UPDATE: Neoneocon asks, “what does it say about the Democratic base if this is the sort of thing that gets its members’ juices flowing?“