Friday, June 08, 2007

This long spring, I started reconnecting with old gay friends...
Well, good for you. (The writer is at ChicagoBoyz, a site dedicated to reconciling bullshit libertarianism with conservative bullshitism.)
I've been struck by how many of them have become politicized, beset by BDS.
Why gay friends no like Bush? A thousand voices -- perhaps even the ones in her head -- leap to answer, so the author hastens to explain:
The long history of marriage is of an institution that raises the next generation and transmits the community’s values...
Tempted to go, "Oh, great, here it comes," and run away? Abide yet a while, friends, because God made wingnuts as different as snowflakes, and this one has her own piquant ways. Let us therefore celebrate our diversity, and get a load of this:
It is easier to believe others tempt us than within us are desires we must (and with difficulty) control. To many, the shift from the Old Testament to the New may be theologically one of grace, but is also from the tribal to the universal, from the external to the internal. Whether this is the lesson of the Bible or of the slowly modernizing world, it is clearly one that restrains us in ways that those who see temptation in a right angle can not understand and leads to quite different understandings of guilt. The man’s lust, we believe, not the woman’s clothing, causes rape. This and so much else is the mark of a value system internalized and assumed universal. We think it is right. Sure this assumption of a certain universality may impose upon others, but it is more practical than narrow: it is also the only way that people with varying beliefs can easily live beside one another.

And thanks to Jewish psychologists, we began to find words for this internalization...
I can hear you, through the double glass, screaming, "Please get some of those words the Jewish psychologists found, or even words found by Bratislavian librarians or Eskimo meter-readers, and substitute them for this dreck!"

I apologize. I just wanted to give you an example of the sort of word-fog some educated but very confused people throw up when they are stuck with a dilemma they can't even acknowledge, let alone solve.

The author's real point, made somewhere in the first hundred paragraphs, is that homosexuals should shut up about Bush because he protects them from Muslims. But she finds it at least as important to explain -- with endless slabs of convoluted prose as evidence -- that she is well-read and even a bit artistic. This is meant to signal that she is not a mouth-breathing faggot-hater, but someone who is tolerant -- which is to say, she tolerates both her gay friends' continued existence and her colleagues' continued discrimination against them.

This is usually the case with conservative converts of the sort described by Michael Berube with the phrase "I used to consider myself a Democrat, but thanks to 9/11, I’m outraged by Chappaquiddick." They like to think that, because they broke away (assisted by stark fear) from an old orthodoxy, they have become true free-thinkers. But when issues of discrimination come up, they find themselves compelled to defend their new wingnut friends and their bone-deep prejudices.

In reality they haven't broken free, they've just switched gangs -- and have to live by the new one's code, including the by-law about No Poofters. If they want to face their old friends, they have three options (besides sanity, of course, which is out of the question):

They can swallow whole their new friends' lunacy and bravely assert it to all comers;

They can try a it's-for-your-own-good defense, pleading the necessity to accomodate moderate Muslims or red-state voters until such time as we can afford luxuries like civil rights;

Or they can plead the ties of friendship and remind their old friends of how they used to discuss Henry James until "dawn lightened the windows."

The intractable bigotries of the American Right are offensive to all thinking people, even to those who were traumatized into joining it in 2001. Yet no major candidate in either party will stand up for gay marriage. I think they realize that if they did take up the cause, they would be greeted, not by just the small clutch of angry misfits whose heads swim with homo-hatred, but by them and a much larger group they've convinced to come along in solidarity.

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