Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Picking your fights...

...or shoveling sh*t against the tide.

Jennifer Rubin suggests that with the passae of three gay marriage amendments in three states it is time for conservatives to admit that they've lost the argument:

Right Turn has made the point repeatedly that the issue of gay marriage is a generational one, a battle that social conservatives have lost. That was crystal clear yesterday. Maine, Minnesota, Washington and Maryland handled gay marriage the right way in a democracy — proponents went to the voters, made their case and won the support of a majority of their fellow citizens. Minnesota rejected a ban on gay marriage; the other states acted affirmatively to approve it. Conservatives can have no principled opposition to a exercise of democracy that embodies the principles of federalism.

Add to that the election of Tammy Baldwin, the first openly gay member of the U.S. Senate and the end of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in the U.S. military and you have a sea change. Conservatives can make their case at the state level and can in principled fashion insist that voters, not appointed judges, make the decision, but as a national issue there is no other way to put it: The ship has sailed.

In fairness to Mitt Romney, he never once use gay marriage to stir up his base, evidence of his innate decency and, if one is more politically cynical, the lack of political mileage to be gained from the issue. In the future, Republicans for national office would do well to recognize reality. The American people have changed their minds on the issue and fighting this one is political flat-earthism. As with divorce, one need not favor it, but to run against it is folly, especially for national politicians who need to appeal to a diverse electorate.

Conservatives don’t have to like gay marriage. But they campaign on it at their own risk. Holding onto an issue on which the federal government has precious little to say anyway is as foolish as opining on rape, abortion and God in a two-minute debate answer. Opposition to gay marriage by national officials is a political loser, which conveys to a majority of voters an out-of-touchness and lack of inclusiveness. It deprives Republicans of support from the gay community and makes it that much more difficult to reach out to young, urbanized voters.

Fair points, and, yet, is there nothing of value in this thing we call a commitment to the truth.

Gay "marriage" isn't "marriage" because marrriage in its essence means that human institution primarily concerned with the creation and nurturing of children. There may come a time when we want to analyze and define and establish policy for the kind of relationship in which people come together to have children. What word do we then use for that kind of thing? Will we start referring to the kind of marriage that exists for 99.99% of humanit as "heterosexual marriage" or "baby-making marriage"? Perhaps we will use a completely different word, call it "trothal," to describe this odd form of human relationship.

But, of course, if we did that, then not letting gays use that word would be exclusionary and discriminatory, and we are right back where we started.

It may be old-fashioned of me to say this, but I don't want the government telling me that I have to share in the mental delusions of people who want to say that things which are different are actually the same.

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