Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Just My Viewpoint

In broad terms, there are three reasons for my aversion to conservatism:
  1. Conservative views are often presented in dishonest, confrontational ways, with the apparent goal of alienating and vilifying those who disagree.
  2. The conservative movement has embraced anti-intellectualism.
  3. Too many conservatives are willing (if not eager) to legislate morality.[1]
The purpose of this site is to identify and analyze things that fall into the first two categories. Basically, I want my criticism of conservatives to come from a conservative perspective, which means focusing on issues where, for the most part, I agree with the conservative viewpoint, if not the mode of presentation. Besides, it's a waste of time and effort to try to change minds on issues of morality.

That said, here begins my attempt to change minds on issues of morality. Well, I’ll work up to that—first, I just want to encourage a little honesty. And by honesty, I mean something in sharp contrast to this:
I do not think that gay relationships are—they are not what God intended. And that’s just my viewpoint on it. Others might disagree with that.
I believe marriage is between a man and a woman.
[A gay president] would be bothersome to me just personally because I consider it immoral.
All of the above are quotes from Republican candidates for major offices in the various southern states I most closely pay attention to.[2] The common thread, aside from their unanimous support for traditional marriage,[3] is this “I believe” and “that’s just my viewpoint” junk. Come on, Republicans, are you even trying anymore?

You know what? I don’t think reality shows about spoiled teenagers are what God intended. I believe a proper tip is between 15% and 25%.[4] And unnecessary apostrophe’s are bothersome to me personally. Let’s pass some laws!

The “we’re a Christian nation and the Bible is all about how certain people should be treated better than others” stuff, at least, I can respectfully disagree with. I can’t disagree with “I believe marriage is between a man and a woman,” because it’s true—that is what he believes. But there’s no way Rick Scott, et al. sincerely believe that’s good enough. And that brings me back to honesty. If you’re going to support legally-sanctioned discrimination, do it for a reason that exists outside the confines of your own skull. And have the guts to be consistent about it—call for a ban on divorce, a requirement that every married couple get down to the business of procreating, a requirement that every child have a mother and a father, and whatever else needs to be done to preserve "traditional values."

I’m not saying opponents of gay marriage are wrong (I will say that, I’m just not saying it here), but, for millions of people, securing same-sex marriage rights is an extremely important and personal objective. “That’s just my viewpoint” is not an acceptable basis for denying those rights.

1. Their own morality, that is.
2. In order: (former) Georgia gubernatorial candidate Karen Handel, Florida gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott (also acceptable: George W. Bush and Barack Obama), and incumbent South Carolina Senate candidate Jim DeMint. (I know, I know, DeMint’s just being a bigot, not supporting any specific legislation—but it’s hard to ignore a quote like that.)
3. Because if gay rights advocates have their way, traditional marriage will be abolished altogether, right?
4. Lower bills sometimes call for proportionately higher tips. A 75¢ tip on $5 worth of Waffle House coffee and hash browns is just morally repugnant.


  1. all legislation is based on morality. if nothing was "wrong" then there'd be no need for laws. you could get around this by saying things are good for society or bad for society, not necessarily wrong or right, but that has it's own subjectivity, and is not at all reflective of most of our laws.

  2. Yeah, but at least we can have an argument about what's inherently "wrong," or what's good or bad for society. My complaint is with politicians who don't even try to hide that their personal beliefs determine which laws they support. Or, even worse, when they claim to be motivated by personal beliefs because that somehow sounds better than "because it says so in one of the parts of the Bible that we've decided not to ignore."