|Daily Dose of Reason - Society & Culture|
|Friday, 11 May 2012 00:00|
All the ruckus over gay marriage is single-issue politics at its worst.
Don’t the people fighting over gay marriage – pro and con – understand that they’re merely pawns in the continuing quest for power by politicians?
Obama, who was previously on record against gay marriage, is now suddenly for it. He obviously fears a close election. He wants a wedge issue to gain every interest group he can – in this case, gays and lesbians – so he can eke out a victory.The Republicans who oppose gay marriage are simply looking for a distraction. They cannot credibly oppose Obama on socialized medicine and Big Government when they have been almost as supportive (equally supportive, in Mitt Romney’s case) of this agenda over the years. Being against gay marriage not only gives them a wedge issue, but it also provides them a rare opportunity to show where they actually differ from liberal Democrats. It’s the only opportunity they have left!
When I hear these politicians fighting over the issue of gay marriage, I no longer think about the issue itself. I simply see it as another indication of just how metaphysically insignificant our politicians and our political parties have become. People who are so lacking in principles are simply irrelevant. They are hollow men and women, nearly every last one of them.
Americans who still work and produce, and who in some sense still live in the real world, are living in the midst of an out-of-control entitlement state. It’s a cannibalistic war of all against all so that some interest groups may prevail over others. Individual rights, and private property rights, be damned. It’s gang warfare by vote. It’s uncivil behavior disguised as civility, which in one sense makes it even worse than the behavior of gangs themselves.
Gay and lesbian people are being told, in effect, “Don’t worry about the economy. Don’t think about everyone’s standard of living going down as America descends into being a debtor state. Don’t concern yourself with the threats of Iran or even China, as the declining American economy makes us more vulnerable to the whims of fascists, Communists and religious fanatics with nuclear bombs. I’m going to give you marriage rights.”
Well, how nice of you Barack. Thank you, master.
Religious conservatives are being told the same thing. “Let’s not talk about how the Republican House of Representatives has done nothing—absolutely nothing—to curb the growth of government, as promised. Let’s talk about how we hate gay people and don’t want them to get married.” Wow, there’s an easy position to play to their constituents. Profiles in courage these Republicans are not.
It took House Republicans all of – what, 15 seconds? – for them to pass an anti-gay marriage resolution, forbidding gay marriages on military bases. What about cutting spending, cutting taxes or increasing individual liberty in the realm of business? Obama won’t sign such legislation, but they could still pass it. Nothing. This can only mean that most Republicans don’t want these things, despite what they say. But bans on gay marriage they most certainly want.
If all this isn’t denial and outright evasion on a spectacular scale, I don’t know what is.
Most commentators love to say, “The American people aren’t stupid.” I’m not so sure. While many Americans are not stupid and don’t fall for this insanity, there are millions who obviously do. Otherwise, politicians would not find these strategies effective.
Americans have far bigger problems, and more profound disagreements, than gay marriage. Whether Suzie and Phyllis or Ben and John are allowed to marry has little to do with high unemployment, anemic growth (at best) in the economy, the nationalization of health care and industry, unsustainable and unprecedented national debt, an imperiled currency, and the infringement of individual rights at the hands of Big Government.
Gay and lesbian people who think that Obama actually cares about their individual rights ought to be smart enough to see that a man who routinely disregards the individual rights of people to keep what they earn, to make their own decisions about health care in a private market, or to live in an economy where private industry is free to provide growth as the norm, is never going to stand up for their rights when it really counts. In short: Obama may let you marry, but you’re going to be poor.
Similarly, religious people who want the freedom to practice their beliefs on their own property should be fair enough to grasp that people who are gay or lesbian on their own private property have every right to do so. “Marriage” is not public property available to those the government approves of, and not available to others—any more than money, medical care or property should be. The protection of private and voluntary contracts is one of the few things government is entitled to legitimately do. Small government conservatives should supposedly know this, but they evade it because of their dislike of gay and lesbian people.
It’s the bigger picture that plagues us all. Unfortunately, America has become a society of pressure group warfare, a war of all against all and group against group. It’s fed not only by the media, but by Presidents and legislators who care more about their own seizure of power than anything else.
In the process, many of us forget the one thing we actually do have in common: Individual rights. As philosopher and author Ayn Rand said, the individual is the smallest -- and the most vulnerable -- minority of all. When you take away rights from the individual, the groups will eventually perish.