I'm not normally one for doing the Ann-Coulter-style-call-liberals-on-their-own-hypocrisy-and-misdeeds type thing, but after a couple of days offline, having come back and checked my main email account to which readers send me comments, I feel that I've got to say something.
The volume of emails I have received from self-described Democrats and liberals containing comments like "The Republican party is nothing but a gang of fairies," "all Republican men are homos," and "how do you feel now about being embedded with the party of f*gs" (not verbatim quotes, but accurate representations of the language used, nonetheless) has been truly astounding, and I feel compelled to say something about it.
In my experience, Democrats and liberals are the quickest to scream blue murder where any kind of defamatory language describing a personal attribute, over which an individual has no control, is used, and especially when used by anyone who is not "one of their own" (e.g., Don Imus-- I'm not seeking to excuse what he said earlier this year, but I do think it's interesting that he got bashed harder and more rapidly by those opposed to the public use of derogatory comments than did Sen. Robert Byrd, a Democrat who we all remember used to recruit for the KKK and dropped the n-word a few years back to comparative silence).
In my experience, Democrats and liberals are also always the quickest to claim that they are the only ones who care about gay rights and don't view gays and lesbians as somehow inferior or deviant to straight folks. Even though the media coverage we've seen this week has demonstrated that quite a few on the liberal side of the spectrum have focused their criticism of Larry Craig on the "gay" aspect much more than the "criminal" aspect-- which has embarrassingly suggested an interest they have in exploiting a sense, which I personally believe that, unfortunately, many in the public still maintain, that there is something dirty, nasty, and downright freakish about gays and lesbians (note that this is decidedly not my view).
So excuse me if I find it a little telling and, frankly, disgusting that so many self-described proud Democrats and liberals would be emailing me using terms like "fairy," "homo," and "f*g"-- especially since the majority of these emails seem to be coming from individuals I don't even know, and who are predominantly straight, thus raising the presumptions that a) they think this kind of language is totally appropriate (otherwise, why use it so casually in emails to someone you don't even know) and b) these terms are not being used in the joking, friendly, turn-an-insult-on-its-head manner in which some gay people use them.
One of the major memes associated with the Craig affair has been that of hypocrisy.
Well, for any of you who have been sending me these emails who read this blog, let me make one thing clear.
I think it's incredibly hypocritical for people who profess to love gay people as their brothers and view them as equals and not abnormal as a result of their sexuality to be using so casually the exact slurs and derogatory language that you claim exemplifies the most conservative attitudes towards homosexuality-- which you normally deplore.
I think it's incredibly hypocritical that you decry that language when it is used by Ann Coulter (who is indeed deserving of condemnation for using the term f*ggot) and then go on to use it yourself.
I think it's incredibly hypocritical that when you claim that one of your many problems with the Republican party is its perceived intolerance (particularly of gays and lesbians), you seek to get me to change my political affiliation by playing off that intolerance and suggesting that I wouldn't want to associate myself with gays and lesbians (e.g., the email I received asking me if I was still a Republican, now that I know that the GOP is wholly comprised of f*gs).
Unlike a lot of people out there (apparently), when I say I've got no problem with gay people, I don't see them as being inferior to me, or as deviants or freaks, I mean it. It appears from the mass emails I've been receiving that a whole lot of Democrats and liberals, in their heart of hearts, cannot say the same.
That leads me to the conclusion that the greatest hypocrisy going on in relation to this whole saga relates to those who play nice with gays and lesbians to get their votes, and privately slander them whenever possible.
As I've written before, there is one big thing wrong with what Larry Craig did: he committed a criminal act, and admitted to it-- and committing crimes whilst serving as a Senator isn't consistent with good ethics. But so far as I am concerned, there is nothing wrong with him being gay, or wanting gay sex, and his policy position on gay marriage (for example) does not change any of that.
Mind you, I'm not seeking to score political points over this drama-- clearly, the people emailing me and seeking to push me away from the GOP on the basis that *gasp* it's full of dirty, deviant homosexuals, are. Count on more of this as we head into 2008, too. It will play out thusly: Democrats will tell gay people that they shouldn't even consider voting Republican because all Republicans hate them (not true; yes, a lot of the socon base does, I believe, hate gay people, but that's not the majority of the party); simultaneously, they will tell Republicans who they think might be bothered by the Larry Craig saga that our party is "morally bankrupt" (meaning not just that we've been plagued by ethics scandals of late, but that we privately condone immoral behavior like, say, anonymous sodomy-- which will freak out some of us). Don't forget, Democrats are on a serious drive right now to bring evangelicals into the party
, and, as they say in Britain, every little helps