The economy's picking up, but gay marriage is still worth opposing
As same-sex marriage burns like a wildfire across states and nations -- with New Zealand, Britain, France, Rhode Island, Minnesota, and Delaware the latest to get burned -- there is a fount of so-called conventional wisdom forming, which deems it necessary and inevitable that conservatives should abandon their fight against same-sex marriage and same-sex parenting (two very different issues, by the way, that have gotten entangled).
My co-blogger "Papa Maman" and I have tried to document the ways the American academy and the American press have manufactured this conventional wisdom out of whole cloth, but we know that our voices are ultimately powerless against the firestorm. A broad perception has developed that conservatives are better-advised to focus on their strong suit: teasing the Democrats for their spending habits and budgetary cluelessness.
Here's the problem: as the stock market is doing demonstrably well and economic signs are improving, it will be harder for conservatives to convince people that liberals are completely incompetent when it comes to spending. Part of the problem is that when it comes to financial policy, many Americans have noticed that neo-liberalism and neo-conservatism are not very different. As my French correspondent Iphigénie recently wrote, "right and left -- what's the difference?"
The difference lies in precisely the place where the purveyors of the new same-sex marriage "consensus" hope to expel conservative dissent. As Stella Morabito has pointed out in past AT articles, the case for same-sex marriage is based on canards and evasions. Jennifer Roback Morse also cogently reminds us that gay marriage advocacy is also really just about money, while opposition remains largely the province of poor non-white Democrats (think "potential conservatives, if we can stay on message").
These snappy, smart pieces confirm my underlying suspicions about my own gender; female conservatives have a habit of pointing out important things on social issues where their male conservative counterparts tend to get lost in sweeping Ciceronian rhetoric.
People who feel uncomfortable with same-sex marriage aren't crazy. Same-sex marriage will open many portals for same-sex parenting, which involve, literally, the destruction of the family unit. I say "literally" because for same-sex parenting to be fully encouraged by American law, the government must subsidize five scenarios, all of which dismantle a child's internationally recognized right to bond with his or her father and mother unless absolutely necessary. Here are the five scenarios, just as a refresher course:
1) Someone who conceived a child during a heterosexual relationship broke up with his partner and then came out and got a new gay partner to replace a spurned biological parent. To subsidize this, we must subsidize divorce.
2) Someone who conceived a child during a heterosexual relationship lost her partner through death, and then came out as gay and coaxed her child(ren) to replace the dead parent's memory with a new second mom. To subsidize this, we are encouraging widows and widowers to force a new face on their children's dead parents' memories.
3) A gay couple adopts an orphan. (Foster care for gay couples is something I support, but remember that gay rights groups have conveniently thrown in full adoption rights as a demand apart from foster care.) Since the waiting list for adoption is very long at the present time, realistically speaking, this involves forcing adoption agencies to skip over willing adoptive homes that could have provided a mom and a dad in favor of a politically correct placement into a home missing a parent of one sex. To subsidize this, we are depriving orphans of a mother or of a father, based on what adults want.
4) Two gay men pay a woman to bear a child for them and turn him or her over, then go away. To subsidize this, we are encouraging the purchase and sale of human life, as well as abandonment of children for pay. We are also fueling misogyny and reducing women to the status of baby-factories. Like the descendants of slaves, children conceived this way may not feel the direct physical effects of exploitation, but they must live with a broken link in their ancestry and will always know they were bought and sold.
5) Two lesbians go to a sperm bank and pay a stranger to masturbate into a cup, sire their children, then go away. To subsidize this, we are encouraging men to sell their fatherhood. We are also creating a new generation of young adults to face the pains documented by Alana S. Newman, founder of AnonymousUs.
I say screw the focus groups and Beltway experts. What do we believe, as conservatives? Are we this weak and gutless that we are going to abandon a serious ethical debate, because we look better (in our minds, at least) when we are talking about low taxes, libertarianism, and job statistics?
To those who answer yes to the above, there's more bad news. For Friday, May 10, 2013, the headline for the Wall Street Journal reads "Falling Deficit Alters Debate."
Of course, we shouldn't be fooled. The same article mentions that the "debt ceiling is estimated to be reached May 19, "which means that the government is still drowning in debts regardless of the surprise windfall of $59 billion coming in from Fannie Mae and the $231 billion drop in the deficit relative to a year ago."
While the Dow Jones has gone up by 20% since November 15, 2012, the job force participation rate remains at historic lows, and the average American is still very anxious about his economic future.
Being no economist, I have to marshal my common sense and think of this Wall Street Journal article in terms of analogy. It would be like saying, "Two Big Stones Roll into Death Valley, Changing View from Above."
We still have a massive spending problem, and somebody -- one hopes, the supposedly conservative Republican Party -- ought to be doing more to push for fiscal responsibility.
Yet this passage from the WSJ piece presages continued problems for people who hope to expunge social issues from the Republican Party in favor of strictly economic libertarianism:
Many Democrats have called for a broad budget deal that would reduce the deficit over many years by raising taxes and curbing the growth of Medicare and other entitlement spending. They have also called for canceling the across-the-board spending cuts, known as the sequester, that began in March.
For their part, Republicans hoped to force Democrats to accept more spending cuts without raising taxes, make deeper changes to entitlement programs and perhaps commit to overhauling the tax code.
But the evaporation of the summer debt-ceiling deadline has removed any sense of urgency. Neither party now sees incentives to offer concessions and feels no pressure [sic] to act soon, several lawmakers said.
Regarding the economy, the Democrats are in a perfect heads-we-win, tails-you-lose situation. If the economy improves enough for people not to feel the effects of the massive deficit, they will thank Barack Obama. If the economy continues foundering enough for them to see the effects on their personal lives, then they will be angry at rich people, whom the Democrats continue to caricature as white male Republicans. After all, in the minds of the average American, who says things like "accept more spending cuts without raising taxes"?
Stripped of all the nuance and complexity for which full-time political analysts in the Beltway have copious time, most Americans hear "accept more spending cuts without raising taxes" and assume the person saying such a thing is a rich person out to buy a second or third mansion while ignoring homeless people and disabled veterans. If you're the party stuck saying such a slogan, you had better be sure you have something else to say, something compelling to people who don't have time for charts and pie graphs -- or you are going to keep losing.