The Ranting Wren The Wren Forum Banner
The Glorious Wren The Movie Wren The Photo Wren Old Man Wren

Exit ArchiveArchive for November 8th, 2004

L.A. Weekly cover George Bush as vampireAs I was painting this weekend and thinking about John’s posts regarding how we should all get along, liberals and conservatives, one thought congealed in my head: Social conservatives are the ones setting up the fortresses and attacking to “protect” a way of life that is not in danger. Giving gays the right to marry, say, will not take away conservatives’ marriages to their opposite-sex spouses. Letting a woman choose will not, say, force conservatives to have to get an abortion.

Coincidentally, this concept was laid out in a funny Op/Ed piece in the Los Angeles Times on Sunday. (It’s remarkable that the same concept was discussed in the column, but also incredibly remarkable that I saw it since I never read the Op/Ed page!)

The article is here. [NOTE: This now links to The Washington Post because the Los Angeles Times makes you pay for anything archived.]

When I then recall an interview from last week with an überconservative whose goal is, in fact, to divide the nation, I have to assume that conservatives do not want to get along. My friend Steve even sent an opinion piece from the New York Times discussing the same concept of planned divisiveness.

They do not want to get along.

What conservatives want is not something for which they can be met half-way. How do you meet half-way on gay marriage? Civil unions? I need not point out again that “separate but equal” is not, and never will be, equal. America is better than that.

Social conservatives’ motives go beyond just “protecting marriage,” though. Some of the 11 anti-gay state initiatives that won last Tuesday include additional language to make civil unions unequal to marriage, gay or no. Social conservatives are not afraid of gay marriage, but of “gay” in general. To them it is an abomination, no matter what you say, so they desire nothing less than to remove gays from society. They can’t do this outright, of course, so all they can do is try to “protect marriage” from gays. It is merely one step to them. Removing gays from teaching and from the military (beyond don’t ask, don’t tell), these are next steps.

Liberals, on the other hand, are just asking for equality. Such a request puts no burden on conservatives, it asks them to do nothing they do not already do, and to lose nothing they already have. They can keep living the life they are already living, without detriment. Yet they will not allow it.

Things have changed in this country as far as social equality. But they have changed exactly because people have not backed down, or “calmed down.” The conservatives will, in the end, always lose these battles because I believe we tend to move toward a more accepting and equal society (barring a major dark-ages-type social upheaval in favor of the conservatives, that is). But the conservatives always fight anyway because, as John said, “they” think “they” are right. With the election of Bush, social conservatives will continue to barricade avenues of progress that have yet to be opened to those not subscribing to their ideals. If things go as Viguerie hopes (see article above), previously open avenues will be re-barricaded.

Liberals and progressives believe they are right, too! They think their beliefs are better than everyone else’s because these beliefs err on the side of inclusiveness and tolerance. I dare to argue such beliefs ARE better.

My improv buddy Lori, who spent days in Florida working to un-elect Bush, said this to me last Thursday: “There is room in my world for them, but there is not room in their world for me.”

Bush was—is—all about bigotry and divisiveness. Those of us who could not reward such a man and his platform and his cadre of staff who support such notions have every right to be upset and angry that he is remaining in office. If anyone wants to get along with the other side, it’s us, but to them, we should be spat upon. Or, at the very least, we should obey. (Thus the pic for this post!)

That is the crux of it. That is why there is an “us” and a “them.” John is right that we need someone to come along who can speak to everyone. But there is no one right now. In fact, I don’t know how to balance a platform of equal rights and inclusion with a platform of God-given superiority.