I've spent a lot of time today, both on here and on Facebook, complaining about how it took his own son coming out for Senator Rob Portman of Ohio to support marriage equality. The severely localized nature of conservative empathy annoys the hell out of me. But I realized something just now. Come with me below the Orange Squiggle of Understanding...
I don't diary much. I rarely have anything original to add to what's already been diaried about current events, and I don't want to muddy things up by adding redundancy to already-active waves of discussion on any particular subject. Occasionally, though, I manage to post a comment that I later recognize as touching new aspects of a subject that I haven't really seen discussed around here, and I eventually decide to make that comment a diary. This is one of those diaries.
The current public relations consensus on GLB rights (I use only the first 3 initials because mainstream "gay rights" marketing tends to, when it even bothers doing so, sneak in trans rights behind the curtain, so to speak) is what I call the "Baby Seal Approach". It should be noted that even including the second and third initials in the non-acronym is misleading, because lesbian rights have a separate approach, while bisexual rights are, if possible, more invisible than transgender rights, being subsumed by the G and the L. You know the marketing approach I mean...gay guys are cute, harmless, sassy, fashionable, funnily bitchy human accessories for straight women, who are adorably vulnerable and must be protected while they pursue their completely heteronormative search for their lifelong love with whom to settle down and adopt pets and children.
I'm not a great diarist. I'm not even all that good of one. In my almost four years hanging out here at Daily Kos, I've only published five diaries. Sometimes, though, I have a realization that I feel like I have to share with other Kossacks more generally than a comment in someone else's diary.
Republican and DLC/Third Way "Business Uber Alles" philosophy has repulsed me for as long as I can remember. I've always been what some might consider overly empathetic. I remember watching at least one TV drama in the early 80s (when I was in my very early teens) that derived conflict from the prospect of a black family moving into a white neighborhood. I understood why the white homeowners were upset about it (that it would probably decrease property values), but I couldn't understand why that trumped the black family's right to live where they wanted and could afford to live.
I just picked up Jim Hightower's Swim Against The Current: Even Dead Fish Can Go With The Flow, which highlights non-corporate businesses in the U.S. started by "the little people". Among others, Hightower spotlights the Union Cab Cooperative of Madison, WI. In 1977, the drivers at Checker Cab in Madison organized into a union. Shortly thereafter, the owner of the Checker Cab franchise in Madison shut the company down rather than fulfill his agreements.
Rawstory has an article today about Bishop Gene V. Robinson, the historic first openly gay Episcopal bishop, and his decision to retire in 2013, when he'll be 65, seven years short of the mandatory retirement age for bishops in the Episcopal Church.
Bishop Robinson cites "death threats, and the now-worldwide controversy" surrounding his election as Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire in 2003 as the impetus for his early retirement, saying that it has been "a constant strain, not just on me, but on my beloved husband, Mark".
How wonderful to see that phrase used by an ordained and elected (male) bishop of a major Christian denomination ("my beloved husand, Mark")! How horrible to read both of Bishop Robinson's retirement and the reasons for it!
Today is National Coming Out Day. There is apparently a meme going in which gay Kossacks post their own coming out stories. This is mine.
The favorite phrase of the Republican contingent in Washington, D.c., has been "9/11 changed everything!" ever since 9/11. And yet, when so many of us were poised to pitch in to help in that awful time, we were told by our president, "Go and shop!"
This is not a candidate diary, in part because I'm not allowed to write a candidate diary (being an employee of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania) and in part because I don't have a favorite candidate yet (which is academic in any case, as I'm registered Independent and thus can't vote in either primary in Pennsylvania). So, this is not a candidate diary. You can breathe easy now.
This is, however, an issue diary. The issue is one that I've been struggling with for a while now. The issue is Progressivism vs. Winning Elections. I am an unabashed progressive. I'm for universal single-payer health care. I'm for public financing of elections. I'm for a return of the Fairness Doctrine. I'm for rolling back the deregulation of media ownership. I'm for a more progressive tax scheme. I'm for reproductive choice, equality for all human beings, and amnesty and a citizenship fast-track for all current illegal immigrants. I'm for same-sex marriage and for the legalization and government commercial regulation of drugs and prostitution. I'm for the elimination of religious pressure on government to mouth placative words in favor of this or that faith. I'm for more direct citizen involvement in politics and government.
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