Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My Liberalism is Showing...

So there's a friend of mine from college who is gay. We recently reconnected through Facebook and she writes the typical posts you see on Facebook most of the time. Recently, however, she posted about freedom in our country and how discrimination against gays is still rampant. She got some interesting responses! Not all of her friends are liberal and accepting of who she is, apparently, because two people commented in support of the laws that do not allow gays to marry. I, being the loudmouth that I can be sometimes, had to stick my two cents in. (I love getting up on the old soapbox.) One guy wrote out several points he felt were important; I had my say, then some other guy wrote the following, quoted without his permission but he posted it on a semi-public forum so there:

"Caleb, I'll add one point to yours...

5) This country is NOT a democracy, it is a representative republic, and as such, the people elect representatives to speak for them. Thus, under the republican form of government, when someone says "I'm voting for X because of my beliefs" they might just be speaking for the constituents who put them in office, what a concept...

Kim, why on earth would you think that gay couples should be allowed to adopt in every state? States have the ability to set rights as determined by their populations. It seems that more and more states are over turning these kinds of rulings that were put in place by activist state courts. Don't the people get to decide the kinds of laws that they can be ruled under? After all, our constitution states that we the grant powers TO the government, not receive them FROM government.

Shari, I think you make a good point about the melting pot, however that vision has been corrupted by the political parties in the name of the multicultural agenda and pandering to an uninformed electorate to keep themselves in power. Personally, I think the LGBT community would be better served to strive for a libertarian governing style versus the social liberal one they appear to embrace so wholeheartedly. I find it interesting that so many on the ideological left are so willing to circumvent the checks and balances to create law in the courts (a la CA Prop 8) that are in direct contravention to the will of the people, just like in Maine. So, who is right, the people or the state courts?"


Here is my response, and I think I was pretty darn eloquent, so I'm putting it out there as a blog post:

Matt:
The majority can be just as tyrannical as any king or dictator could ever hope to be. Why do you think we don't have a true democracy? Our founding fathers in their wisdom knew that would be a mistake, thank goodness. That's why checks and balances were put in place as well, like our "activist" state courts. Many, many things the "majority" want in this country have historically been wrong, usually in the form of discrimination of some sort. Ask Abe Lincoln about that, for instance. We fought a war with ourselves over state's "rights" to discriminate and enslave other people. This is no different. Discrimination is wrong, period. When consenting adults want to marry it is wrong to deny them something so many others enjoy. Same for adoption. Gay couples should be allowed to adopt in EVERY state. Being gay in and of itself should NEVER be a criteria to deny a couple the right to create a family. (There may be other reasons to deny a couple the right to adopt, but being gay, or black or in an inter-racial marriage for that matter, are not among them.)

As for the libertarian style of governing, that's a pie in the sky point of view. That assumes that we are all moral and decent and capable of governing ourselves and that the "big guys" won't victimize the "little guys", that people will always do the right thing and make the right choices. HA. Take a look at recent events, like lead paint in toys, the way the large financial institutions made reckless decisions with money that affected us all and sent the entire country into an economic tailspin. The way the entire farm industry lies to us and continues with practices they KNOW are getting people sick. (I'm reading "Eating Animals" at the moment so that is particularly fresh in my mind.) Corporations are greedy, people are greedy, and they will do things that will victimize and hurt others and that needs some serious regulation. Libertarians are overly optimistic if they think the market will control that. Companies are too good at hiding what they don't want the public to know. If we veer towards a libertarian form of government too many people would be hurt. For me, it's about what we have governments FOR. Any government, not just ours. Why do we as a species have them? What does a good one look like? For me, a good form of government protects the rights of EVERY person, not just the big guys like corporations. The thug down the street shouldn't be allowed to rob and steal from his neighbors because he's bigger and stronger, nor should any business be allowed to lie to the public and sell unsafe products, passing them off as a good thing. The Madoffs of this world should go to jail. The rights of everyone, including the LGBT community, should be protected, even if the people they are being protected from are the "majority". There are other things a government should do, of course, but these things are pretty basic in my book.

2 comments:

Mark said...

His argument boils down to that joke sign you sometimes see: "There's no reason for it, it's just our policy". Or he thinks that majority opinions can overrule minority rights, which, as you pointed out, is ridiculous, and is not how our system is set up. Funny how standing up for equals rights becomes "circumventing checks and balances".

Aunt Marjorie went to the funeral of her former boss yesterday. He was gay, and by all accounts it was a travesty of denial on the part of his family, who shunned and excluded his grieving partner, and wouldn't even mention his homosexuality. Disgraceful. They likely would've been married, if the law here allowed it, and there would've been no denying his partner a place in the ceremony, instead of being left out in the cold. This stuff matters.

Kim said...

How can people who claim to love each other be so cold and uncaring? How can you truly love someone you refuse to SEE? When I worked with troubled teens I saw a trend among those who were "troubled" (as separate from those who were biologically/clinically mentally ill); invariably they had parents who couldn't SEE them and who denied who they were. It's as if the kids were rebelling and getting into more and more trouble in an effort to say "SEE ME, THIS IS WHO I AM".

Such a tragedy.