Latent in my examination of Power Moms is some thought about activists for the cause of gay marriage. I haven't really done my homework at Dreadnaught, but I'll get around to it. Here's what I'm feeling today.
Gays have survived without being married through the course of history. The question of elevating the civil standing of homosexual relationships to that of Marriage is not a matter of oppression or suppression so much as it is a question of priority. Gay living is self-evidently alternative. It's not logical to give the alternative equal billing with the primary.
This is not about burning the gay flag it's about holding it lower than the straight flag. Salute who you choose, just remember what's central to society.
Conservatives like me find it disturbing that this is considered a milestone on a road to progress and ultimate equality. It is not, it is a step towards pure relativism. Liberals have perverted the concept of liberty by making everything alternative a potential political base - everyone's case is brought to bear against central mainstream values. Liberals would have us consider (just like NPR says) All Things - they are against settled consensus. Today it's gay marriage, tomorrow it's animal rights, the next day it's the rights of trees, ozone, and microbes.
The liberal cause is to make the US the locus of all rights defended. It is an understandable cause, but they actually conflating rights with privileges and social status. Conservatives like myself are more than willing to acknowledge civil unions and would certainly back away from a Constitutional Amendment if our resistance to the liberal urge towards pan-theism wasn't painted as suppressive.
As for The Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and Canada - I think we should keep a couple things in mind. First that if we can accept the simple premise that none of them can make an automobile worth a damn, that there may be other weaknesses in their societies. They are not necessarily models for the US. Secondly, they are all small countries. The effect of legalizing gay marriage in Canada is about the same a legalizing it in California (except of course that California has more gays, more people, and more influence than the whole of Canada). But for a Federal Statute to make it the law of the nation, that's an order of magnitude greater stake.
The fact of the matter is that there are plenty of gay friendly cities and towns in the US, and there is very little social acceptance necessary for gays where gays live. Civil unions would be icing on the cake, marriage would be sprinkles on the frosting. For us to make a national committment to Gay Marriage is not a step towards liberty, but one of liberal overproduction.
The great error is the politicization of the personal and I see this more and more as a feedstock for the liberal political base. So long as they can successfully convince people that that straight [white] male head of the household nuclear family is a model of suppression, they can attack the family as a dysfunctional model of organization. In other words, they want to move the alternative lifestyle to the center.
Note that the effect of this politicization of the personal is not greater inclusion, rather it's greater recognition. It is saying that that the bush league is the same as the big league and nobody needs to bother trying out for the big show. It is recognition of diversity without respect for consensus or shared values. It starts off with statements like "We're all racist". It presumes that the center of gravity of humanity doesn't exist - that it will shift through time and that at some point we could all be gay, or we could all be cripples, or we could all be something that we're not. The import of this is that our settled ideas should not have weight. Liberals are willing to always have everything in the air - to be open to all possibilities.
As I've said before, the great failure of classic liberalism is the assumption of unlimited potential. There are always limits on potential. Everything cannot be exploited. Everything cannot be taken into consideration. Surely everything is not zero sum, but there is a limited capacity for mankind to make sense of things. Our ability to have fallback positions is not a weakness but a strength. That's what keeps us human. It's why babies are always cute despite the fact that they are all so very much alike. There are not an infinite number of edifying human behaviors, and we need to organize our political priorities towards abetting a select limited set and leaving the majority of human expression out of the picture. Politicizing the personal, especially in a society that values the individual and independence, is a road to infinite disharmony.
Let's keep it towards the Red and Blue for a while, OK? I think we'll find that two way split very useful; we can agree to disagree and not act. By not acting on the personal, we create more freedom - freedom from consideration. That's a libertarian sentiment to be sure, but dammit if Liberals didn't push so hard, Conservatives wouldn't be so eager to push back.