Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Douche of the Day: Newt Gingrich

Newt Gingrich frets over "gay and secular fascism":

"I think there is a gay and secular fascism in this country that wants to impose its will on the rest of us, is prepared to use violence, to use harassment. I think it is prepared to use the government if it can get control of it. I think that it is a very dangerous threat to anybody who believes in traditional religion."

This is among the stupidest things Newt Gingrich has ever said and wins him Douchebag of the Day!

If Newt reckons that gay folks’ boycotting people who worked to deprive them of their civil rights is fascism, he needs a better dictionary or to use the one that he has. Private, voluntary, peaceful action of this sort is just about as non-fascist as it gets. And what about "homophobic and religious fascism"? Wouldn’t gay haters who boycott Disney or McDonalds also be fascists by Newt’s reasoning?

Frankly, Newt sounds like the apologists for the slavocracy who fretted about abolitionists or segregationists who fretted about enlightened racial attitudes. In each case, the traditionalists (slaveowners, racists, homophobes) were already using the government to sustain their values (slavery, segregation, and discrimination based on sexual orientation) and characterized a potential loss of power as the other sides’ "use of government" to impose its will. The reactionaries are imposing their will, but that’s evidently OK.

Gays with equal rights pose no threat to traditional religion unless traditionalists consider it threatening to be held up to ridicule and contempt for their anachronistic opinions. When black folks were guaranteed civil rights, you could still be a racist bastard. There’s nobody standing in your way even now, but you no longer enjoy widespread acceptance of your views. When gays get equal rights, you can still be a gay hating loon, but you’re not going to get very many folks outside of your cult to respect your opinion.

Abraham Lincoln’s address at Cooper Union comes to mind. What, Lincoln asked, would satisfy the advocates of slavery?

"..what will convince them? This, and this only: cease to call slavery wrong, and join them in calling it right. And this must be done thoroughly - done in acts as well as in words. Silence will not be tolerated - we must place ourselves avowedly with them. Senator Douglas' new sedition law must be enacted and enforced, suppressing all declarations that slavery is wrong, whether made in politics, in presses, in pulpits, or in private. We must arrest and return their fugitive slaves with greedy pleasure. We must pull down our Free State constitutions. The whole atmosphere must be disinfected from all taint of opposition to slavery, before they will cease to believe that all their troubles proceed from us."

This is precisely what the authoritarians demand of us on the question of homosexuality. Not only must we tolerate their homophobia but we must affirm it with all our hearts. Otherwise, we are "fascists".

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