I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there are a growing number of teabaggers trying to win our votes. It’s happening in dribs and drabs — at events like last month’s (mostly failed) Uni-Tea roundup and through the Libertarian Party’s half-assed attempt to play up something called “battered gay voter syndrome“. And what’s creepy is that their rhetoric makes sense. At least, on the surface.
The message we’re getting from these small-government-obsessed scam artists is that Johnny Law should butt out of our lives, including our bedrooms. Sounds great for the Gays, right? Sounds like freedom.
But of course, a hands-off approach isn’t what the LGBT community needs. It’s not what women needed at the turn of the 20th century. It’s not what African Americans needed in the 1950s and 60s. If the government hadn’t stepped in and said, “It’s not okay to discriminate”, how long do you think it would’ve been before colleges integrated? Before women got the right to vote?
They — the teabaggers — sidle up to us now, as we’re frustrated with the lack of progress that we’re seeing on DOMA, DADT, and other fronts. They whisper softly in our ears, “Hey, if our side wins, we’ll be governed by the will of the people. When the public decides it’s time to stop discriminating against gays or blacks or Jews or anyone else, the discrimination will end!” Of course, what they don’t say is that if the public wants to discriminate, it’s a-okay in the teabagger universe.
America experimented with a similar laissez-faire social philosophy after the Emancipation Proclamation gave African Americans “freedom”. Nearly 100 years later, so little progress had been made, Congress had to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Without that, chances are pretty good that my family in Mississippi would still be eating at segregated lunch counters.
Look, I don’t like bureaucracy any more than you. I hate forms and lines and convoluted ways of doing things. But if I have to choose between that regimented life and the gunslinger-style anarchy that the teabaggers propose, I’ll be happy to fill out that requisition in triplicate, thankyouverymuch.
Bottom line: teabaggers aren’t our friends. Like Richard Socarides told Keith Olbermann earlier this week, teabaggers are just social conservatives in fiscally minded clothing. They’re promising a revolution, a “return” to government by the people — which sounds nifty, but I think the last time that happened, the Romanovs fled Moscow. Sure, it was fun at the time, the bonfires at the winter palace were faaaaabulous, but then gays and lesbians started showing up dead, which kind of put a damper on things. (Side note: I wonder what Glenn Beck would think about me comparing him to the Bolsheviks?)
What was my point? Oh yes: fuck the teabaggers. Fuck them.
And also, two other things:
1. I still don’t get the obsession with small government. Government is there to make things happen. They’re not all good things, but you know: baby, bathwater.
2. How can we believe that progress in science and medicine and technology is a good thing, but want to stay the status quo on social issues? Highly illogical.