In frontier parliance, to "Acknowledge the Corn" is to acknowledge that part of an opponent's argument which has become so obvious and irrefutable as to be embarrassing.
In the Foley scandal, the Republican Party has now joined the Catholic Church in producing and countenancing an unconscionable scandal of its own making. The scandal emanates from both institutions failing to acknowledge what most corporations, an increasing number of nations, states, and municipalities, and the field of biology have all grown to accept: that sexual orientation is innate. It's time for the Republican Party to acknowledge what educated society has long since stopped denying, and to accept the ramifications.
Where condemnation of gays ebbs and affirmation rises, people with same-sex orientation can live fulfilled lives.... in stable partnerships and healthy family, social, and employment networks, all intertwined and mutually reinforcing to the benefit of civil society.
But where condemnation persists, there guilt, shame, and fear haunt individuals. Rather than basing a life in stable, loving relationships reinforced by society, a closeted man or woman fearing condemnation assumes an unnatural life and identity. His or her career, livelihood, and even family life come to depend on a facade. So, too, then, do the institutions which come to depend upon their contributions. Soon, all depends on maintaining a base lie, and a moral corrosion sets in and spreads.
There is, unfortunately, a poetry to the fix that the Republican Party find itself in today. Having erected a towering moral edifice built on corrosive hypocrisy, the Party's power must crumble when the base lies explode into view. Catholic and Republican, Foley tried to hide his sexuality from the view of the two institutions to which his life was dedicated, and his sexuality spread into another direction.... of on-line harassment of vulnerable youth. (While his subjects were young, they were post- pubescent and possibly even beyond age of consent. I'll leave it to psychologists and law enforcement to characterize Foley's activity. It's not clear to me that pedophilia is accurate, but it is clear it was at the very least brute harassment by a person leveraging age and authority in a work environment. )
The Republican Party is no innocent victim to this scandal; instead, it is the social conservatism of the Party, denying the reality of immutable sexual orientation and refusing it healthy air, that has produced this particular instance of rot. Its time for the Party to affirm nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation (and gender identity) and move to promote, rather than destroy, an environment in which same-sex relationships can survive and stabilize.
(This is a cross-post from the First Republican blog.)