Waymon Hudson

The "Intimidation" Argument: Far Right Hypocrisy on Parade

Filed By Waymon Hudson | June 30, 2010 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Marriage Equality, Politics, The Movement
Tags: bigots, bullies, conservative politics, Family Research Council, free market, hypocritical motherfuckers, intimidation, Maggie Gallagher, National Organization for Marriage, NOM

There's a new cry of outrage coming from the far right of American Politics and conservative circles. As more of their arguments against social issues like LGBT equality get shown time and again to be based on personal bigotry, private religious beliefs, or sheer fact-free ignorance in court cases and political campaigns, they've started playing the victim card as the new go-to meme:

homo-sex.jpgPolitical intimidation from the mean, militant gays.

Yes, the people who are actively seeking to strip rights from others, force their way into their families and their bedrooms, and want to enforce their narrow worldview on a specific class of historically discriminated against people are the victims of harsh intimidation. They cite calls for boycotts, pickets, political campaigns to get rid of anti-equality politicians, and refusal to patronize businesses that support anti-gay causes as their proof. Of course they do this without any recognition of their own similar actions. Why let their calls for boycotting pro-LGBT companies or politicians get in the way of playing the besieged victim?

But the hypocrisy goes even deeper. They are decrying fair-minded people who choose to not spend money at businesses or support people that give money to causes they find highly objectionable as intimidation. Yet isn't that what they like to call "free markets" deciding on issues and regulating itself, a sacred conservative tenet?

_files_images_2007_04_anti-gay-hate-crime.jpgHypocrisy around such things from the far right is nothing new. To be honest, social conservatism and fiscal conservatism/free market capitalism are completely at odds. Free markets argue for smaller government intervention. On the other hand, social conservatives argue time and again for the government to push an ultra-conservative, 1950's set of faux-morals into the private lives of everyone. Hypocrisy and the far right go hand in hand.

But this new intimidation argument is even more ridiculous and illogical. From court cases with donors in Maine and petitions in Washington trying to stay anonymous after donating to anti-gay marriage campaigns to "shield themselves from intimidation and political push-back" to the pro-Prop 8 lawyers saying they couldn't get "expert" witnesses to support their case for fear of the radical homosexual activists coming after them, the right has wrapped themselves in martyrdom and victimhood. It seems being public about hating a group of people isn't as cool as it used to be.

runs-like-a-queer-22149-20090320-39.jpgOne would think that conservatives would have no problem with pro-equality people refusing to patronize businesses or refusing to give their hard earned money to companies that they don't agree with or who actively seek to harm them. That's the very definition of a free market, conservative attitude- let the buyers decide. Yet, as with many issues from "judicial activism" to deficit control, it seems as though those "values" only hold true if you agree with the far right. Otherwise, you are scaring them and making them uncomfortable with your silly push for equal rights.

While the hypocrisy isn't surprising, it is infuriating. When people like the National Organization for Marriage's Maggie Gallagher lament being labeled a bigot or the Family Research Council whines about being called out for lobbying to kill a US resolution against the Ugandan "Kill the Gays" Bill, 050108153318-2.JPGthey seem to forget that they are the ones causing real, provable harm to others. They are the ones who made it so loving couples can't marry, inflame anti-gay animus to dangerous boiling points resulting in hate crimes with their fear-based bigoted campaigns, and whose rhetoric puts shame and pressure on young LGBT people that result in alarming rates of suicide.

These people aren't victims or suffering from intimidation. They have taken a stance that is becoming increasingly seen for what it is: hate and bigotry. They are the aggressors, coming into our lives and imposing their views on people whose private lives don't effect them in any real way whatsoever.

phelps-halleran-03.jpgWhat's intimidating is walking down the street knowing that if you hold your partner's hand in the wrong town or neighborhood, you could be beaten or killed. What's intimidating is knowing that in most states in the nation you can be fired or kicked out of your apartment for being gay or transgender. What's intimidating is not knowing if a hospital will recognize your relationship, even with all the legal documents in place, in time for you to care for your dying partner.

When they've walked in our shoes, then maybe we can have a conversation about intimidation or fear. Until then, we'll keep calling them out for what they truly are: close-minded hate-mongers who deserve to be in the spotlight for their actions.

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Sadly, hating a particular group of people is still in vogue.

It's just that the group of LGBT people are falling out of that vogue.

It's still acceptable to hate anyone that has violated the law -- we call them all criminals. Including those who drove 6 miles over the speed limit and got caught.

It's still acceptable to hate on undocumented immigrants. Even for LGBT people, who make up a large portion of them.

But it is cool that they are finally starting to fall, that their facade of righteousness is starting to crack.

Problem is, that means we need to keep them out of office all the more. And they are running for elected office in unprecedented numbers.

Giving people like that power is always a bad idea, and that's what they seek to gain by using us in the very ways being talked about here.

They need new wedge issues. We aren't good enough anymore.

Which is progress.

It's not just us - they want to demonize all participation in the political process by less-privileged people. It's why they make up stories about voter fraud, or talk about anarchists showing up at political events even if they don't, blame environmentalists for the oil spill, called Obama supporters Nazis during the presidential campaign, labeled all liberal activists "fascists," and accuse black people of hating white people and women of hating men.

They want us all to stay home.

More to the point, the Republican party is trying to define LGBT people outside the definition of "US Citizen." Not in the literal sense of revoking our citizenship, but in a metaphorical sense where we're constantly being positioned as threats whose rights must be limited and attacked.

The Republican party's platform is currently largely built around attacking American citizens. Not just LGBT people, but also literal attacks on citizenship for children of immigrants.

A. J. Lopp | July 1, 2010 1:34 AM

In the 1950's the Joe McCarthy crowd used the exact same tactics against Communists in America --- but guess what? In a nation with free speech, promoting communism is Constitutionally protected political speech. Even so, stirring the communist soup worked pretty well, because McCarthy et al were successful at demonizing anyone with a less-than-hatred tolerance toward communism.

The tactics the Right use against LGBT people are similar --- the goal is demonization, followed by (re-)criminalization.

But the assrtion that "Homo-sex is a threat to national secuirty" has an obvious counter-argument: The Radical Right is a threat to the US Constitution because they oppose free speech and freedom of religion. Their argument is that any religion that approves of being LGBT is not a valid religion, or should not be in the eyes of the state.

Ultimately, the Christian theocrats in America are potential subversives. We should not be faint at heart when pointing this out.

Rick Sours | July 1, 2010 8:22 AM

Whenever I hear or read of individuals who express this degree of hate/rage against the LBGT community, one thought goes through my mind:

Individuals who are comfortable with themselves and their own sexuality do not continually verbally attack Gays.

I don't know, I don't like going there because it's just like saying that gay people oppress themselves, and I don't really think that's ultimately constructive or true.

Sure, yes, some closeted gay people are really homophobic and self-hating, but I think a lot of these people are just hateful straight, cis assholes.

Reading stuff such as this makes me crazy. The very idea that these ignorant bottom feeders think are better than ANYONE else is lunacy. If ever there was a case for sterilization, you just read about the poster boys. This single-digit IQ crowd should not be allowed to breed.

It's too easy - and incorrect - to say that all of the anti-gay activists are self-hating homophobes. For Mormon leaders it's 100% about power.

I was raised Mormon, and hundreds of kind, gentle, loving people that I have known all my life turned almost instantly into terrified Prop. 8 soldiers verging on hysteria - within just a few weeks. People who had never made a political donation were writing checks for thousands of dollars and working 20 hours a week to pass that initiative. They were told that God needed them to save the world - and it's very gratifying to feel that important.

Additionally, they had already sworn in their temples to give ALL of the their time and money to what their church leaders directed, regardless of the subject. So when the Prop. 8 and R71 Mormon advertisers said the "trigger words" from the Mormon temple ceremonies, theirs was an automatic and extreme response.

When you believe that your leader is a prophet speaking for God, and when you believe that Earth Life is so short as compared with eternity that making someone else suffer here is inconsequential, you can be turned into a monster almost immediately.

Christianity is based on victim mentality. We're all victims of God's capricious plans.