In an extremely confusing article written by Chad Felix Greene, an openly gay conservative columnist for The Federalist, it’s argued — with what can only be presumed is a straight face — that being openly conservative is far harder than being openly gay is.
Greene asks why anyone would choose to be conservative, since espousing conservative views, he argues, is met with the same knee-jerk shaming and vilification being gay would earn twenty or more years ago. Chad gets to ignore that a solid 35-50% of the country identifies as conservative, and that being conservative is not akin to being in a minority group like the LGBTQ community.
Today I look out across the turbulent sea of political discourse and ask, “Why would anyone choose to be a conservative?”
Chad feels pretty okay about being gay now because in the past people outside his political camp defeated his. This makes the entire premise of his piece laughably moot. But let’s pretend it didn’t for the sake of argument.
If there is one thing you can count on, usually, from conservatives, it’s their ability to turn themselves into victims, when they’re actually not the victims at all.
To be a conservative means to openly invite others’ hatred into your life and to lose your humanity in the eyes of strangers who view you exclusively through stereotypes and prejudices.
Chad has it completely backwards.
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Yes, liberals are quite intolerant of some conservative views — namely the ones that excuse hate and intolerance. He’s stripping thirty or forty years of context and subtext from the conservative arguments against marriage equality, or immigration, or pretty much anything that requires white conservatives to display human empathy. Don’t take this the wrong way — liberals and progressives can certainly get too aggressive when trying to police tone and speech content. However, in his piece Chad ignores mountains of quotes from conservatives who used “stereotypes and prejudices” to argue against same-sex marriage, birthright citizenship, and several other hot button conservative issues.
Greene had some fun re-writing what being conservative means, too.
To be a conservative means to be forced to choose when to speak and when to remain silent, since offending someone on the left, even mildly or by accident, is a social battle you may not be able to win. To be a conservative means carefully regulating your speech and constructing opinions in such a way as to avoid being banned from the public square. To be a conservative means to be a marginalized voice, suppressed and dehumanized; bullied into hesitating to speak out.
What? LOL. No.
No one is telling conservatives to shut up, or to change their beliefs. Everyone has the right to believe what they want, but Chad wants to be able to spout off at the mouth about what he believes without people noticing hypocrisy or hilarious irony. Being a gay conservative Republican comes with a heaping dose of irony, I’m afraid, because conservative Republicans spent so long making being gay a crime against humanity.
Greene whines that conservatives are told to “stop flaunting” their beliefs like gay people were told to simply hide in the proverbial closet to avoid persecution. It sounds to me, though, that Chad is mostly upset that all the world isn’t an echo chamber. Honestly, if he wants to see liberals being told to shut up, all he has to do is go to a Breitbart or Fox News comment thread and call himself a liberal, or a democratic socialist.
Chad complains about people “Lumping in Milo” Yiannopoulos with all gay conservatives. This is actually a fair point, but maybe if LGTBQ conservatives spent a little more time policing their own and publicly distancing themselves from Milo — you know, like they demand every moderate Muslim do after every terror attack — the rest of society wouldn’t feel like they kinda are okay with Milo.
Mr. Greene also argues only conservatives are targeted for content policing on social media. I can tell you point blank, from personal experience, that is complete and total ridiculousness. I have eight twitter accounts I’ve had banned for what Twitter calls “hateful conduct.” By the way, to Twitter, “hateful conduct” can mean “telling an elected official to go fuck themselves when they imprison 7 year olds at the border.”
People of all political stripes get gang reported because snowflaky behavior is not, despite conservative popular opinion, limited to liberals.
The real point that Greene is casually missing is that being conservative is, in fact, a choice. Being gay isn’t.
If you hold conservative values that are not tolerated anymore, you can choose to change them, or you can make a good argument for why we should change ours. You can’t choose to un-gay yourself and make bigots like you again.
No one has passed any laws defending the “sanctity” of liberalism lately, but how many “religious freedom protection” acts have we seen pop up in more red states since the Supreme Court effectively made marriage equality a legal paradigm a few years ago? It’s more than baffling — along the lines of infuriating — that someone in the LGBTQ community would so easily blur the lines between something is very much so a choice — political ideology — and something that is very much so not your choice, like your sexual orientation.
I am not gay, and I would never, ever be so pretentious, cruel, or heartless to presume to tell any member of any minority group what life experience has been. I am sure that Chad Greene thinks he’s really being persecuted as badly for being conservative as he would be for being openly gay a few years ago. He’s entitled to believe that.
I’m just saying he made a dumb argument filled with ironic hypocrisy and self-unawareness in favor of his beliefs, that’s all.