prop 8

You know, I just don't get the double standard.

We don't talk about the "legitimate concerns" of the drug warriors who
take medicine from the sick.

We don't talk about the "legitimate concerns" of those who want to
continue criminalizing sex workers.

We don't talk about the "legitimate concerns" of the gun control
advocates who would disarm this entire city (except for the criminals).

We don't talk about the "legitimate concerns" of the Islamophobic
pro-war crowd (yet, but given the attacks on Tom Sipos for making the
LPC newspaper too anti-war, it's just a matter of time).

But we do talk about the "legitimate concerns" of those who
intentionally subvert Yes! on Equality's initiative to repeal Prop 8 by
proposing a competing initiative to confuse the voters and ensure that
neither passes.

What makes this issue special compared to the others?

And to address the earlier point that the economy is more important than
a debate on gay rights... Even if that's true, then the LPC shouldn't
be investing its scarce resources in advancing the DPI.

Seriously, I just don't understand all of these arguments for why I need
to stop calling it like it is, which is that the LPC ExCom endorsed a
competing initiative to the initiative that would repeal Prop 8,
inviting one of its sponsors to our last ExCom meeting and its other
sponsor to speak at our Convention in a few weeks, though they say that
they can't support the repeal of Prop 8, because they're too busy
addressing economic concerns. So they're too busy with economic issues
to defend my equality under the law, but they have plenty of time to
redefine marriage as a purely religious construct, even though marriage
existed centuries before organized religion? These same people who for
years said that marriage equality was "too radical" for the LP to
support, now that it's within a couple percentage points of becoming law
at the ballot box, have flip-flopped and decided that marriage equality
isn't radical enough, so we should instead get rid of all marriages in
the state, even if it means a massive federal tax hike for all
opposite-sex couples, a proposition that's not supported by anywhere
near 48% of the voters.

Why am I the only one who sees this as nothing more than a big socially
conservative smokescreen to derail the repeal of Prop 8 now that we're
so close to having majority support? Do their arguments really make any
sense to the rest of you? You don't see them as at all self-contradicting?

Rob

Philip Berg wrote:

Rob Power wrote:

You know, I just don't get the double standard.

We don't talk about the "legitimate concerns" of the drug warriors who
take medicine from the sick.

We don't talk about the "legitimate concerns" of those who want to
continue criminalizing sex workers.

We don't talk about the "legitimate concerns" of the gun control
advocates who would disarm this entire city (except for the criminals).

We don't talk about the "legitimate concerns" of the Islamophobic
pro-war crowd (yet, but given the attacks on Tom Sipos for making the
LPC newspaper too anti-war, it's just a matter of time).

Well, we should. I try to.

Because we will never succeed in convincing them that they are wrong
unless we can understand where they’re coming from; we will make
arguments that do not actually address their concerns and are thus
easily dismissed.

There are some drug warriors who are in it for the control or for
financial gain, but many supporters of the drug war are genuinely
concerned about the health and social damage that they believe drugs
cause. By understanding those concerns, we can discuss how concern
about some of those harms are unfounded, how others are actually
mitigated by ending the drug war, and how damage caused by the drug war
is worse than the other harms.

There are many supporters of criminalizing sex work who genuinely
believe that all sex work is exploitative, or that it is immoral and
should thus be illegal. By understanding those concerns, we can discuss
how criminalization makes exploitation more likely, or why legislating
morality is inappropriate, ineffective, and unconstitutional.

There are many supporters of gun control who genuinely believe that guns
can only be used for harm, and that they are inherently dangerous. By
understanding those concerns, we can discuss research and statistics
showing that responsible gun ownership increases personal and community
safety, and that gun control measures do not actually improve safety.

There are Islamophobic warhawks who genuinely believe that Islam is an
inherently violent religion and culture bent on the destruction of the
United States and Euro-American culture in general. By understanding
those concerns, we can (try to) discuss the inaccuracy of their sources,
the vast majority of peaceful Muslims, and the political actions of the
United States that exacerbate the problem. (This is probably the most
difficult one on the list... .)

And we should try to understand why someone might support the DPI. I
think there are many reasons why it’s appealing to a libertarian; I did
not understand the problems with it at first. Dismissing the entire
view as illegitimate makes it impossible to actually attempt to convince
anyone to change that viewpoint, and also makes the undecided bystanders
question the strength of the countering position.

And in this particular case, it makes observers on the margin continue
to regard the LP as a cesspool of petty infighting. It doesn’t matter
who started it; if we must compete with each other, let’s try the
holier-than-thou approach of being more civil than our opponents.

In this particular case, I am appalled that the LPC did not convincingly
weigh in against Prop. 8 at the time, and so I do question the motives
involved here. But that does not mean that everyone who shares the same
viewpoint shares the motives, and they should not be casually dismissed
or worse, insulted.

IMO,
Chris

Thanks so much for this, Chris. It really did wonders for my pulse and
blood pressure. It's not hard to understand where Rob is coming from,
either; we've all been there, or close enough. And you are not the
first person to say the things you've said. But I'm inclined to think
it would be a good thing if everybody in the world read them once a
day--if not every few minutes.

Okay, I'm definitely cool with it if that's the new standard. :slight_smile:

So should I try to get an anti-prostitution, anti-gun, anti-drug, anti-Islam speaker booked to speak at the state party convention in Visalia immediately after the DPI sponsor finishes speaking? I want to do my part to help the cause of understanding the legitimate motives of our political opponents.

Rob

Rob wrote:

Okay, I'm definitely cool with it if that's the new standard. :slight_smile:

So should I try to get an anti-prostitution, anti-gun, anti-drug,
anti-Islam speaker booked to speak at the state party convention in
Visalia immediately after the DPI sponsor finishes speaking? I want
to do my part to help the cause of understanding the legitimate
motives of our political opponents.

I did not say that we should adopt or endorse these positions... that is
not the same as understanding. Nor is understanding the same as
claiming that those viewpoints are libertarian.

There is a difference here, though. I don’t think anyone is claiming
that the drug war is libertarian. There are those claiming that the DPI
is libertarian. If you want to convince those who are undecided, or who
are tentatively in agreement with them, you will (IMO) have better
success by engaging them politely, if vigorously, rather than insulting
them, and by understanding and defusing their actual arguments rather
than their perceived ones. See my previous rant, “In politics,
perception is almost everything”; you run the risk of turning people off
with your tone before they have a chance to actually hear and understand
what you are saying.

~Chris