The Corner

Apologies to Rod (Sort Of)

Rod, apologies if my remark seemed too personal. It’s been a theme in your own brave writing — in which you bravely explain why you oppose gay marriage and then you explain why we are going to all lose on the issue inevitably.

I honestly do not understand why predictions of defeat are useful. The future has not yet happened. Today we will win another victory in North Carolina. Should we really have thrown in the towel? I suppose the implicit suggestion is that if we stop fighting gay marriage we will be in a better place to try to “protect our institutions.” If that’s the argument, I think it’s just a political error. The charge of hate and bigotry — which started out directed against people who refused to make civil and respectful arguments, then was used against people who oppose domestic-partnership benefits, then quickly against those who oppose civil unions, and is now being thrown at those who oppose gay marriage — will then shift to people who want to “protect bigotry” with conscience exemptions. If conservative elites succeed in depressing the American people out of this fight, the result will not be more protections for our institutions, but less of a chance. The gay Left would like to remake an America in which, in the sacred name of equality, it is not respectable to oppose gay marriage. It’s not a bug, it’s a feature of “marriage equality.”

It doesn’t matter if you personally oppose gay marriage if you personally urge everyone else to share your view that giving up is the only option.

The argument from despair, in any war, including a culture war, is the most powerful single argument one can promote.

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