11.05.2004

The Liberals are the New Gays!

Soon, perhaps, loveable, harmless, purposely apolitical liberals will team up with tolerant conservatives in a smash sitcom that "breaks down barriers", as in Will & Grace. Newly domesticated, these liberals will do funny, sitcomesque things like -- pack up their own fast food orders in hemp, recyclable, organic boxes they bring from home! Attempt to identify strangers using no race-based, sex-based, looks-based, or age-based language! Institute a "Bring a Muslim to Work" day!
It will be funny, we'll all laugh, there will be product placement, and trend stories will be written that America Loves Liberals!

For now, tho, they are hated, despised, and feared. In return, they hate all of America. In the aftermath of the drubbing they received Tuesday, they have turned on the stupid masses. Bush is not just a moronic criminal mastermind used by evil (Jewish) neocons, he's now a vampire. My leftie friends (meaning all my friends) are obssessed with the "Jesusfreaks & Hillbillies" that gave us four more years.

But behind all of this is a question: Where to go now? That is, do the Democrats turn left or center?

Well, let me continue with my liberals are the new gays meme. Back in the early 90s, when I was a long-haired radical gay activist going to "Queer Nation" meetings in college and then retreating to San Francisco to join ACT UP, we got to create lots of Reagan-hating agit-prop. We got to march in anger and feel the thrill of being a RADICAL. But not all gays were "radicals". Some were "assimilationists". Today, we forget this dichotomy, because the entire gay world has been taken up by the tender hug of Ikea, Details, and other market-capitalist forces. The gays have moved to the suburbs and have become just normal folks that want to raise kids who are a little bit more stylish than everybody else.

But back then, it was an Issue. The assimilationists wanted to wear sweaters, stay out of trouble, and move to suburbia. The radicals wanted to SMASH HETEROSEXISM, link up with people of colors, the working class, and oppressed nations. The radicals wanted revolution. The assimilationists simply wanted equal rights. The liberation or assimilation question is now quaint for the gays. But for the liberals, it lives. Is America basically an evil country that needs to be redeemed, that needs to be taken apart and put back together? Are the evil forces of market capitalism (Halliburton!), crony capitalism (Halliburton!), racism (Free Mumia!), military colonialism (No Blood for Oil!), etc, so entrenched in Amerikka that we need some sort of revolution? A domestic intifada, perhaps?

Or should the liberals make their peace with an essentially good America and work on polishing this fine apple of a nation, perhaps by expanding health care? Or improving social security?

The gays have won by moving to the suburbs and marrying. Let us not forget that in the internal struggles of leftist gay activism in the early 90s, marriage rights were taken up by the assimilationist wing. Andrew Sullivan (Who I called an "Auntie Tom" in those days) was the most prominent supporter. I believed the struggle for gay marriage was right on its merits (discrimination sucks, dude) but wrong in its direction (Who wants to be a part of America? Let's live in polymorphously perverse communes!). But a few lawyers and a few Ernie & Berts got together and now it's making its way thru the system (Massachusetts and Vermont take it up! Backlash occurs! The American political system will straighten it out in all its wisdom, I'm confident).

And now, more and more gays are just normal folks. Even Andrew Sullivan is making his lovely journey from Reaganite to Bushite to Kerryite, and more power to him.

So too the libs and the left must make their choice. What is it to be? To retreat to a cocooned commune of Amerika hatred? Or to surrender to the general goodness of America and assimilate? America will move forward. The question is whether the left will too.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

From Cathy Seipp: Good blog, good thoughts, and I love Echo Park. We're on the same page!

1:08 PM  
Blogger Andrew Hochberg said...

>Massachusetts and Vermont take it up! Backlash occurs! The American >political system will straighten it out in all its wisdom, I'm confident.
i'm not. there'll be up to four supreme court seats available in the next four years. not only worry for their possible validation of anti-gay [& anti-abortion, anti-privacy] legislations, but also i worry that the liberals and myopic gay activists will continue to kick the gay-rights-dog, ensuring more backlash.
other than that, though, more power to you.

7:38 PM  

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