Conservative is the New Gay

Okay, I’m still a bit uneasy about the title, but I think that it makes some good points. Following a line of thought that Robert Jones wrote about at Conservative Punk a while back, PoliGrrl asks if conservatism has become the new “gay” — something that people hide from friends or family because they’re afraid of being rejected or ridiculed for it.

Sure, going to parties where everyone else is of the same orientation makes it easier to let my guard down for awhile but, I still am uneasy in case I say the wrong thing in front of the wrong person and it comes back to haunt me. It is a worry when applying for a new job because unlike race and creed, this isn’t protected.

Online is a lot easier because it is more anonymous than the real world. Hiding behind a screen name allows for a freer interaction, but even then it has to be in the right chat room, Twitter feed or Facebook environment because I’ve been slammed, called names, and had my beliefs attacked viciously when I’ve opened up to people.

Coming out of the conservative closet is akin to coming out of the closet as gay or lesbian. Now, before anyone gets all bent out of shape because of the analogy please take a chill pill. I have greater respect and understanding of those who have any type of “secret” that affects their outlook on the world and how the world looks at them.

I have noticed that because popular cuture and the media are so liberally biased, there is a lot of derision and vitriol directed at conservative views. It really does make coming out of “the Conservative Closet” a challenging thing at times. What’s interetsing is that poll after poll has confirmed that most Americans identify as conservative in some way. How is it that people are afraid to identify with a majority world view?

Hat Tip to Donald Douglas at American Power.


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  1. #1 by jonolan on Mon 01 Mar 2010 - 17:49

    Once again we come back to the question of why you give the opinions of Liberals any weight or place any value in them or their opinion?

    The are the enemy; of course they hate you. As a conservative you represent America, the nation they wish to destroy in order to create a new quasi-state in its place.

  2. #2 by JeremyWestenn on Wed 03 Mar 2010 - 11:14

    Jonolan, you are stupid. The opinions of other people are worth discussing if you feel so, and the blogger feels its worth commentary- thus he will comment and you should not disparage him for discourse. In fact, silencing speech you don’t like is a patent conservative stereotype, try not to enforce the negatives man. Also, quit your revolutionary talk from the confines of your basement & pc, it’s not happening, it’s borderline violent language when you paint people as evil and right in terms of something in relation to government policy.

    Also, Heretic, a great portion of this country is conservative, they had Congress for a long time, the White House, I think the country has moved away from most of those economic ideas- but the concept that it’s become the new “gay” is wholly offensive considering what the state does to LGBT people, and just a flat out inappropriate comparison. This isn’t about legitimate discourse, it’s about being more persecuted than thou and trying to build a politically helpful underdog image when the image they are trying to present of society raging against them is completely illegitimate.

    • #3 by The Republican Heretic on Wed 03 Mar 2010 - 15:37

      First off, I think that Jonolan’s point is more along the lines of “who cares what they think of you” than “Their opinions on any subject don’t matter at all.” Perhaps he could have put it a little better, but that’s what I’m getting out of it. So calm the hell down.

      Secondly, as I said initially, the title of the article calling conservatism the “new gay” does make me uneasy. That said, the closet analogy fits quite well. Think about it. Why do many gays stay “in the closet”? Because they are afraid that by admitting their sexual orientation, they run the risk of being unduly criticized or discriminated against by friends, family, co-workers, employers, and others in society. I’m a graduate student in a liberal university – it is entirely possible that I might have a professor that would penalize me for “coming out” as a Republican. I have a friend whose stepmother left her father because he didn’t vote for Obama. I have had a car vandalized for displaying Republican bumper stickers. It is conceivable that I risk not getting a job at certain places because I’m not a liberal. During the 2004 and 2008 elections, Republicans were attacked and had their property vandalized, at a much greater incidence than the same happening to Democrats. The popular culture is hostile to conservatives, to the point that some see it as a necessity to conceal their political beliefs. How does the closet analogy not fit?

      I’m also not sure what the state is doing to oppress GBLTs. Yeah, it sucks that gays can’t get married in most states. I don’t really see that as endemic oppression by the state. And if you look at the popular culture, homosexuality is tolerated fairly well. Yes, there are plenty of negative stereotypes still out there, but by in large in the popular culture there is no condemnation of homosexuality. Compare that to the depiction or popular images of conservatives. Name a movie in which a wealthy banker isn’t depicted as evil and greedy. Hell, just listen to Olberman and Matthews. I met a girl while on a camping trip and she screamed at me for ten minutes about how I am stealing birth control from poor people. It is seen as socially uncouth to be conservative, and conservatives are depicted as ignorant throwbacks that need to shut up and evolve (just as Bill Maher). I haven’t seen any government reports labeling gay rights groups as domestic terrorists.

  3. #4 by jonolan on Wed 03 Mar 2010 - 11:44

    Was JeremyWest’s diatribe an example of what you’ve encountered, Heretic? It’s certainly the sort of jabbering I hear and largely ignore on a regular basis.

    I especially like how his sort decides that not giving weight to or valuing Liberals’ opinions is silencing them – an ironic position from the group who decided that Hate Speech Laws and Hate Crime laws were a good means of regulating society…

    But really, if they’re not in a position to actually harm you, why be concerned about what they say? Why fall into the trap of letting them have power over you?

    • #5 by The Republican Heretic on Wed 03 Mar 2010 - 15:41

      First of, Jeremy is a friend of mine IRL, so please be nice to him. If I can put up with him, you can too.

      The tone of your earlier comments made it seem like you were initially arguing for keeping liberal opinions out of the public sphere. I think you’re actually taking more of a “who cares what they think about you?” track, and that makes sense. The issue here, though, is that there are cases where liberals may be in a position of power over you, and where your conservative beliefs may cause problems. There are plenty of cases, especially in academia, of people being passed over for hiring or promotion because of their conservative beliefs. And that’s the point – an environment has been created that is so hostile to conservatism that it is now prudent for many to hide their political beliefs.

  4. #6 by JeremyWestenn on Wed 03 Mar 2010 - 12:04

    Again, Jonolan, you give a response to either a comment or a blog post and immediately start talking about something completely non-related to what you are responding to. The point is that if the blogger wishes to comment on peoples opinions and perceptions of those around him, and what is certainly being directed at him, he has the right to do so and you shouldn’t stop him or disparage him from that.

    Let me also reiterate that revolutionary anti-government near violent rhetoric is morally wrong and only serves to potentially hurt someone. Not to mention that it only serves to de-legitimate whatever your trying to accomplish. It’s a good reason as to why the Tea Party and right wing movement in response to the White House is not viewed very well in this country.

    Also, since you brought up Hate Crime Laws let me point that the Supreme Court has long held that the motive behind a crime can in fact be taken into account when you are sentencing and creating the crimes. Specifically, a hate crime targeted against someone of a different religion, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation is not directed at just one person- it’s directed at an entire community or group of people. Therefore the crime actually is going to have an immediate effect on more people. As such states, and the federal government, have taken it upon themselves to identify hate crimes as such.

    In regards to your well placed comment Hate Speech Laws- they don’t exist. It’s a reference to the Hate Crimes Act recently signed into law and that act has never been used to arrest someone for their first amendment protected speech. Now, there are protections for people that turn to people that are unstable, and sometimes not unstable, and direct them to kill or hurt someone- then, regardless of motive, and correctly so- you are an accomplice to that crime.

    I’ll also point out that after becoming law the lies about the Hate Crimes act arresting pastors and religious leaders have 1) Never happened, and 2) Never happened in the 20+ states that have laws similar to this that have been on the books for decades. In regards to this issue extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence and no matter how many times you say something false it will not make it true. In regards to this issue please stop lying.

    • #7 by The Republican Heretic on Wed 03 Mar 2010 - 15:48

      The Tea Party is not a violent movement. I have yet to see any indication of violence or the threat of violence from a Tea Party.

      Any casting of a crime as affecting a whole group of people based upon the thoughts of the perpetrator goes against the core principles of American jurisprudence. Groups do not have rights, individuals do. To make a crime worse because of what a person is thinking while doing it is to criminalize the thought, and is a very dangerous precedent to set. And quite frankly, I’m offended at the notion that if someone kills me because he hates people from Johnson County, that is somehow of less significance than if someone kills you because you’re gay. Does your sexual orientation really make your life more valuable than mine?

      As for hate speech, take a look at the policies of the University of Kansas. There is a speech code in place that makes certain types of speech punishable, in some cases by legal action. And while there may not yet be strict laws against “hate speech,” there are increasing calls for it.

  5. #8 by jonolan on Wed 03 Mar 2010 - 13:29

    So asking a question about why someone lets themselves be bothered by others’ opinion, especially when those others are the enemy, is stopping or disparaging him? That’s an interesting view of discourse you have there.

    So far, the only one who has been directly disparaged is me – by you. But I expect such behavior from your sort and don’t lend it undeserved credence or weight and, therefor, am not silenced by it or particularly bothered by it.

    You see, you can say whatever you want, but at the end of the day it’s power and actions that decides who’s left standing and who’s just a bad memory.

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