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Posted by gustav at 02:01AM, Sunday, November 02nd, 2003

The evil, Republican-elite-controlled press wages war on civil rights and dissidence in the name of a phony mandate

The culture war is real. We may not know it -- those of us who use our brains to try to further and better humankind, and think rationally -- but we're being attacked on many fronts. We must not just sit back, as we are prone to do, and assume that, for a change, this will all pass, that it will blow over, and that, afterwards, the Democratic base will still support a party which does nothing for us. It may blow over -- but it will hurt a great many, now and for decades to come, before it does.

The latest firestorm permeating the liberal blogosphere is the NBC and CBS television networks' refusal to air an ad from the UCC (historically amongst the most gay-friendly of U.S. churches) referring to the church's tolerance and openness. The justification from CBS? That the President backs a constitutional amendment to outlaw my marriage, so discussing the issue is too controversial; therefore, they won't air issues or "advocacy advertising." Which is kind of funny, since I don't remember them refusing to discuss the stain on Monica Lewinsky's dress. In fact, I always kind of thought the role of the press was to foster rational, informed, public discussion of controversial issues, and that all advertisements were advocacy for something. Besides which, it's a little odd that a public awareness ad meant to recruit churchgoers to the UCC is suddenly an issues/advocacy ad -- whereas all of those put up by the Church of Latter-day Saints, evidently, are not. God knows, Mormons aren't political. They don't donate large sums of money to attacking gay rights across the country. Well, actually, they do. But this is all a scrim for the blatant hypocrisy of our so-called liberal media: public awareness and discussion of issues is fine if it furthers an evil Republican agenda, but not in the service of progressive causes.

CBS's and NBC's actions would strike me as slightly less insidious, evil, and troubling, if they didn't come on the heels of a spate of similar incidents of whitewashing and silencing about anti-gay bigotry. ABC News last week quoted a bigot saying he didn't want to see "homosexuals showing affection" at baseball games, and spun the quote as evidence that the bigot wanted to outlaw gay marriage -- without explaining how banning marriage would stop people from publicly displaying affection. As usual, the implication -- certainly to me, as a gay person -- is that if we don't behave, there will always be a threat of violence. Pretending that implication isn't there is naive and patronizing. Prior to that report, ABC ran a highly-publicized and investigation-lite report asserting that Matthew Shepherd wasn't really killed because he was gay. So now, gays and lesbians in America are under attack from all three major networks. Yes, that's the liberal media.

Yet we're told again and again that discrimination and the civil rights struggle are in the past, and the constant barrage of hatred gays and lesbians, let alone transgendered Americans, suffer every day is in no way comparable to what blacks have been going through for centuries in America -- even though the same people are using the same tactics against us now as against civil rights in the 50s, 60s, and 70s. Revisionist history of Matthew Shepherd in light of Bush's phony mandate (some "mandate", when more people voted against a presidential candidate than ever in the history of the world)? No, that's not what's going on! Honestly! Hey, look over there, the French! Any time we start to raise a stink about this sort of thing, Rove's footsoldiers use the time-proven tactic of turning our own language against us, and shriek that they're being victimized and their first-amendment rights violated by us not wanting to let them kill us in the streets and go unpunished; that their constitutionally-guaranteed right of free bigotry is being trodden on by rampant homosexuals.

Straightwashing gay figures; whitewashing anti-gay bigotry; the Washington Post's publisher, Boisfeuillet Jones Jr.'s, ridiculous assertion that "We will not allow something hateful to go in the paper," while running a 16-page ad with such nuggets of tolerant wisdom as "Q. What is wrong with letting homosexuals marry? A. Everything" -- all of this stands in the broader context of silencing dissent. This isn't new in the American press or politics -- remember the scant news coverage of the protests before the Iraq war, attendance at which was constantly under-counted? Silencing dissent and pretending it doesn't exist are basic tenets of fascism. And there's been a big new spate of history revision, of silencing, of attacks on sex, of lies being reported uncritically, since the "mandate;" the bigots think they're allowed to do this on all fronts now. The new Kinsey movie is infuriating sexual repressives, who have to dig deep for lies to trot out. It's disgusting to see media outlets so blatant in their partiality, so open about their bigotry, about which hateful messages they'll pass on, and which of tolerance they will not.

I went through a period, early in Bush's reign, where I thought it was wise to tone down progressive rhetoric, and to tone down any expressions of anger or contempt for our repressors; to try to argue with the evil, irrational Republicans rationally, on policy and logic; to stifle anything that sounds like conspiracy in our ranks, for fear that we'll be perceived negatively as a result. But all of that is part of Rove's plan: frighten us into believing that rational debate will get us further, somehow, though it's been shown to be our downfall election after election. We've seen how, even as Republicans say the civil rights movement was a bad thing, even as they dredge up odious comparisons between Democratic Senators and Hitler, even as they continue to froth at the mouth about Bill Clinton and all the sex he had, even as they call for anti-war protesters to be beaten and imprisoned, even as they disparage all veterans and mock war heroes, and raise bloody hell if we point out that the Bush administration is a dictionary example of fascism -- even as they do all this, they scream that we're the ones who carry an irrational hatred for this president who's done more to erode civil liberties than any in American history. We've seen groups like MoveOn viciously attack Bush-Hitler memes amongst their own supporters -- and get lied about by Republicans anyway. We've seen Kerry attack gay families, saying he'd support a state amendment to ban gay marriage in Massachusetts -- and seen Republicans claim he supports gay marriage anyway. And some of us continue to buy the shut-up-and-be-quiet advice, as though it's done a damn thing for us -- and as though it weren't coming from our enemies.

I refuse to be quiet any more. I refuse to believe the lies. I refuse to outright ignore any claim which appears to be conspiracist, just because the Bush spokespeople say it's not true. They've been lying to us about WMD and the reason we went to war for years now; about what they'll do after being elected; about their ideology and "compassion" -- why start believing them about anything else? I refuse to censor enthusiasm from the Left, when Bush sits motionless, offering no moral leadership, while Republicans slander war heroes or lament the existence of the civil rights movement, and still gets a free pass as a "morals" candidate.

I refuse to let anyone on the right blather on about social darwinism or Adam Smith, as though anything going on in the U.S. these days is really free-market - as though it was merely the market that dictated the terms of all of those military contracts in Iraq, and not Cheney-cronyism. The vaunted free-market is a myth in modern America, and any argument based on its merits or existence is propaganda -- a lie.

I refuse to let evil Republicans preempt us by projecting what they know to be their own irrationality and fear and hatred onto us with every statement. The trick to understanding them is to see what they say about their adversaries, and realize that it really only applies to them. They're smart about that -- and they get a free ride in the reactionary press, which tries hard to delude us into believing the pre-postmodernist myth that is objective reporting, smirking all the while.

Fuck that.

Republicans are evil. All of their agenda is evil. Rolling back civil rights and inciting interracial hatred; not helping the poor or the disadvantaged -- which is the very point of government; destroying the environment, so that we won't be able to take our children camping or fishing; declaring war on gays and lesbians, while treading a careful path in their vocabulary so that they can scream whenever we point out how much they hate us; telling teenagers myths and lies about sex, about condoms and abstinence, because Republican adults are so hung up about it; ignoring evolution, as though science and faith were incompatible and creation stories were not metaphor; willfully misinterpreting the bible to advance an anti-gay agenda; waging world-wide war in the name of gas-guzzling SUVs and oil-company profits; using terrorism as an excuse to destroy the very liberties guaranteed in the American constitution; evil, evil, evil, evil. This is a war between good and evil. But look at whom the Republicans are painting as evil, and remember what I said about projection.

They know they're on the wrong side of every morals argument, and of the battle twixt good and evil. But some of us still believe them when they tell us we shouldn't be pushing for gay marriage, because the time's not right. Guess what? We've got it in Massachusetts, and it's not a big deal -- except for out-of-state Christian hypocrites. We didn't get it by believing that the time wasn't right, or pushing for civil unions instead (for which the time wasn't "right," either, until gay marriage came along.) If you're ashamed of progressive ideals, get the hell out of the Democratic party and out of the way of progress.

Karl Rove's got memes? I'll give you memes. Republicans are evil. They hate children -- they don't want loving parents to be able to adopt the many kids in need of stable homes. They just want to increase the numbers of orphans instead. They hate sportsmen going fishing and hunting in unspoiled wilderness where they can eat the fish and game. They hate gays; Republicans have an irrational hatred of love. Republicans are hung-up about sex and want to foist their own neuroses on the rest of us. Republicans hate privacy, particularly in the bedroom. Republicans hate and fear science, because it disrupts their mind-control games. Republicans are all racists -- even the ones who aren't white are just self-loathing oreos. Republicans want to end all government -- the government that protects us from criminals, that gives us roads and armies and licenses doctors and makes sure your neighbor can't dump plutonium on your sidewalk or into your drinking water. Republicans hate sick people -- they don't want to let us buy insurance, or cheaper access to more drugs. Republicans fear drug legalization because, hell, mind-bending drugs might induce them to face their sexual neuroses. Republicans are hypocrites -- after all, it's "different" for Rush to have a drug problem -- but only because he's a middle-aged, wealthy, right-wing white man; the Bush twins' pot-smoking is fine, because they're the Presidents' daughters, and they're white, not some dirty mulatto hippies. Republicans hate the poor. Republicans like to screw people who can only afford to live in apartments -- no rent tax-deduction for us. Republicans lie; they have no principles, only doing what they have to to further their shadowy evil agenda. Republicans are full of Schadenfreude; they're gleeful about other peoples' pain.

Republicans are not Christian in any sense of the word. If Christ were around today, he'd be preaching how evil were all their deeds, and Republicans would be the Romans who gleefully crucified him. Voldemort votes Republican, but Jesus Christ would vote for progressives. The Republican Party is that of hate-mongering, immoral, illegitimate lies.

It's long past time to play nice. People who vote Republican need to grow up and realize that they're voting for the baby-eating party of Voldemort. People who collaborate with them, not standing in the way of their agenda, are just letting them eat those babies and beat up the innocent. The corporate media are all under the sway of the Republican elites; they won't help us. The rest of us -- look to the Ukraine for ideas what to do when democratic process is violated.
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