Thursday, September 15, 2011

In this edition of Bitching About People I Agree With:

Same-sex marriage advocates.

Guys, I agree with you. Marriage equality is right, and working toward it is necessary.

But you're killing your own cause through unrealistic tactics.

Over at Instapundit, Glenn Reynolds shares an email and an observation:

"The NY Times’ front pager on the GOP victory in Weiner’s old, heavily Jewish, district didn’t mention a leading reason for the Democrat’s defeat: his vote in favor of gay marriage.
"During the Cold War, I learned how to “read” Pravda by carefully tracking what Soviets kept *out* of their press. It was a way to infer what the Kremlin feared. Looks like the Democrats, not the GOP, have a big social issue problem they want to sweep under the rug."

The public is gradually warming to gay marriage, but even in New York it’s not nearly as far along as the political class is.

Singlemindedly crusading for marriage in a political climate that's friendly to civil unions but has serious misgivings about same-sex marriage is doing more damage to your cause than the organized conservative opposition is. It does not matter that you're right; this is a losing strategy.

By way of analogy, I'm pretty much a gun-rights absolutist. Like "OTC machine guns" and "$40 handguns in vending machines" absolutist. But if the NRA and SAF publicly devoted themselves to that message--even if I'm absolutely right in my belief that such policy wouldn't increase violent crime and tragic deaths--they would lose the inertia they've built, because the mainstream is simply not going to accept an idea so far outside its comfort zone.

Please, for the love of God, internalize this message: it does not matter how right you are, and how articulately or righteously you can express how right you are; big changes are made incrementally, and you need to make sure the increments only push the mainstream a little bit out of its comfort zone at a time.

I'd be ecstatic if the SSM movement went further into the NRA model, ditching its devotion to Democrats and enthusiastically supporting all politicians who vote the right way on their single issue, but making that change all at once would probably push the SSM mainstream too far out of its comfort zone.

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