Dream of the Dragon

Tag: ignorance

On Same-sex Marriage

by Justin

Today’s personal revelation, hot on the overturn of Proposition 8 in California (the Cali kids should have known better from the beginning), emerged when I realized that I don’t understand the arguments against same-sex marriage. My belief in equal rights and my opposition to archaic judeo-christian ideals were always enough to bolster my support of gay marriage. Really, it seemed like common sense and a belief in the Golden Rule would be enough to silence the debate.

But I thought to myself, with no expectation of being swayed but in hopes of better understanding what I deemed to be an enemy of freedom, maybe I should read the secular or ‘liberal’ cases for the preservation of marriage as a strictly heterosexual institution. For all I knew, I was mirroring the ignorance I condemned by refusing to understand the opposing view. So I spent an hour reading through the popular arguments against same-sex marriage. I’ll save you the suspense of reading through the whole post to discover my conclusion: they’re more ignorant than I imagined. It’s willful ignorance in the extreme and ultimately falls under one of two headings: zealous adherence to religious dogma or paralyzing fear of change. (Quick note – those are really sides of the same coin, and paralyzing isn’t the right word as the fearful are remarkably well mobilized against the threat to their beliefs.) Read the rest of this entry »

Sarah P. and Susan B.

by Justin

In the wake of Oklahoma’s anti-abortion bills and a resurgence of militant opposition to a pro-choice America, feminism is again a popular buzzword. At least among conservative candidates whose only skill is public manipulation. Insulting the intelligence, competence, and depth of Sarah Palin is well-worn territory and I don’t have much to contribute. Except to say that at any given moment there’s something sort of manic and rabid in her eyes, a cocaine fervor that is simultaneously threatening and vacant.

Author Jessica Valenti, who seems legitimately interested in the welfare of women, wrote a short and biting piece for the Washington Post addressing the ways in which Ms. Palin is dangerous and calculating. I’ve never understood the place of pro-life activists in feminist circles, but I’m also generally incapable of pronounced and willful ignorance. How limiting freedoms could possibly promote liberty remains a mystery. What Ms. Valenti does well is illustrate the insults slung at the trailblazers of the ’60s and the backwards agenda of Palin and the like: Read the rest of this entry »

On Unrealistic Idealism

by Justin

It’s become more and more apparent to me that the extreme polarization of politics in this country isn’t only among the politicians, figureheads, lobbyists, talk-show hosts, whatever – it’s grassroots, too. Sure, the liberal extreme will never match the fevered fanaticism of the Tea Party. That sort of militant (as in gun toting) ignorance lends itself better to insane slogans and rallies than the so-called informed opinions of their liberal opponents. But both camps seem incapable of listening to one another. More importantly, neither side understands the way this country works.

Extremism has its place in politics. It’s useful to demand impossible degrees of excellence, because otherwise the eventual compromise would be laughably insufficient. Read the rest of this entry »