Saturday, July 17, 2010

That Reality Bats Last

Think Progress has highlighted the appallingly dumb musings of a gubernatorial candidate in Georgia:

A [the candidate]: I think that for a child to be in a household — in a family in a household with a situation where the parents are not married, as in one man and one woman, is not the best household for a child.

Q: Is it better or worse than a single parent household?

A: Doug, I’m really trying to be straightforward with you but I’m not going to debate all the nuances. I’ve made it abundantly clear that I think that marriage is between a man and a woman. And that’s what I believe, and I don’t know what more you would like me to add to that.

Q: I guess I want to know why you think gay parents aren’t as legitimate as heterosexual parents.

A: Because I don’t. [emphasis mine]
The fuller video has this and more like it, so there's no need to take my word when I say she never gets around to speaking more thoughtfully than this.

While I think this exchange evinces something important about the tiny, shriveled, blackened, bigoted heart of contemporary American movement conservatism (try Ta-Nehisi Coates for more on that), I think it points up deeper flaws in our species.

Candidate Dumbass is all but announcing that while she has strong convictions on the subject of the legal equality of gay people, and would love to see those opinions enacted in binding law, she really has never given them any thought. She has never bothered to think through their ramifications, and has never taken even a few minutes to sort through the most elementary arguments and objections, pro or con. Hence she regards the broaching of basic counterarguments to far-right Christian views as dabbling in tiresome "nuance."

She wants to dismiss the implications of her moronic simple-mindedness with an exasperated sigh; if I were a nobler person or one less jaded by the chewing-gum-commonness of her ilk on the American public scene, I might withhold from observing that she wants to dismiss vast swaths of reality, past and present, human and material, with that exasperated sigh and "move on" gesticulating.

And more than that, she has avoided thinking about the ideas she so lazily tacks to her political ambitions by the rutted path of repeating dogmas unquestioningly: she returns a couple of times to "the Bible says"-type justifications for both her conclusions and the justifications of her conclusions. Beyond that, she has nowhere to go other than "because I don't." She may or not even realize that that is not an answer to the question -- it's not even in the form of an answer -- and it's abundantly obvious she doesn't give a damn if it is or not.

She just wants to push the button and get the peanut. The button is to wear the right make-up while complaining about gays, citing the Bible, and coddling those who spend their spare hours lying on the couch bleating for tax cuts and TV-friendly wars. The peanut is high office and political power.

Given the state of human technology and the natural ecology, either this brand of brazen intellectual rot will persist in high places or our free society, or perhaps our species, will persist. Sooner or later, one or the other will have to yield.

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