Strawberry Fields Forever - Nothing is real

Monday, May 19, 2008

Tryanny of the majority

I wrote a bit in the last post about the "tyranny of the majority". Of course, this was one of the principle concerns of the framers of the Constitution, and explains why much of the Constitution is by design anti-democratic (note the small 'd').

In 2004 I watched the Republican (note the big 'R') machine win on issues including attacking minorities - specifically homosexuals, and putting up initiatives across the states specifically designed to restrict the rights of homosexuals. There are cases where politics is the genuine disagreement between two sides wherein both sides have a valid point - this is not one of those. While I grant that there may be some minority within the homosexual population wherein their sexual orientation is a choice - and I suppose at gunpoint I could probably "decide" to override my own heterosexual identity, in the vast majority of cases, it is simply not a choice.

Frankly, even were it to be a choice, there is no reasonable argument for restricting the freedoms of those who are homosexual. Fundamentally the only reason this is an issue at all is because a segment of the population's private religious beliefs dictate it, and because others are personally uncomfortable with homosexuals. Republicans used these excuses in 2004, and I'm fed up with it. People used the same (or even flimsier) excuses against people with black skin (and sometimes still do). Realistically there will always be a segment of the population whose religious beliefs dictate these tendencies - and while it's their right to believe what they wish to, it is NOT their right to oppress others with them.

Even more so, for those who fundamentally are uncomfortable with those who are different, I have little to no sympathy nor patience anymore. I believe in plurality and tolerance, but I'm fed up with being tolerant of ignorance and childishness. (note: I am NOT comparing religious beliefs to ignorance and childishness, these are two separate groups of people I am referring to)

I have a friend who I am in contact with at times (and I don't name names here because I feel it is fundamentally unfair to reveal persons identities and beliefs/etc to the world that don't choose to do so themselves) and I had a "conversation" with him last night. I found out that somehow he believes that Barack Obama is somehow a secret Muslim, but also a follower of a radical White-hating Christian. Don't ask me how that is possible to hold both of those beliefs, I tried to suss it out of him, and it didn't work. He then tried to explain a bunch of incoherent ramblings about illegal immigrants and how Obama would take away all rights. I tried to explain how Obama is a former constitutional law professor, and actually knows the Constitution and rattled off how many rights have been eviscerated or outright lost under this administration. Then he started shouting racial slurs, and at that point I realized it was pointless to continue the call - I simply hung up. The guy is not evil, but he is fundamentally uncomfortable with the idea of a "black president". That's his right, and it's my right to stop trying to win him over and work like crazy to elect Obama president and force him to confront his childish fears.

(for the record, I did NOT want to engage in any sort of political discussion, I had called to see how he was and how his children are)

Just as there are wackos on the left that don't listen to reason, there are wackos everywhere who don't listen to reason, and I just don't have the energy to try to convince those who are simply looking for excuses to justify their prejudices. Sometimes a society progresses by quiet persuasion over many years, and sometimes it has to be forced upon those who are fundamentally scared of people who are different. I thank the California Supreme Court (and earlier the State Legislature who passed a bill doing the same twice earlier) for having the courage to try to force the issue.

I thank Barack Obama and his supporters for having the courage to try to force another issue - that a "black president" is not something to be feared - especially when he has the potential to be a great president.

I didn't vote for Obama because he has dark skin; I voted for him because I felt he could be a great President. However, after that conversation, I am glad I did additionally because my friends' children will have a shot of moving beyond the prejudices of their father.


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    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:38 PM  

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    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:26 PM  

  • I'd like to read your words on that last debate.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:24 PM  

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