Thursday, March 01, 2012

Never Apologizing, Never Retreating

George Clooney was inteviewed recently by Brandon Voss of The Advocate and struck a liberal theme- in at least two ways.       According to The Huffington Post,

So why does "The Descendants" star -- who will next be seen in Dustin Lance Black's play "8," about California's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage -- feel so passionate about marriage equality? "It's always been this albatross that stood out to me as the final leg of the civil rights movement," he told Voss

"Well before Prop. 8, I've made the point that every time we’ve stood against equality, we’ve been on the wrong side of history. It’s the same kind of argument they made when they didn’t want blacks to serve in the military, or when they didn’t want blacks to marry whites. One day the marriage equality fight will look as archaic as George Wallace standing on the University of Alabama steps keeping James Hood from attending college because he was black. People will be embarrassed to have been on the wrong side."

Support for gay marriage is one of the legs of the liberal/progressive value set (except for elected officials), particularly in Hollywood.      Perhaps more interesting, however, is Clooney's confidence, borne of today's universal acceptance of interracial marriage, that current opponents of  same-sex marriage "will be embarrassed to have been on the wrong side."

It's lovely to think so, but no.        In 2011, at least among members of one major political party in one very conservative state, there is little or no embarrassment at having been repulsed by the union of a white person and a black person.      

Lauren Frayer of AOL News reported last April

A new poll gauging Mississippi Republicans' preferences going into the 2012 election ended up revealing something more startling: 46 percent of GOP voters in the state think interracial marriage should be illegal.

Results were announced Thursday by Public Policy Polling, a polling firm based in North Carolina. The company asked 400 Republican primary voters about their preferences for candidates for state and national offices, as well as their views on interracial marriage.  

A whopping 46 percent of likely GOP primary voters said they think interracial marriage should be illegal, while only 40 percent said they think it should be allowed. Another 14 percent said they were unsure.

It was only 45 years ago that Mississippi legalized interracial marriage, and this poll indicates it continues to be a controversial subject.

It is a comforting trap, but a trap nonetheless, which many liberals, myself included, also fall into (and I don't mean too many commas in one sentence).    If only conservatives knew the facts, surely they'd understand!

It has been 45 years in Mississippi and still a plurality of Republicans believe interracial marriage should be illegal.         Whether prejudice, an unwillingness to accept the complexity and nuances of society, false narratives spun by the mainstream conservative media, or some other factor(s), conservatives hold some ideas completely divorced from reality.    They will not be moved by the expectation of a celebrity that they should feel guilty or may one day need to repent. Conservative- which is to say, the vast majority- Republicans are not like liberal Democrats.      

Consider the bailout of the auto industry, in which a great American institution was rescued from oblivion and about which many Republicans still are defiant.     Increasingly, being conservative means not only never having to admit having been wrong but also asserting that one was right, evidence be damned.

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