26 March 2013

Celebrating Diversity

The gay marriage debate is front and center.  I posted my two cents on the matter here over four years ago and, revisiting it today I'd say certain excessive flourishes aside, I stand by what I wrote.

I am a libertarian and hold dear to the notion that behavior by one's self or between consenting adults that does not harm another person or his property is of no concern whatsoever to the state.  I don't know what's best for you, you don't know what's best for me and together we don't know what's best for the other guy.  And this applies to Michael Bloomberg, too.

To recap, I have no problem with gay marriage.  But I am willing to argue the matter with those who may not agree with me.  And I do not think opponents of gay marriage, whatever reason they may have for their opposition, are arguing in bad faith.  So you see how wonderful I am, right?

I was cruising the internet today and I saw this headline at the Huffington Post (here is the story).

I don't really care about the story, it was the headline that grabbed me.  Because places like the Huffington Post (among many other sources) not too long ago bemoaned the "epistemic closure" on the right (Julian Sanchez, libertarian and Cato research fellow, got the ball rolling here and here).  If you don't feel like wading through the morass, it boils down to the fact that conservatives are closed-minded.  Sanchez was making, to my mind, a legitimate critique on contemporary political philosophy. Contemporary in the sense that he was using examples from the (then) current headlines.  The liberals went nuts and ran with the meme, missing the point that this is an issue of contemporary political philosophy, not merely conservatism.

Anyway, the headline reminded me of all this because if you are a Republican who agrees that gays should be allowed to get married, you are either related to someone who is gay or you are truly open-minded.  But if you are a Democrat who opposes either gay marriage or federal intervention into state matters or what have you, you are an embarrassment.  Open-mindedness has nothing to do with considering opinions that you may not necessarily agree with, it means agreeing with liberals (n.b.- Jonathan Chait makes the point that fans of Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck would be well-served to read the Huffington Post or other liberal sources, because the practice of listening to opposing view is essential to good citizenship; he does not provide the same advise to devotees of the New Republic or MSNBC, which is surprising).

Diversity of thinking is a beautiful thing, so long as you agree with me.

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