Thursday, March 24, 2005

A Riposte for a Repost

One of the more annoying things about giving your word is that it precludes you easily breaking it. (grin) So as not to tick John Aravosis off farther by continuing to jockey my way around his recent ban of me at Americablog, I voluntarily signed off there yesterday after a protracted verbal joust with John's surrogate Inside the Beltway. Of course, Inside the Beltway produced a rejoinder which, being bound by my word not to post again on Americablog, I can't counter there. For that reason, I am answering it here; please read through the original post, and I will draw out selected portions for commentary.

Go fix your own party, and do it as an openly gay man working hard at the local and state and federal level. Get out there and really work at it, and then maybe return and tell us how it's going, how they look at you, how they whisper insults when you leave the room, what their view of you and your future in this country REALLY is.

As most people who have dealt with me before know, "been there, done that, still doing it" (for people who aren't familiar, make sure you look at all the links in the referenced post).

The funny thing is that, in doing all of those things, the bulk of the dirty looks, whispers, and insults don't come from the Republicans involved -- they come from gay Democrats and liberals like Inside the Beltway, who are more dependent on stereotypes as an excuse for why they don't "reach out" than they are on actual experience.

Your attacks on Aravosis were the worst. I know Aravosis, and he is nothing less than a patriot and modern political Minuteman. I have read your site, and you have so many preening "My position" references, it's embarassing.

Aravosis doesn't have positions, he has a body of REAL WORK. As do I.

Of course, Inside the Beltway posted this without an email address, a homepage, or any means of identifying himself whatsoever so that someone could actually cross-check that body of "real work".

The amusing thing about this is that, if Aravosis is as well-liked and respected as people claim he is, you would think that they'd have no problem being associated with him publicly and in a form that the rest of us can see. After all, these people rail against "closeted" individuals on a daily basis, how important it is to live "out and proud", and how necessary it is to publicly support efforts like Aravosis's, don't they?

My speculation in this case is that Inside the Beltway is one of Aravosis's typical supporters -- someone who has to stay "closeted" because a) his business does not want to be associated with the outing campaign, b) his party does not want to be associated with the outing campaign, and c) his organization does not want to be associated with the outing campaign. At any rate, if it were publicly and widely-known he was associated with Aravosis, his situation would suffer.

To Inside the Beltway, I would issue this challenge....if you want to out people, start with yourself.

And I disagree strongly at the least, and find your position beneath contempt at the worst.

Honestly, Inside the Beltway is allowed to disagree with me all he wishes -- it's a free country. However, the problem I have is that he has turned his disagreement into behaviors which are both counterproductive to gay rights and replicative of the very behaviors he claims to deplore among "the right".

If you can get past the gay-left stereotypes of Republicans and conservatives, I have shown that it is not only possible to work with them, but to get them and business leaders to support both gay rights and gay-related causes. This is a necessity if gay rights are to proceed forward; unfortunately, activists like Inside the Beltway and Aravosis are invariably so blinded by their hatred for Republicans that they cannot do it.

The devastation this causes is obvious. Because they absolutely cannot comprehend or practice any cooperation with Republicans and conservatives, it becomes a situation of "any port in a storm", even a blatantly-antigay Democrat. In order to protect these stereotypes and rationalize their cooperation with antigay politicians, they resort to hyperbole and overgeneralization that alienates the very moderates with which they have a considerable amount of common ground. Most moderates do not like Fred Phelps, but given the choice between him and hatemongers like Aravosis and Rogers, the choice is obvious -- at least Phelps isn't calling THEM names.

The key to advancing gay rights in the present and in the future is building commonality and solidarity with moderates, not by allying with loony fringe groups yourself or trying to shame moderates by association. What activists like Aravosis, Rogers, and Inside the Beltway are doing is saying that all Democrats are like Barney Frank and all Republicans are like Jim DeMint. That conveniently ignores the Schwarzeneggers of the world who DO support gay rights, as well as the bigots like Kerry and Byrd who support taking AWAY gay rights. Because they can't see past this blind partisanship, they end up supporting antigay Democrats and attacking pro-gay Republicans, as I previously noted -- something completely counterproductive to the cause of gay rights, as the past year's election results and amendment votes showed.

You only have words: pay no attention to that GOP man behind the curtain, let's blame the Dems for the anti-gay train that's been rolling over us.

Bye bye, stop worrying about Dems, stop worrying about Aravosis.

I will stop worrying about Dems and Aravosis when people like Inside the Beltway can publicly admit that it is wrong for gay people to endorse and give money to politicians who support stripping gays of rights and discriminating them by Federal or state legislation or constitutional amendment, regardless of the party to which they belong. I will stop worrying about Aravosis in particular when he, as I challenged him to do yesterday, publicly admits who his "outing committee" is and that he has not outed the staffers of antigay Democrats and has no intention of doing so.

The ball's in your court, Inside the Beltway. Unlike John, I have no intention of banning people who criticize me, so feel free to come and do it.

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