We will fight, and we will win... because there is no honorable alternative.
"Well, one can fight and lose honorably, too -- and, depending on one's own evaluation of the times and the odds, one may, just conceivably, honorably decide that this is not Der Tag, and live to fight another day," says Pernicious the Musquodoboit Harbour Farm Cat's faithful amanuensis and general factotum.
"I thought seven times before making the above remarks, and perhaps ought to have thought seventy times seven, but I am concerned by this rhetoric, as I am concerned whenever I see human beings turning other human beings into placards -- however justified they may feel by the actions of those on the other side of whatever the current Great Divide (tm) may be. I am registering that concern, in the terms (fighting, winning/losing, Der Tag, even) which that rhetoric engenders."
In many cases, you're right, it's possible to fight, and lose, honorably.
But, in this case, we only 'lose' if we give up the fight, and say it's okay for gay folks to be treated as second-class citizens.
(I'm falling into 'we' mode because it's easy. "I, and those who believe in this fight" is who "we" is.)
We might lose this battle. We might lose the next one. We might lose the next dozen after that. We might back up, and regroup, and rethink our strategies. But, we only lose the war when we give up the cause entirely.
Since, in this particular case, "losing" means "giving up", there is no honorable way to fight, and lose. There are ways to fight honorably and be forced back... but no honorable way to lose.
But, I'll grant you, there are ways to fight, and lose, any individual battle with honor.
2004-02-26 05:49 am (UTC)
Not a happy camper...
As you know, my politics are conservative-to-libertarian. And I'm fairly supportive of the notion of taking the fight to Al-Qaeda and its successors rather than letting them bring the fight here again.
On the basis of national security, then, I was prepared to vote for Bush. On the basis of the mounting entitlements and mounting deficit, however, I was getting queasy. On the basis of his stance on a constitutional amendment securing the benefits of matrimony to one class of committed people, I am prepared to reconsider that vote. As Andrew Sullivan
pointed out today, or possibly yesterday, Bush has probably alienated the majority of young voters with this stance. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
Something that gave me pause, though: not because I necessarily agree, but because it's something I never considered as having to be thought through. A woman who is the "Justice Learned Hand Professor of Law at Harvard" posited, in yesterday's WSJ, that the recognition of "traditional" marriage was intended to confer some economic benefits on the folks who endured economic hardships raising children. Gay marriage, she argued, is less likely to produce children. This point is arguable, of course; stable gay marriages may result in increased adoptions of some of the most difficult-to-place children, an unalloyed social good to my way of thinking. Still and all, there's no arguing that, if gay marriage is sanctioned, then the economic benefits intended to compensate for the sacrifices of raising children -- e.g., Social Security survivor benefits -- will have to be paid to a larger cohort.
I'm not suggesting that this is a reason to re-think one's moral commitment to gay marriage. But I am suggesting that one may need to consider the fact that a moral decision may have economic consequences, and that one may need to develop a plan to take that into account.
Speaking personally, they can push my Social Security benefits back to age 75 as long as there's a Wal*Mart greeter job to tide me over my early 70s, if that's what it takes to extend the benefits.