||[Jul. 14th, 2004|12:12 pm]
Bush said that "marriage is the basis of an orderly society, and the defining promise of a life."
He said this in support of denying that defining promise to gay folks, and is implicitly claiming gay couples can't be part of the basis of an orderly society.
He did not use the words "gay" or "lesbian" in his address.
His administration is big on playing word games like that; he didn't say "torture", so he couldn't be responsible for torture, even if he did order it, or give a wink and a nod to it, under another name. He didn't mention "gays" or "lesbians", so he couldn't be busting on them, right?
However, those games fall apart when dealt with by a pro...
"For ages, in every culture, human beings have understood that traditional marriage is critical to the well-being of families.
"And because families pass along values and shape character, traditional marriage is also critical to the health of society. Our policies should aim to strengthen families, not undermine them. And changing the definition of traditional marriage will undermine the family structure."
Anyone who has spent more than a month on Usenet should be able to dissect this piece of crap... "should", in the "you should exercise and eat right" sense, at least. You'll certainly get enough experience dissecting pieces of crap like this on most Usenet groups, so you'll certainly have the opportunity to learn how.
Primary fallacy: the excluded middle. It's true that most societies have had male/female pairings; *ELIMINATING* male/female pairings certainly undermine "the family structure". However, *ADDING* a new definition, so there is both the traditional, and the inclusive, "marriage" will do none of this.
Adding jellybeans to your gumdrops doesn't damage the gumdrops. Unless you want to claim jellybeans are evil, you can't claim that adding them to the candy collection is going to damage the candy collection.
Of course, we see the wordgame now, right? Bush is pandering to the people who say that jellybeans - er, gay people - *ARE* evil, and that allowing them into the 'marriage fold' *would* make the "candy collection" worse. But, all without saying it, to avoid offending gay folks.
And, he tries to claim he takes principled stands, says what he means, and does what he says.
I suppose that might be true, once you puzzle out exactly what it is he's saying and take careful account of what he *isn't* saying, and figure out his little tricks and games. And sure... *every* politician plays little games with honesty, from time to time.
Bush urged civility in the debate, saying that "all people deserve to have their voices heard."
When you're playing games, and saying gay folks aren't full members of your society, when you say that recognizing their love would be a terrible thing to families, a fact which can only be true if gays are evil, well... you've already thrown civility out the window, and you're hoping people are going to have to be gentle in response.
The principled stand to take, when you're calling people evil, is to come right out and admit it... and to accept that you'll get people angry, justifiably so.
There's nothing principled about making a speech filled with cheap dishonesty and then throwing out bait so when someone calls you on it, you can claim they are the ones who started being incivil.