Tuesday, July 20, 2004


Who Watches The Watchmen? Part Three

You can read Part One here and Part Two here, or read the key points in review below.

So Arnold called them “girlie men.” But what is a girlie man anyway? A girlie man is a wimp. Perhaps a wuss. Not especially strong willed. Doesn’t always do the right thing. Takes the easy path rather than the necessary path. Not courageous. Unwilling to stand up to negative interests. These might be the personal qualities Arnold finds disturbing in those who won’t pass the budget Arnold wants.

Sheila Kuehl is a Senator in California’s Legislature. She believes that the term “girlie men” is an example of “blatant homophobia.”

Why don’t we start with homophobia? I guess the literal meaning would be something like fear of gays. But it is often used to describe someone who hates gays or is mean to gays. Not the same thing folks. It’s not necessary to fear something to hate it. I hate liver. It tastes bad. I do not fear it. If we add in the “blatant” we might think that Arnold was not just insulting and mean to gays, he was SUPER insulting and mean to gays. Problem is, he never mentioned gays.

I happen to be acquainted with five people that I know are gay. I may know other people who are gay, but who haven’t made this fact known to me. I bring this up to say that the qualities represented by Arnold’s “girlie men” do not apply to the gay people I know. But for some reason, these are exactly the qualities that Ms. Kuehl believes apply to all gay people. Why else would she think that comments that don’t mention gay people refer to gay people? Arnold thinks “girlie men” are wimps. Ms. Keuhl thinks that gays are “girlie men.” It’s an important distinction.

Let’s take a moment to recap the series so far:
Part One: We learn that state Assemblyman Mervyn Dymally, D-Los Angeles, who is African-American, seems to think that African-Americans are “dirty.”
Part Two: We learn that, according to Spike Lee and U.S. Congressman Melvin Watt, it is ok to be a racist or a bigot as long as you are African-American.
Part Three: We learn that Ms. Keuhl, a member of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Caucus in California’s Legislature, holds many negative stereotypes of gays.

There must be a good, descriptive term, from psychology or elsewhere, that describes these sorts of people. I reach the conclusions I have in this series based on the words or actions of these people. I give them respect by taking what they do and say seriously. But there’s a problem. Think about Bush’s critics. Many of them do not give this same respect to Bush. Rather than accept what he says, these critics will tell you what they insist Bush actually meant or implied. Do the words “imminent threat” sound familiar? They will then proceed to attack Bush not for what he said, but for what they say he meant. To me, this seems irrational, if not disingenuous. Am I wrong?

I could be way off. Maybe I’m a lone voice in the wilderness. But what if there are others like me out there, who believe in what people say and do, not what we imagine they think. Our nation, and Western Civilization, faces a serious crisis. Am I wrong to be concerned that the left seems to be living in a fevered dream world, that half of our society is being led by people who are not quite connected to reality?
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