19 May 2004


I'm feeling mighty pleased about the gay marriages happening back East right now. As the culture battles rev up again, Pandagon has a good comment for us lefty culture warriors.
We need to win this one softly, respecting beliefs that stand in our way but quietly circumventing them with pictures of loving couples and arguments based on shared values. When the right is able to create divisions and spin our winning arguments into the loser's lasting shame, they come out ahead. We gain our victory but they harden, and occasionally expand, their constituency. The only way to break that cycle is to avoid arguments that shame the other side. When the Weekly Standard and the talking heads begin making offensive and clearly specious arguments against gay marriage, you know their aim isn't victory but provocation. If they can provoke one prominent Democrat to overreact and unleash a retort belittling traditionalists, they'll have won the day. As Jonathan notes, tradition isn't always logical, but that makes it no less real. Conservative strategists understand this, it's time we did as well.

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