Why are my most soundly right wing friends gay?

 

On this week’s Radio Free Delingpole I discuss with fellow Brit – and biographer of Pat Buchanan – Tim Stanley one of the issues that has always puzzled me about US conservatism: why is it so antipathetical towards homosexuals?

Stanley has been at CPAC and noted an example of this in a recent blog post at Telegraph blogs.

Strolling down a hotel corridor, I found Fred Karger sitting alone on top of a desk. Mr Karger is a candidate for President but you probably won’t have heard of him. His problem isn’t a lack of money or talent – he’s been ignored by the national GOP because he’s gay. He’s currently filing a complaint that claims CPAC denied him a booth from which to distribute literature because of his sexuality. He was upbeat and bright – very charming, too – but he looked a little hurt.

This strikes me as odd. Worse, it plays into the enemy’s hands. Not only does it enable liberals to go on promulgating the meme that conservatives hate minorities but it alienates what ought to be a natural constituency. Of the five most hardcore, ideologically pure, articulate, uber-conservative friends I have in Britain, every one of them is homosexual. Don’t ask me why: I leave it to you guys to come up with some ingenious overarching theory. All I know is that for the conservative movement not to reach out to its natural friends in the world of gay (sorry: I just could bring myself to use the phrase “gay community”. It’s the sort of phrase which makes my right-wing gay friends vomit) seems as short sighted, as, say, not welcoming blacks or Hispanics.

(Oh, btw, I apologize in advance for the sound quality of this week’s Radio Free Delingpole. We had some glitches with the mic. If we can’t tweak the sound quality to the right level I may have to do a re-record with Tim. It was such a good show it would be a darned shame not to have our words of wisdom preserved for posterity)

Update: the podcast is live here

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  1. Profile Photo Member
    @katievs

    It’s not an antipathy toward gays; it’s a concern for morality, a consciousness of the ineradicable link between morality and a flourishing civil society, and a resistance to the normalization of homosexuality as a “life style” option on par with marriage.

    • #1
  2. Profile Photo Member
    @Bluenoser

    James, I’ve often wondered that myself.  What follows is simply my $3.00 dime store analysis:

    Right now the conservative movement seems to be a broad coalition of three groups who have much in common but some differences.  Namely, jersey wearing party members, followers, leaders and hacks of what ever traditional party structure exists where one happens to be: GOP, CPC, PCPNS etc; traditional morals, values and first principals conservative types; and limited government, leave me to mine devices, libertarian types.

    To the extent that there is discomfort for the groups you described, I would suggest it comes from a misguided attempt of the first group to concede false ground to the second while squeezing the third.

    Still, I’d say our coalition is built on more common ground than the left’s.  There you have Gay Rights Activists fighting for influence with apologists for Fundamentalist Islam.  

    If the left ever scores their ultimate win, and then turns on itself…. well at least I’ll be long gone by then.

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  3. Profile Photo Member
    @BasilFawlty

    I suspect that he was not denied a booth because of his sexuality; rather, he was denied a booth because of his politicization of his sexuality.  Anyone who would file a complaint with the execrable DC  Human Rights Commission (and cite therein a finding of the equally-execrable Southern Poverty Law Center) needs to go elsewhere to peddle his twaddle. 

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  4. Profile Photo Member
    @Aodhan

    Last summer the wife and I chanced upon a gay pride parade in London. It was advancing raucously down Piccadilly, to much public fanfare.

    To test our tolerance for the garish and transgressive–and on the off-chance of espying a pair of uncovered buttocks–we tarried awhile to watch.

    At one point, some marchers passed us by bearing the slogan “Gays Against Tory Scum!”, or some equally endearing paraphrase.

    Two minutes later, however, some other marchers passed us by bearing the slogan “Proud Gay Tories!”

    It’s a complex world, isn’t it?

    • #4
  5. Profile Photo Member
    @starnescl

    I agree with a few comments above and want to amplify.

    First, on the politicization of sexual orientation. It’s at the core of the American left’s war war on all social institutions born of emergent tradition. Second, for this reason, it is inextricably intertwined with the left’s holy war on traditional marriage. We are fighting on the battleground of the left’s choosing, and non-ideological, non-leftist gays are unfairly, and unfortunately caught in the crossfire. But, it’s a battle that must be fought to win, and right now we aren’t.

    I was so disappointed recently with the Ricochet conversations on Charles Murray’s new book for this reason – the war on the family. Everyone was blinded by the bauble of Belmont v. Fishtown and near universally missed Murray’s main point: the purposeful and methodical data based documentation of the societal breakdown of the traditional family and traditional mores.

    Sorry to veer of your topic, but so much of everything is of a piece these days.

    • #5
  6. Profile Photo Member
    @DavidWilliamson
    James Delingpole: Of the five most hardcore, ideologically pure, articulate, uber-conservative friends I have in Britain, every one of them is homosexual. Don’t ask me why: I leave it to you guys to come up with some ingenious overarching theory. 

    British public schools? (as a reminder, these are actually private schools, in American). I would include in these the old all-boys Grammar schools, which were state schools. (confused yet?). The all-boy bit is the key.

    As James will know, there is also a longstanding tradition of homosexuality in what used to be called the Upper Classes, and it still lives on. Probably goes back to the Greeks.

    And of course homosexuality is much more widely accepted in the UK, as are everyday words that break Ricochet’s CoC.

    And, as I am now more accustomed to the US accent, when I hear a British accent  it sounds gay, even though the person may not be.

    Not quite an overarching theory, but getting there.

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  7. Profile Photo Member
    @Grendel
    katievs: It’s not an antipathy toward gays; it’s a concern for morality, a consciousness of the ineradicable link between morality and  … civil society, and a resistance to the normalization of homosexuality … on par with marriage. · 15 minutes ago

    Rights.  It’s mostly the homosexual agenda.

    When Andrew Sullivan arrived here he made a bit of a  splash.  He was conservative!  He was Catholic!!  He was mirabile dictu homosexual!!!  We all know now which part of the menagerie ruled the roost.  The Right accepted him, but it never did more than tolerate his homosexuality.  He passed himself off for a while as an interpreter of Catholicism and conservatives to the Left, but it became more and more apparent that he was really a Trojan horse.  When the Right didn’t fall for the ploy, he found his natural company on the Left as a “gay man”; he didn’t mind dumping the “Catholic” and “Conservative”, which the Left would not tolerate.

    Upwards of 30 years ago, D. Keith Mano commented in an aside in NR that the homosexuals he knew were among the more intelligent, lively and congenial of his acquaintance, but the gays were invariably obnoxious pills.

    • #7
  8. Profile Photo Thatcher
    @Percival

    Well, I’ve been ignoring Fred because he hasn’t managed to get on the primary ballot in Illinois yet, and since the last day for filing was January 7th, he won’t be on it next month, either.  All it takes in Illinois is ginning up 3000 signatures, so I’m guessing Fred has less of a ground game than Buddy Roemer, who is on the ballot.

    I don’t have antipathy towards gay people — I have antipathy towards hearing about their sex lives.  That is not anti-gay: I have an antipathy towards hearing about anybody’s sex life in inverse proportion to the likelihood of me being named as a corespondent therein.

    The love that once upon a blessed time dared not speak its name is now the love that won’t shut the hell up about itself.

    • #8
  9. Profile Photo Member
    @DelMarDave

    FWIW, I have a strong recollection that in the Goldwater era and specifically in the campaign, what we now call “the gay community” was strongly supportive of Goldwater and his keep-intrusive-government-small ideas. 

    More than one leader of the movement was homosexual.  They didn’t make an issue of it, and neither did we.

    Would that we could reclaim some of the attitudes and thought processes of that innocent time.

    • #9
  10. Profile Photo Member
    @MafutaKizola
    James Delingpole:  he’s been ignored by the national GOP because he’s gay.54 minutes ago

    I think it is a case of presenting one self a ”gay who happens to be a conservative” instead of a ”conservative who happens to be gay”.

    I would had not known anything about his private life by watching his videos or works, because it is not the focus here.

    Way off topic, here is a question that always puzzle me : Why people define their whole around their sexuality ? and why are they surprised that people make judgement based on the one personal trait they themselves focus has the most important ?

    Edit:

    I made a mistake concerning Mr Breitbart out of shear ignorance, sorry.

    • #10
  11. Profile Photo Thatcher
    @Percival
    Samuel Amaral

    James Delingpole:  he’s been ignored by the national GOP because he’s gay.54 minutes ago

    But the same GOP worship Andrew Breibtar, who happens to begay.

    Just wondering — did you get that from Andrew’s wife, or are you relying on another source?

    • #11
  12. Profile Photo Member
    @Aodhan

    Gays only constitute 2.5% of the population. Their condition is not contagious. Hence, there is no reason they cannot be assimilated into a productive, self-renewing, and moral society, while being permitted to pursue sexual relationships.

    I agree that liberating sexuality from the possibility of procreation, and from the containing stability of a pair-bonded family, creates special moral dangers and practical risks.

    However, there is no reason that those dangers and risks need prove fatal, either for homosexuals or for society, as long as they remain confined to homosexuals as a minority. Moreover, gays can be encouraged to embrace conservative mores and views. As James documents, many do so willingly.

    If liberal heterosexuals are choosing to normalize and adopt gay lifestyles–and these lifstyles, when normalized and adopted, damage society as a whole–then the problem lies with liberal heterosexuals, not with gays. Gays can be tolerated and accommodated without their lifestyle being adopted as a de rigueur blueprint for everyone.

    Note that Iran has plummeting birthrate, despite their leading Mullahs hardly having championed gay lifestyles.

    Homosexuals and homosexuality do not cause social disintegration, even if the liberal championing of their lifestyle is one symptom of it.

    • #12
  13. Profile Photo Member
    @Cutlass

    I agree that it is the politicization of sexuality, and in particular the vicious attacks by LGBT groups against anyone who disagrees with them on everything from the definition of marriage to extending civil rights to force private companies to employ men who wear dresses to work.

    The problem is that an environment is being created where it is no longer acceptable for someone to take a live and let live view towards homosexuality, yet still not accept it as “normal.”

    • #13
  14. Profile Photo Member
    @DelMarDave

    But the same GOP worship Andrew Breibtar, who happens to begay.

    I think it is a case of presenting one self a”gay who happens to be a conservative”instead of a”conservative who happens to be gay”.

    To use Mr Breitbart has an example, I would had not known anything about his private life by watching his videos or works, because it is not the focus here…

    I hadn’t a clue about Breitbart, either.  And now that I “know,” I couldn’t care less.

    But I do understand now why the Left so hates and vilifies him.

    • #14
  15. Profile Photo Member
    @MafutaKizola
    Percival

    Samuel Amaral

    James Delingpole:  he’s been ignored by the national GOP because he’s gay.54 minutes ago

    But the same GOP worship Andrew Breibtar, who happens to begay.

    Just wondering — did you get that from Andrew’s wife, or are you relying on another source? · 4 minutes ago

    I claim foreigner immunity for my blatant ignorance *bows, genuflex, repeat x100*

    Sorry for that, I vaguely remember reading somewhere on the internet.

    • #15
  16. Profile Photo Member
    @RobertLux

    You could have the eccentricities as described by Evelyn Waugh in Brideshead and a certain amount of unofficial tolerance for it (as David Williamson describes above).

    But the point is this: you could have this type of tolerance and polite society precisely because people like Sebastian Flyte or Anthony Blanche were parasitic off a culture that was otherwise far more manly (and I’d say civilized) than what exists today.  

    The cultures of Britain and America today are largely characterized by “self-expression.” Put it this way: I seriously doubt the homo-erotically inclined in 1920s England thought of their homo-eroticism as constituting their “identity.” (“Identity” as connoting, not logical or epistemological matters, but rather Nietzschean historical will or projection of will, is a sense of the word that came into use only quite recently in the Anglo-American world).  

    It would take much longer than 200 words to explain that the only way to domesticate homosexuality is to domesticate all things.  It would entail getting into a discussion about whether nature is the ultimate basis of laws governing society. It is paradoxically only on the basis of some natural law that homosexuals can best be protected. 

    • #16
  17. Profile Photo Member
    @DelMarDave
    Percival

    Samuel Amaral

    James Delingpole:  he’s been ignored by the national GOP because he’s gay.54 minutes ago

    But the same GOP worship Andrew Breibtar, who happens to begay.

    Just wondering — did you get that from Andrew’s wife, or are you relying on another source? · 6 minutes ago

    Shows you how much I know – I DKd  Breitbart had a wife.  Back to other issues re: why the Left hates him.

    • #17
  18. Profile Photo Member
    @FredCole

    If you consider homosexuality to be morally intolerable, it’s hard to tolerate gay people.  You also get distracted by their sexual orientation and think that defines their whole.  So you get hung up on it and that’s where the antipathy comes from.

    • #18
  19. Profile Photo Editor
    @Claire
    Percival: I don’t have antipathy towards gay people — I have antipathy towards hearing about their sex lives. 

    Well, you know, everyone says that, but evidence shows that pretty much everyone on Ricochet prefers discussing this issue to all others. 

    • #19
  20. Profile Photo Editor
    @Claire
    GrendelWhen Andrew Sullivan arrived here he made a bit of a  splash.  

    Speaking of which … 

    • #20
  21. Profile Photo Member
    @NickStuart

    Ever since the sin that dare not speak its name became the sin that won’t shut up there are those of us who wistfully look back to those bygone days when gays pretended to be straight and straights pretended to believe them.

    @Claire:  prefers discussing gays, or prefers discussing sex? I can’t recall that either have crowded out the discourse. In the terra incognita of the College Feed maybe?

    • #21
  22. Profile Photo Member
    @Aodhan
    Percival:

    The love that once upon a blessed time dared not speak its name is now the love that won’t shut the hell up about itself. · 16 minutes ago

    An astute observation. I think the reason for the transformation is two-fold.

    First, as an historically persecuted minority, gays have an axe to grind. I think this explains the “in your face” nature of much “gay pride” activity. Gay activists know that their style of self-promotion makes those who object to them uncomfortable; but they revel in the fact that it does. It’s a form of revenge, driven by resentment. This strikes me as perfectly understandable.

    That said, not all gays are gay activitists, nor feel this way. I suspect only a minority do.

    Second, homosexuality is a cause for others to champion. Those others are, of course, left-liberals. They account, I submit, for most of the clamour surrounding gay rights. 2.5% of the population couldn’t do it alone.

    Homosexuals do have legitimate grievances. The bigotry evident towards them outside of Western society is evil. Unfortunately, their cause has been most vocally co-opted by left-liberals seeking to implement a misguided broader agenda.

    • #22
  23. Profile Photo Thatcher
    @Percival

    Samuel — no harm, no foul.  You might have even picked it up from Andrew’s retweeting of the various attacks made on him.  He takes a perverse joy in sharing just how much flak he takes.

    • #23
  24. Profile Photo Member
    @
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.

    Percival: I don’t have antipathy towards gay people — I have antipathy towards hearing about their sex lives. 

    Well, you know, everyone says that, but evidence shows that pretty much everyone on Ricochet prefers discussing this issue to all others.  · 5 minutes ago

    It’s brought up then we say, why do we even need to know? It’s a ‘rights’ agenda. Unless the person truly is a friend it’s just too much information on many different levels. Take blacks: they have concerns as a ‘group’ but the solutions are the same for them as anyone else. With more liberty most of the political problems go away. On the social level, people are glad that gays aren’t tormented and can be more honest and open, but don’t have to agree with the rest of it. That is a leftist tactic and James should recognize this from his own experience.

    • #24
  25. Profile Photo Contributor
    @JamesDelingpole

    I totally agree with those of you for whom the deal-breaker is “People who define themselves by their sexuality.” This is classic leftist identity politics. And it’s no coincidence that of all the gay friends I mentioned, not one of them plays this game. Political, in-your-face homosexuality is, you might say, one massive pain in the bum. I have similar problems with black people who define themselves by their skin color. One of THE main reasons I’m a conservative is precisely because we don’t judge people by their color, race, creed, sexuality, etc. We judge them by their actions: and we really DO believe in equality of opportunity. (But not of outcome…)

    • #25
  26. Profile Photo Contributor
    @JamesDelingpole

    Btw – I too share you massive disappointment with the way Andrew Sullivan has gone. My suspicion is that he was never a real conservative in the first place. He was at best a RINO.

    • #26
  27. Profile Photo Editor
    @Claire
    Nick Stuart: 

    @Claire:  prefers discussing gays, or prefers discussing sex? I can’t recall that either have crowded out the discourse. In the terra incognita of the College Feed maybe? · 20 minutes ago

    Any thread concerning homosexuality is pretty much guaranteed to generate a disproportionate amount of interest here. (Check the “Most Active” view for data on this; I’m not just making this up.) For people who don’t want to talk about it, Ricochet really, really wants to talk about it.

    Not that I have a problem with that. 

    • #27
  28. Profile Photo Member
    @MothershipGreg
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.

    Percival: I don’t have antipathy towards gay people — I have antipathy towards hearing about their sex lives. 

    Well, you know, everyone says that, but evidence shows that pretty much everyone on Ricochet prefers discussing this issue to all others.  · 53 minutes ago

    I confess to avoiding the gay marriage conversations like the plague.  Are the extremely long dialogues regarding this generally participated in by large numbers of Ricochet members, or is it just a few people who make tons of posts?

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  29. Profile Photo Member
    @Kofola
    James Delingpole: I totally agree with those of you for whom the deal-breaker is “People who define themselves by their sexuality.”  39 minutes ago

    James, I think your question simply comes down to coalition politics. There’s some chunk of the conservative coalition in the US that isn’t all that bent out of shape about homosexuality and would probably embrace Mr. Karger so long as he was openly small government, pro-military, etc. However, there’s also a huge chunk of the conservative coalition that have clear problems with homosexuality as a moral issue and want little association with those who are openly gay. The former don’t care enough about the issue to risk damaging the coalition over it, so they simply acquiesce on the issue to the latter.

    • #29
  30. Profile Photo Thatcher
    @Percival
    Mothership_Greg

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.

    Percival: I don’t have antipathy towards gay people — I have antipathy towards hearing about their sex lives. 

    Well, you know, everyone says that, but evidence shows that pretty much everyone on Ricochet prefers discussing this issue to all others.  · 53 minutes ago

    I confess to avoiding the gay marriage conversations like the plague.  Are the extremely long dialogues regarding this generally participated in by large numbers of Ricochet members, or is it just a few people who make tons of posts? · 10 minutes ago

    When I saw Claire’s response, I wondered if I comment on these kind of threads a lot.  Maybe I do — I don’t remember being all that noisy on the topic.

    Guess I’ll just sit in the corner and sulk.

    [There was going to be a picture of a sulking chimp here, but the embed function is still hosed.  EJ Hill hardest hit.]

    • #30

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