Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Playtime is Over

I've come to complain. Haven't really done that in a while.

The object of my scorn, the Republican Party. I would air some barbs at Democrats as well, but frankly do not feel that they are even worthy of thought, considering how irrelevant they have become. I hope that changes, but for now...

When one (let's call our "anonymous" protaganist, Jabawacefti [Jabs for short]) charts his political course, one picks out several lodestars to guide the way. For me, those lodestars, or guiding principles, were (in no particular order):

Individual liberty and individual freedom
Defense of democracy and democratic institutions
A strong military and defense
Limited government intervention
Limited government generally

Those principles as stated mean nothing. By which I mean, there are always competing principles, and stating you are in favor of "limited government" only means something when balanced against other competing principles. But to follow the thought, for example, I believe generally in less government subsidies, even if that means that some people, otherwise worthy of receipt of the same, are harmed because I believe that on the whole, the government's intervention and interference is mostly harmful.

But in the United States, we basically have two political parties (with minimal third party runs every so often). Those parties have multiple constituencies. Those constituencies are often at odds based in part on these competing principles. In this case, the Republican Party (in theory the vanguard of the Conservative movement) has alligned itself with some social conservatives, some of whom are completely unconcerned about "limited government intervention."

Such is the case with the Federal Marriage Amendment.

And in this case, those social conservatives are pushing the Republican Party (and the country generally) to use the Constitution to interfere where they frankly ought not. And in so doing, they proponents of this Amendment are violating virtually every other tenet that Conservatives hold dear.

There are several reasons why this Amendment is a poor idea, but here's just a couple, off the top of my head:

1) Family law has always been, more than virtually any other set of laws, defined and determined at a local level. Mandating family law across the United States, from Washington (although technically there would have to be a percentage of State ratification), stands athwart everything that Conservatives hold dear about our federalist system of government.

2) There is no reason to fear that judges in Massachusetts will define the marriage laws across the country as set forth in the Defense Against Marriage Act.

and

3) Constitutional Amendments are generally used to expand personal rights, clarify the federal/state relationship, or limit the power of the government generally. Certainly not defining the legal relationship between two individuals.

Apart from the fact that the Constitution is now being used to codify a particular discrimination against a limited set of people, I just do not see the harm. Can someone please explain to me the harm of gay marriage? From what I understand about gay marriage (and I'm admittedly no expert), by allowing for same-sex marriage, heterosexual couples are not obligated to attend same-sex wedding ceremonies or otherwise participate in any way regarding the same. Individual churches are not obligated to conduct same-sex marriages if it conflicts with their faith. Nor is the population (aside from some Australian hooligans) forced to listen to Barry Manilow.

This is election year politics at its very worst. It's cynically appealing to the basest in our natures perhaps because the idea of same-sex marriage "just doesn't feel right" to some. Well, I don't like the taste of tuna fish (ugh!), and I don't tell you not to eat it. And I certainly would never (I repeat, NEVER) stand for the government telling you not to eat it.

As Ronald Reagan said, "I don't believe in a government that protects us from ourselves."

So, what's a conservative to do? Complain, I suppose. And hope that this Amendment fails so miserably that it will never be proposed again.

Then we can deal with the real issues facing this country. Because ladies and gentlemen, playtime is over.

3 Comments:

At 5:55 PM, Blogger codemorse said...

Wow.

Color me impressed, Jabs. Sincerely impressed.

You continue to amaze me with the seemingly simple way with which you use logic and reason to break down and build up arguments.

You're a success in your field for very good reasons.

 
At 5:59 PM, Blogger Jabawacefti said...

Thank you, brother.

In fairness, though, for something like this, it's so easy the arguments make themselves.

 
At 6:11 PM, Blogger codemorse said...

If that were true, we'd have no political divide.

And thank you. Codemorse kicks twice as much ass with the Big Brain onboard.

 

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