Yesterday, I spent the 4th with my extended family and that meant spending the day with my brother-in-law. Now don’t get me wrong, he’s a great guy, I like him a lot, but he ended up reminding me why I hate accomodationism. See, he’s a conservative. That means he’s a gun-toting, personal-responsibility-demanding, small-government, kind of guy. He’s also an atheist and has no attachment whatsoever to religious neo-conservatism. In fact, he’s 100% in favor of things like gay rights.
He’s just not in favor of gay marriage.
Or, more properly, not in favor of using that word to refer to gay unions. That might seem kind of stupid and, in fact, it is, but his reasoning has always troubled me. See, he wants gays to be able to get “married”, but since the religious right has declared “ownership” of that word and he doesn’t want to do anything that’s going to unnecessarily piss them off.
Why? Because more than he hates the religious, he hates the left and in his mind, the only way to beat the liberals politically is with the help of the religious wingnuts on the right. The enemy of his enemies are his friends, in some fashion.
Unfortunately, I think that’s a pretty widespread view among Republicans. Once you get outside of the Bible-swinging portion of the Republican spectrum, I think there are a healthy percentage of more rational Republicans who are playing nice with the religious wingnuts in order to buy their votes. They’re willing to allow the crazies at the podium to spout all kinds of religious stupidity, so long as they keep putting their money and support behind the party. I suspect they think that all of the nonsense supported by the far-right is politically impossible anyhow, therefore let them vomit their misogyny and racism, nothing can ever come of it.
I couldn’t disagree more.
I think they need to be opposed at every turn, no matter the effect on the party. Philosophically and intellectually, the religious are bad news. They believe irrational things, they want to push mythology in the schools and follow ancient books over modern knowledge. This is bad for everyone. Catering to them at all sends the message that their ideas are credible. It gives the impression that the party in general supports and defends them. I’d hope that if the Nazis were a sizable political faction in the U.S., people with more sense than that wouldn’t cater to their antisemitism for votes, but maybe they would. Nothing really surprises me these days.
We can’t embrace the religious craziness of the far-right just to buy their votes. I’d rather lose the next 10 elections than deal with the crazy uncle in the Republican party sitting in the corner talking to himself. Honestly, I think it’s time for the Republican party to fragment so the normal people can go off and set a more rational platform for itself and people like my brother-in-law don’t have to feel like they’re obligated to hold their nose and talk nice to the nutballs.