The Impotence of the Anonymous

Rob Tisinai

May 6th, 2013

Two things are happening. Supporters of same-sex marriage are winning. And opponents are losing. I distinguish those two because our victories are not due entirely to our own efforts. It often seems like our opponents are pursuing strategies and ideas that doom their own cause.

Take Dr. Paul Kengor, a professor of political science at Grove City College. He attributes support for same-sex marriage to “the anonymous power at work.”

What was this power? It was the power of “changing moods and current fashion.” That’s a hugely influential power, one that you can’t always get a handle on, but it’s there, and with a great influence, a tremendous persuasive power upon the crowd, the culture…

There are so many issues over the years where I’ve seen this anonymous power at work in our culture. And few strike me currently quite like the sudden fanatical push for gay marriage. It has come from nowhere. In mere years, the entirety of the Democratic Party and its leadership has switched from affirming traditional marriage to demanding homosexual marriage. America’s president and youth are overwhelmingly on board. Polls have flipped in their favor. It’s a cultural tsunami. On TV and Twitter and Facebook and the web, it’s an overwhelming obsession.

And who’s pushing it? Well, it’s anonymous.

Here is a man who is absolutely determined to continue thinking he’s right, no matter what mental twists and contortions he has to go through, twists and contortions that have led him (unsurprisingly) to get everything backwards. I wrote this in a comment to his article:

This article is a good example of why people who oppose same-sex marriage keep losing ground (literally, given our state-by-state progress).

The article has it exactly wrong — this change is not due to “anonymous” forces, but to people with names. Friends, neighbors, colleagues who are gay, who have faces, who have names: straight people know and love these gay folk. They see how they love and support their partners.

They end up supporting same-sex marriage precisely because they can name people they love to whom it desperately matters.

Anonymity and invisibility — in the form of the gay closet — are what opponents of same-sex marriage rely on. Anonymity and invisibility are what the rest of us are trying to end.

It’s not just that Kengor is wrong. It’s that the delusions which allow to him to cling to his wrongness are the very things that will bring on his own defeat.

Patrick C

May 6th, 2013

I think “anonymous” is code for Satan. Either way, where’s SNL’s church lady when you need her?

Ben in Oakland

May 6th, 2013

As usual, rob, bang on. I have a lightly different take on this which complements yours.

Grove city college. If I recall, yet another Christian college, which merely means that it has chosen to isolate itself from the rest of the world in favor of a mirror pointed directly at its own belly button..

And anonymous is just another way of saying cultural fad, which has been the meme of Brian brown, Rick perry, pat Robertson, and quite a few others have been pushing of late, because the absolute truth of what you’re saying is simply inconceivable. “We hold these truths to be self evident, that fags are fags and no one gives a rats ass about them.” I’m fairly certain it’s the same meme that causes a number of peopleto claim the APA, and every other room of the scientific house, was bullied into declassifying homosexuality as a mental illness–40 GODDAM YEARS AGO.

And coming out of nowhere is just another way of saying “I haven’t been paying any attention to this for the last nearly 30 years because “those people” are pretty much beneath my Contempt. and way off my radar.” I say 30 years because Denmark passed it domestic partner bill in, I believe, 1985, Berkeley passed its dp bill in 1982 (?) and San Francisco passed its in 1989.

It’s obtuseness on a grand scale, bless heir petty little hearts.

Hunter

May 7th, 2013

One footnote to this: Dr. Kengor typifies something that I’ve noticed about the anti-gay right (and contemporary conservatism in general): because they have built a world view that disallows the legitimacy of any other point of view, they find themselves at a loss to explain why they’re losing. It’s analogous to the GOP’s conclusion that their rhetoric was at fault for their losses in the last general election, rather than their policies — they can’t admit that their policies are unpopular. In their minds, that’s simply not possible.

It also occurs to me that there’s quite an overlap between ideology and religious belief.

Michael Smith

May 7th, 2013

I also take exception to his assertion that “it has come from nowhere.” LGBT equality is a movement that’s been building for a century or more. We didn’t just pop into existence suddenly, nor did the movement. We’ve been here all along, fighting for equality. We haven’t been “Anonymous.” Conservatives have just been in denial, because homosexuality doesn’t fit with their plan for the new world order.

And, as usual, you hit the nail on the head with your response. Thank you.

Regan DuCasse

May 7th, 2013

This is just another head to their hydra of complaints that gays are a secret and conspiratorial entity. That no gay person is truthful or open about their real intentions.
That nothing a gay person says or does can be believed or trusted.
Any and every layer of suspicion they can pile on, the anti gay will do so. It’s an exhaustive whack a mole game they like to play. There is little anyone can say regarding equality, without someone like Kengor weighing it all down with something like this.
They’ll never, EVER concede that gay people ARE being believed, and understood. Not because anyone is threatened or forced to, but because gay people ARE honest and actually respected if not liked and loved.
Honesty and truth is what gay folks have wanted and tried to commit to.
If a gay person is damned if they do, or damned if they don’t, blaming gay people for it is like blaming women for sexism.
When it’s all said and done, many of us can see the cowardice in Kengor’s claims.
Does it not occur to him there actually ARE people much smarter, more experienced and courageous than he thinks HE is?

Ben In Oakland

May 7th, 2013

Bingo, Regan.

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