All week, I’ve been asking whether we are in the midst of the “Crazy Years,” a time envisioned more than a half-century ago by science fiction writer Robert A. Heinlein. (Scroll down on the right side to read earlier posts, referencing various Heinlein classics.)
Today, we’ll consider a surprising—perhaps even a “crazy”—transformation in American politics: Gay rights activism popping up in the news from America’s political and religious Right? Gay rights has been a traditional liberal cause—associated with the Left. But now we’re witnessing an inversion of politics as usual with the rise of gay conservatism.
Consider this: Right-wing, evangelical Christian Anne Coulter suddenly is publicly seen supporting gays and gay rights. Coulter has made a career out of gay-bashing and is a staunch opponent of same-sex marriage. Yet, as described in the New York Times in a major story on Sunday, Coulter now is now a supporter of gay activism and spoke recently at “Homocon 2010”—a fundraiser for gay conservatives.
And, consider this: The Log Cabin Republicans, a gay-rights group within the Republican Party, describes its mission as advocating “equal rights for all Americans, including gays and lesbians. Log Cabin’s mission derives from our firm belief in the principles of limited government, individual liberty, individual responsibility, free markets and a strong national defense. We emphasize that these principles and the moral values on which they stand are consistent with the pursuit of equal treatment under the law for gay and lesbian Americans.”
This week the Log Cabin group made national headlines because a legal case they brought against “Don’t ask; don’t tell” led to a federal judge ruling against the controversial policy.
Heinlein didn’t predict this specific turnabout in American politics, but he did write about a time when our understanding of religion, morality, and values would be turned on its head. In his most famous novel, “Stranger in a Strange Land,” Heinelin wrote about a boy orphaned on Mars and raised by Martian natives. As an adult, he winds up on Earth and—once he gets accustomed to our planet’s physics and biology—he dramatically influences the direction of American values and religion.
Conservatives like Anne Coulter and the Log Cabin Republicans have made big splashes this week in news headlines and this seems like a dramatic turnaround in our assumptions about political activism.
What do you make of it?
Is this some sort of “crazy” inversion of what we expect in American politics?
A hopeful sign?
What do you think?
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