16 May 2008

Who Says There Is No Such Thing as a Decent Politician?

Gavin Newsom ~ Photograph © Jim Wilson/The New York Times

What do I mean by "decent?" Someone who will stand up against prejudice and bigotry in order to defend the dignity and self-respect and interests of minorities. Someone who calls into question practices and institutions that operate, by design or otherwise, to exclude and therefore humiliate large numbers of people. Someone who asks adversaries to offer arguments based in something other than religiously-based intolerance. Story here. The right already has begun to howl hypocritically (e.g., here). So, we will need to see if there are other decent folks around to talk back - politicians and regular citizens too.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Stan B. said...

I'll probably catch crap for saying it, but I would have much rather have seen him try to do something truly effective concerning the rampant (and much less publicized and publicity inducing) epidemic of homelessness here in San Francisco that's afflicting every sex at every age.

16 May, 2008 18:24  
Blogger Jim Johnson said...

Stan,

I agree about the social & economic problems of homelessness, not just in SF but up and down the west coast. And, of course, in lots of the rest of the country too.

And I myself don't think that "marriage" is something everyone of whatever predilection ought to pursue. I don't think we ought to exlude people from whatever mode of expressing commitment (or lack thereof) they choose. There are various ways to lead one's sexual life and marriage is only one. It is way to sanctified in this country.

Unfortunately all sorts of entitlements and benefits (economic, medical, etc.) come only within the purview of marriage. So, it is something lots of people are compelled to embrace.

All of that said, and given all the things that need fixing, Newsom has at least taken a stand on something. And while it may bring hordes of frothing-at-the-mouth right-wingers out into the streets to complain about the fall of American civilization, it may also eventually demonstrate to some among the more sensible that legalizing same-sex-marriages will not have anything like that effect.

16 May, 2008 20:02  

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