Conservative Bigotry – Progressive Hypocrisy
“It is often easier to become outraged by injustice half a world away than by oppression and discrimination half a block from home.”
Carl T. Rowan
“The idea of democracy has been stripped of its moral imperatives and come to denote hollowness and hypocrisy.”
“Any deviation is looked upon as a perversion, is feared, and is usually a target of hatred and prejudice.“
There is nothing more distasteful to me than people who lay claim to defending principle or religious faith as justification for their bigotry and prejudice. You see it all the time these days, although it’s been around for centuries.
The latest example comes from Gwendolyn Landolt head of REAL Women Canada which has publicly accused Canada’s Foreign Minister, John Baird, of abuse of his office for his public support of the civil rights of gays internationally. It has caused a bit of a stir here in the land of maple syrup and hockey and there is some excellent commentary of Ms Landolt’s comments by the National Post’s Barbara Kay and Brigitte Pellerin on her personal blog.
Ms Landolt’s organization purports to speak for the women of Canada but one supposes that both Ms Kay and Ms Pellerin are two for whom she doesn’t necessarily speak – certainly not on this issue. I know for a fact that she doesn’t speak for Maggie or for any of the women in our family or social circle.
I get tired, quite frankly, of the hypocrisy of it all and I don’t believe I’m the only one. Fellow blogger, Cory Morgan, posted this comment on his Facebook page.
“Just as those with ‘Real Women’ have every right to act like puritanical harridans from 200 years ago in their condemnation and press releases; I reserve my right to invite them to blow it out their collective asses.”
Puritanical harridans – that’s one of those phrases I wish I had written because it summarizes Ms Landolt’s opinion and prejudice perfectly. It is smug, self-righteous bigotry that quite frankly is staggering at this point in time and which is embarrassing to the conservative movement and to women.
Even more disturbing is the fact that Ms Landolt has more in common with Yelena Mizulina, the head of Russia’s Committee on Family, Women and Children than the Canadian values she claims to represent. Ms Mizulina is a Russian Member of Parliament who has pushed through a significant amount of legislation that restricts the rights of individuals with whom she disagrees.
That’s the kind of government control and oppression on individual freedoms for which conservatives routinely condemn progressives.
Ms Landolt states that Mr. Baird, who is gay, has no business interfering in the affairs of other nations and trying to influence them in the development of their internal policies. Really? What in the hell does she think we have a foreign affairs department for – to set up vacation plans for the Prime Minister?
It’s logic so convoluted that I had to double check to make sure I wasn’t on a Liberal web-site, REAL Women make this statement about itself: “NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.”
Well, isn’t that special!
Apparently, Ms Landolt has no problem with consulting with the UN to try and help the United Nations influence policies in other sovereign countries as long as they are about things of which she personally approves.
Personally, I don’t care what Ms Landolt’s position on gay rights is to be honest nor am I insensitive to the fact that she may be uncomfortable with the gay lifestyle; but I take great exception to her position that Canada has no business trying to overcome injustice and prejudice in other countries. It was people like Ms Landolt who tried to avoid war with Nazi Germany by staying out of what was happening in that country until it became too late. Czechoslovakia was deliberately sacrificed to avoid war in the rest of Europe.
Compromising principle didn’t work out too well as it turns out.
Millions of people including thousands of Canadians paid for that head-in-the-sand attitude with their lives and Ms Landolt would do well to consider the words of Tim Holden.
“The Holocaust illustrates the consequences of prejudice, racism and stereotyping on a society. It forces us to examine the responsibilities of citizenship and confront the powerful ramifications of indifference and inaction.”
Canada like every other nation that values freedom and human rights has an absolute responsibility to stand up to defend injustice everywhere. In fact, if I had a criticism to level against the governments of Canada and other democratically elected countries; it is that they don’t stand up often enough. Too often they allow trade considerations and political expediency to interfere with doing what is right
This time, the Government of Canada got it right and Ms Landolt needs to reconsider her position from this perspective. Besides, criticizing the Russian Government isn’t quite the same as interfering with their right to do as they please.
I am a conservative and share many of the stated values of the Conservative Party. I believe in less government and the rights of the individual. That means the rights of all individuals – not just those who agree with me or who don’t make me uncomfortable. There is a difference between being conservative and being a bigot. I am a conservative. Ms Landolt is a bigot cloaking her bigotry in Conservativism.
That probably sounds like I’d be rushing to support the ‘boycott the Olympics’ crowd. I’m not. I dislike hypocrisy as much as bigotry.
Let’s back up for a second.
There are more than 70 countries in the world that have laws on the books declaring homosexual activity to be a crime. Depending on the country, conviction can result in punishments that range from a few months to 14 years in prison, flogging / whipping, and in some countries – death, because in those countries, being gay is a capital offense.
Being gay isn’t a lifestyle choice. People don’t get up one day and think, “Gee, I think I’d like to try something different.” It’s an established fact that being gay is how your brain is wired and it isn’t exclusive to the human species. Same-sex behaviour is common in mammals and birds across nature from the big cats and chimps to penguins. It takes a pretty closed mind to believe that someone would risk their lives in Iran just to try being gay for a bit.
There was a time when it was believed that the earth was flat.Society used to think that some races were inferior and that women were incapable of holding their own with men. Some people still do unfortunately but just as that is uninformed bigotry, so is the prejudice against gays.
Darryl Hannah chains herself to the White House fence to protest the Keystone Pipeline because God knows it’s better to buy oil from Saudi Arabia where people are flogged and imprisoned for being gay than to buy it from Canada because – well – those damned oil sands kill birds.
My kick with the current self-righteous progressives demanding boycotts and signing petitions against participation in the Olympics is how bloody hypocritical and thoughtless it all is. My own godson is one of those eager to take action against Russia. He is my favourite nephew and I have loved him dearly since he was born but I want to grab him and tell him to give his head a shake because he’s put no thought into his position. It’s all emotional knee-jerk reaction and that is the kiss of death when trying to fight injustice.
It’s easy to pick on Russia; it’s safe protest and even convenient but what about all those other countries?
Are the folks who want to have other people pay for an Olympic boycott prepared to boycott Middle Eastern oil they use to fuel their SUVs? In Iran, they hang gays publicly. You never hear much about boycotting stuff from Iran – it’s all about their nuclear program.
How about the Caribbean? Are these same hypocrites prepared to organize boycotts of St. Lucia or the Barbados; both which have long-standing laws that criminalizes same-sex activity?
I have a gay friend who is outraged by Russia’s legislation but who is recently back from a two-week vacation in Mauritius where male same-sex activity is a crime punishable but up to five years in prison. She has also vacationed in the United Arab Emirates where same-sex activity is punishable by deportation or imprisonment.
I like her and personally don’t care where she vacations but if you’re going to criticize one country for criminalizing homosexaulity, criticize them all. If you’re going to call for a boycott of something in one country in protest of their laws against homosexuality, call for boycotts of them all and be prepared to step up and honour that boycott – not just the ones that don’t inconvenience you.
As E.B. White said once:
“Prejudice is a great time saver. You can form opinions without having to get the facts.”
And that is my kick with the self-righteous these days. They prance around making a lot of sanctimonious noise but have put less thought into the issue than my dog Jasper puts into selecting precisely the correct spot to take a dump. They become aware of something and jump on the bandwagon. “Something needs to be done.” moves quickly to “Let’s do it” without any consideration of the scope and breadth of the issue or the ramifications and consequences of the current protest.
What do these twits think they will accomplish? They’re naïve if they think petitions will cause the Olympic Committee or any major nation to boycott the Olympics and even more gullible if they believe their shallow demands will cause the Russian government to change the law. The only people who get hurt by an Olympic boycott are those who have invested millions in creating the games and the athletes who have worked for years to achieve an opportunity to compete and perhaps kick start a professional career.
But then the boycott hypocrites will tell you that it is a small price to pay to achieve justice. Yeah! Right! Progressives are always big on sacrifice as long as it is someone else being sacrificed.
Fighting injustice is hard. It takes time, effort, commitment and most of all; it takes consistency. You can’t condemn something over here because it offends you but ignore it over there because it would be inconvenient to lose whatever ‘over there’ provides for you.
It’s small wonder we take so long to accomplish anything of real value anymore. Conservative bigotry and progressive hypocrisy impede the advancement of the issues we face together. Both, despite their claims to the contrary, are two of the biggest impediments to obtaining and respecting the equal rights of all people regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation or political ideology.
I don’t expect much more than that from the left but I did expect better from fellow conservatives who make a lot of noise about respecting individual rights.
But apparently it doesn’t seem to matter whether it is conservative bigotry or progressive hypocrisy it all comes down to the same thing in the end. It’s just a lot of sanctimonious, self-serving noise that signifies nothing and accomplishes even less.
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