Like my RedState colleague Bryan Pruitt, I feel sorry for these guys: “The gay New York City hoteliers who recently played host to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) have their own controversy to deal with: Activists are calling for the boycott of their properties, including a gay hotel and establishments on Fire Island.” Essentially, Ian Reisner and Mati Weiderpass had a reception where they had Ted Cruz speak to a group on foreign policy, Israel (particularly noting its attitudes on gay rights) – and, shockingly, how Ted Cruz doesn’t think Barack Obama is doing well on either. Oh, mustn’t forget: [mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ] will still love his kids if they turn out to be gay.
And so… for allowing this man to speak to their friends, Mr. Reisner and Mr. Weiderpass must of course be chastised. In fact, they should consider themselves fortunate that their own side is not calling them to be burned at the stake for heresy. Yet. The day is still young, after all.
I wonder if that’s sunk in yet, for the two guys. Mati Weiderpass attempted to explain basic civics (in a Facebook post that apparently has since been taken down) to critics: “People on both sides of the aisle need to be able to communicate with one another even when they ideologically disagree.” This is, of course, simultaneously true, and pointless. Of course people should be able to talk to each other. And equally of course the Activist Left will go after any person on their side who wants to talk to one on ours.
Why? Because the Left is unconvinced of its own powers of logic and persuasion, naturally. It’s what Andrew Klavan calls the Shut Up strategy: time and again progressive activists routinely fall back on a policy where they preemptively attempt to define how ideas and positions may be acceptably presented*. It’s what you do when you can’t actually win an argument on your own; and the Activist Left doesn’t win very many arguments on their own. Even, apparently, when it comes to folks ostensibly on their own side.
The good news? It’s a stupid strategy. It didn’t work on the Second Amendment: we’ve won that argument so handily that too strong an advocacy of gun control can almost be treated as prima facie evidence of brain damage. Didn’t work on abortion, either: when your policy position doesn’t let you say Of course you shouldn’t kill a seven-pound baby in the womb you are in very deep waters, and without a flotation device. And it is perilously close to blowing up in the Democrats’ faces when it comes to same-sex marriage, too. Basing your entire strategy on shutupshutupshutupyouhatershutupshutup leaves one vulnerable when the people that you’re screaming at decide that they don’t care what you think. And progressives apparently never contemplate that their actions might provoke an effective backlash**.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
*There’s a reason why people on the Right uses the quote that “The Left wants the Right to shut up; the Right wants the Left to keep talking.” It’s because the quote is true.
**This is not to say that outrages cannot still occur before, or during, said backlash. They almost certainly will. But time is a remarkable leveler.