A while ago, I issued a challenge to supporters of single-sex marriage, and opponents of the proposed Constitutional Amendment on the issue this fall; develop an argument that’ll convince a majority of Minnesota voters that you’re right about the issue.
For a fair chunk of that audience, the “argument” has been expressed as simply chanting “you’re a bigot”, which is a stupid argument.
For another fair chunk, the argument reverts to chanting “we don’t vote on civil rights”, which is a nice platitude. Also bullcrap. We vote on civil rights all the time. Ask any second amendment supporter or opponent of campaign finance “reform” / speech rationing, or academic freedom activist, or anti-”Fairness Doctrine” watchdog. And that completely avoids the question “is marriage a civil liberty”. I don’t know that I support the Amendment – but I know that all the best arguments against it come from conservatives.
The dumbest argument of all? Glitter.
It’s become a fad among the local cutesy-but-inartciulate crowd in the past year; if you can’t manage an actual adult argument (and they never, ever can), throw glitter at them.
The Strib editorial board sounds off against the fad - for all the wrong reasons. It comes in the wake of some giggle moron throwing glitter at Mitt Romney during his stop in the Twin Cities earlier this week:
That’s a mistake. Further glitterings, especially of presidential candidates, place everyone at campaign rallies at risk. Security officers must make instantaneous judgments about suspicious-looking people who get close to the candidates and their families. Whether it’s highly trained Secret Service officers or local law enforcement, it’s incredibly difficult in those split-seconds to distinguish someone drawing a weapon from someone pulling out a hidden bag of confetti.
According to the Strib, that’s the reason to stop the glitterings; the safety of the idiot throwing the glitter.
Thjey’re wrong, of course.. The risk to the over-schooled, under-educated, smug little glitter-throwing jagoffs isn’t the main reason to ditch the glitter.
The damage the practice does to our political discourse. It’s long been a principle of free speech; your right to swing your fist stops where my face begins. Maybe a couple of feet before, if you’re smart. Throwing anything at another person is a form of assault; if you did it to a spouse or significant other in the wrong context (the middle of a fight) it could earn you a trip to jail. As, indeed, it should have for the little prick that glittered Romney.
So what we have in Minnesota -and it seems to be a phenomenon among smug little Minnesota jag-bags, so far – is a group of people that thinks a form of assault, stylized as it is, is a legitimate form of protest. Of “free speech”.
It makes Minnesota look like an invincibly stupid place.
As if electing Al Franken and Mark Dayton hadn’t done enough damage.