"The hypocrite's crime is that he bears false witness against himself. What makes it so plausible to assume that hypocrisy is the vice of vices is that integrity can indeed exist under the cover of all other vices except this one. Only crime and the criminal, it is true, confront us with the perplexity of radical evil; but only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core". - Hannah Arendt (above)Of all the hypocritical preachings of the conservative movement, from holier than thou exhortations to economic homilizing, perhaps the most hypocritical and heinous of them all, are their anti-homosexual sermons.
I'm now reading David Brock's Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative (Crown 2002) and am furious.
I like books written by "ex-Conservatives" because they give you a better understanding of what the movement is all about. They read like someone who has just escaped a cult and lived to tell about it.
Frank Schaeffer's Crazy for God, reveals the bigotry and sanctimoniousness of the Religious Right. Schaeffer's dad was the author of A Christian Manifesto, said to be a blueprint for the so-called Moral Majority.
David Kuo's Tempting Faith: An inside Story of Political Seduction, confirms many of the statements made by Schaeffer Jr. As a member of George Bush's "Faith-based Group" Kuo realized that the Christian faith was being exploited for political gain.
Matt Latimer's Speechless: Tales of a White House Survivor, tells of how he was selected to be part of George Bush's speech writing team, only to learn that he was no more than a glorified ad man, reduced to creating slogans for bumper sticker politics.
Brock's book Blinded, exposes far more than religious hypocrisy and dummied down politics, however, proving that Hilary Clinton was right. There really is a "vast right-wing conspiracy", and he would know, because he was a part of it.
Reagan's "Laissez Fairies"
Scott Brison was one of the few Progressive Conservatives in the "new" Conservative Party, created with the Reform/Alliance takeover. He tells of how he was called into Stephen Harper's office and told that while his keen economic mind was appreciated, he would have to go back into the closet, if he wanted a place in a future Harper cabinet.
Brison was always clear that he was not a gay politician, but a politician who happened to be gay. He refused Harper's offer and crossed the floor to the Liberals.
Arthur Finkelstein was one of Richard Nixon's most valued political operatives. An attack ad god. Many of the negative campaigns he helped to launch were against gay candidates, or those who had "gay sympathies". (Finkelstein also spent sixteen years working with the National Citizens Coalition, where he taught Stephen Harper the art of sleazy politics)
It came as quite a shock, when just before his death, Finkelstein was wed to his male partner of 40 years; only an issue because of the hypocrisy. Working with not only Nixon, but Reagan and Bush, publicly denouncing homosexuality and gay marriage, Finkelstein earned a reputation as a homophobe.
According to David Brock the Republican Party is filled with closeted gays and lesbians, who are forced to hide their sexual orientation because of the public image that the GOP is trying to put forward. The sad part of that, is not that they have to remain closeted, but that they have to be identified at all. Such is today's political climate.
Under Reagan, Brock says that the group referred to themselves as the "Laissez Fairies".
The "big tent" had no room for anyone who might upset the "Evangelicals" that Reagan had so carefully courted. What is unforgivable is that Reagan dragged his heels on developing a strategy to fight Aids, because his "faith-based group", headed up by another demonic hypocrite, Gary Bauer, said that Aids was God's punishment for being gay.
Reagan only acted when his friend, Rock Hudson, succumbed to the disease. Too little, too late.
In a new book on Richard Nixon, Nixon's Darkest Secrets: The Inside Story of America's Most Troubled President, former United Press International Washington bureau chief Don Fulsom, says that Nixon himself was gay, and had carried on a torrid love affair with Charles (Bebe) Rebozo. This only matters because Nixon also loved to gay bash, once calling San Francisco "the most faggy goddamned thing you could ever imagine," and blamed the fall of the Roman Empire on homosexual emperors (Nixon Papers, National Archives).
Another book, Lothar Machtan's The Hidden Hitler, (Perseus 2001) makes the claim that the former dictator was also a closeted gay man, with past male lovers. (Mend Protocol) The assassination of Ernest Rohm and 150 other members of the party, says Machtan, was to bury Hitler's past and reduce the risk of blackmail.
Yet the Nazis sought to exterminate all homosexuals, sending many to concentration or labour camps. Definitely worse than than simple discrimination, but damaging nonetheless.
When 15-year-old Jamie Hubley committed suicide after constant bullying because of his sexual orientation, members of Canada's Conservatives actually had the audacity to release public service messages saying "It gets better". Stephen Harper's homophobia, whether real or just for show, is well chronicled, as are the views of many members of his caucus.
They are part of the problem.
David Brock, gay himself, said that conservatives didn't stop at ridiculing those known to be homosexual, but assumed that any male in their 30s or older, who had never married and were not seen to be dating women, were automatically assumed to be gay, so had to endure the same abuse.
If this is true, Brad Trost, Jason Kenney and Rob Anders, might want to rethink their anti-gay rhetoric. Apparently perception is enough.
The Republicans and the conservatives in the U.S. are currently engaged in open warfare, for control of the party, and one of the criterion, for being a true conservative is that you oppose gay rights. However, according to Brock, most could care less. They simply have to keep up the appearance to sooth the pseudo-Christians with all the bucks.
Arendt is right. Rotten to the core. The whole damn lot of them.