If you’re conservative, you apparently get to have a conference that the John Birch Society cosponsors, features metaphorical monkey balloons and which sizable portions of the conservative movement tries to write off because said conference endorsed Ron Paul’s Love Balloon for President of the United States of Gold, but which is also a great step forward for equality in the conservative movement because a giant homophobic asshole was booed by some and cheered by others.
Here’s the video, if you haven’t seen it:
(Also note that the speaker before him, who praised the American Conservative for inviting “GOPride” [sic], er, got booed, too.)
There are two problems with the portrayal of this as a “watershed” moment. The first is on ready display in the video itself, as well as the comments to the post. There are people booing, yes – but there are also people clapping. (Not to mention the people just looking around going, “What the fuck is this?”) When you read through the comments – if you dare – you’ll find a ton of people arguing from a rather cemented religious perspective that homosexuality is, you guessed it, a grave moral sin worthy of hatred.
The second problem is this: does this actually mean anything? The debate surrounding GOProud and surrounding that rather lovely tirade above was about whether gay-friendly groups should even be allowed to share the same space with other conservatives; the fact that part of the room booed his “reproductive end” schtick does not a gay-positive agenda make. The “milestone” that was reached here is that the various assholes in the conservative movement who spend most of their time obsessed with whether or not gay men want to have sex with their butts can now get booed in pasty, white, sexually repressed company, so long as the booers are willing to pay several hundred dollars a person for the privilege.
To all those conservatives claiming this as a milestone: what will you do now? What’ll change about the conservative agenda? Now that gays and lesbians have gained full acceptance into the muted ballroom of conservative principles, what activism are these newly tolerant, fired-up conservatives going to engage in? After all, Tea Partiers are protesting tax hikes that didn’t happen, it would be super fun to see what they could do with problems that actually existed.