All the Colors of the Rainbow…Except Red

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The scuttlebutt in Washington, DC, right now involves Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. Leftists have been circulating the idea Graham is being blackmailed by President Donald Trump to say and act in a different manner than he did prior to the death of Senator John McCain, suggesting Trump knows a dirty little secret about Graham’s presumed sexual preference. You see, Graham is believed to be gay and, although he’s never come out one way or the other, it’s a “known secret” like Valerie Plame being in the CIA was.

Before I go any further, let me just say there is nothing wrong with being gay. If you get your jollies with a member of your own gender, great! All I ask is you don’t force me to sanction it, and I won’t force you to sanction my heterosexual relationship with my wife. And it’s been my experience that most gay people are okay with that.

This is where things get tricky. From an ideological standpoint, gay Leftists demand loyalty to “The Cause.” And if you deviate one micron from their ideology, you’re “not really gay” or an enemy to “The Cause” or both. It’s amazing that the same ideology that gave us 5,376,891,239,134,148 genders (as of the writing of this blog) can be so binary in their ideology.

This dichotomy/hypocrisy of Leftist ideology leaves a lot of homosexuals with a Faustian deal: conform, or be cast out. (Subdivisions.) Some gays have even said it was easier to come out as gay than it was to come out as conservative (and, yes, there are conservative and libertarian gays out there). If you really think about it, and I have, it seems counterintuitive to preach diversity on the one hand because a person is homosexual and deny it on the other if that same person digs Ayn Rand. It would be like…oh, I don’t know…having a group of black Congresspeople deny inclusion to their group on the basis of race and ideology. Good thing such an organization doesn’t exist or else the Left might be seen as bigots!

There’s also a privacy issue at work here. Gays, by and large, don’t want their sex lives to become public fodder, which I can respect. Yet, there are some gays (who just happen to swing Left) who think it’s a duty for them to “out” gay conservatives. Regardless of your stance on homosexuality, purposely outing someone because of political difference is a bridge too far. Unless you’re going to allow them to open up your closet (so to speak) and drag out all your skeletons, you’re delving into an area you shouldn’t want to be seen in because it can easily boomerang on you.

So what if Lindsey Graham is gay? Doesn’t affect anyone in the grand scheme of things, so leave it alone. What matters are the policies he supports and the actions he takes in accordance with those policies. That’s it. Even if all the cool gay kids are snickering at him because they think he’s gay, it’s not an open invitation to make it a focal point of your derision, and it’s certainly not carte blanc to suggest he’s being blackmailed by Donald Trump because of it. Blackmail is still a crime in this country, and if you accuse anyone, let alone Trump, of engaging in it, you had better be ready to produce evidence or else you risk legal, personal, and image problems up the ying-yang. (Of course, if you’re into that kind of thing, you may enjoy that, but it’s not my place to judge.) In the meantime, cool it with the blackmail crap and focus on a long-term vision for the gay community, one that embraces ideological diversity as easily as it embraces racial and cultural diversity.

Or is that too radical a thought to consider?

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

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Sometimes people ask me why I don’t associate with the Democrats or the Republicans. Usually, I give an answer about how the two major parties are too much alike for my tastes. And after this past week, I have another example.

To say President Donald Trump has critics in both major parties is an understatement of Rosie O’Donnell sized proportions. Two such critics are House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senator Lindsey Graham. On paper, these two should be fighting like cats and dogs, but when it comes to the deficiencies in the Trump Administration (in their opinions), they are practically inseparable. One is a whiny partisan hack who wears a dress, and the other is Nancy Pelosi.

Recently, both Pelosi and Graham urged President Trump to not only beef up our military, but to beef up our diplomatic power. Both of them referred to the latter as “soft power.” And when two Leftists use the same term, it piques my interest.

soft power

What the Left believes it means – power that derives from peaceful endeavors

What it really means – using words when force would work better

I am not a violent man by nature, but there are times when even I recognize extending an olive branch will not make the other side stop wanting to shoot your hand off. Take ISIS/ISIL, for example. They have a massive hard-on to destroy us, so inviting them over for tea really isn’t an option. Not to mention, their preferred tea is of the TN variety.

This is a problem the Left doesn’t quite understand when it comes to using soft power: not everyone is open to negotiation. When two parties enter into a negotiation, they have goals they want to meet if at all possible. Between countries, these goals typically revolve around not going to war over trifles. Between people, these goals may involve sharing of ideas and profits. Put another way, negotiation requires all parties involved to have a sense of self-interest to avoid conflict.

Now, what if one side doesn’t want to avoid conflict? All the talking in the world won’t make them come to the table and reject their nature, so there needs to be hard power to back up the soft power. Think of a biker who loves getting into a fight. If he has his gang to get his back, he’s going to get what he wants. If he’s flying solo, he might be more willing to listen to reason if he’s faced with a gang armed with sawed-off shotguns, but he might also choose to fight. And that biker happens to be Wolverine…

From a political perspective, having hard power and soft power at your disposal is a good thing, as long as the use of those powers are consistent. And that’s where the current political environment goes off the rails like Joseph Hazelwood running an Amtrak line on the San Andreas Fault. For the past couple of decades, our diplomats have taken the position that being American means always having to say you’re sorry. Even when we’re in the right, our diplomats are apologizing for us being Americans. If we apologize any more, Canada is going to annex us.

So, what happens when the soft power and hard power are at odds with each other? That depends on the leadership of the President. If he leans more towards using hard power, diplomacy will be used only when absolutely necessary. Think of it as the shoot first and ask questions later approach. When the President decides using diplomacy would accomplish more than blowing up the other party’s stuff, words become the ammunition.

Guess what kind of power the previous Administration relied on most. I mean, aside from capitulating to the wrong people while isolating our allies.

With a new President comes a new approach. Donald Trump has already stated he will rebuild our military strength and restore our standing around the world. If he sticks with the approach that won him the Presidency, we’ll see a heavier reliance on hard power, which is not necessarily a bad thing after spending years as the geopolitical equivalent of a 98 pound weakling. I would urge the President not to neglect soft power, but not to let people like Nancy Pelosi and Lindsey Graham make the decisions on where and when to use it.