I hate to keep revisiting Bristol Palin's remarks about gay marriage and same-sex parents, but she actually did take notice of my last article about this, and I feel she deserves a response. In her latest post, she claims that she was not "playing 'the victim card'", and was really only saying two things:
1. Those who claim to be loving and tolerant certainly are hateful and bullying.
2. But despite their efforts at name-calling and even their threats, I won't be deterred from speaking out.
So, let's recap. Bristol, here's what you did:
- You falsely implied that President Obama only chose to support marriage equality because of his daughters' opinions, and you ignored everything else he said on the matter.
- You cited "thousands of years of thinking about marriage" as a reason why gay marriage is wrong.
- You claimed that "in general kids do better growing up in a mother/father home", contrary to actual studies about same-sex parenting.
- After people reacted to your statements, your only response was to quote a selection of rude comments and threats you've received, and accuse people of "hate and bullying".
- You then said that they had no arguments against your views.
And here's what you did not do:
- You did not acknowledge that you blatantly mischaracterized Obama's support for gay marriage.
- You did not provide any explanation for your use of tradition as an argument against marriage equality.
- You did not offer any evidence that "kids do better growing up in a mother/father home" or that same-sex parents are inferior.
- You did not explain why that would mean they should be deprived of the right to marry.
- Throughout all this, you gave no further defense of your position on gay marriage.
Again, while death threats are clearly intolerable and repugnant, this is unfortunately par for the course for anyone of even slight notoriety online, let alone the daughter of a vice presidential candidate. Practically any discussion could be diverted from the issues at hand to how hostile some people are, and you've seized that opportunity shamelessly. You say, "Those who claim to be loving and tolerant certainly are hateful and bullying." Really, all of them? Would that happen to include yourself? I'm sure you can see how misleading it is to accuse literally everyone who supports gay rights - or just love and tolerance - of being "hateful and bullying", and this argument certainly doesn't make you any more right.
Do the rude comments you've received mean that gay marriage is actually wrong? No. Do they prove that same-sex parents are worse at raising kids? No. Do they justify your misrepresentation of Obama's position? No. Are they grounds to dismiss any disagreement with you as mere hostility? No. You're just using them to reorient the conversation from your position on marriage to how mean people are.
Do you really think that does justice to the question of equal rights? Gay marriage is a significant issue that affects millions of people, and you even described it as "a policy position that could affect the entire nation". Yet you've shown curiously little interest in treating it as an important concern that ought to be addressed seriously. Doesn't this deserve critical analysis and debate beyond how rude people have been to you?
While your perseverance is admirable, it would be better directed toward actually supporting your views and engaging in genuine discussion on these matters, instead of coming up with so many irrelevant distractions. I may not be the "professional pundit" you seem to think I am, but I'm willing to focus on the real issues here. Are you?