February 18, 2010.
I have not heard of or thought of the John Birch Society in years. So it will not be a surprise that, like some off-beat religious publications that devotees place (secretly sometimes) in libraries and physicians’ offices, it was a back issue of The New American that I glanced at when waiting for the doctor.
I wonder how many other people, wasting time, if not hurting too much, glance at such publications? But I want to mention why I think the issue was interesting and may be important, not to right-wingers but to left-wingers and the vast majority of Americans who are neither.
I found the cover story on Newt Gingrich strange, coming from “conservatives” as the article itself says. It points out that — shock — a politician does the opposite of what he or she claims when running for office. (Having just watched several hours on the History Channel, on President’s Day, of our early presidents, the same was true of them, with the best of reasons and often we are better off that they did not do what they intended.) But the list of his wrongs should be useful to those who for other reasons oppose him. And in a sense the Republican Party is equally to blame as it was they who also spent money “like Democrats” (even while Newt was in control).
Of interest also was an article by an unidentified writer — most other writers were identified — on “Obama’s Safe Schools Czar.” That being of course the current “devil” for the right wing to use to attack Obama, as if there were not enough good reasons, Kevin Jennings of GLSEN connection. Once again it is our community/movement’s mention of young people that scares the nuts/bigots. Or does it? Or is it merely the one thing they think they can use to scare the ignorant voters with — as if Catholic priests and Protestant preachers having extra or no marital sex isn’t the right issue to talk about.
William F. Jasper seems to know an awful lot about our movement and history. Of course most homosexuals/LGBT people don’t even know of Harry Hay, or NAMBLA, much less ONE and the DOB. It is interesting that bigots know Harry Hay, et al. were Communists but never mention the real work Harry did: founding Mattachine, etc., from which came ONE and HIC. And, like they will not “get” the humor of Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert, they will not get the real point about Harry, Dale Jennings, et al., who were kicked out of the Communist Party (which thus lost their talent), and this led them to found the most successful civil rights movement in the nation after those of Black Americans and women. The stupid Communists might have been more successful if they could recognize true talent and the truth. (As I understand it, early Christians tried it and knew that it didn’t work.)
But the bigots sure find the person or organization to use to make homosexuals seem only to want to have “their children.” As if we don’t know that “their children” are often (about 10%), like all of society, already homosexual and don’t need “recruiting.” And PFLAG, which bigots don’t seem to want to acknowledge, is proof that this issue will no longer be of value, as parents now want to protect their children from such bullies, especially the adults who use the Bible or Koran to preach hatred, as they did promoting slavery. And COLAGE is the children of LGBT parents who also no longer will believe the lies, as they know and love their parents in the same way all children do.
Dale Jennings, like most humans, had been a little too rambunctious and made statements in the fervor of the moment, but I like his heart and mind more than those of the bigots who fear him. He should know that it is our enemies who listen and hear more, sadly, than our friends, so that to make wild claims only hurts us as it gives the enemies words to show us as “wild.” In trying to get members excited for a cause, leaders often make statements that are not realistic — “we will win next month” — when in reality it might take years of eduction and work and money, etc.
But a larger article that I still can’t decide about is one on the novel 1984. I think it is a good article, viewing the book from a different political perspective. I think it would be a good discussion issue for college classes, etc.
It seems to me that the error Fox News viewers make, and we all make, is to not hear the views of others. We can ignore the talking points/sound bites for instant news and lies, but when a sincere view is given, we need to hear it even if only to get the information that refutes it.
So I’m glad I glanced at the publication on the stand at the hospital, which I would never have known about or seen otherwise.