|Same sex marriage is awesome.
This has zero to do with how I feel about the fiscal cliff.
I wholeheartedly support same sex marriage so all the up front positivity and celebratory attitudes made me feel connected and comfortable.
Then I got a mental image of a Tea Party Patriot wandering around town being bombarded with “I serenaded gay people!” and “I gleefully spend my free time pushing people to redefine marriage!” and “Dan Savage is awesome!”
Would the Tea Partier be free to respond with, “Marriage is between one man and one woman. The Bible tells us so!”? Sure. Free speech is a big deal. Would the Tea Partier’s response be met with a shocked silence and palpable side eye followed by a really uncomfortable pause while everyone stared at the Tea Partier? Hell yes.
It’s got to suck to be part of the far right if you live in
. Everywhere you go people are unabashedly oozing liberalness. This lead me to wonder how many right wingers there are in Seattle . Are there quite a lot but they just keep silent? Or are there relatively few because those that have the option of getting out of Seattle flee at the first opportunity? How many Seattleites would adopt more “traditional” values if they spent a few years in a Red city? How many Seattleites elected to come to Seattle because they were tired of being viewed as liberal freaks in more conservative cities? Seattle
Environment has such a big impact on what people view as givens and what they view as up for debate. Part of that is about experiencing events taking place around you but part of it’s about herd mentality. “If everyone around me thinks like this it must be the right way to think. I want to fit in with my friends and neighbors.” When there’s only one herd, there’s a lot of agreement and not much discussion.
None of this is to say that I think Seattle’s acceptance of same sex marriage or general liberalness are bad things or that people should back off their support of controversial issues in order to make those who disagree with them more comfortable. I’m more concerned with issue bundling and conflation. “Because you support same sex marriage obviously you support currency policy X, gun control policy Y, and energy policy Z. Sure, whether gay people get married isn’t even remotely related to any of those things. But that’s immaterial. The Good Guys like same sex marriage and they also hold opinions X, Y, and Z. You’re a Good Guy, aren’t you? One of us. One of us. One of us.”
Combine illogical issue bundling with the information bubble effect and I start to worry. Am I being exposed to too much MSNBC by osmosis? Being surrounded by a tribe of like minded people is great but surely it increases the likelihood that you’ll drink the herd’s Kool Aid without even realizing you’re doing it.
Maybe I should start reading “The National Review” and “The Wall Street Journal” more regularly. I doubt they will convert me to a more Bill O’Reilly-esk world view but I want to make sure I run with the herd because I want to not because the herd says. Whether it’s dyed red or blue, Kool Aid has a certain creepiness to it.