People are angry. They feel scared and impotent, and they're looking to someone with a louder voice than their own to do something—anything—that makes them feel more powerful. But despite the fact that there’s an obvious authentic target for this anger, that loud-voiced someone calls for action on another front. Never mind that the connections are tenuous at best. It’s going to make you feel better.
I’m referring, of course, to Dan Savage.
As our own John Saltas made clear in his column this week, there’s currently no love lost between this paper and the editor of Seattle’s alt-weekly The Stranger, who called for a boycott of all things Utah in the wake of LDS church members spending big bucks to help pass the anti-gay marriage Proposition 8 in California. Other alternative newsweeklies have rushed to Savage’s defense, and to pillory this paper for deciding not to run his weekly “Savage Love” column any longer. Readers in this forum have expressed similar support for Savage and his campaign. And when gays and their straight allies see LDS church spokesmen playing the “don’t hate on us, can’t we all just get along in our differences” card, it’s understandable that they’d somehow want payback.
Here’s the problem: Savage is being a demagogue. There are millions of people justifiably outraged at Proposition 8’s stripping away of rights, but Savage is pointing these wound-up folks at the wrong target. Like our dear soon-to-be-departed president, he appears little concerned with reasoned arguments for whom the angry mob should be targeting. He hates those fucking Mormons and their fucking money, and fucking Utah is going to get the sharp end of his fucking stick. It’s shock-and-awe-fulness, and if there’s some collateral damage on those who had nothing to do with anything, well, too fucking bad. If you don't want to get the smackdown, move to another state, bitches.
Listen, Dan: We know you’re pissed. A lot of people in this state are pissed right along with you. But you’re doing exactly what progressives have rightly castigated this administration for doing over the past eight years: Making ideological decisions that appeal to the fears of your base, rather than applying common sense and logic. When you're ready to stop the economic carpet-bombing in favor of something a bit more surgical, you can re-claim the moral high ground. (Scott Renshaw)