One of the problems with the modern zeitgeist, the prevailing social mood that affects even those who are consciously anti-left, is that it makes it difficult to think about things objectively and clearly. Take Democrat candidate Tulsi Gabbard, for instance. As predicted, given her Ron Paulian interpretation of foreign policy and international goings-on as they relate to the US military, her “problematic” history with comments related to LGBT issues was brought up in an accusatory manner. Now, if you are a progressive who hones in on this issue as some transcendently important issue of our age, these remarks will forever prevent you from forgiving her and lending political support. If you are a progressive with more nuance, you will say: well, we all make mistakes, and at least she now realizes how she hurt people.

For non-leftists I see on my Facebook and elsewhere, I generally see this mood: of course they are going to hone in on controversial and hateful comments from decades ago to smear her for not toeing the line on cultural phenomena!

But I suppose I am even perplexed by this. Were these things even hateful? Why is mere disagreement or lack of approval of a certain activity hateful? Sure, her conservative father was against the homosexual political movement, as was she. Isn’t this, you know, what you would expect from a social conservative? In fact, even for non-conservatives 50 years ago, homosexuality (not even to mention transsexualism) was considered unnatural and, well, literally “queer.”

It’s only “controversial” to the extent that the media, a key player in the crafting of the zeitgeist, has defined these positions as controversial. Isn’t it funny how what is considered “controversial” is merely just an arbitrary warning that you are reaching the edges of approved opinion?

Honolulu’s Civil Beat has a rundown of her “problematic” past:

“Gabbard” is a loaded name in Hawaii politics, synonymous with steadfast socially conservative views.


State Sen. Mike Gabbard has led the charge against same-sex marriage in the state for two decades. His 30-year-old City Council member daughter, Tulsi, long shared his stances against abortion rights and in favor of a constitutional amendment to restrict marriage to being between one man and one woman.

I’m not even sure what the issue is. Her father was against the definition of marriage being extended to included same-sex relationships. But watch this. They call this oppressive toward gays. And since believers in freedom are against oppression, it necessarily follows that to be in favor of a traditional definition of marriage is to be oppressive. It’s all a rhetorical parlor trick. But it’s effective: are you for oppression of a certain class of citizens or anti-Gabbard? 

So to protect her political career, she has to capitulate on an issue that the zeitgeist has shifted on, even if her older position was historically and naturally the reasonable one.

There’s no “right to marry.” That’s a political creation. Therefore, if for joint-tax filing purposes, the government wants to draw a line somewhere, it’s no breach of anyone’s rights to draw it at one man, one woman (even if you have no problem with homosexuality for moral or biological or social reasons). No one’s rights are violated. Of course, since we are against the taxation aspect, why not just lower everyone’s taxes substantially so the benefits of less taxation hit everyone the same? That’s better than a loophole, as well as a separate issue. Taking the issue of marriage to the political square is the source of tension, strife, and propaganda. Privatize marriage, and we will once again be able to talk about marriage and sexual norms in historically normal ways, rather than walking on political eggshells.

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