Judging from the media attention, the GOP platform drafting committee hearing is one of the most important meetings all year. We are blessed to have blow-by-blow coverage of all the self-destructive language, all the piddling issues, and all the partisan squabbling that typifies this sort of event. With the kind of real ammunition the platform committee provides, I’m not sure why some in the media felt the need to mislead people.
Did they? Others also reported that Republicans had scrubbed and stripped “LGBT language” from a plank dealing with Islamic terrorism, even though the GOP had stripped any mention of all individual groups, including Christians, Jews, and women. That certainly gives the news a different context.
In hierarchy of progressive issues, few things are more imperative than pointing out the transgressions “LGBT rights” heretics, so it’s unsurprising that the media is vigilantly on the lookout for thought crimes. In the end, though, Republicans landed on this text: “Radical Islamic terrorism poses an existential threat to personal freedom and peace around the world.” It’s crisp and all-encompassing. Whatever the underlying reasons were for striking the original line — and maybe we don’t need to get into an argument about whom Islamists hate most — it’s the best way to describe the purpose of terror.
Some reporters seem to be creating the impression (or maybe they believe) that conservatives are so homophobic they’re unwilling to accept the notion that radical Islam targets gays, even after Orlando. This is absurd and willfully misleading. Most conservatives have gone out of their way to point out that Islamism is genuinely and violently homophobic. It is often liberals who refuse to acknowledge that radical Islamic terrorism has a purpose and that it is what drove someone to specifically target a gay nightclub.
Generally, the coverage has unfolded exactly as expected. Isn’t it enough that the GOP’s platform still opposes same-sex marriage? It’s like medieval Europe! (Or the DNC, before 2012.) We learned the GOP wouldn’t budge even after an “emotional” and “passionate” speech by Rachael Hoff – and, although I happen to agree with Hoff, you’ll notice that people can be heroically “passionate” about gay marriage and global warming but typically “rail” about guns or traditional marriage.
We also went through a round of jeering because the Republican Party’s preliminary platform nonsensically contemplated endorsing controversial conversion therapy (it never fails to undermine important things by focusing on stupid ones) and included language that declares porn a “public health crisis.” After reading some sneering from liberals online, I read what it says:
The internet must not become a safe haven for predators. Pornography, with its harmful effects, especially on children, has become a public health crisis that is destroying the life of millions. We encourage states to continue to fight this public menace and pledge our commitment to children’s safety and well-being. We applaud the social networking sites that bar sex offenders from participation. We urge energetic prosecution of child pornography which closely linked to human trafficking.
Listen, if I ran a party, I’d throw up the Bill of Rights as the platform and move on. It’s distracting to make a manifesto about every issue that ails every person in the nation. But should the same people who fight to ban plastic bags, big sodas, and transfats be mocking anyone for pointing out that pornography can be destructive and that children have easy access to it? Democrats don’t want to babysit your moral health, they just have very different set of morals. For instance, on the day Democrats go about trying to chill free speech in the Senate again, you’d think the media would have something better to be upset about.