On my wife Lynne’s blog at LeftinLowell a commenter was disturbed at the “yes” voters being characterized as prejudiced. I don’t normally go about tooting my own horn on such matters, but my response touched on several issues and in light of recent events and postings, I thought there are others here at BMG might be interested.
Details after the fold.
The original post is here.
His comment I now reproduce here for you:
You think I’m a shill… you are wrong! And you are wrong if you think I am anti gay marriage. Gender has nothing to do with being entitled. I am an incredibly strong advocate of rights of the majority. If you really believed in the ‘rights of the people’, you wouldn’t have achieved your goal by threats, coercion, bribery and over a million dollars thrown at the fight. You would have let it go to a referendum vote of the people of the commonwealth and let the chips fall where they may. Citizen sponsored initiatives are the basis of our government. That is democracy. I applaud the ‘yes’ voters who stood up for their convictions against overwhelming pressure. Someone here refers to them as prejudiced?what a small minds you have. Anyone who disagrees with you is considered prejudiced.. lovely! How many reps switched their votes at the last minute or just didn’t show up in one case because they were intimidated by lobbyists and organized gay groups? How many jobs, etc. did the governor offer for votes? Is that your idea not being prejudiced? How is it that every other state in the union is wrong and MA is right about this issue? Our state government is as corrupt as ever.
“Citizen sponsored initiatives are the basis of our government. That is democracy.”
You mean the government where the legislature has to approve the initiative before it gets on the ballot?… that government?
You may think that the rules need to change? actually so do I. I happen to think the 25% threshold is far to low. When rights are enshrined in the constitution, they are there precisely because it is harder to amend or change than any other form of legal redress. This difficulty is by design, precisely to protect the minority from the majority, including their “incredibly strong advocate[s]“. These rights are protected precisely because they are not open to a simple popularity contest. Popular opinion once held that people could be property, remember, and the fact that it was popular didn?t make it right,… so yes? “MA is right about this issue” whatever the national popular opinion. MA, alone among the states, was right about Nixon too in 1972.
The SJC ruled that gay marriage was protected as a matter of the constitution. The constitution is hard to change. The attempt to change it failed. The system, however flawed it is, worked in this case.
As for “threats”, “intimidation”, and “job promises”, “coercion”, and “bribery”, I think you had better come up with some examples before you start slinging mud. When you don’t, your open your points to discredit. If you find real credence to any of those allegations, believe that those on this blog would take any of it seriously.
“Anyone who disagrees with you is considered prejudiced.” I find it funny that you would bring this up since nobody on this post has even used that word? never mind declaring it applicable of “all who disagree”. Maybe you feel you are being attacked for prejudice in your own private life.
Either way, the Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines “prejudice” as:
1 : injury or damage resulting from some judgment or action of another in disregard of one?s rights; especially : detriment to one?s legal rights or claims
2 a (1) : preconceived judgment or opinion (2) : an adverse opinion or leaning formed without just grounds or before sufficient knowledge b : an instance of such judgment or opinion c : an irrational attitude of hostility directed against an individual, a group, a race, or their supposed characteristics
“Disregard for one’s rights” is exactly what was a play here. The term is therefore apt. As for “…applaud[ing] the ‘yes’ voters who stood up for their convictions”, know that one can have prejudiced convictions that those that do deserve no praise for such. World history is piled with the bodies of those murdered by people of “conviction” so that, in and of itself, is not worthy of praise.
It should also be noted that there is one perfectly legitimate form of “intimidation” and “coercion”… the threat of constituent voters of support withdrawal. To borrow a phrase of yours… “That is democracy.” Gotta love it.