The premise of Jonah Goldberg’s book Liberal Fascism is that the socialist or liberal left frequently uses the tactics of the fascist right. Some liberals are so convinced of the correctness of their cause that they think themselves entitled to the use of any methods, no matter how illiberal, to advance that cause. In the aftermath of the California voters’ passage of Proposition 8, the new fascist mindset is on display in living Technicolor, or maybe I should say in rainbow color.
California voters rejected the darling social cause of the fashionable elites: same-sex “marriage.” The election procedures were undeniably fair: After all, this is the electorate that voted for Obama by landslide margins. Did I say that? Obama won by 52% of the popular vote nationwide: the exact same percentage that voted for Proposition 8. So the homosexual lobby must find some other pretext for undoing the outcome of a fair election. Please observe the tactics:
1. Get the judiciary to overturn the election on a technicality. Proposition 8 was not an amendment at all, but a “revision” to the California Constitution.
If they really believe this argument, they should have asked to throw it out before it ever got on the ballot. Both sides were in court, back in July, when Jerry Brown was rewriting the title of the initiative in order to sink its chances of passing. That would have been a good time to bring up the subject of “revision vs. amendment” — before the two sides spent more than $70 million on an election.
2. Delegitimize the vote itself. Keep repeating the lie that all the pro-Prop. 8 arguments were lies. Make people ashamed of having voted for Prop. 8. Keep fighting the same election over and over until people give up and let you win out of sheer exhaustion.
The “No” team had an entire election cycle, with lots of money, to try to convince people to reject our arguments. They don’t seem to accept the fact that they don’t get forever to try to make their case.
3. Intimidate people. If all else fails, scare people. March in the streets in large numbers. Pick out defenseless targets. Don’t protest in working-class neighborhoods, even though working-class people voted strongly for Prop. 8. Demonstrate against Mormons instead. Target Prop. 8 donors, even people who gave as little as $100. Hound them out of their jobs. And while you’re at it, attack some little old ladies carrying crosses. Grab their crosses and throw them on the ground and stomp on them.
These are not liberal tactics. These are strong-armed, bullying tactics, better suited to certain European countries in the 1930s and ’40s than to America in the 21st century.
4. Demonize your opponents. Blame all your troubles on an unpopular or mysterious religious minority. If only the Mormons hadn’t spent so much time and money for Prop. 8, it would not have passed. Therefore, the whole election is suspect.
And while you’re in the scapegoating business, go ahead and blame the racial minorities who voted for Prop. 8 in overwhelming numbers. Homosexual bloggers have reported the “liberal” use of the “n word” at some of the protests: white homosexuals blaming black homosexuals because “their community” voted against them.
The homosexual activist lobby doesn’t understand that the rest of the world does not view same-sex “marriage” as the ultimate civil rights issue. Members of the liberal black community are trying to explain this to the homosexual lobby, but I doubt they will get it. They seem to be committed to the time-honored strategy of political radicals everywhere: assume the conclusion. Repeat it loud enough and often enough and you may not ever have to make an actual argument for it.
Now, I am certainly aware that not all homosexuals and lesbians agree with all the tactics adopted by activist leaders who claim to represent them. Some homosexuals and lesbians even voted Yes on Prop. 8. I know these “gay dissenters” exist, because they send me e-mails.
And I feel sure that most of the people who voted No on Prop. 8 are not radicals of any kind, certainly not liberal fascists. Most probably cast their vote for fairness, tolerance and treating others nicely.
But the homosexual lobby is now being grossly unfair to the voters of California by trying to replace the results of a fair election with a combination of mob tactics and raw judicial power. The homosexual activist lobby is being intolerant of people who disagree with them, by deliberately inciting hatred against a religious minority. And as for treating others nicely, well, where I come from, assaulting little old ladies and hounding people out of their jobs does not count as being nice.
So I ask the more than 6 million Californians who voted No on Prop. 8: Is this really what you meant to vote for? And I ask everyone watching the behavior of the California homosexual activists: Is this a group of people that needs more power?
American voters have consistently supported marriage between a man and a woman. Voters will not forget the homosexual lobby’s strong-arm tactics in California. In the next round of deliberations over same-sex “marriage,” voters will reject these tactics every bit as much as same-sex “marriage” itself.
We don’t want this type of political extremism in America.
[A version of this article previously appeared on National Catholic Register online and is used by permission of the author.]