Our Stupid Crocodilian Leaders

Reflect a moment on the Olympics, the US and many Western leaders have decided “not to attend”, Google followed suit with a rainbow Olympic rings display, and publicly gay (privately … who knows) stuffed shirts were sent as part of the US delegation and many others. This was supposedly in response to how Russia is perceived to deal with public homosexuality.

Consider the following. Make an honest list of the top 10 economic, liberty, social, legal, and cultural issues facing the Russian people and the Russian Federation today. Order these by which have the highest priority and will do the greatest good. If you are honest (and I will charitably assume that is the case), gay rights did not appear on the list. Extend it to 20. Gosh. Still not there. In fact, I’d be willing to bet, if you put the time and effort it that gay rights might not even (if you are honest) make the top 100.

So …. why is that a putative issue for our leaders? Could it be because all politics is local and this is a safe way of pretending to do something about gay issues in their country without having to actually, you know, do anything about those issues? Crocodile tears all around.

5 Responses to Our Stupid Crocodilian Leaders

  1. Consider the following. Make an honest list of the top 10 economic, liberty, social, legal, and cultural issues facing the Russian people and the Russian Federation today. Order these by which have the highest priority and will do the greatest good. If you are honest (and I will charitably assume that is the case), gay rights did not appear on the list.

    Freedom of expression is a ‘gay right’? Seriously, what exactly is your malfunction here? Why can’t you simply just say “Yes, the Russian gov’t is wrong to abuse the liberty of its people and Putin’s unchecked power is making a sham of Russian freedom and democracy”?

  2. Boonton,
    Try again. From USA today (you’ll find this all over if you check) “The White House delivered a strong message of opposition to Russia’s anti-gay laws Tuesday with the announcement of its delegation to the opening ceremony of the Sochi Olympics.”

    Gay rights. Make your list. Are “anti-gay” laws and gay rights on your top 10? top 20? Seriously?

  3. The law in question is certainly anti-gay. It basically says you can get arrested and jailed for speaking out in favor of gay rights.

    Yet how exactly is that NOT a violation of free expression? That’s kind of like saying a law saying that Roman Catholic groups have to get special licenses to preach isn’t a violation of religious freedom but simply an ‘anti-Papal’ law which isn’t a big deal since the majority of Russia’s Christians are not Roman Catholic.

  4. Boonton,
    So on your top 10 list of crucial problems with the Russian Federation is religious freedom. Let’s state this. “Free expression specifically vis a vis sexual preference” in the top 10 of things that need fixing in Russia today? Seriously?

  5. I’m not sure there’s a real distinction between religious freedom and free expression. It seems to me religious freedom falls out of free expression. It’s very hard for me to imagine a state where you do not have religious freedom but you do have free expression. On the other hand, you can have freedom of religion but limits on free expression For example I could easily imagine a gov’t that jails newspaper reporters who report about gov’t corruption but leaves people alone to choose their own church or debate theological points endlessly.

    “Free expression specifically vis a vis sexual preference”….”Seriously?”

    Yes seriously. Since when is ‘freedom of expression’ presented as a list of all possible things you could have an expression about? Russia has a serious problem with freedom of expression and this anti-gay law is the tip of the iceberg. Why are you incapable of simply stating the truth about this? Russia is wrong here.

    Your attempt to dodge moral issues by playing your ‘top ten card’. “Ohhh well, Nazi Germany is being mean to the Jews, but let’s list Germany’s top ten problems…the Jewish population is less than 1%…we have to care about other things first like homeless children, massive unemployment, lots of crime etc.”

    Ohhh wait, I’m sorry, your position is:

    “Yes Russia is being mean to gays, but gays are like 1% of the population. we have to care about other things first like homeless children, massive unemployment, lots of crime etc”

    Sorry for that typo. But free expression does lay at the root of many of these problems. One of the first things the Nazi’s did wasn’t against Jews but was to shut down political opposition from communists to social democrats to independent press. Absent free expression there were few checks on more and more immoral policies from being enacted and in the more mundane realm of ‘top ten problems’ fewer and fewer ways for people to challenge policies that either ignored problems or made them worse.

    Russia is no Nazi Germany, of course, but are it’s ‘top ten’ problems more likely due to too much free expression under Putin or too little? Since you care so much about Russia’s non-gay problems I’m sure you can speak intelligently to that question.

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