If the facts that same-sex marriage is a profoundly un-conservative cause or that embracing it would devastate the Republican base aren’t enough to make the Right’s moderates and libertarian types think twice about jumping on the redefinition bandwagon, the caliber of redefiners’ arguments should be. At PJ Media, Roger Simon argues for conservatives to concede that same-sex marriage isn’t a big deal. But rather than being particularly original or insightful, his argument perfectly demonstrates his faction’s intellectual laziness on the subject and apparent disinterest in taking it seriously.
Nowhere does he even try to refute the actual arguments against same-sex marriage — primarily, that it would completely sever procreation from marriage’s meaning, leaving future generations with a flawed conception of the institution’s societal purpose, which is to bind men and women together for the sake of whatever future citizens they create.
Instead, Simon deploys straw man after straw man: “traditional lifestyle that conservatives normally admire and advocate” (leaving “traditional lifestyle” undefined in any useful way), “those heterosexuals deserting” marriage (which nobody’s disputing), and “I know that the Bible says this and that” (theology’s not the issue — marriage’s social purpose to maintaining a society capable of self-government is).
Most significantly, the straw men go from shoddy to shameful when he talks about how much he listens to his professed good friends Dennis Prager and Hugh Hewitt arguing against same-sex marriage. Here he is claiming to have substantial familiarity with the position he disagrees with, from people he respects and takes seriously, yet he still shadow-boxes with lazy caricatures of traditional marriage talking points rather than the arguments Prager and Hewitt actually make.
Is it plausible that Simon could be that familiar with their arguments yet still sincerely believe that he’s fairly presented them in today’s post? Do true friends treat each other’s beliefs and the effort they put into advocating them with such dishonesty and disrespect? And is this the caliber of argument that conservatives are content to do battle against the Left with?