That’s a very nice and welcome change, say liberals, but marriage equality is Good and Right even if it doesn’t affect your direct family members. Your job is to represent your non-family constituents in Congress, too.
Sen. Portman shows no sign that he gets it, makes no apology or concrete steps toward restitution (let alone voicing support for any conrete legislative or judicial action), and shows no evidence of reevaluating the basis of his policy decisions to consider what else his lack of empathy may cause him to take an immoral and unjust view towards.
But surely that’s asking too much of him, no? Was reading a few articles about it (one of the best of which, and the one that immediately prompted these thoughts, being Slacktivist) and landed on this great quote:
“The right way to take the slogan ‘We have obligations to human beings simply as such’ is as a means of reminding ourselves to keep trying to expand our sense of ‘us’ as far as we can. That slogan urges us to extrapolate further in the direction set by certain events in the past – the inclusion among ‘us’ of the family in the next cave, then of the tribe across the river, then of the tribal confederation beyond the mountains, then of the unbelievers beyond the seas (and, perhaps last of all, of the menials who, all this time, have been doing our dirty work). This is a process which we should try to keep going. We should stay on the lookout for marginalized people – people who we still instinctively think of as ‘they’ rather than ‘us.’ We should try to notice our similarities with them. The right way to construe the slogan is as urging us to create a more expansive sense of solidarity than we presently have.”
– Richard Rorty, Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity, p. 196, qtd here
I guess I’ve become a grumpy, cynical radical, for whom no good deed is ever enough.
I’m okay with that.
I applaud Sen. Portman for his evolution, but can’t help from thinking that the step from “Fuck you I got mine” to “Fuck you my kids & I got ours” is pretty infinitesimally small. Let’s continue to expand that “us”.