Tea Bags, Tripp Palin, and Barney Frank
How this week was a Tipping Point for
Now that I obviously have your attention, I have to say that the last few weeks have been an amazing ride for
I realized something had happened when I tuned in to Katie Couric on CBS the night of the Vermont legislature’s gay marriage passage and most of the ‘news’ was focused on the Obama’s dog and Sarah Palin’s fight with her illegitimate (read Deut 23:3) grandson’s father. No mention of the latest loss for the virtuocrats (evangelical politicians – an oxymoron if I ever heard one) or even a blip on the three other states who are about to take up the question in the next few weeks. Only a tongue-in-cheek mention that the Teabaggers might be mistaken for an oral sex act.
As I witnessed the rise and now the fall of the virtuocrats I realized that none of their agenda has ever made it into law since Ronald Regan promised the common man (read white guys) would get power again in
The last gasp was the $1.5 million dollar TV ad campaign, “The Coming Storm” where we saw a group of people whose rights were being taken away and their lives were changing because a wind was sweeping across
For those of you not familiar with Mr. Gladwell’s book, “The Tipping Point”, he explains the processes and mechanisms by which some trends achieve exponential popularity while others sputter and fade into oblivion. Previous to this book they have been thought to be mysterious and resistant to analysis. However, Gladwell’s central argument is that there are actually a number of patterns and factors that are at play in virtually every influential trend, ranging from the spread of communicable diseases to the unprecedented popularity of a particular children’s television show. If you analyze the evolution of any major phenomenon, the author suggests, you will find that the processes involved are strikingly similar.
This all happened in less than 10 days – you could not have planned it. From Pastor Rick Warren saying he was never against the anti-gay marriage amendment on Larry King, and Meghan McCain telling the GOP to drop the rhetoric against same sex marriage, to Steve Schmidt (campaign manager for McCain-Palin 2008) speaking to the gay Republicans telling them the GOP will become irrelevant if they don’t accept gay rights, to of course Iowa and Vermont both legalizing gay marriage in the same week this truly was the week that was a tipping point. I add only one further observation. Did anyone see people of color at a Tea Bagging party?
Gladwell tells us that when three groups converge on an idea; Connectors, Mavens and Salesmen, the idea will get traction. The Religious Right, however well funded or loud lost a few of them this week and I believe we are going to see a slippery slope until this group of bigots and racists finally fade away.
I’ll close with a quote Barney Frank gave in response to me awarding him the Stonewall Library Distinguished Honor of 2008, he said, “Nate, most people really aren’t homophobes, they just think they have to be.”
Have a peaceful week.