There always seems to be a sense of accomplishment whenever we can check an item off society’s bucket list. And today we find that the subject of gay marriage has finally been resolved thanks to yesterday’s pronouncement that Barbara Bush, Bush43’s daughter, has come out in support of same-sex marriage! Hooray!
OK … I jest.
You’ll find no dog here in that fight. I do not have an opinion that leans either way. I have no problem with civil gay marriage, so long as the states, which have always retained the responsibility of regulating and recording marriage applications, decide – preferably by legislation, perhaps via sustainable judicial review – to recognize the union. Of course that guarantees several states, most likely those in southern and mid-western regions will never recognize gay marriage on their own. But that’s fine with me. The people in those states have every right to decide in that way. (I won’t get into the ramifications of a potential national constitutional amendment on the issue. )
I also have no problem with gay marriage as a religious observance should particular churches determine that it fits their beliefs. Again, you can start counting grains of sand at the beach while waiting for the Roman Catholic Church to recognize same-sex marriage, but again – it’s their right.
No, this has nothing to do with gay marriage or even Barbara Bush. It has everything to do with the notion that anyone should give a crap one way or the other what Barbara Bush thinks, simply because she is Barbara Bush!
I have had the same reaction to Hollywood types being touted for their views on global warming, the Iraq war, healthcare, etc. And since MOST Hollywood types tend towards liberal views, let me just say the same applies to those celebrity types on the conservative side of debates. I do not – aside from random channel surfing – generally view or listen to talking head opinion shows on either side.
I just never understood the notion, put forth and periodically reinforced by the media, that somehow the opinions and pronouncements of people prominent in the popular culture should carry more weight simply because of their popularity. It’s not the reporting of celebrity utterances that gets me annoyed. It’s the weight that the opinion is given in the way it is conveyed. Do I really have to see it reported as BREAKING NEWS?!? How long will I have to glimpse it as a news crawl along the bottom edge of the TV screen?
The opinion means nothing to me. Why? Because she has no weight in the fight.
Now had it been Bush43 himself or – better yet – Dick Cheney providing us this nugget of social commentary, more people in this country would – and probably should – sit up a bit straighter and take notice. Not because they know better, they claim no higher ground than anyone else. But because of their weight with moderate and social conservatives, their roles as policy leaders. More authoritative? Yes. But the end of the discussion? Well, not so fast!
Each of us should be able to make up our own minds; express those opinions as Barbara B did; and promote change if we feel it appropriate based on whatever level of education on the subject we pursue.
That last part is the sticky wicket. If enough people made it a point to truly educate themselves on the issues of the day, I imagine touting Barbara B’s opinion on anything important wouldn’t be much of a draw in the media. But the fact that it does has to give one pause.
It’s a scary thought.
Nothing personal, Barb.