As The Motley Monk noted in a previous post, the former psychiatrist-turned-FoxNews political commentator who coined the term "Bush Derangement Syndrome," Dr. Charles Krauthammer, is right about so many things.
In a recent interview in Townhall magazine, Krauthammer opined not only about the "mirror image fallacy"--which he called the "primary affliction of liberalism...the primary core of our liberalism"--but also about so-called "homosexual marriage" and how the debate illustrates another difference between liberals and conservatives.
Krauthammer believes there are two ways for a person to state "I'm okay with homosexual marriage" and frames this difference by pitting two paradigms--the "empathy" paradigm and the "rights" paradigm"--against each other.
The first way, the conservative argument:
I'm a little bit wary about tampering with the ancient institution of
marriage--which has always been one man, one woman since the
beginning of time, until just about yesterday--so there's some wisdom
to tradition, and we ought to have some trepidation about so roughly
overriding it. But nonetheless, I know homosexual people, I know
homosexual people who love each other, and out of human empathy,
I'd like them to enjoy the recognition and security that heterosexual
In short, conservatives assert "I have my doubts, but I'm not going to stand in the way." Empathizing with individuals having same-sex attraction, conservatives believe that marriage is between one man and one woman. However, they are not going to stand in the way of homosexual individuals enjoying the recognition and security that heterosexual couples have, short of calling those unions "marriages."
The second way, the liberal argument:
This is a right! This is marriage equality! This is like civil rights and
women's rights! And this is everyone should be able to choose who
they want to marry.
In short, liberals are militant. Being pro-homosexual marriage isn't a matter of empathy, something the majority deigns to award the minority. No, it's a basic human right. For this reason,Krauthammer opines, liberals believe those who are anti-homosexual marriage are bigots--the equivalent of white supremacists of the 1950s. Liberals allow for no other possible explanation.
But, there is another explanation, according to Krauthammer:
Conservatives respect the wisdom of tradition and have trepidation
about what happens when radical change is introduced to the most
fundamental of social institutions. If it is true that "one man, one woman"
is totally arbitrary, then so, too, are all other social institutions. By
virtue of demanding their "rights," citizens can claim they deserve
And, just as the "mirror image fallacy" is insanity, politically speaking, so too is the "rights paradigm." It denies there exists the possibility of any other possible, rival interpretation of the facts. The past be damned; full throttle forward to make "progress" regardless of the consequences. Dr. Krauthammer asks, for example:
If....you should be able to choose the same sex if you want, well
then, why, if you're allow to change the sex from the traditional
definition, why can't you also change the number? Why is it a right
to want to marry someone of your own sex, but not equally valid to
say, "I can marry, or have three people living together?"
The issue isn't about polygamy, however. For Krauthammer, it's an important intellectual issue:
...if you're going to say the restriction to the opposite gender and
one person, which is the traditional restriction, that those restrictions
are arbitrary, and in fact that they are a form of bigotry, then the
restriction of the number is equally as arbitrary and bigoted as the
restriction on the gender.
In short, conservatives demand a reasoned discussion based on principles to avoid any potential negative impacts upon society. Liberals want to do what they feel is correct irrespective of the potential negative impacts the conduct may have upon society.
Let the discussion begin...
To read The Motley Monk's previous post concerning "mirror image fallacy," click on the following link:
To read the interview of Charles Krauthammer in Townhall magazine, click on the following link: