Occasional Notes: Allaying Fears Edition
Leitmotif: I never do anything I don’t want to do. Nor does anyone, but in my case I am always aware of it. — Robert A. Heinlein
Marriage: Rob at WakingUpNow defuses one of my biggest fears on the issue of same-sex marriage — the fear that as people get older, they become more conservative and thus more supportive of existing laws against same-sex marriage, which, like them or not, are going to keep right on existing for a very long time, thanks to the magic of constitutional amendment. While the laws may stay the same, public opinion is moving in all age groups. He compares some polling data and finds:
50-64-year-olds today aren’t just more supportive than 50-64-year-olds five years ago…
…or 40-49-year-olds five years ago…
…but are even more supportive than 30-39-year-olds five years ago!
It’s not even a matter of waiting, as they distastefully say, for the bigots to die. It’s just a matter of waiting a few years, and then they change their minds. As another data point, here are parts one and two of a three-part series about the fifteenth anniversary of the Defense of Marriage Act. It’s interesting how among the key players, several supporters have turned to opponents, but I don’t think a single one has gone in the other direction.
Google+: I’ve been invited. The quip went around Twitter that Google+ beats Facebook because when we all started Facebook we didn’t know how to do social networking. And now we do. The trouble is, I don’t think I’ve learned much. My Facebook has always been a hopeless, disagreeable mess. My several professional and personal worlds are constantly colliding. I get invited to Pentecostal gatherings in Alabama and to economics conferences in Madagascar. I decline, then feel guilty about it. I’m friends with a lot of conservatives. I’m friends with a lot of parents raising kids. I’m friends with a lot of pretty randy gay men. I have a whole bunch of professional contacts who don’t need to see either my family photos or the sexual innuendo. I wish I could just slap a giant disclaimer on everything and be done with it.
My way of approximating this is generally to ignore Facebook until my parents want more pictures of their granddaughter. I can probably ignore Google+ in just the same way. Or maybe I’m stuck with Facebook, because that’s where my parents are, and that’s likely where they’ll stay.
The Debt Ceiling: No joy on this one. I guess I’m supposed to urge the right wing to stick to its guns, even if I don’t think that permanently harming the U.S. credit rating is such a great idea. You see, if I urged all sides to come to a deal, I’d be accused of a conflict of interest, because my husband’s a government employee. This post from back in April seems like I could have written it yesterday. Megan McArdle talks sense here too:
[T]here is no neat strategic maneuver which will allow you to bypass the American public and cut their government benefits by 40% overnight if they don’t want you to. And if you think that the American public actually wants you to do it . . . well, then it’s not Washington, DC that’s out of touch with the rest of America.
They’re playing this game for what, already?