From The Ethics Alarms “Double Standards” Files: Should Tulsi Gabbard Have To Apologize?

Like Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama, like millions of Americans in both political parties, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard began with a belief that the institution of marriage was limited to heterosexuals and partners of opposite sexes. Over time, evaluating the issues, human, legal and ethical, she came to the conclusion that she was originally mistaken, like almost all of civilization, and changed her position Apparently that’s not good enough.

Now Gabbard, who last week announced she was running for president, is apologizing profusely for her past views on gay rights and her past work for an advocacy group, the Alliance for Traditional Marriage, which was run by her father, State Senator Mike Gabbard. “In my past I said and believed things that were wrong, and worse, they were very hurtful to people in the LGPTQ community and to their loved ones,” Rep. Gabbard says in a video posted to YouTube. “My views have changed significantly since then,” she added, “and my record in Congress over the last six years reflects what is in my heart: a strong and ongoing commitment to fighting for LGBTQ rights.”

Admittedly Gabbard hasn’t merely been a passive part of the past majority that opposed gay marriage; she’s been one of the leaders of it. When she first ran for office in 2002, (she was 21) she said that working “to pass a constitutional amendment to protect traditional marriage” had taught her that “real leaders are willing to make personal sacrifices for the common good.” After being elected to the state legislature  in 2006, she could be fairly called an anti-gay rights activist. She led a group called Stop Promoting Homosexuality America and hosted an anti-gay radio show called “Let’s Talk Straight Hawaii.” As a result, many gays, activists and not, are pronouncing her permanently tainted.

“We would hope that people have lifelong values of equality and inclusion that have been demonstrated over their lifetime,” said Stephanie Sandberg, the president of LPAC, an advocacy group for LGBT women. “From my point of view, this does not make good presidential material, especially from a progressive perspective.”

This is a sinister, though increasingly typical attitude. The Left is demanding not merely acceptance and endorsement of its cant, but ideological purity. If you have ever disagreed with the tenets of progressive wisdom, then you are not merely suspect, but untrustworthy. Why were the Clintons and Obama not subjected to this same standard? I don’t know. If they apologized for their past beliefs, I missed it. Why aren’t all the Democratic leaders who once endorsed the policy of building better fences at the Southern border groveling apologies now, as they take a diametrically opposite position so they can foil President Trump? Is the blasphemous belief that marriage should be as it was understood to be for centuries somehow more damning than other discarded assumptions? Why would that be?

My guess is that the LGBT community is flexing its metaphorical muscles and warning politicians not to oppose them on anything, ever.

Ethics is constantly evolving as human beings learn more about life and reality. There should be no shame in believing what your family, community and most of your culture believed; what is shameful, or at least far from admirable, is refusing to evaluate new information, to close one’s mind, and to stubbornly refuse to admit that what once seemed fair and right can no longer be defended by a rational person of integrity.

Stephanie Sandberg and others are now standing up for closed minds, for positions that cannot and never will evolve with new information and persuasive arguments, as long, of course, as those closed minds agree with them.

For me, Gabbard’s apology is more disqualifying for a leadership position than her earlier anti-gay marriage position. She shouldn’t apologize for thinking, evaluating the evidence, and changing her mind. That she is capable of that is a virtue…unless, of course, she hasn’t really changed what she believes, but what she has the courage to admit she believes.

If that’s the case, she owes everyone an apology.

 

17 thoughts on “From The Ethics Alarms “Double Standards” Files: Should Tulsi Gabbard Have To Apologize?

            • Unfortunately, it can be a really, really long while, Chris. Do you see this sort of stuff declining any time soon? I don’t. It’s all victims all the time these days. I don’t see it stopping until we’re living in the United Socialist States. Which may not be that far off.

              • Guillaume Faye wrote: “The present dominant values (xenophilia, cosmopolitanism, narcissistic individualism, humanitarianism, bourgeois economism, hedonism, homophilia, permissivenes, etc.) are actually anti-values – values of devirilising weakness, since they deplete a civilization’s vital energies and weaken its defensive or affirmative capacities.”

                ______________________

                …until we’re living in the United Socialist States

                What is interesting is to speculate! Where are things tending? What will develop?

                My view is that *the events of 9/11* represent, in fact and in reality, a sort of ‘world coup’. It was engineered by a shadow para-military para-industrial group that defined ‘the War on Terror’ as its chief activity. The meaning of it is what is hard to encapsulate. But it has to do with very large powers that determine the structures of things. It is definitely not what it seems . . .

                The present ‘hyper-progressivism’ is not unconnected to this larger over-arching event (these events). Or, they have a way to fit in. The way I see it the Left is now consumed by sexual identity issues and has abandoned its social programs and social militancy . . . so to be able to go more directly into the myriad perversions that abound. The race crisis seems some part of it, but as I often write I see this as part of a ‘general rebellion’ against the original demographic and another sort of ‘coup’ is developing as it progresses.

                I cannot be certain if there are specific actors who deliberately engineer the present in the sense of steering it toward these hedonistic, narcissistic ‘individualistic’ objects, or simply that all of this is taken advantage of by privileged and powerful economic players in their games of control.

                But, it is important to say that in this developing system ‘ethics’ are meaningless. They really are. The definition of an ethic will become ‘what people clamor for’ in a given moment as they race to abandon intelligence and spiritual empowerment for the wallow that is offered them.

                The freedom to choose the wallow is, I guess, freedom of a sort. But not really. It is false freedom. But see? That works: sacrifice real freedom to determine in life and in living, for a false-freedom of satisfaction of immediate lusts. That seems to be what ‘the system’ establishes. It certainly can’t be moral so it cannot be ethical (as I understand these things). And within this there is also a clamoring for ‘socialism’ which, I admit, I do not understand very well.

                • “The definition of an ethic will become ‘what people clamor for’ in a given moment as they race to abandon intelligence and spiritual empowerment for the wallow that is offered them.”

                  I’m really fearful you have hit the nail on the head, Alizia. I think Comrade AOC is the leading edge of the wave of the future. Twenty-somethings are going to grow older and more will follow behind them demographically. The lure of free stuff for no effort is to strong for voters to resist and too alluring for politicians to resist. Why work when you can just agitate for the government to take care of you? Forego some freedoms? No problem, buddy, as long as I can play video games all day, I’m good. I just think it’s a demographic certainty. Bummer.

  1. If she gets the presidency she will be the first Hare Krishna* elected to the Supreme Office.
    ________________

    * Gaudyya Vaishnavism is the worship of Vishnu in the form of Krishna. (There are various groups and she might not be a follower of the Hare Krishnas …)

    Ethics is constantly evolving as human beings learn more about life and reality. There should be no shame in believing what your family, community and most of your culture believed; what is shameful, or at least far from admirable, is refusing to evaluate new information, to close one’s mind, and to stubbornly refuse to admit that what once seemed fair and right can no longer be defended by a rational person of integrity.

    Except if when you ‘learn more about life and reality’ you decide to turn against the tide and believe something contrary to popular belief, or the belief that is arrived at through social and other forms of coercion.

    If in that case you arrive at different views, you did not evolve, you devolved.

  2. “…until we’re living in the United Socialist States”

    Ahhhh. I always wondered why the Federation had a vessel called the USS Enterprise!

  3. “We would hope that people have lifelong values of equality and inclusion that have been demonstrated over their lifetime…”
    Taking a break from researching some pre-Civil War political issues to read this post, I could not help but imagine what a time Honest Abe would have had getting elected -and perhaps especially getting reelected- if this principle had been ascendant in the mid-19th century.

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