Well, here goes. I thought long and hard about this, trying to decide if it was appropriate for a column, and then I came to a carefully thought-out decision based on the fact that my column was due last week.
I am a moderate liberal (in the American sense â€“ if you're not American, the dividing line twixt liberal and conservative is different: try to wrap your brain around a country where the theory of evolution is still doubted by no small minority, and it has important political implications). I wanted to warn you, because I don't want the rest of this essay to be taken as an attempt to persuade, although it will deal with politics. I'd also like to note my careful use of the terms (American) liberal and (American) conservative, and keeping them separate from Democrat and Republican.
Here's my thesis: liberals always win, in the long run. I came to this conclusion while listening to a right-wing talk station that used to be a music-for-old-people station but I never got around to updating my AM select-o-buttons (if a radio station's biggest advertisers are cemeteries, funeral homes, assisted living services, and that old chicken restaurant in the country that people actually used to drive out to and I think they have peacocks in the yard or something, chances are I'm going to love the music), and some woman who heads some conservative think tank wasn't happy. I should mention the name of the woman and the conservative think tank, but I don't remember, and Rusty Humphrie's website is so bad that most of its internal links are broken â€“ there's no hope of actually finding out about a guest on the show.
Anyhoo, this woman wasn't happy because conservatives weren't winning the battle. Rusty wanted to know why, because, after all, weren't the Republicans in the White House, and in control of both houses of congress? Well, sure, she allowed, if that's your definition of being in control. But you know what? There's still discussion â€“ serious discussion â€“ going on in this country about things like gay marriage. Ten or twenty years ago, she pointed out, there'd have been nothing like that!
I don't know if it was meant to be a rallying cry or what, but she probably wasn't trying to encourage a guy like me â€“ yet I felt weirdly good. She's absolutely right. There is always discussion about new, scary, change-your-worldview ideas. What she's hoping for, though â€“ that somehow all the discussion go away â€“ is just not gonna happen â€“ the idea of gay marriage is not going away, any more than the crazy idea a hundred years ago of women voting went away. Gay marriage is now inevitable. It may take a loooong while, of course, but the idea will never go away. Moreover, and more importantly, each generation's culture is more liberal than the last (well, until we liberals have led to the downfall of civilization, and they have to start all over again).
Yes, we go over hills and valleys, but overall, things get a little more liberal with each pass â€“ blue laws are gone for good. Public schools can't lead organized prayer. Women are in the workplace as they choose (have you ever seen the episode of the Honeymooners where Alice finds work at a place that won't hire married women?).
Liberals always win. How long does it take? Well, remember that part of calculus where they talked about a sufficiently small change in y, and if you found a difference between the slope and the curve, you didn't choose a sufficiently small difference? It's kinda like that. They win after a while. If they haven't, you haven't waited a long enough while.
BoxJam is a contributing columnist for Comixpedia.