With everyone heading back to university this week after a week or two of putting off essays and being shocked at just how pasty white your newly exposed shins have got after six months of trouser-confinement, it seemed appropriate to do a quick recap of the news over the last couple of weeks.
Cory Bernadi is a well-groomed, muscular, moderately handsome, former rower from South Australia, so his vehement opposition to gay marriage came as a shock to some. During the debate in the Senate over a private member’s bill to legalise gay marriage Mr Bernadi rolled out that old Herald Sun commenter chestnut that gay marriage would lead to the future legalisation of polygamy or bestiality.
Now we have dealt with these kind of claims before on The Bucket, so I won’t go into just how ridiculous an individual Mr. Bernadi is for making them, or the shame he has brought upon himself or his family, except to say that if Alan Jones is to be believed his parents should certainly be kept under constant medical observation, lest they succumb to death by shame. The eventual outcome of this pleasant little episode was that Tony Abbott got a new secretary and Malcolm Turnbull extended the margin by which he is the most lucid person in the federal Liberal party.
Further to this point, and on the topic of ‘social conservatives’ more generally, I am a bit puzzled. The social conservative movement seems to me to lack a certain amount of historical perspective. As Family Guy once mockingly said about the Amish, the Good Lord decided that we had exactly enough technology in the late 18th century. Not too little, not too much. In the same way, social conservatism seems to be completely arbitrary in the way it draws the line as it endlessly concedes ground to the forces of social progression. If we look back to the earliest social conservatives, their main concern was witches, who are now embraced as party entertainment for small children, spreading their alternate lifestyle to our youngest and most impressionable. Even within the scope of the 20th century, social conservatives in the USA opposed rights for African Americans, then said that was ok, as long as thy didn’t marry white people, then that was ok, as long as they didn’t join the military, then that was ok as long as they weren’t gay, now that’s ok (depending on who you ask) but they’d better not marry anyone. In the entire history of the human race, the social conservatives have never won. Not even once. Every time they take a stand they must know that it will only temporarily delay the march of progress, and while that means they are enormous bell-ends, it also gives me a great deal of pleasure to know that no matter what people like Cory Bernadi say, there is no hope that they will be successful in stopping whatever they decide to object to next.