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    March 10, 2007

    Judging an ideology by its followers

    Posted by: Chris

    Sanchezhannity Marine Reserves Cpl. Matt Sanchez posted an interesting essay on Salon.com where he argues that his history in gay porn is not only not hypocritical, as some gay and liberal pundits are charging, but helps explain why he wound up so conservative:

    Porn reduces the mind and flattens the soul. I don't like it. That's not hypocrisy talking; that's just experience. I sometimes think of myself, ironically, as a progressive: I started off as a liberal but I progressed to conservatism. Part of that transformation is due to my time in the industry. How does a conservative trace his roots to such distasteful beginnings? I didn't like porn's liberalism. In porn, everything taboo is trivialized and everything trivial is magnified.

    Why did I become a conservative? Just look at what I left, and look at who is attacking me today. Let's face it: Those on the left who now attack me would be defending me if I had espoused liberal causes and spoken out against the Iraq war before I was outed as a pseudo celebrity. They'd be talking about publishing my memoir and putting me on a diversity ticket with Barack Obama. Instead, those who complain about wire-tapping reserve the right to pry into my private life and my past for political brownie points.

    Sanchez seems to be arguing that he turned right mostly over his distaste for those on the left. I can identify with him in a sense. When I arrived at a different Ivy League grad school in the late '80s, I had been branded a liberal and, by some, "a nigger white" for pushing diversity issues at a conservative Southern school.

    I learned very quickly that conservatives had not cornered the market on intolerance, and it bothered me even more coming from liberals because it seemed so at odds with all their sermonizing about tolerance and respect. But really, which is worse? Intolerance from the right on the basis of ethnicity, religious beliefs or nationality? Or intolerance from the left based on ideology.

    Sanchez wrote in Salon that his conservative colleagues have been far more accepting of his gay porn past than his liberal critics, a claim that surprises me, and I can't help wonder if it's wishful thinking or if it will last.

    Regardless, I've come to realize that judging an ideology by its followers is not a particularly effective strategy. There's plenty of intolerance and hypocrisy to go around, along with respectful and thoughtful advocates. Powerful ideas can result in powerful abuses, as well as powerful progress.

    Ultimately, choosing sides on an issue or more generally ought to come down to the merits of what's said, and not so much on who is doing the saying.



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    1. Bloggernista on Mar 10, 2007 9:00:49 PM:

      Sanchez is going to find himself kick out on his hot looking ass any moment now by his "accepting" right-wing friends. It sucks, but he made the decision to suck up to those gay-haters. There is nothing wrong with performing in porn. Its the hypocrisy that is so shady.

    1. Roger on Mar 11, 2007 3:43:13 AM:

      I'm wondering if his past in port was the reason he became conservative why he didn't mention that experience until it was brought out into the open. If he's o.k. with it, shouldn't it have been part of his presentation as to why?

    1. Al on Mar 11, 2007 3:52:22 AM:

      Having attended elite, liberal universities for both my undergrad and graduate degrees, I can relate to what you are saying Chris.

      I always have, and still do, identify strongly as a liberal, but my experiences during formal education quickly taught me that intolerance is rarely specific to party or ideology. In many ways the rigid requirements and belief structure of the far gay right AND the far gay left, directly contradict the core of liberalism. Which for me, comes down to a belief in, and strong support of personal autonomy.

      In the case of Sanchez, there seems to be a greater issue being missed. Whatever your stand on his alleged hypocrisy, his "maybe, maybe not" gay identity, and his embrace of those who actively work to curtail his rights and freedoms, the fact remains those are his choices.

      Unfortunately, the very real concern over a potential dismal for Sanchez, through DADT, is something both sides have been strangely silent about. DADT is wrong, period. Whether you see the man in question as a put upon victim, or a has been Uncle Tom whore, is irrelevant given the larger concerns.

    1. Kevin on Mar 11, 2007 9:42:49 AM:

      Americans of every political stripe can be so incredibly narrow minded sometimes. Sometimes I wish people would just relax.

    1. RJP3 on Mar 19, 2007 4:09:36 PM:

      Intolerance is Chris Crain's career. He and Andrew Sullivan ONLY exist because they have positioned themselves against the left that set them free. By the way in a personal note to me once Crain demanding that the leftist gay rights movement did nothing for him and he feels no debt to it. The man has money and an ego and that is about it. Well that and a Brazillian Boy Toy I hear.

    1. Generic Levitra on Dec 16, 2010 7:56:55 AM:

      Wow…I am bowled by your level of knowledge. I am so impressed. I think you have got a deep insight into this topic. Could not think on those lines ever…I think you are gifted…keep going. Thumbs up!

    1. bad credit loans on Jul 13, 2011 9:59:55 AM:

      Sanchez, seems to miss a greater issue. Whatever your stand on his alleged hypocrisy, his "maybe, maybe not" gay identity.

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