Monday, June 17, 2013

Thoughts on Tidy Narratives

The need for tidy narratives is troubling. They’re pretty typical in a polarized environment, I think, but indicate questionable motives. The most prominent example that comes to mind is the posture of social progressives on the issue of homosexuality in general and homosexual marriage in particular. Since in their narrative sexual orientation is equated with race or ethnicity, it is vital to the narrative that any questioning of that assertion is portrayed as irrational, hateful and even dangerous. The problem of course is when someone comes along who disagrees with the narrative but is thoughtful, compassionate and compelling. Such a person, in their view, simply cannot exist. It is as if there was a thoughtful, compassionate Nazi or a thoughtful, compassionate raving lunatic. It is imperative that any opposition, no matter how nuanced and reasoned, be ridiculed and discredited if the narrative is to be perpetuated. This of course calls such narratives into question as to the quality of their substance. If one cannot make a compelling case without ridiculing and discrediting his opponent, his argument must be considered suspect.


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