So what indeed? My good friend and colleague Guy Benson argues in his first video for Prager University that the heart of tolerance and respect for diversity lies not among progressives but among conservatives — who are much less likely to demand ideological conformity based on identity. In fact, Guy points out, he’s making this argument on a platform where many may not “see eye to eye” with him on policy, and yet aren’t demanding his ouster from the movement for his policy diversity or his sexual orientation:
A free-thinking, free citizen of a free country is not obliged to believe anything because someone else believes he or she “ought” to think or “ought” to vote or “ought” to rank his (or her) priorities a certain way. Look, I get it: Many other gay people approach these issues and their voting criteria differently—and I respect that. That’s their call, even if it’s not how I choose to operate. What’s the phrase again? “Live and let live?” Why has that been turned on its head, into “agree—or else”?
Let’s debate issues and stop trying to punish “wrong” thinking.
Like I said, I’m a Christian, a patriotic American, and a free-market, shrink-the-government conservative—who happens to be gay.
That’s how I choose to rank my priorities. You know what that’s called?
It’s called progress.
The video mostly speaks for itself, and no one needs an interpreter to grasp Guy’s point. I’d just add my own experience to Guy’s point here. Guy “came out” in his book End of Discussion to make this specific point about the manner in which ideological diversity gets treated by the Left. Even though I had known Guy for years, the topic never came up between us until Guy let me know it would be included in the book. It didn’t occur to me to ask or to wonder before then, because (a) it was none of my business, (b) had no bearing on our friendship, and (c) didn’t change our shared goals for conservative change and real progress in liberty. And it still doesn’t.
Since then, I’ve seen it come up as a talking point — not from Guy, but from those critical of whatever opinion Guy has to offer at the moment. Much of that, but not all, comes from the leftward side of social media. It’s almost always a non-sequitur, offered on rare occasions with wit but mostly by misspellings of Guy’s name. It’s always used to avoid Guy’s arguments, which are admittedly tough to attack in intellectually honest terms.
Kudos to Guy for his perseverance, his wit, and this excellent installment from Prager U. I’m honored and proud to have Guy as a friend. Be sure to visit the Prager U site often for more intellectually challenging debates and arguments.