published Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

The Right response

Free Press editorial page editor Drew Johnson occasionally replies to questions and issues raised in emails, letters to the editor and online comments in response to Free Press editorials. Submit questions on Twitter: @Drews_Views

How could you, as the editor of the conservative editorial page, commend District 7 City Council candidate Chris Anderson for stating publicly that he's gay?

An individual's sexuality is neither commendable nor deplorable. It just is. Sexuality is not distinct from gender or race in that regard.

Just as it's noteworthy and courageous when someone is the first person of his or her race or gender to do something, it's noteworthy and courageous when someone is the first openly gay person to do something. Don't get me wrong, I am not equating Chris Anderson's city council campaign to Jackie Robinson or Amelia Earhart. But in his own way, he can inspire gay individuals locally and that is commendable. Also commendable is his willingness to be forthright about his sexuality in a part of the country not exactly known for open-mindedness or its embrace of civil rights.

My single biggest fear as a conservative is that conservatives and Republicans will continue to condemn and disparage gay Americans. As more and more people become accepting of homosexuality -- or simply don't care what people do in their private lives and don't believe government should, either -- the anti-gay sentiment associated with the Republican Party will make the GOP less palatable to an ever-growing number of voters.

In 50 years, history will recall current attempts to limit the rights and silence the voices of gay individuals with all of the shame, sorrow and disgust now associated with segregation. That makes the pushback I received after writing my editorial applauding Anderson's bravery -- and, much more troubling, any condemnation that Anderson faces because of his sexuality -- both sad and embarrassing.

If you believe that in order to be a conservative, it is necessary to judge people for being different or criticize people for what they do in their private lives, I can assure you that my editorials will frequently disappoint. That isn't what conservatism means to me.


Your editorial, "The Romney dilemma," was misplaced. It should have been on the Times editorial page. Can I assume that the right side of the editorial page is morphing into a Democrat shill sheet?

This has been the most unexpected response to anything I've written in my short time at the Times Free Press. I anticipated that Romney supporters (the few of them that actually exist and don't just view him as the lesser of two evils) and Republicans who are not particularly principled would be upset that I argued the Republican Party would be better served in the long run if Romney lost. What I did not expect was to be attacked for being liberal or a mouthpiece for Democrats.

It seems to be lost on critics of the piece that I was making an argument that was to the right of Romney and the Republican Party. I guess being a principled conservative actually makes you a liberal. Who knew?

Romney is, judging by his record as Massachusetts governor, not particularly conservative. After all, he was responsible for hiking a number of fees and installing the forerunner of Obamacare.

Given Romney's lack of commitment to free market principles and the number of very appealing conservatives that could emerge as Republican presidential candidates in 2016 (to run against what is stacking up to be a very weak bench of possible candidates for Democrats), my argument was that it would be best for Republicans if Romney lost, Congressional gridlock to stall Obama's proposals and a better choice emerged next time around. That was unless Romney was willing -- and had the votes in Congress -- to overturn Obamacare.

On Sunday, the Associated Press reported that Romney admitted that he has no intention of pushing for an across the board repeal of Obama-care. In my view, that takes away the only reason conservatives have to vote for Romney (and not just against Obama).

If elected, I predict that Romney's comfort with big government and his lack of interest in market-based entitlement reforms would ultimately produce none of the benefits that conservatives want from a president. As a result of Romney's likely failures, the Republican brand would be tarnished and less appealing to voters in future elections.

I admit that my editorial glossed over one vital aspect of the next presidential term. Over the next four years, it is likely the president will select three, perhaps even four -- Supreme Court Justices.

That fact alone makes me reconsider my argument. Still, it doesn't say much for the Republican candidate when the only benefit of his possible election is that it would prevent the other guy from appointing any more Justices to the Supreme Court. Doesn't exactly make you excited to run out and vote, does it?


I just read your 9/11 article, "9/11's legacy of lost liberty." Do you seriously believe the government's reaction to 9/11 was more damaging to America than the terrorist attacks?

Yes.


You are often critical of Republicans. Aren't you afraid that you'll cause people to vote for Obama?

As the editor of the Free Press editorial page, my job isn't to be a mouthpiece or apologist for the Republican Party. My goal is to advance and defend free market, conservative, limited government ideals. It is important to remember that not all Republicans, or Republican ideas, embrace those principles.

I am no fan of Obama. In fact, by my count, since taking over as the editor of this page in late June, I've published 27 different editorials that were critical of Obama for attacking free enterprise, trampling the Constitution, expanding the scope of government, wasting tax dollars and committing any number of other progressive, big government sins. It's only fair that I hold Republicans accountable when they make the same mistakes -- especially since, unlike Obama, they actually claim to defend conservative principles.

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Actually, Drew, your job is to be just such a mouthpiece, or so certain people think. You breaking ranks to criticize your own party is anathema to them.

Not that I would call you fair or accurate as as whole, instead I consider them to be exceptions on your part. But doing it at all? Sacrilege.

September 12, 2012 at 12:13 a.m.
rolando said...

Publicly self-acclaimed homosexuality is so-o-o last-week.

THIS is the new Denial-Of-Rights issue...the movie is already out:

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/09/11/can-sex-between-brothers-and-sisters-ever-be-normal/?intcmp=features

Hey, this is about two consenting adults deeply in love and enjoying sex in the privacy of their own bedroom, isn't it? Gee -- why does that sound familiar?

With today's birth-control and abortion-on-demand, pregnancy is no longer an issue so don't go there.

Take the cited, bigoted head-shrinker's article, change "sister" to "brother" throughout and voila! Instant same-sex issues are already socially accepted, this one is overdue. Look next for legalized polygamy between consenting, deeply-in-love adults; even bestiality...oops...the latter is no longer illegal.

I won't say, "We told you so." Yes, I will. Conservatives have been predicting this for years.

September 12, 2012 at 5:37 a.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

Ah, Rolando. He's always afraid that someone, somewhere might be happy without the consent of neo-con Republicans, an imperial military, corporatists, and Calvinists.

When is your next book/cross burning?

September 12, 2012 at 8:29 a.m.
aae1049 said...

Well stated, "If you believe that in order to be a conservative, it is necessary to judge people for being different or criticize people for what they do in their private lives.."

September 12, 2012 at 9:30 a.m.
conservative said...

"An individual's sexuality is neither commendable nor deplorable"

I actually looked up the word "sexuality" to determine what the writer had in mind. From the context it appears to me he means "orientation" as I found in this definition - "Sexuality also describes a person's sexual preferences and orientation — meaning whether you're gay or straight - vocabulary.com."

I also looked up "orientation" to see it's possible meanings. Of the several mainstream dictionaries I sourced they pretty much agreed with this one from Cambridge - "the particular preferences, tendencies, beliefs or opinions that a person has."

So,"An individual's sexuality" is a choice and not inborn, at least not yet, (although I'm sure the homosexuals are putting pressure on the publishers of dictionaries to include the use of the word inborn or words similar).

Now, how many people would not pick up on that and why didn't Mr Johnson write "An individual's sexual preference, tendencies, beliefs or opinions is neither commendable nor deplorable?" Now, if you are thinking, "wait a minute here, an individual's sexual preference, tendencies, beliefs, or opinions does matter and should be commendable or deplorable, go to the head of the class!

September 12, 2012 at 10:18 a.m.
richarddawkins said...

anderson is a nice guy. I know him well. But he's 32 years old, which by today's standards is very late to be 'coming out.'

the reality is that he's running for office in chattanooga and decided to get out in front of a story that would inevitably come out anyway.

good move politically but not one particularly deserving of praise.

Obviously, as I've said before, he deserves no condemnation either...but all the talk about how courageous his decision was, given the timing, is also misplaced.

September 12, 2012 at 10:19 a.m.
richarddawkins said...

Given that we recently went to war without congressional approval to liberate Libyans from Ghaddafi, i wonder what 'antecedent' drew thinks was responisble for yesterdays murder of our ambassador to that country by islamist mobs?

And whatever our response, no matter how feckless, i have no doubt Drew will be out shortly with another ron paul approved statement about how it was more damaging to America than the murder of our ambassador.

If we'd just stop provoking these poor people (in this case by going to war, without congressional approval, to save them from ghadaffi) they'd stop being mean to us!!

I just know it!!!

September 12, 2012 at 10:26 a.m.
Easy123 said...

Conservative,

When did you make the choice to be heterosexual?

I would assume that you were bisexual or asexual before you made this choice, correct?

You should write a book of your fallacious arguments. They already wrote the first volume. It's called the Bible.

September 12, 2012 at 10:59 a.m.

conservative, cherry-picking dictionary definitions to advance your argument? Thanks for showing your pedantry.

richarddawkins, they weren't rioting because of anything to do with removing Qaddafi. That wasn't a war with the people of Libya at all. Compare it to say, the CIA coup in Iran. Now that was a war with the people.

I suppose you could say that Qaddafi would have kept the crowds under control, but then again, he might have provoked them too, since having an enemy was convenient to him. Did we even have an embassy in that country then?

September 12, 2012 at 11:19 a.m.
conservative said...

Bulbs.....

You are wrong again. You might want to look up cherry-pick, sexuality, and orientation and see for yourself why you are wrong.

September 12, 2012 at 12:38 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Conservative,

Bulbs isn't wrong. You have cherry-picked definitions. It is apparent.

I see you skirted my question. You seem to be denying your own heterosexuality.

September 12, 2012 at 12:55 p.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

Great response from NFL player to Maryland politician about gay marriage.

Bible-thumpers may wish to avoid this link lest they be struck down with leprosy, blindness, or hairy palms.

http://deadsp.in/NZo1id

September 12, 2012 at 2:43 p.m.
conservative said...

"But in his own way, he can inspire gay individuals locally and that is commendable."

Don't you mean to inspire them to open homosexual bars and sodomite "bath houses."?

September 12, 2012 at 3:26 p.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

conservative said..

Don't you mean to inspire them to open homosexual bars and sodomite "bath houses."?

Don't worry Conny. You're too old and ugly to get an invitation. But how are your sheep? Are they still pressing charges?

September 12, 2012 at 3:33 p.m.
conservative said...

"But in his own way, he can inspire gay individuals locally and that is commendable."

I hope he inspires all Demoncrats in America running for office to declare their homosexuality.

Now, is that a tolerant attitude or what?

September 12, 2012 at 3:40 p.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

Poor Conny, got up on the wrong side of his swastika this morning. Can't seem to get his goosestepping going with the other rabid neanderthals in his cave.

(Apologies to the real neanderthals. Conny's still waiting for evolution to kick in. It's no fun being the only amoebae in the swamp and he's lonely.)

September 12, 2012 at 4:01 p.m.
conservative said...

"Also commendable is his willingness to be forthright about his sexuality"

Let's be more clear -"Also commendable is his willingness to be forthright about his sodomy"

September 12, 2012 at 4:14 p.m.
dao1980 said...

Conny's on a "sodomite" kick again today. He just can't rid his mind of those jealous lustful images.

How are your kinky fantasies treating you conny? Have you asked your doctor if you are healthy enough for... uh.... arousal?

September 12, 2012 at 4:34 p.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

dao1980 said...

"Conny's on a "sodomite" kick again today. He just can't rid his mind of those jealous lustful images.

How are your kinky fantasies treating you conny? Have you asked your doctor if you are healthy enough for... uh.... arousal?"

His livestock vet says yes. His sheep and cattle say no.

September 12, 2012 at 4:49 p.m.
conservative said...

"Also commendable is his willingness to be forthright about his sexuality"

Now, if Mr. Johnson had been without fear of other people's reactions (forthright) he would have written - "Also commendable is his willingness to be forthright about his sodomy", or my preference - "Also commendable is his willingness to be forthright about his sexual perversion."

September 12, 2012 at 5:02 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Conservative,

You're just a bigot. Plain and simple.

September 12, 2012 at 5:10 p.m.
AndrewLohr said...

"An individual's sexuality is neither commendable nor deplorable." I bet everyone posting here agrees that the sexuality of a rapist is deplorable, criminally deplorable.

Since "Dan Quayle was right," might we agree that fornication is at least somewhat deplorable, and perhaps put a sin tax on fornication that happens to get caught, since it has social costs?

It's one thing to stop sending the police after homosexuals; it's another to send them after those who condemn homosexual conduct (or heterosexual fornication or any other sexual conduct deemed wrong.) Would editor Drew allow groups that want to discriminate against sexual misbehavers to do so, or would he send the cops after, say, Ross Perot for firing (?) adulterers? (Perot said, If your wife can't trust you how can I?)

At one job my boss was a lesbian. Two 'urban rednecks' once sent me out front to the cash register to serve a gay couple while the rednecks laughed in back. Just because all sex outside Adam-and-Eve-type-marriage is six does not mean it has to be a crime, or has to be discriminated against socially in general. But for those who do have standards, let them do what their standards call for, e.g. if a bed-and-breakfast wants to refuse double beds to unmarried couples, or if a church warns that sins must be repented of and forsaken, or if a Christian institution wants its employees (or even customers) to be practicing Christian morality.

September 12, 2012 at 5:22 p.m.
conservative said...

I must be slipping. I've only gotten three or four out of the closet so far.

September 12, 2012 at 5:25 p.m.
AndrewLohr said...

Oops--"is six" should've been "is sin." Sorry.

September 12, 2012 at 5:25 p.m.

Rape isn't a sexuality, AndrewLohr, it's a criminal action that applies regardless of sexuality.

September 12, 2012 at 5:29 p.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

conservative said...

"I must be slipping. I've only gotten three or four out of the closet so far."

Then put the sheep back in the pen. Do you like your little lambs in a teddy or stockings?

September 12, 2012 at 5:31 p.m.
conservative said...

"will continue to condemn and disparage gay Americans"

It is not "gay" but rather homosexuals,sodomites, and sexual perverts!

September 12, 2012 at 5:38 p.m.
Easy123 said...

It is not "straight" but rather heterosexuals, vaginal copulators, and sexual perverts!

Keep going. I'll match you.

September 12, 2012 at 5:45 p.m.
conservative said...

"My single biggest fear as a conservative is that conservatives and Republicans "will continue to condemn and disparage gay Americans"

I know conservatives and you are no conservative!

September 12, 2012 at 5:59 p.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

conservative said...

"I know conservatives and you are no conservative!"

Would the fellow conservatives you know be named Hitler, Goebbles, Himmler, Tim McVeigh, and Tom Metzger?

September 12, 2012 at 6:08 p.m.
conservative said...

"My single biggest fear as a conservative is that conservatives and Republicans "will continue to condemn and disparage gay Americans"

Is Mr. Johnson implying that God is a Conservative and a Republican? -

"If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them." Leviticus 20:13, KJV

September 12, 2012 at 6:08 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Bible thumper!

Your god is gay. He invented rainbows!

Genesis 9:13

"I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth."

September 12, 2012 at 6:12 p.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

Conny quoting a 2000 year-old fairy-tale about a murderous, paranoid, schizophrenic make-believe deity. Hilarious.

Creationism at its whack-job best. Poor Conny, science was never his strong suite. Neither was reading comprehension.

September 12, 2012 at 6:12 p.m.
conservative said...

"My single biggest fear as a conservative is that conservatives and Republicans "will continue to condemn and disparage gay Americans"

No, we Conservatives and some Republicans will continue to condemn and disparage homosexual behavior.

September 12, 2012 at 6:17 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Because y'all are closet homosexuals, correct?

September 12, 2012 at 6:20 p.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

conservative blathered: "No, we Conservatives and some Republicans will continue to condemn and disparage homosexual behavior."

This from a eunuch who will vote for someone wearing magic underwear?

September 12, 2012 at 6:48 p.m.
aae1049 said...

Who cares if Chris Anderson is gay! I am more troubled by the fact he is a Dem Party Officer, and part of the local "we heart Obama" crowd. That alone is good cause to oppose him as an elected Council Person.

I for one would contend that Manny Rico is a closet Dem, but dresses better, and that trumps gay. just kidding on this part, the above I am serious as a conservative on Pachyderm meeting day. Stop taking this whole gay thing so serious. We have had lots of gay elected officials, shhhh!

September 12, 2012 at 8:36 p.m.
rolando said...

darwin, you are a hoot. You don't even know when someone is agreeing with you [kinda/sorta].

Homosexuals/etc have won the legal battles for special rights. [Yes, "special". More on that in a bit.] Yet you [plural] would [and do] deny those same special rights to those with arguments exactly like yours -- deeply in love, social outcasts without any rights, no equality under the law, etc.

In the interests in justice alone and playing the devil's advocate, here are the arguments for equal sexual justice to all consenting adults, regardless of circumstances, who happen to be "different" from the norm [as if homosexuality isn't]. No one is "special" under the law...everyone is equal, remember? The following deals with consenting adults ONLY...just as same-sex does. Some show "Special" rights granted by judicial fiat...

1- Incest as a crime is outmoded under today's societal mores. [See dictionary.com, merriam-webster.com, et al]

2- Special support/insurance/dependency/medical/work rights are granted to same-sex unmarried couples through civil unions; unmarried man/woman couples have no such special rights.

3- Brother-sister sexual relations are no different than same-sex relations. Pregnancy is NOT an issue -- birth controls/preventions abound.

4- Athiests should have no problem with the moral issues surrounding brother-sister sexual relations...

4- [I like 4] Polygamists also fall under outmoded laws under today's social mores. They, too, should be granted "special" rights to marry and have social and legal recognition -- after all, three-foursomes and more are nothing new. Society sometimes condones it. Problems of children of polygamous unions? Negligible compared to those of same-sex unions...at least they have both a daddy and a mommy -- and a mommy and a mommy, etc. Even less than those on the dole who only have a mommy -- and an "uncle" and then another "uncle", etc.

In closing, the law states special rights given to one group must be given to all.

September 13, 2012 at 12:28 p.m.
rolando said...

easy sputtered his penultimate "Oh, yeah? Yeah!" fallback comment: "Because y'all are closet homosexuals, correct?"

Conservatives are quite comfortable in their masculinity,easy.

September 13, 2012 at 12:41 p.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

Rolando, Is the incest you mention like when Cain in the Bible had children with his sister? When Lot had incestuous relations with both his daughters? When rape was encouraged by Jehovah?

That God sure was a moral old fellow, wasn't he?

Do you follow the Bible as a good Christian or pick and choose what you do? For a book that supposedly has a moral code, do you practice the sexual mores provided therein?

September 13, 2012 at 1:16 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Rolando,

"Conservatives are quite comfortable in their masculinity,easy."

You mean 'sexuality'. But, if that was the case, why are Conservatives so scared of homosexuals? Why do they bash them every chance they get? If you are so 'secure', why do you care about them at all? I bet you thought Ted Haggard was secure too!

LMAO!

September 13, 2012 at 1:38 p.m.
rolando said...

dayton -- I have no idea what you are talking about. Nor do I want to.

easy -- No, I meant what I wrote. Do not presume to correct me or put unspoken words in my mouth.

No one I know is frightened of homos...nor do we particularly hate them. We merely find their actions rather disgusting...particularly the flamers and their San Francisco XXX-rated Homosexual Pride parades. Other than that, who cares WHAT they do, who they do it to, and which orifice they do it in? SCOTUS says it is OK [see Lawrence vs Texas] so its OK legally.

What, easy, no argument on the merits of giving incestuous consenting adults the the same special rights as that given to homos/etc? Or polygamous consenting adults?

Oh. You don't give a hoot about their oppression, you say? No vested interest?

September 13, 2012 at 2:40 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Rolando,

What you wrote didn't make sense in response to my original post. Masculinity has nothing to do with being homosexual or heterosexual. But I'm sure you'll continue to cling to your error.

"No one I know is frightened of homos...nor do we particularly hate them. We merely find their actions rather disgusting"

So you're just a homophobic bigot.

"who cares WHAT they do, who they do it to, and which orifice they do it in? SCOTUS says it is OK [see Lawrence vs Texas] so its OK legally."

You seem to care. You just said homosexual practices were disgusting. Did you forget?

"What, easy, no argument on the merits of giving incestuous consenting adults the the same special rights as that given to homos/etc? Or polygamous consenting adults?"

Now you're moving the goalposts. But I'll respond.

Incestuous relationships are harmful to both parties even if they are consensual. That's just a fact.

I haven't investigated polygamy enough to have an opinion on it.

"Oh. You don't give a hoot about their oppression, you say? No vested interest?"

What oppression? But I didn't say that either.

Keep reaching.

September 13, 2012 at 2:53 p.m.
rolando said...

Masculinity has everything to do with it, easy. It shows how ridiculous your childish attack on conservatives really is. But then, perhaps you are a woman/transie/cojones-deprived or something and cannot understand.

Besides, I said "Other than that".

And the goalposts weren't moved...you merely and typically shortened the field to respond to only one component of my posting. That's what comes from cherry-picking sentences and refusing to address overall content. I just called your hand. My first-and-ten.

Caring about and finding something disgusting in homosexual acts are mutually exclusive. One does not lead into nor define the other. The thought alone is enough. And you say homosexual relationships are not harmful to both parties? Have you checked out all those diaper-wearers [because of loss of anal sphincter elasticity]? Or AIDS? There is no perceptible difference between any two hetero couples. Familial relationship is immaterial -- which is my point.

State the sources of your comment, "That's just a fact." Whose "fact"? Yours?

September 13, 2012 at 3:29 p.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

Alexander the Great-bisexual

Julius Caesar - bisexual

Tyrone Power - bisexual

Randolf Scott - bisexual

Errol Flynn — bisexual

Their masculinity far exceeds yours, Rolando.

As to anal sphincter elasticity, I'd say you're quite capable opening your mouth to eat a Whopper with yours.

September 13, 2012 at 5:08 p.m.
ORRMEANSLIGHT said...

Wow! Regarding the comment above relating to homosexual anal sphincter elasticity, I used to actually have a phobia. I feared attending movie theaters, concerts, social gatherings, etc. where homosexuals may have gone. An example would be Elton John, George Michael, or, Queen concerts. I just 'knew' for a fact that most of the theater seats had bio-hazard infectious-fecal juices from rectums on them. My solution was to carry disinfectant sprays like anti-bacterial Lysol. Anyway, I'm glad I have overcome those phobias. I don't really worry about the seats now, unless, I see that they are obviously stained.

September 15, 2012 at 10:40 a.m.
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