Our friends at Pew Research’s Journalism Project have released a mega new study today. Who do you trust? When it comes to media, that depends on your politics. Liberals and conservatives turn to strikingly different sources.
- (A gay couple has just met up in the restaurant and kissed each other upon arrival. Another customer has seen this and is obviously angry.)
- Angry Customer: “Damn f**s.”
- Gay Man: “Excuse me?”
- Angry Customer: “You heard me, you little s***. Let’s not make this into some little pride protest, okay? I have to accept that you’re going to live your lifestyle, and you have to accept that I’ve got freedom of speech.”
- Gay Man: *quietly* “Is it too much to ask for a little human decency?”
- Angry Customer: “Human? Listen up, what you’re doing is not human. I think I have the right to determine what I think is human.”
- (The manager shows up. He’s a quiet Italian man who I assume is conservative due to the Christian imagery and portrait of Reagan he keeps around the restaurant.)
- Angry Customer: *to the owner* “Hey, can you move either them or us to another table?”
- (Instead of responding to the angry customer, the owner instead speaks to his wife.)
- Owner: “I’m sorry ma’am, but we have a strict ‘no pets’ policy in my restaurant.”
- Wife: “Uh, I, uh, what? I don’t have a—”
- Owner: “Well, according to your talking monkey over here, I can determine who’s a human and who’s not. You bring an animal into my restaurant; I gotta assume it’s your pet.”
- (The angry customer storms out. When I left, the owner was giving his description, and copies of security camera footage, to the biggest crowd of police I’ve seen. Apparently it’s a bad idea to not pay your bill at a restaurant that gives free coffee to cops.)
Interracial vs. same-sex marriage: Today’s politicians are followers, not leaders.
By Lisa Wade, PhD
For those of us in favor of same-sex marriage rights, it’s been an exciting few years. Politicians and legislatures have been increasingly tipping toward marriage equality. Lots of us are commending the powerful and high-profile individuals who have decided to support the cause.
But, let’s not be too grateful.
A figure at xkcd puts this in perspective. It traces four pieces of data over time: popular approval and legalization of both interracial marriage and same-sex marriage. It shows that the state-by-state legalization of same-sex marriage is following public opinion, whereas the legalization of interracial marriage led public opinion.
There’s a reason that we look back at Civil Rights legislation and see leadership. Politicians, litigators, and activists were pushing for rights that the public wasn’t necessarily ready to extend. In comparison, today’s power brokers appear to be following public opinion, changing their mind because the wind is suddenly blowing a new way.
I’m sure there are politicians out there taking risks at the local level. On the whole, though, this doesn’t look like leadership, it looks like political expedience.
"Every two years the American politics industry fills the airwaves with the most virulent, scurrilous, wall-to-wall character assassination of nearly every political practitioner in the country - and then declares itself puzzled that America has lost trust in its politicians." .. (Charles Krauthammer)
History …[is] where everything unexpected in its own time is chronicled on the page as inevitable. … The terror of the unforeseen is what the science of history hides, turning a disaster into an epic.