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Interesting though that Nixon said “They can do it, just leave them alone” Even that far back and backward compared to now he was still FAR more progressive apparently than Putin.
@Cam: Also, the “they’re born that way” part. I was a closeted gay adolescent during Nixon’s reign, (secretly) reading everything I could about “homosexuality”, and the whole “it’s a choice” thing, from what I remember reading then, is pretty recent.
Of course, the “born that way” thing wasn’t all that progressive either, since (as you get from Nixon’s comments) what it meant was: born with an affliction of some sort, but at least it was more rational than thinking people go around “deciding” who and what to be attracted to.
This was an interesting post. Which led me to this post:
Which made me comment there:
The Russian government is more schizophrenic sometimes than North Korea or even China is. After all, the politicians basically abandoned their leadership roles and let the country and the economy crash and burn from corruption and stupidity in 1991 by dissolving the Soviet Union. Since then, what they now have have filling in the leadership void is the predictable fascist disaster that Putin is lording over, which also probably won’t end very well.
But when politicians are failing on so many levels and refuse to take the heat, the age old excuse of making the harmless gays out to be the enemy, is exactly like what the GOP attempts to do in this country on a regular basis to get votes.
And the GOP is already doing a great job of destroying the US economically since the 2000 elections, I might add. Then in 2004, in order to deflect ongoing criticism for fiscal GOP government mismanagement, the bigoted GOP decided to start vilifying the gays nationwide for the crazy Christian conservative votes.
So really, we shouldn’t be too surprised by what is happening in Russia. And we need to see Russia as a cautionary tale of what could happen here to gays if the baby Jesus crazy GOP conservatives ever get a chance to completely wreck this country without proper guidance.
We need to understand that this was more than 40 years ago and he was raised being taught that gays were vial, terrible people that deserved death. For 1971 his views are pretty liberal. He’s right that his views were probably among the most liberal of everyone in leadership of the time.
No matter how much it pains us to do so, we need to understand the times he was raised in and was living in. We can’t attack him today without understanding what he had gone through. But don’t take this as me defending him. I can’t.
@Frank: Your still voting? I am amazed people still think that works.
As to Nixon… You had me at “I am not a crook”.
Anyone remember Bebe Rubozo? http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2078822/Did-Nixon-gay-affair-Mafia-fixer-Forget-Watergate-A-new-book-claims-Americas-corrupt-President-hid-far-personal-scandal-.html
Maybe Nixon was relatively liberal for the time. I remember seeing a TV clip of Dean Rusk, Secretary of State in the Kennedy & Johnson administrations, saying that if any homosexuals were found working in the State Department they would be fired.
I almost hate to admit it, but I’m old enough that I have to agree with Nixon’s remarks about girls swearing. It’s bad enough from guys, but ugh, it’s disgusting when girls swear all the time. Maybe I feel this way because I ride the subways & buses a lot in Boston. The only f*cking “femininity” left in the Boston area is from drag queens, I think (but most of them swear a lot too).
@DuMaurier: Yes, this certainly shows the limitations of the “born that way” mantra even in its relatively tolerant form. Of course, the slaveowners thought blacks were “born that way,” and Nazis thought Jews were “born that way.” I never understand why anyone thinks this approach will automatically guarantee civil rights for gays!
@Ruhlmann: Reading this post I was just thinking the same–I do remember Rebozo, but only vaguely, since I was a kid during the Nixon years. It’s weirdly hilarious how the White House and National press corps (“Darkest Secrets” author Don Fulsom an obvious exception) still can’t bring themselves to talk honestly about that relationship.
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