The leadership of the Human Rights Campaign, at a meeting last weekend in Las Vegas, concluded that the group must bow to political reality and moderate its message and its goals. One official said the group would consider supporting President Bush’s efforts to privatize Social Security partly in exchange for the right of gay partners to receive benefits under the program.
Talk about forgoing the big tent. The Human Rights Campaign has always been too conservative for me. But this would be a new low. First, because contrary to the impression one might get from Queer Eye for the Staight Guy, scores of queer folks and their families also depend on social security to enable them to retire with dignity rather than into poverty, and they too deserve better than this privatization sham. Second, because now more than ever, as the economic justice movement struggles to better do justice to its queer constituents, standing on the wrong side of one of the major economic justice debates of the next four years can only narrow the movement. Third, because social security privatization is also incredibly unpopular with the American public, as it should be. So if, as the article suggests, the HRC’s new focus is on introducing gay America to everybody else, this seems like a particularly ill-chosen move to start with. (Spotted by Julie Saltman)
Speaking of Social Security, some one should ask David Brooks whether he’d be comefortable staking his national security on the stock market. Because if not, he’s in a strange position to be telling working class Americans to entrust their economic security to it. There’s a reason we call it “Social Security,” not “Social Program In Which If You Play Your Cards Right You Have A Decent Shot Ending Up Less Poor Than Without It.”