Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A friend of mine has aligned himself w/ Dan Choi in his brand of activism regarding gay rights in general and DA/DT in particular (I try not to use the term "gay rights" because I think that narrows the scope of what is at stake--equality for all isn't an issue that affects only the minority...but I digress). It is no secret that I do not agree with the tactics that Dan Choi has used in this fight. Nor do I particularly agree with him as a figurehead of the movement. Unfortunately, when it comes to national politics, good intentions aren't enough, no matter how well intentioned or how good the motives.

That being said, I found myself this morning in a bind. When a good friend of mine (someone I went to basic training with in 2000) aligned himself with Dan Choi, what do I do? Do I feign support or do I restate my previously stated opposition to these tactics?

I came to the conclusion that by inserting oneself into the national political stage, especially in a very public manner, then I cannot disassociate the person from the actions. While it may hurt my friend's feelings, not supporting his actions, it is important to my own sense of self that I maintain my beliefs. The conversation we had about this is below (name redacted).

While I don't generally try to elicit comments, this time I do. A lot of you know who my friend is, since many of us were in the Army together. What is your opinion? Does my obligation to him as a friend trump my obligation to the cause and to my self? Moreover, have you been in this position before? What did you do? It is not the first time I've dealt with having someone in the national spotlight. Two of the guys I've known since DLI founded Servicemembers United. I am friends with JD, the founder of Citizens for Repeal and another friend worked closely with the Palm Center. This is, however, the first time I've had a friend try to leverage my friendship into accepting and supporting his political decisions--and it is not something I enjoy.

IM conversation post-DC actions (with no spelling changes...stupid spelling)
8:24am (him)
i did some stuff yesterday

8:25am (me)
you online right now?

8:26am (him)

8:26am (me)
sorry, I leave my computer on at home so my mom can use it, I wasn't there this morning
now I'm at work :(

8:27am (him)
that is fine. :)
yeah, i'm around.
looking at the ridiculous picture of me hogtied by DC park police

8:27am (me)
still in DC or home now/

8:28am (him)

8:29am (me)
any more tying up I should prepare to see?

8:29am (him)
nah, dan and I thought about it but we're tired and are going to sit in a hot tub instead
did you love it?!

8:30am (me)
have you never read my reactions to this before?
or do you mean do I love you sitting in a hot tub?

8:30am (him)
but this was me

8:31am (me)
because I can support hot tubbing, for sure

8:31am (him)
what I di, that I was insanely trussed up and yelling at newspeople!

8:33am (me)
I don't see the efficacy of chainging oneself to the whitehouse. a tree to keep it from being cut down, a gate to keep it locked
but an amorphous idea, I don't get
nor do I see storming Reid's office as altogether helpful

8:34am (him)
we didn't storm, we told them we were coming and had a very polite conversation.

8:34am (me)
that wasn't the press coverage

8:34am (him)
anyways, adam: your friend (name here) was the front page on the goddamn advocate.

8:34am (me)
in any case, I particularly don't like seeing uniforms on capital hill if they're not military advisors. I think it undermines the civil/military relationship we have and sets a horrible precident

8:35am (him)
we have had this conversation. plus, we have already agreed to disagree
plus, you're being a douchetard. a friend of your s is excited about something he did, and you're cutting him down on abstract ideals.

8:36am (me)
you and I have? when have you and I had this conversation?

8:36am (him)
when choi and HRC first had a falling out.

8:37am (me)
if my friend does something, public, that affects me and is a public political statement, I can't ignore the "abstract ideals" he is representing. asking me to do so is slightly ridiculous don't you think? Especially if you ask me, "what did you think"?

8:37am (him)
fine, adam.
please refrain from making negative comments on my facebook in the future.
I'm sorry, I'm actually feeling very insulted.
i have supported everything you've ever done. I'm not even asking for your support, just an understanding that this was a big deal to me and it was a very cool experience.

8:40am (me)
I didn't make a negative comment, I said I just hope you sat and thought about it first. If I had said I didn't think you did, that would have been a negative comment

8:40am (him)
i think you're very carefully ignoring the last part of that statement.
i just don't want to have this conversation right now


Post a Comment

<< Home