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06/15/2010

Morality affects economy, Mike? Oh, so you've seen gays' unequal tax bills?

by Jeremy Hooper

HuckabeeMike Huckabee has gone even further with his belief that so-called social issues like same-sex marriage must remain front and center in American politics. You know, because we gays (among others) are helping to ruin the national cash flow. Or something like that.

After restating his feeling that we can't have any kind of "culture war" truce since "the issue of life and traditional marriage are not bargaining chips nor or [sic] they political issues," Huck goes on to say:

Let me be clear – MORALITY AND THE ECONOMY are inextricably linked.

• The collapse of morality and ethical business practices preceded the collapse of Wall Street – unchecked greed caused the downfall;

• A decrease in morality preceded an increase in the prison population – state budgets via taxes, increase every year to pay for prisons; and,

• We don’t emphasize character in our public schools, and ignorance is expensive-- a national high school drop out rate of 1 in 3 students produces poverty – crippling our economy in countless ways.

I’m not saying Wall Street, prisons and poverty are not the only influences on our economy – there are countless others – nor am I saying morality solves every economic crisis we face. But I am saying strong moral fiber would prevent many of our nation’s economic disasters.
MORALITY AFFECTS OUR ECONOMY [Huck PAC]

And here we have a perfect instance of where the far-right's definition of morality has completely ruined conversations like this. In a perfect world, we could agree that principles of right and wrong come into play in areas like Wall Street or the prison system. In a perfect world, even proud atheists could work together alongside those who tune their moral compass with a cross for the purposes of making the world more upright. In a perfect world, we could work together to ensure that all families have equal economic opportunities regardless of gender makeup. Because lowered standards of ethics do cause all kinds of problems in all kinds of ways in all kinds of arenas. And we all have an interest in righting actual wrongs.

But for the Huckabees of the world, "morality" also/always includes limiting LGBT people and their basic right to live, love, and function in peace. LGBTs are most always lumped in a large "sinner" box, waiting to be woven into a rhetorical quilt of "immorality" whenever the weaver thinks that that particular patch will help them make their case. There's no conversation to be had, because their minds are fully made up about LGBT people's supposed placement on the moral scale. And the only way our side can work with these Huck-esque social cons is if we're willing to overlook their attempts to link us to alcoholics, adulterers, addicts, common criminals, and a whole host of other archetypes. Spoiler alert: We're not ever going to do that!

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