Thursday, March 8, 2007

Sorry, Matt, but when you're a hypocrite, all bets are off

Conservatives sure do love their gay prostitutes, don't they? First it was Jimmyjeff Gannonguckert, now Matt Sanchez, darling of CPAC because he's a Latino gay military conservative.

Today, in a truly cranium-combusting piece in Salon, Sanchez sees nothing inconsistent about sucking up to the very people who revile people like himself.

In September 2005, I wrote a column for the campus newspaper that blasted the anti-military bias among my fellow students at Columbia University. In addition to being an American studies major at Columbia, I am a Marine Corps reservist, and my comrades in arms were proud of me once that column had turned into appearances on "The O'Reilly Factor" and "Hannity & Colmes" and an opinion piece for the New York Post. None of those media outlets knew who I had been before I was a Marine, an Ivy Leaguer and an outspoken defender of the military.

Up until last weekend, Salon and the rest of the left-wing media had largely ignored me. Given the left's constant talk about equality, discrimination, minority rights and systemic oppression, I thought the fact that I was a Latino Marine, a nontraditional, 36-year-old Ivy League student and a 100 percent flag-waving red-blooded Reagan Republican would make my point of view interesting, but so be it. Everything is political now, and even the double standards have talking points.

Then came last weekend. I was invited to the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, an annual convention of the right attended by more than 5,000 people, to accept the Jeanne Kirkpatrick Academic Freedom Award. It was recognition for what I'd said in print and on-air about anti-military attitudes on campus. During CPAC, I had my picture taken with the controversial conservative pundit and author Ann Coulter.

Coulter's comments about John Edwards drew unprecedented attention to this year's CPAC. Then, after a while, some of that attention was turned on me.


Porn reduces the mind and flattens the soul. I don't like it. That's not hypocrisy talking; that's just experience. I sometimes think of myself, ironically, as a progressive: I started off as a liberal but I progressed to conservatism. Part of that transformation is due to my time in the industry. How does a conservative trace his roots to such distasteful beginnings? I didn't like porn's liberalism. In porn, everything taboo is trivialized and everything trivial is magnified.

Being in the adult entertainment industry was sort of like being in a cult, and like all followers of a cult, I have a difficult time figuring out when I stopped believing in the party line. I can tell you, though, that by the time I finished my brief tour of the major studios, I was pretty disgusted with myself. It was an emotional low, and the people who surrounded me were like drug dealers interested only in being with the anesthetized in order not to shake off the stupor of being high.

Why did I become a conservative? Just look at what I left, and look at who is attacking me today. Let's face it: Those on the left who now attack me would be defending me if I had espoused liberal causes and spoken out against the Iraq war before I was outed as a pseudo celebrity. They'd be talking about publishing my memoir and putting me on a diversity ticket with Barack Obama. Instead, those who complain about wire-tapping reserve the right to pry into my private life and my past for political brownie points.

Sure, I had my picture taken with Ann Coulter. I don't agree with what she said, but anyone in the military would defend her right to say it. I'm not apologizing for it. I'm also not going to claim I'm sorry for leaving a long-ago summer job off my curriculum vitae. A lot things in my life don't add up, but then I was never good at math. It's just a part of my past, and as anyone who reflects on the past realizes, it contributes to who I am today.

Yes, it does, Matt. And you're wrong -- no one on the left cares about your past in gay porn. Unlike the people you're sucking up to on the right, we believe that what consenting adults do is their own business. Now, I can't speak for anyone in the gay community, but from where this 100% heterosexual, 20+ years married, middle-aged lapsed Jewish suburban woman is standing, you are not just a hypocrite, but are wrestling with a good bit of self-loathing.

I refuse to associate with any activities sponsored by A.N.S.W.E.R., because their pro-Palestinian view is NOT limited to opposition to Israeli government policy, but veers over into anti-Semitism. I won't associate with groups that hate people like me, nor will I support them or help them to gain power. So why on earth are you willing to associate with people like Ann Coulter and the rest of the crew? Why are you willing to associate with someone who refers to gay marriage as "insane"? Why on earth would you want to associate with people who profess to hate everything that you are? And even if they don't (which I wonder about, since the Republican party and its allies seem to be rife with barely-closeted gay men and women), why would you want to associate yourself with people who are willing to sacrifice YOU on the altar of their drooling, ignorant Jeebofascist base?

Matt, there is help for you -- not help to "cure" homosexuality, but help so that you can better accept yourself and stop allowing yourself to be used by people who would wipe you off the face of the earth if they thought they could get away with it. But you cannot expect to align yourself with the moral scolds of the right and expect your hypocrisy to not be fair game.

(cross-posted at Brilliant at Breakfast)