Reacting to the backlash against anti-gay activist and NOM board member Orson Scott Card in advance of the release of the film adaptation of his novel Ender’s Game, Maggie Gallagher has some word salad to share about “McCarthyism” (click the NRO link at your own risk, as, like most wingnut websites with gullible readers, it’s full of pop-ups):
Victor Davis Hanson’s article on “thought crimes” raised this question for me. Gay marriage advocates are trying to build up a boycott of Ender’s Game because of Orson Scott Card’s personal views on marriage.
It seems very strange to me that so many artists and people on the left are supporting the idea that to make art in the mainstream you have to have the right political opinions. This used to be considered the heart of McCarthyism: loyalty oaths for filmmakers as the condition forworking in the film industry. (These were imposed by the industry, not the government, remember, in response to public pressure).
The problem with Maggie’s reasoning here is that she’s pretending that Card is just a put-upon man who happens to have political opinions, when the well-documented truth is that he has used his platform for decades to spread anti-gay animus. Jeremy fleshes this point out further:
- Mr Card’s views have not been personal, in the sense that he shared them at a dinner party and we overheard. Some of his worst examples (the call for overthrowing pro-equality government, for instance) came from commentaries that he wrote for well-read outlets; other bad snips came from interviews he gave to promote his public work. He is a writer and these pieces were obviously designed to shape people’s thoughts. That’s what commentary writers strive to do. It is more than fair for others to shape their thoughts in the other direction.
- No one is “blacklisting” this gentleman. I am more than convinced that he will have an audience until the end of his days. There are enough people that agree with him that the public scrutiny of his anti-LGBT record could very well lead to strong support for his work. He made most all of his harsh comments years before this film went into production, and yet it still got made. He has not been put on some blanket “do not work” list—he has simply been called out for his own, volitional, targeted public expression. People are free to use their own expression to call out another; people are then free to make their consumer decisions off of the surrounding public debate.
Indeed. Maggie follows up by saying she’s not worried about the boycott having any effect, drawing a parallel to the LGBT community’s boycott of Chick-Fil-A. Of course, one wonders how little self reflection she must possess, considering, as Jeremy points out, she was an integral part of the very, very failed NOM boycott of Starbucks.
Maggie’s original post is entitled “What Is McCarthyism?” Perhaps she’s asking because she really has no idea.