Eros & Ideology

Member Group : Reflections

I’ve seen how an increasingly intolerant and muzzling form of political correctness has invaded nearly every aspect of American life. But I was still surprised recently to see how political orthodoxy was being applied to some of the most private and intimate aspects of personal behavior.

Browsing the magazine section in a bookstore, I glanced through an issue of The Nation magazine to see what was being said by liberals and progressives about the key issues of the day – the expanding federal debt, slow economic growth, the rise of ISIS, increased racial animosities, and the expanding mistrust of the political system.
Instead, I found myself reading "Love and Class War" (now there’s an imperialistic Marxism, occupying everything), by advice columnist Lisa Featherstone in The Nation, self-described as the "flagship" magazine of the left.

From "Lovesick Liberal," there was this help-seeking letter for advice: "Dear Lisa, I’m in love with a staunch Republican, while I am very liberal. I’m afraid our sometimes heated debates may ruin any chances for us. I hold back a lot."

Here’s the advice in The Nation: "Margaret Martin, a licensed couple therapist, says that love between a liberal and a conservative can absolutely work. But, she adds, laughing, ‘I personally would not copulate — you can quote me on this — with someone who did not respect my reproductive rights.’"

Ms. Featherstone then offered her personal experience to buttress the same sex-limiting position: "At age 19, Lovesick, I drew the same line, losing my virginity to a Republican, but first making sure he was pro-choice."
Exactly how does Featherstone know that this guy with the lousy politics, in the heat of the moment, wasn’t telling a fib?

Featherstone also told Lovesick that she did some research and called her liberal public schoolteacher friend, who was married to two Republicans, at different times. The teacher explained that the first Republican was too suffocating but with the second Republican there were no troubling discussions about politics, not even about "who they’ll be voting for."

The schoolteacher friend offered this significant bit of information regarding her success with Republican II: "The basis of our relationship is apparently sex and food. I used to say, ‘Baby, maybe we should have some other interests in common,’ but this has been working for seven years."

Those seven successful years with the second Republican aren’t so puzzling. A steady diet of tasty food and good frolicking beats bickering about Hillary and Trump.

Still, the aforementioned notion of a couple with matching political opinions having a better shot at a longer marriage didn’t seem to work for San Bernardino shooters Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, a born-in-Illinois environmental health inspector for the county, and the imported bride he met on a matrimonial website, Tashfeen Malik, 27.

Farook and Malik shared a political perspective, donned coordinated camo outfits, and turned their rented townhouse into a weapons lab. Many hours, it appears, were spent harmoniously together making pipe bombs and accumulating rifles, semi-automatic guns, and thousands of rounds of ammunition.

Together, they jointly opened fire on Farook’s workplace colleagues at a Christmas party being hosted by the county health department at a social services center for the disabled, killing 14 and wounding 22, making it the deadliest shooting in the United States since the attack at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012 in Newton, Connecticut in which Adam Lanza shot 20 children and six adult staff members.

A survivor’s firsthand description of the attack by Farook and Malik was published by the Los Angeles Times. Denise Peraza, 27, was shot at the San Bernardion party and described the incident to her sister in a phone conversation from her hospital bed.

"Everyone dropped to the floor" as two people in assault-style clothing entered the room with assault rifles and semi-automatic handguns, Peraza reportedly said. "The shooters opened fire for 30 seconds, randomly, then paused to reload and began firing again."

Together, several hours later, after going back to their townhouse to pick up more weapons and additional rounds of ammunition and driving in the direction of the office party murders they committed in San Bernardion, Farook and Malik, newly armed with more guns and 1,600 rounds of ammunition, were killed in a hail of gunfire during a dramatic shootout with 23 police officers who discharged 381 rounds.

Both Farook and Malik had opened fire on police. Malik was shooting a rifle out of the back window of their SUV. Farook, similarly, emerged from the vehicle shooting at surrounding officers. Their bullet-riddled SUV was less than two miles from where the couple had slaughtered Farook’s workplace colleagues just hours earlier.

In a postscript to her advice column in The Nation, Ms. Lisa Featherstone did a pitch for more letters from perplexed liberals and peeved collectivists: "Are you struggling to live decently under late capitalism? Wondering if the sharing economy is just an insidious low-wage Silicon Valley scam, or whether you should date that attractive libertarian? Ask Lisa!"
Regarding the potential heartaches involved in dating an eye-catching libertarian, what’s the recommendation from Ms. Featherstone for a partnership upgrade? Dating an unattractive anti-individualist who thinks taxes are too low?

Ralph R. Reiland is an associate professor of economics and the B. Kenneth Simon professor of free enterprise at Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh, the owner of Amel’s Restaurant, and a weekly columnist with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. .

Ralph R. Reiland,
Phone: 412-527-2199
E-mail: [email protected]