I posted this over at the Atlantic, in response to some blather by Joshua Green about heroically confronting AIDS-
“AIDS is an excellent example of how the left controls the debate by defining what is and isn’t acceptable to say.
AIDS is not a gay disease. It’s also a disease of intravenous drug users. If you are not a man having sex with other men, or sharing needles with another illegal drug user, you can only get AIDS through incidental contact with those who do. Heterosexuals who don’t get blood transfusions or have sex with bisexual men don’t get AIDS. The counter argument to this is that in Africa heterosexuals do get AIDS, but since this doesn’t happen in other places, the veracity of the reporters in Africa is in question.
It’s hard to get AIDS. You have to do something that objectively is pretty gross to get it, and while theoretically you have to do it only once, statistically you have to do it a lot. You have to do something which allows the blood of an infected person get into your bloodstream. I’ll pass on the descriptions, but Congressman Dannemeyer can hardly be condemned for doing so; he was only speaking the factual truth. Again these activities are intuitively unwise- just as inhaling the smoke of burning vegetable matter was intuitively unwise, even before 1965- but once it has been shown that these activities pass along a virus that causes a terminal disease, would it not be reasonable to cease these activities? Would it not be unreasonable for society to ask its members to refrain from these activities? I think so. This opinion is of course unacceptable in polite society, while the opinion that the AIDS epidemic was actually all the fault of Ronald Reagan is not only accepted by honored. But who can account for fashion?
My personal opinion is that this goes back to the Romantic movement. People decided science, and religion that limited people’s desire to do whatever they wanted, was a drag. Doing whatever felt good with gusto regardless of social norms became the ideal. It took a long time for this to filter down from Lord Byron and Goethe to the general public, but that is what we live with today.
Society functions best when people take responsibility for their own health and safety.”
Homosexuals create a cost to society, in simple dollar costs that of AIDS treatment. It’s not cheap, and it’s not ending, as something like 20% of homosexuals under 25 are HIV positive.
I’m sympathetic to the libertarian position on homosexuality. People ought to do whatever they want, be responsible for the consequences, and be left alone. This is usually called being a “social liberal”, as in the common statement “I’m a fiscal conservative but a social liberal.”
The problem is that being a fiscal conservative requires being a social conservative. People who lead socially liberal lives, if they are not intelligent and future-oriented, inevitably have problems that require the government, in the view of liberals, to step in and help them. Divorce, single motherhood, drug use, unrestricted sex, all directly or indirectly lead to dollar costs and social dysfunction.
The homosexual problem is still worse though. Certain groups and classes have always viewed society at large with disgust and contempt. Jews and Gypsies formally believe that the population in general is “unclean”. Protestant elites have a less rigid, but still strong, Calvinist belief in the elect, of which they are members and the lower orders not. Homosexuals have much the same belief. They have a burning contempt and hostility to traditional society outside of the elite cities.
This leads to an especially unhealthy and hubristic spin to the political monologue.