Today in Conservative NYT Columnists Not Getting It

It’s far from the worst thing to be published today, but Ross Douthat in the New York Times (the allegedly super liberal biased paper, ha) said this when talking about the slippery slope from gay marriage to polygamy:

And we also know that “polygamy” is just the uncool, biblical-sounding term of art. Call it polyamory or “ethical nonmonogamy” and suddenly you have a less disreputable demographic interested

Let’s stop and think about what this says about Douthat’s worldview:

1. Polygamy is the same as polyamory, and legalizing one and the other are interchangeable. Apparently things like power dynamics, consent, and potential or frequency of abuse are not legitimate reasons to draw a line between legalizing things, at least not after we’ve legalized gay marriage. Is he implying that we can’t pick and choose what moral propositions to follow- that if we throw out modern Christianity’s bigotry, we have to throw out caring about consent, freedom, and autonomy? Does he just not care about those things to begin with? The charitable interpretation would be that he simply did not do his research before writing.*

2. Calling it “ethical” polyamory doesn’t make it different from polygamy. So either he believes ethical polyamory is a contradiction isn’t really ethical, but didn’t think it was relevant to point that out, or he thinks that polygamy is ethical.

I can’t help but read this and get the overwhelming feeling that Douthat thinks power imbalances and potential abuse are just standard for relationships and not something government should worry about, given that they never once appear in his column. And we wonder why every day it turns out another conservative doesn’t think they need to worry about those things either.

*Which is fine, I barely do any research before writing. But I also spend only a fraction of my time writing, am not a New York Times columnist, and don’t actually expect anyone to read or follow anything I say. It’s mostly just to try and get myself to sit down and actually put thoughts on a piece of paper every week.

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