By: Steve Yuhas
By the time my friends and I arrived at the Manhattan apartment of entrepreneur Peter Thiel, conservative author and pundit Ann Coulter was already there. She stood casually near a table having a glass of wine looking at the list of us who thought it important enough to help sponsor this event. The event was simple: have 150 men and women who are conservative in their thinking get together to hear Coulter speak and take questions.
The difference between this group of 150 and any other group of 150 is that the conservatives that gathered in Thiel’s apartment overlooking Union Square were mostly gay (thus well dressed, but nary a one to be found on break from his show on Broadway – odd huh? True story)
By the time the mingling ended and the welcome started the room was so packed that I found myself sitting on a leather sofa – hoping that there would be at least some comfort brought from the supple softness of the chair. Comfort was not to come because it was hot, but what did was exactly what I expected from Coulter – including her take no prisoners approach to convincing people that being a social conservative was as important, if not more, than being a fiscal one.
So imagine my surprise when I read news accounts of the evening when reporters (many of whom could not have been there) began talking about “nervous laughter” and pounding on the notion that the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution has to do with race and not every difference that makes us individuals (that’s true by the way, but why should details matter?).
Then I realized that I was not reading news accounts of Coulter’s speech to GOProud, the gay conservative group that sponsored the event; rather, I was reading news accounts of what people on the right and the left wanted Coulter’s speech to have been about.
Press outlets on the left and the right wanted nothing more than to be able to use Coulter’s speech to give a big fat I told you so to the gays that brought her to Manhattan. So invested was the right in Coulter not being Coulter that World Net Daily’s Joseph Farah dumped her from some speaking engagement that she was not confirmed to speak at to begin with.
The left was invested too because showing that gays can stand in a room and not melt when Coulter arrives is something that they could not tolerate.
Perhaps most invested in the failure of the event were left-wing gay groups who believe that political discourse amounts to selecting beef or chicken at either an event at one gay leftist organization or another. For all of the talk, dyking on biking, and the over-abundance of parades and rallies designed to enforce “diversity” in every possible way – no gay group is willing to believe that there is any diversity of thought in the gay world.
Being gay means one thing to many gay people: voting for Democrats and surrendering your right to rational political debate with anyone, let alone other gays, that may disagree with the big government, high spending ways of the current (or to be fair) or previous majorities in Congress.
What the event that GOProud proved is that you can have Ann Coulter, the darling of the right and whose collection of books is the bedrock that any conservative bona fides is built, in the same room as 150 of her closest gay friends and there would be no booing, throwing of pies, cakes, desserts, or anything of value. It was amazing and to the political left, gay and straight, it was political anarchy because gays are not supposed to think that way.
Amazing to me is not the coverage (I expected it to be the way that it turned out), not the fact that nothing was thrown (we gays tend not to throw things at parties because 90% of us had a manicure that day), and booing is only done in NYC when Versace or D&G make a mess of their collection during fashion week.
On a whole the night with Coulter was great. I was able to spend it with my friend who is a manufacturer in his own right, who simply wants to be left alone. Michael Lucas was there too – he is a conservative who was born in the former Soviet Union and knows a thing or two about tyranny. I hung out with them and loved it. Some on the right will say that they are not conservative because they are not a doctor or a lawyer, but I’ll tell you this: you won’t find them preaching to a mega-church one day and having iPhone pictures in tight red t-shirts the next.
Conservatism is more about the perfect union than it is what you happen to do to make a living. Unless it is illegal I can think of nothing that would make someone’s occupation incompatible with being a conservative. None of my friends are as conservative as I am – I am both socially and fiscally conservative, but what is most important today? Fiscal issues or social ones?
For me it is both, but for the vast majority of the country it’s the economy stupid and so long as some of my friends are conservative on those issues – I’ll let Roe v. Wade and the notion of judging a man by his occupation to the people who are comfortable with a sliding scale of sin.
I’m not that guy.