Bruce Jenner and the Death of LGBT

Bruce JennerI don’t much care what Bruce Jenner does or says. But his recent interview does allow me to discuss something that I care about: why people vote the way they do. To many people, the big thing in the interview was that Jenner is a Republican. At The Fix, Hunter Schwarz wrote, Bruce Jenner Is a Republican. Here’s the Reason That Shouldn’t Surprise You. Most of that article has to do with the fact that most athletes are conservative.

There is sample bias in this claim. Schwarz talks about professional athletes and people at Brown University. So we aren’t talking about just any people who are interested in sports, but people who have chosen to take it to a very high level. But okay, I’ll yield the point. I’m sure there is something to athletes being conservative, but not in the way that Schwarz thinks. He wrote, “[A]thletes inhabit a world of meritocracy and hierarchy.” Yeah, but that correlation probably runs the other way. One thing I’ve been harping on a while is the fact that at the highest levels of sports, there is basically no difference between people. My bet is that the kind of people who find working out to be such a fantastic thing are people with higher than average testosterone levels.

But the real reason that we shouldn’t be surprised that Bruce Jenner is a Republican is much simpler: he’s rich. The rich vote Republican, as I discussed almost three years ago, It’s the Poor, Stupid. So there really isn’t much to deconstruct about this. We should applaud him for doing something that is good for the nation generally and the transgender community specifically. But the fact that he is just another rich conservative who says he’s a Republican because, “I believe in the Constitution”? It’s worth a yawn.

What is more interesting is what I wrote about two years ago, Farewell Gay Liberals. I made a more general argument, but said much the same thing back then. Overall, the gay and lesbian community is richer than the nation overall. And gay rights are very quickly going away as an issue. Is there any question about where this leads?

That’s as it should be. But I don’t think that someone being in favor of gay rights makes them a liberal. And as we move into the future, we will see increasing numbers of gay pundits slip away from liberal causes as they become unmoored from gay rights.

Jenner’s revelation highlights this. There is little doubt that eventually, LGBT rights will not be a political issue at all. The LGBT community has the advantage that its members are born randomly. So its status as a minority group is likely to be very short indeed, whereas the status of African Americans as a minority group will go on and on and on. What we’ll see going forward with regard to the LGBT community is that those in that group will act politically just like the population as a whole. The poor and smart members of the community will be liberal. The rich and dumb members of the community will be conservative. And most will not show up to vote anyway.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

4 thoughts on “Bruce Jenner and the Death of LGBT

  1. What you are saying surely is true to an extent, but not so fast. As our ‘economy’ becomes more and more dominated by self-promotion, people will need ways to put down others. As long as homos are a small minority, there always will be people with a need to put them down – because often if not usually, that’s how people build themselves up.

    Read your Plato again! Even in famously bi-school Athens, people made fun of guys who were straight-up fags.

    • I’m not really going fast. I’m just saying that this is where we are headed. Times change and the oppressed groups change. This is why I think liberals claiming that Republicans will lose their power to make racial appeals are kidding themselves. It is always possible to divide people.

      But you are right in as much as I don’t think Jews are an oppressed minority in this country, but there is still quite prominent antisemitism. But the issue isn’t so much a matter of how others see a minority group but how the minority group sees itself. Clearly in Jenner’s case, the Republicans keeping his taxes low is more important than them being virulently opposed to the very idea of transgender equality.

  2. I am reminded of the letter President Eisenhower wrote where he said no one would ever seriously try to attack Social Security. And I think this was largely a liberal consensus on the civil rights victories of the sixties and seventies. The thing we didn’t believe, well now we’ve seen it. My reaction to this is: never forgive the conservative movement, and never forget. No matter how far we advance our cause, never stop. Even when they seem long dead, should that day come, watch for them like the CDC watches for the return of smallpox.

    • Well put! However, I do think that the LGBT community has an advantage in that it crosses all other social barriers. But you are right: we need to watch conservatives. Actually, we need to watch everyone. But certainly, we should remember that when Cliven Bundy wanted to tell us “about the negro,” it was that they were actually better off under slavery. Satire really is dead. It would not surprise me if National Review seriously proposed that the poor sell their children for food.

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