Samuel Johnson is credited with saying, “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” I might add, “Morality is the favored currency of bankrupt politicians.” When you start hearing dimwits like Rick Sanitorum making speeches about how he’s going to crack down on pornography you can be sure it’s because he has run out of better ideas. If you’re Rick Sanitorum there is one simple campaign rule… Sex Sells!
Is Pornography More Harmful Than Politics?
Thales | Yahoo! Contributor Network | 16 Mar 12
“America is suffering a pandemic of harm from pornography. … Pornography is toxic to marriages and relationships. … As a parent, I am concerned about the widespread distribution of illegal obscene pornography and its profound effects on our culture. For many decades, the American public has actively petitioned the United States Congress for laws prohibiting distribution of hard-core adult pornography. … Current federal “obscenity” laws prohibit distribution of hardcore (obscene) pornography on the Internet, on cable/satellite TV, on hotel/motel TV, in retail shops and through the mail or by common carrier. Rick Santorum believes that federal obscenity laws should be vigorously enforced.”
Now, obviously, I’m against child pornography. That should be stamped out.
And I do think there’s a legitimate discussion to be had about the influence pornography has on our culture, and whether and how that balances against our right to view (and do) what we want in the privacy of our own homes.
But, I can’t help but think: Is pornography really anywhere close to as toxic to American culture as politics is?
Think about it: Porn stars aren’t out there every day trying to get one half of the country to believe that the other half of the country is out to get them. It’s politicians and political pundits who are doing that.
Porn stars aren’t out there every day impugning the motives of those who disagree with them. It’s politicians and political pundits who are doing that, essentially saying, “If you disagree with me, it’s because you care more about your party or special interests or your re-election than about the country as a whole.”
Porn stars aren’t out there every day acting like the answers to complicated questions about economics, energy, climate, military intervention, etc., are so darn obvious that if you don’t agree with me on them, you must be consciously allied to ignorance and/or badness. It’s politicians and political pundits who are saying their opponents are either evil or stupid, not porn stars.
Porn stars aren’t out there every day trying to get you to believe that there’s a war being waged on women, the private sector, children, workers rights and the middle class, business, the unemployed, or on any number of other things that are good and decent. It’s politicians and political pundits who are doing that.
Really, is anything porn stars do this toxic?
Or this pervasive? If you think porn is everywhere, just try adding up all the name-calling in the political arena. You can’t. And, as much as politicians and pundits chide us for “false equivalences” and insist that most of the name-calling comes from one side of the aisle, there is so much invective out there, I defy anyone to count it all up and prove which side does it more.
If I have a choice between politics and pornography, I’m choosing the latter. But not even for the prurient value, I’m choosing it because porn stars exhibit more virtuous behavior than politicians — if only by omission, because they’re not doing all the name-calling and demonizing that politicians do on a daily basis.
I don’t think porn should be legally prohibited, and the same goes for name-calling in politics. But let’s face it, most of the political speech out there is not valuable or insightful. Protect it, fine, just like people’s belongings should be protected, whether or not they own a Picasso. But just because it’s not banned doesn’t mean it’s anywhere close to being the Gettysburg Address.
Maybe there is something messed up about the role of pornography in our society. But I have a hard time believing pornography is doing us more damage than politics is. Whatever it is that porn stars are doing, pornography is, by and large, produced and consumed behind closed doors, where it’s easy to avoid.
I just have to imagine that Santorum’s energy — and the energy of pretty much every politician and pundit — would be better spent criticizing themselves and their colleagues for the invective they spew in front of cameras and microphones day and night.
____________________________________________________________________________ Thales is the user name of an author at Yahoo Contributor Network, focusing on politics and frequently addressing civility, civil debate and civil discourse.
This article appears at Yahoo.com »
Print This Post | [email_link]
In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. SynchroSpace has no affiliation with the originator of this article nor is SynchroSpace endorsed or sponsored by the originator.
“View Source” links are provided as a convenience to our readers and allow for verification of authenticity. However, as originating pages are often updated by their originating hosts, the version posted here may differ from that appearing at the originating site.Posted in Law, Opinion, Politics, Social Issues