Democracy is supposed to work like some sort of capitalistic free market of ideas where the best ones get the most dollars and thus float to the top and become law. Since we have this coupled with a two-party system, you’re voting for which of two candidates sounds like they have the best ideas.
Unfortunately, conservatives tend not to bother with tough intellectual shit like “ideas,” preferring instead to throw rocks at their heads. Voters, being at least a little rational, tend to back away from this in vague horror and default-vote for whoever the other guy is, at least until the other guy realizes the only constraint on him is “don’t throw rocks at head” and starts doing something equally dumb. Eventually you get Congress.
“Gay marriage” is a prime example of how conservatives have completely shirked their duty to contribute anything worthwhile to American discourse in decades.
For the past two decades–maybe longer–conservatives have not managed to muster a single coherent argument against gay marriage, and yet they have dedicated substantial resources to making sure that everyone knows they don’t like it.
Yes, standing up on a podium and yelling, “I hate people for totally irrational reasons and do not understand how the Constitution works,” actually makes people think you’re dumb, hateful, and have no idea how to run the gov’t.
One of the results of this is that young people, near as I can tell, pretty much universally despise conservatives. It’s hard not to, when conservatives keep throwing rocks at their heads.
With a few hours of research and writing, I managed to cobble together a better argument against gay marriage/homosexuality than anything conservatives have come up with in the past two decades, and I wasn’t even trying. I was just reading about California. This stuff is not secret; you don’t need to fund any fancy studies or have any technical background to find a ton of information that would make the average voter much more amenable to the conservative position, but people who are actually paid to do this and claim to actually, deeply believe this have not even bothered.
Instead, we get dumb arguments like, “Homosexuality is immoral,” (what does that even mean?) or “God says it’s a sin.” (Great, your argument depends both on a swiftly diminishing belief in god and a willingness to violate the Establishment Clause?)
If one side can’t do their job and generate at least something close to rational thought, then there is no pressure on the other side to generate rational thought, either. And that means the entire political system goes down the shitter.
And that’s why we can’t have nice things, like winter.