Metro Weekly

What Would Machiavelli Do?

Writing about “political fear” and the oft-repeated line that “[e]lected officials and candidates view the gay community as an ATM,” AmericaBlog’s Joe Sudbay posits, “We do need to create the conditions to win. And, we’re not going to get there by playing nice. For one thing, our advocates need to call out ‘political homophobia’ when they see it. And, we need to make politicians fear us, not our opponents.”

I asked my Twitter followers for their thoughts, quoting Sudbay’s statement from later in his post and writing, “‘We need to be feared, not loved.’ Is this the path to LGBT equality?” I received a wide range of responses and thought I’d share some here:

kwalsham: isn’t most of the problem that our love IS feared?

stonermc: I presume he means politically and in power? Otherwise, what the heck, people alreay fear us and hate us. I don’t think it’s a case of fear, it’s respect we need.


summersgill: Fear is a short-term tactic. It gets you a moment of power. It works against you in the long-term. We are in a decades long campaign for hearts and minds. Fear works against that goal.

djambrek: The Dems need to fear us.

StephenMolldrem: “Might makes right,” yes but not always. Feared when appropriate, but not universally. Or else we’ll lose our moderate allies. Because, after all, we do have muscles to flex and levers we can pull ($, mobilization, media, targeting someone). So we should.

davidcaryhart: We need to be feared by politicians but loved by the general public. Winning hearts and minds is important to equality.

weaverron: Let’s see, since a minority GOP has more power than a majority DEM party, maybe we should court the GOP with our money.

peterkoltak: that’s what Machiavelli would say!

marcslove: absolutely. what minority ever achieved equal rights because they were loved or asked nicely?

uppityfag: Dems want us to fear their absence.  Why can’t we – why wouldn’t we – desire the same dynamic?  Works for them, right?

Your thoughts?

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