The Heartbreak of Cynicism


Dear Editor-in-Chief,

Perhaps we need a nice medication to curb the “heartbreak of cynicism” that is now reaching epidemic levels.  If there is something in development, I should be included in the medical trials but, if I were, I would probably get the placebo.  Now that is high-level cynicism.

With that “journalistic conflict disclosure,” I am just not buying the idea that Vice President Biden dragooned President Obama into supporting gay marriage because of an inadvertent slip of his notoriously flapping tongue.

Here’s why.

On Tuesday, there will be 25 weeks to go until the election.  The gay marriage discussion just consumed the 26th meaning there was one less week devoted to a discussion of problems of greater importance or at least greater urgency.

Sorry, advocates on either side of the issue, but we’ll get to that in a moment.

If I were the President’s political adviser, one of my primary goals would be to come up with 25 more “hot button” issues to divert attention from challenges in serious need of resolution.  I would then rely on newspapers, television, bloggers and pundits to float like corks down the stream of diversion I created.  A perfect outcome would be the avoidance of any consideration of the economy, jobs, spending, taxes or political bribery in the form of campaign contributions.

Okay, back to marriage. If anyone really cared about solving this problem instead of having it to argue about, they would shift their focus to the correct word.  Gay is not it; marriage is.

Marriage is not now and never should have been a governmental concept.  It is a religious idea that has worked well for millennia as long as it was defined by the religions themselves, presumably with the consent of their followers.  If a religion wants to define marriage as one-man-and-one-woman, that is okay because it does not change your tax rate, your partner’s ability to make medical decisions on your behalf or the avoidance of estate taxes when you die.

Religions and governments are different — at least in this country — so, if an individual does not agree with a particular tenet, he can go across the street and choose a religion more to his liking.  That is much harder to do when the government is making the rules, especially when the government is defined to be federal rather than state.

The concept of marriage should never have been included in the tax law or any other law to provide an advantage to one group of citizens over another because, once it was included, the religions that cared most about the issue lost control of the meaning of the word.

Too bad the religions lost control of their word many years ago because they are not likely to get it back.  Meanwhile, it diverts our attention from problems that will take many years to solve.  If and when we begin to try.

Your long-suffering intern,


Diogenes the Cynic


One Response to “The Heartbreak of Cynicism”

Armand Gilbert, May 15, 2012 at 7:20 pm said:

Absolutely, marriage is just a poorly typed contractual agreement, full of pomp and circumstance, signifying nothing but a series of open ended liabilities ultimately defined by the state in which they happen to reside when the union dissolves. It should be the purview of the religious/social organizations themselves who and what they want to call a “marriage”. Outside of this quaint little ceremony, people should be allowed to legally incorporate with anyone they want, this means Bob and Tim or Mom, Dad, Grandpa, and little Susy could both be able to be defined as a single economic unit with equal rights and responsibilities. The point would be that all the participants would be considered as a group economic entity from the perspective of the society. And marriage would just be a ceremony, people could elect to have after they incorporated if they felt so inclined but legally would have nothing to do with it.


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