During the presidential campaign, by anyone: “What good are gay rights if your country is falling apart?”
“Gay” “rights” and “reproductive freedom,” “climate change,” and all those other cheap, shiny bangles which appear, based on the election post-mortems, to have enticed enormous swathes of the American public to vote for an avowedly socialistic, race-baiting anti-American demagogue who rejoices when the Muslim Brotherhood takes over entire countries — and leaves American ambassadors to be murdered while watching the live video of the attack — despite the worst record of economic improvement of any president since World War II, are luxury issues to be indulged in by countries that are not broke and going more so.
Unsubsidized poverty is a very effective form of birth control. No one cares who calls himself “married” when he’s living under a bridge. Who’s paying for Her Pill won’t move a single piece of REO off the local bank’s books. When the pay earned at 10:00 a.m. today will not buy half the loaf of bread it would have bought at 3:00 p.m. yesterday nobody really gives a damn whether you Ask or Tell. When you can tell whether the Planet is Cooling from the soles of your feet on the pavement, felt directly through the gaping holes in your shoes, you begin to care measurably less whether the rosewood on some drug-addled musician’s guitar neck was harvested in a “sustainable” manner or not.
A humble prediction: This is the last time a question like this will appear in the New York Times.