Saturday, December 28, 2013

The domino effect

So A&E blinked first. That was predictable. Indeed, what's striking about this whole debacle is how predictable it was, yet A&E and the homosexual lobby couldn't see it coming. It's like watching a row of dominoes.

i) It was predictable that Phil Robertson would answer the question the way he did. He's an elder at a fundamentalist church. He's said the same thing back in 2010, only that time he quoted/paraphrased Rom 1 rather than 1 Cor 6.

It's predictable that he'd express himself in blunt, lowbrow terms. That's in character.

ii) It was predictable that the homosexual lobby would go ballistic. In the past, the homosexual lobby has been pretty successful in stifling dissent. And with Obama in office, they feel the wind to their back.

iii) It was predictable that out-of-touch TV execs would react they way they did. Among the cultural elite, that's the reflexive response. They imagine that's how you're supposed to respond.

And they expect celebrities who've committed a politically incorrect faux pas to contritely retract the statement, go on the talkshow circuit and grovel for absolution.

It's possible they feared the loss of advertisers. They had their sights set on everyone except the…audience. That's a problem when corporate execs don't buy the product. When they forget it's the audience, not pressure groups, who sign the paycheck.

A problem when they belong to the social class of the power elite rather than the audience.

iv) It was predictable that Phil wouldn't back down. That would be out of character. He has too much self-respect. Although he cares about his reputation, the people whose opinion he values aren't TV execs or GLAAD.

At 67, he's not climbing the career ladder. And he doesn't need the supplementary income.

v) It was predictable that his sons would back him up. It's my impression that working class Southerners have a strong sense of kith and kin. If, moreover, his sons turned their back on their dad, Duck Dynasty fans would turn their back on the sons.

vi) In the end, it was predictable that A&E would fold. Phil held all the high cards. A&E had far more to lose by canceling Duck Dynasty than losing GLAAD. The Robertsons had far less to lose.

GLAAD failed to learn the Chick-Fil-A lesson.

You can pick on something small and popular. You can bully a small Christian business. Even if it's popular, it lacks the resources to fight back.

You can occasionally pick on something big and unpopular. Pressure groups have had some success with the tobacco industry.

They've been less successful with oil companies. Although oil companies are unpopular, their product is necessary–unlike cigarettes. Nobody has to light up, but most folks have to tank up–like it or not.

What you can't expect to do is to intimidate something big and popular.

GLAAD miscalculated. It's become overconfident.

I've read that occasionally a Roman senator would propose a dress code for slaves. Put slaves in their place. Make it clear who's who.

But that proposal was shot down. Why? Because slaves outnumbered Roman aristocrats and plebs by 10-1. A dress code for slaves would suddenly expose the fact that the ruling class was dangerously outnumbered.

The homosexual lobby has clout out of all proportion to its numbers. When it takes on something big and popular, it reveals its essential impotence for all the world to see.

You can bluff people into surrendering if they think you have a vast army just over the hill. The illusion only works as long as you don't let them see how weak you really are.

Mind you, this is just a temporary win for Christians. The homosexual lobby will regroup. It's been bloodied, but not defeated.

Christians need to build on this win, not revert to complacency.


  1. Christians need to build on this win, not revert to complacency.

    Sadly, that's the one thing I've learned the American church can be relied upon to do.

  2. A very, very good analysis Steve. Thanks. You also have a good point in pointing out the case with Chick Fil A.

  3. I think A&E were banking on the rest of the Robertson clan backing down and submitting, so then they could be politically correct and still make buckets of money. When they refused to continue making shows without Phil, I think the vision of dollar bills going down the drain was too much for them.