Freelance Writer
The transition to gay conservative: how one gay man explains and defends his position
09.22.10 | No Comments

As printed in Central Massachusetts Pride Magazine

The words conservative and gay don’t often end up in the same sentence. Especially in some areas of the country, being gay and also a conservative are as rare as a lesbian who doesn’t like Melissa Etheridge’s music. Yeah, it may sound like a stereotype, but mention you don’t like Etheridge at a lesbian gathering and the record scratches, and people stare. Really. Try it.

The same thing happens to the gay conservative.

But Christopher Budden says there are more gay conservatives, and “objectivists,” coming out of the political closet.
A 39-year-old gay male, Budden writes his blog, “The Conservative Rainbow,” for everyday right of center political commentary. He reserves the other blog, “The Objective Chronicle,” to try to “dispense with the left/right paradigm and comment on current events from a strictly objectivist point of view – leaving the down and dirty, in the mud politics, aside.” Budden also contributes to and Right Pride.

“I think many gay men and women operate like this,” Budden said. “They think, ‘Since I am gay, I must be a democrat and support the Democratic Party at all costs.’ It’s an extremely myopic attitude not based in any deeper philosophical thoughts about freedom other than ‘What can I get for free from the federal government?’ As we know, nothing is free.”
Currently unemployed with a strong background, professionally, in kitchen and bath design, Budden is considering going back to technical school to get a degree in technical drafting. Once transitioned back into the work force, his goal is to take courses from the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights so he can give lectures to students and businesses on the philosophical constructs of rational egoism/objectivism.

Politically, he considers himself a Libertarian Conservative, but wasn’t always.

Throughout his teens and twenties, Budden leaned toward very socialist beliefs, though he didn’t necessarily identify them as such. “Most people, I tend to believe, get their politics from their parents,” he said, “and then they never question those positions after that. I didn’t really have that experience. My folks were, most definitely, more conservative but we never discussed politics and they certainly never forced their beliefs on me.”
Since he was not educated in politics, Budden says he didn’t know what socialism was. He just knew that “I used to believe in equality of results rather than equality of rights.”

When 9/11 happened, it was the seminal moment of his transformation. After that horrific day, Budden says he started to pay attention to news, current events and the world around him like never before. “I became much more attuned to the political spectrum,” Budden said.

“Very simply, I found myself agreeing, more often than not, with conservatives rather than liberals. It simply seemed to me that every time I heard a democrat or liberal speak, it seemed like lies coming out of their mouths. They said things that I knew were not true, at least from a philosophical perspective. “
Budden submerged himself into studying the American form of government, libertarianism, conservatism and how “freedom was necessarily dependent upon constitutionally limited government.”

As his political views shifted, so did his concern grow that he was siding with a viewpoint that was often at odds with the gay person. It caused conflict, even within himself. So he searched further.

“It led me to search out and find other gay conservatives,” he said. “I knew that I couldn’t be the only one. Eventually, I came across the Log Cabin Republicans, GOProud, and gay conservative spokespeople like Tammy Bruce, Steve Yuhas and Al Rantel. “

The fact that Budden had disagreements with more religious people in regard to civil recognition of marriage didn’t matter in the end. He sought out social networks actively with people he used to believe were against him. He realized, in fact, that if there was hope in recognizing these relationships, he’d have to talk to these people.

“I preferred talking and opening the lines of communication,” Budden said, “as opposed to engaging in the tactics the gay left is famous for, and for which I now find to be extremely immoral and distasteful; that of intimidation and tearing down one’s opponents. I began to understand how throughout history leftists sought to conquer the countries they wanted to take over, and intimidation, tearing down, destroying capitalism, lying and deception were all important elements. Once I made the realization that my former beliefs, which in essence were socialism, I dropped them like a hot potato. I knew I was supporting tyranny if I continued to hold on to those beliefs, and I knew individualism was, in fact, the core of what I needed to retain my freedom as a gay man.”

In terms of creating enemies, and losing friends, over his political beliefs, Budden says he’s “been lucky.” He hasn’t lost any friends due to his views, yet. Not actively seeking to date at the moment, that issue hasn’t come into play, either.

“I must say that it is comforting to know that there are more and more gay conservatives and objectivists coming out of the political closet all the time,” he said.

Budden argues that there are some gay liberals who are “liberal in the classical sense,” meaning socially liberally but fiscally conservative. “However,” he said, “they don’t make the connection that the democrat party, as it is currently configured and run by modern liberals, is really run by leftists. In other words, they don’t understand the philosophical difference between the two types of liberalism. I have run into gay liberals who, once this is explained to them, they have an ‘ah ha!’ moment and proceed to say, ‘Well, that’s true, I’m not a leftist. I never understood this before.’ Then they begin to modify their thinking in regard to their political positions.”

Other gay liberals, he says, are very aware of the difference between classical liberalism and modern liberalism. The former, he argues, is based on freedom, while the latter is based on tyranny. Still, he maintains, “they are leftists and they know what they’re doing.

“They want to destroy capitalism, believe in a welfare state, and want an all-encompassing powerful federal government in order to tell them how to live their lives. I think much of the hardcore gay left falls into this category. They operate from the belief that you must tear down the civil society in order to destroy it, so it can then be rebuilt into a tyrannical structure.”

What Budden has noticed, by and large, is that many gay people feel they must vote democrat based on the gay marriage issue alone. To him, this is extremely damaging to the rest of their freedoms, and reminds people that it is not the federal government’s job to be involved in marriage, gay or straight, in the first place. That, he says, is a state-level issue. Abortion issues, he says, should have remained at a state-level as well.

“The problem with politicians is that they create issues on the federal level,” Budden said,” which should not even be issues, most times in an effort to divide people to get themselves elected or to retain their jobs. Conservative states should have been allowed to keep abortion illegal if they chose and liberal states could have had legalized abortion. The whole purpose of the federalist structure, as set up by the founders, was to restrain the power of the federal government. They knew what happened when too much authority was concentrated in one place – you end up with tyranny. Under federalism, people can vote with their feet. If they don’t like the policies of a particular state, they are able to move to a state that reflects their values.”

Federalism, too, Budden says, was constructed to act as an incubator of sorts, in the sense that if a state wanted to try socialized medicine, for instance, they could. But it wouldn’t affect an entire nation. If it worked, or didn’t, it wouldn’t have affected – and in some cases destroyed – a country.

Modern liberals, Budden maintains, tend to be leftists who disguise themselves as classical liberals. To Budden, this is deceptive, and ultimately has destructive consequences if not challenged by those who know what true freedom means.

“Leftists, or progressives, do not operate psychologically from a reality-based view of the world,” Budden said. “They believe mankind is perfectible, or at the very least that his existence can be perfectible, in a Utopian sense. They honestly believe that all of the worry that accompanies free existence can be gotten rid of – that mankind can live in some kind of Utopian Heaven-on-Earth existence in which he is relieved from the burdens of living. And many times, a very nihilistic world view, the idea that existence has no meaning, accompanies the thought processes of these types of people. This is why you so often see denigration toward all moral and ethical thought.”
Budden also maintains that progressives are quite aware of what their policies have created throughout history. But, he says, that fact is usually ignored.

“Usually, they continue to believe what they believe because they think, ‘It just wasn’t done right or it wasn’t tried by the right people’ in all those failed experiments throughout history,” Budden said. “As much as they view themselves as ‘open-minded’ they, in essence, are really close-minded. They shut off their reasoning faculties because if they actually began to think critically about what it is they espouse, many times their belief system would fall down around them, and they can’t face it. It’s like a five year old having a temper tantrum; there is no room for acknowledgment of that which life and nature does not guarantee to anybody – a worry free existence. Due to this, modern liberals and progressives have learned to disguise their speech and policies amidst lies and deception. Leftists of history many times would have taken over a nation with an armed revolution. Today’s leftists have to be much more subtle in their deceptions – they know people do not give up their freedom that easily.”

Often, conservatives are portrayed as racists, bigots – ignorant fools who wave flags in the face of rational thought. The tea party member who holds the misspelled sign. The republican who “just needs his gun and God.” It’s a misperception, and a damaging one at that, Budden explains.

“Conservative and classically liberal people, I have found, tend to be much better educated,” Budden said, “especially in the areas of philosophy and economics. You have racist and ignorant people in any sub-section of society – no matter what group you are talking about. Many of the gay left are extremely intolerant of those who espouse religious views. They demand tolerance for themselves but refuse to give it – even to the point of shutting their ears to any further conversation. That is the mentality of someone not operating with a grown up, mature attitude – it is still the temper tantrum on an adult level. What I have discovered, since opening myself to more communication among religiously-minded people, is not that they are intolerant of gay men and women per se. They simply see heterosexual marriage as necessary for the sound bedrock of any civil society. That makes them sociologically responsible – not necessarily homophobic; the two conditions are not necessarily interchangeable.”

And where does Budden see the future of the Republican Party headed? For him, he thinks the party has given up its limited government role to the ideas and attitudes commonly expressed by the left. He has heard some say that’ democrats have already won the notion of the need of the welfare state. But the republicans, in fact, think they can manage that welfare state better.”

“This is extremely dangerous,” Budden said. “To a certain degree, republicans have already admitted defeat. They don’t know how to communicate capitalism as a necessary element of any free society – unhinged from the welfare state. It is a morally superior position, but they have, in many respects conceded defeat to the left. If that attitude is not changed with an intense degree of roll-back of left-wing ideological statism, then I truly believe this country will fall just like many other republics have fallen throughout history. It will only be a matter of time before the collapse. We may already be there for all I know.”

Budden has become a sound advocate for objectivism as outlined by Ayn Rand. Having studied much of her work, he considers Rand to be the spokesperson for outlining answers conservatives need to defeat statism. Still, he thinks many continue to shut their eyes to lessons and realities she discovered, and uncovered.

“Republicans have their own demons to exorcise,” Budden said. “They can be collectivist and statist-oriented as well in regard to theocratically collectivist notions. Morality and ethics need not be tied to religious belief. Morality and ethics can be studied and passed on through a philosophical spectrum. The republicans, oftentimes, defeat their own arguments by trying to approach them from a faith-based position. God is not provable. When you begin your argument by basing it on something like God, which is not provable, you’ve already defeated your own argument and helped your enemy. The faith of the right is as mutable as the emotions on which leftist rely, which is why both positions can go horribly wrong.”