In an attempt to portray Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum as an unreasonable bigot, liberal advocacy group Think Progress has released a heavily edited video of a recent Santorum speech. The Think Progress video has gone viral on the left-wing bloggersphere and the dishonest editing does a tremendous disservice to the entire same-sex marriage debate as well as Santorum.
Below is the entire video that Think Progress didn't show you:
FULL VIDEO INSERT
First, let's look at the edits. I loaded two clips of the exchange at New England College onto my editing software. When I lined them up, you can clearly see that Think Progress made a number of edits throughout the piece. Take a look at these two screen grabs from my editing systems timeline. The first one shows just how much of the video Think Progress cut out. The top clip is the Think Progress version, the bottom clip is the full unedited Q&A.
In the second screen grab I've zoomed into the timeline, you can see that Think Progress also made three different edits within the excerpt.
What did Think Progress not want its viewers to see?
A few of the edits reveal that the audience was actually eager for Santorum to move on to another question and stop engaging in the same-sex marriage discussion. It's to candidate Santorum's credit that he doesn't shy away from the discussion and is completely open to civil, reasoned dialogue.
Another major edit in the piece has Santorum expounding on why it is logical and consistent based on the premise of expanding the definition of marriage to include same-sex marriage to ask whether this expanded definition should also include marriage to more than one partner.
Think Progress also significantly cut Santorum's conclusion that advocates of same-sex marriage should be willing to have an honest discussion and be logically consistent about what expanding the definition of marriage would mean.
The issue of comparing same-sex marriage to polygamy is the entire crux of the Think Progress freak out. Part of the reason I believe that Think Progress has to resort to such blatantly dishonest selective editing techniques is that Rick Santorum is actually the one being logical, consistent and reasonable in this discussion and it's Think Progress who is resorting to blatant double edged bigotry. First, there is their normal daily run-of-the-mill bigotry against conservatives, trying to paint their every position as illogical or out of mainstream thinking. Second and more subtle, Think Progress is basing their whole argument on an unspoken and unexplained bigotry against polygamy between consensual adults.
I actually wrote an article about the logical consistency between same-sex marriage and polygamous marriage for the Huffington Post three years ago
. I concluded by saying…
I'm in favor of real marriage equality. Love the one you're with. Love the two or more you're with, if you can work that out. Marry them if you're into that kind of thing. But until the gay marriage movement embraces polygamy...well, they are just acting like bigots and haters, aren't they?
I personally take a more classic liberal/libertarian position on same-sex marriage and view it as a contractual issue between consenting adults. It's logically consistent with this view to consider polygamy a perfectly valid comparison. You'll note that at no point does Think Progress attempt to justify their own unspoken bigotry against consensual polygamy.
Personally, I don’t agree with Rick Santorum’s ultimate conclusion on the issue of gay marriage but, his analysis –is accurate. Honest national dialog has been short circuited by the bullying and dishonesty of the institutional left. The point isn't to get into the weeds on a debate about same-sex marriage. The point is that reasonable people can disagree about this in a civil manner. In fact, that's exactly what happened at New England College with Rick Santorum. However, rather than commend him for engaging in a long-term discussion about the issue, Think Progess decided to distort his position by severely editing his point and the way he was making it, once again showing why the Left is consistently the enemy of real, rational debate.