Case Study in Leftist Ideology Path Dependence

Source: Power Line

Cast your mind back to the early 1980s for a moment, and the early innings of the AIDS epidemic. It was widely understood that AIDS was predominantly spread through high-risk or unprotected homosexual contact, and public health authorities, even in San Francisco, initially said that gay bathhouses that were venues for casual and largely unprotected sexual encounters should be closed down.

In those days, however, the ethic of “liberation” and “sexual freedom” was riding high, and to be sure, homosexuality was still stigmatized by large portions of the population, such that San Francisco was an oasis for gays celebrating coming out of the closet at long last.

The furious protests of gay activists shouting that they would not be “shoved back into the closet” caused public health authorities to do an immediate about face and retreat from the common sense step of closing the bath houses. Read the Randy Shilts book And the Band Played On for a honest narrative of this shameful response—Shilts was gay himself, and died of AIDS in 1994.

And then the head of the of the infectious disease division of the NIH, a certain Dr. J. Edgar Fauci, declared that heterosexuals were just as much at risk as gays (which was not true), and thus everyone should just wear full-body condoms all the time—only a slight exaggeration, inspired by Naked Gun.

In other words, the leftist politics of liberation trumped sensible public health measures, and thousands of people died because of this political correctness. If ever there was a case of shutting down to “stop the spread,” it was then.

Fast forward to the present moment, and the outbreak of Monkeypox. It is well known that Monkeypox is spread predominantly in much the same way as AIDS, but our public health bureaucracy, now thoroughly politicized partly because of the AIDS epidemic, did cartwheels to avoid directly saying “AVOID unprotected gay sex. Oh, and by the way, can we please change the name of the disease because ‘Monkeypox’ is racist or something. . .”

My hunch was that it’s not 1983 any more, and that straight talk (no pun intended) to gays about the risks of Monkeypox would not summon forth an ideological reaction. Times have changed, and the ideology of sexual freedom uber alles is no longer the primary principle of the gay community.

And sure enough, UPI reports today:

Survey shows gay men cutting back on sex to avoid monkeypox

A survey conducted among American gay and bisexual men in early August found about half saying they’d cut down on sexual activity — including one-night stands and app-based hookups — in response to the global monkeypox outbreak.

The survey, conducted online Aug. 5-15, was led by Kevin Delaney, of the Monkeypox Emergency Response Team at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“These findings suggest that men who have sex with men are already taking actions to protect their sexual health and making decisions to reduce risk to themselves and their partners,” Delaney’s team reported.

The timing of the survey — and its finding that America’s gay male community reacted swiftly to the monkeypox threat — coincides with a recent global decline in monkeypox cases.

Who’s living in the past now? Leftists who learn nothing and forget nothing. And now allowing outdated political correctness to damage the gay population once again.