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A message for–and from–Matt Sanchez

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By Michelle Malkin  •  March 8, 2007 08:05 AM

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Last night, hate-filled liberals on MSNBC attemped to smear Marine Corporal Matt Sanchez and conservatives who honored him at CPAC for his support of the military at Columbia University. They gleefully showed photos of Cpl. Sanchez at the event–including ones I took–in mockery after his gay porn past was outed by left-wing blogs. They cackled “Semper Fi.”

I said the other day I thought CPAC organizers would be justified in being embarrassed if the rumors about Sanchez’s porn star past 15 years ago turned out to be true. Well, the rumors are true. But it is neither CPAC nor Cpl. Sanchez who should feel embarrassed.

It’s the nasty, gloating liberals who claim to stand for tolerance, privacy, human rights, and compassion. I predicted the other day that left-wing bigotry would rear its ugly head. I was right. The e-mail I’ve received is more disgusting than anything Ann Coulter stupidly said at CPAC. And I can imagine the vitriol Cpl. Sanchez is enduring.

We are all fallible people. My friend and colleague Bryan Preston says it well:

At the heart of the New Testament is a book called Corinthians, in which Paul describes some of the early Christians thus:

Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

“…and such were some of you…” He’s talking to some of the first Christians. Those people had histories. But change is possible.

Cpl. Sanchez sent me a link and text of the original version of a piece published last night in Salon. I am reprinting the entire piece here. It is a powerful message about the hypocrisy of liberals, the pernicious effects of the pornography industry on the soul, the phoniness of “diversity” rhetoric, and the utter pettiness of the scandal-mongers–more powerful than any Washington pundit or social policy expert could send.

This sums it up:

Why did I become a conservative? Just look at what I left, and look at who is attacking me today.

Cpl. Sanchez, it was an honor to meet you and a privilege to know you.

***

A message from Cpl. Matt Sanchez:

Was I totally clueless? When I stepped forward to talk about an anti-military bias at Columbia of course I knew my life would come under some scrutiny. We hear it everyday, with the universality of the internet, it’s impossible to have privacy. We have all done things no one wants to be advertised, but the truth is most of us aren’t important enough to rate more than a bit of gossip from a snubbed co-worker or some derision from an embittered rival. For most, life is fairly routine, but for those rare few who dare to be different, it can be a lot more harrowing.

Being Hispanic, a 100% American flag-waving red-blooded Reagan Republican, and living in New York City, I sometimes think of myself as a progressive: my views started off liberal but I progressed to conservatism. People constantly ask “How can you be a conservative, they’re so hateful.” Obviously, these poor souls have never received a Jeanne Kirkpatrick Academic Freedom Award from a Conservative Political Action Committee like I did this weekend.

Let me step back a second, because most of you don’t have a clue what I’m talking about. In September 2005, I complained about military bias at Columbia University—New York City’s finest institution of higher learning (and I truly mean that). My fellow veterans were proud of me, happy that someone had finally spoken out. It is unfortunate Salon.com and most liberal blogs and media chose to ignore this issue. In fact, it’s even more unfortunate that ONLY conservative (traditional for you O’Reilly fans) were interested. Given the left’s constant talk about equality, discrimination, minority rights and systemic oppression, I thought appearing on CNN or MSNBC would have been a media no-brainer, a great way of spreading the non-partisan word, but so much is political today—even the double-standards have talking points.

It was a cold morning in Manhattan and I was late for classes, despite being a bit groggy from studying for my midterms, and working full-time at a marketing firm where I just made partner. I don’t drink coffee and in my morning haze, I didn’t notice the mounting messages on my obsidian Blackberry. I couldn’t distinguish the spam from the hate mail.

We all have a tendency to want to hate the enemy; I suppose that’s why Ann Coulter got applause when she used the term ragheads (that was the last Coulter scandal, or was it the Jersey Girls?) I also suppose that’s why I got so much invective when bloggers posted decade-plus pictures of me that I knew were still around, but simply chose to ignore. Did I think I could become a “public figure” without some scrutiny? Of course not! Am I so craven for attention that I’ll stop at anything to get it? I’m the first to admit that I want to be heard, read and taken seriously, but some issues really are simple and some are more complex. I always hear the complaint of information reduced to sound bytes and of the lack of depth in public discourse. Well, porn is porn; self-explanatory and of little depth. The pictures do pretty much all the talking, and in an age when pictures are so abundant, they don’t say much. I’m concerned many will feel inadequate, as a conservative, I like to insist on equal opportunity even if some start off with more than others.

I don’t like porn, it reduces the mind, flattens the soul. That’s not hypocrisy talking, that’s experience. If I started off with liberal leanings, being on a gay porn set should have been heaven. In porn, everything taboo is trivialized and everything trivial is projected. How does a conservative trace his roots to such distasteful beginnings? Like all followers of a cult, it’s tough to figure out when you stopped believing in the party-line, but I can tell you that by the time I finished my summer tour of the major studios, I was pretty disgusted with myself. It was an emotional low, and the people who surrounded me were like drug dealers only interested in being with the anesthetized in order not to shake off the stupor of being high. Why did I become a conservative? Just look at what I left, and look at who is attacking me to today? Let’s face it people, you’re all cynical enough to know that if I had espoused liberal causes, spoken out against the military, got a liberal award for courage and then outed with a porn-past, you’d be clamoring for my memoir, and nominating me for a diversity ticket with Barack Obama. Instead those who complain about wire-tapping reserve the right to eavesdrop on my private life for political brownie points. Sure, I took a picture with Ann Coulter, I don’t endorse what she said, but anyone in the military would defend her right to say it. I realize that sounds prohibitively phony, but gee it’s really true! The right to say things is precious and like so many others, my decision to serve after September 11th is even a more salient point of my past. I feel I’m duty bound to help out my fellow veterans in any fight, both foreign and domestic. The issue of anti-military bias on campus is enormous and the CPAC was correct to recognize the gravity of the situation and award those who act for change. With so many experiences since the last George Bush was in power, you’ll have to forgive me for not listing a summer job in my resume, so many years later. It’s just a part of my past, and like anyone who reflects on the past realizes, it contributes to who I am today. No apologies, just recognition. No running away, just moving forward.

I’m not clueless, I saw Jeff Ganon at the CPAC. I didn’t speak to him, and had never met him, but he seemed fine to me, despite the minor media scandal last year, or was it the year before??? It’s hard to keep track, in fact, so many scandals come and go in such a rapid cycle, like the 24 frames it takes for one second of film to give the cinematic illusion of reality. I wonder if I’m just being blasé or the readers really think the tit-for-tat sport of political “gotcha!!” amounts to something more than a Mc’Opinion: easily digested and effortlessly spewed as another “I hate those people!” anecdote. I learned a lot at the CPAC, mostly that I’m not as right-wing among the true believers as I feel in a place like New York, where people glibly promote diversity unless you don’t agree with them. I also learned that there are noteworthy citizens in this country who are dutifully engaged in public discourse and intimately committed to the autonomy of the individual. I accepted my award and spoke with great pride.

I am embarrassed to say, I thought my fellow conservative friends would distance themselves when this news came out, and I’m touched that the opposite has happened. I’ve been asked to give my point of view, invited to speak at various functions, invited to back on TV and most people have gone out of their way to give me their vote of confidence and avoid a rush to judgment. That’s really nice, I appreciate the support, but some conversations are worth having, and I’ve achieved a major victory with changing Columbia’s policy toward the military. I’m just not sure what in the world anyone wants to hear, besides his or her own dismay on how big a scandal this is, when it’s just another blip on the blogosphere.

***

Cassandra at Villanous Company:

Not content with trying to make all conservatives responsible for the perceived bigotry of Ann Coulter, now liberals want to punish Corporal Matt Sanchez for what they perceive to be the bigotry of the conservative movement as a whole.

The editorial staff has a question for these people. What did they hope to accomplish with their outing of Corporal Sanchez’ past activities? The Left is always complaining that gays face horrible bigotry and discrimination in society – that gays have to hide their sexual orientation out of fear, that the ‘religious theocrats’ of the right search out and punish anyone who doesn’t fall in line with their moral majority family values agenda. They honestly believe this.

And apparently they can’t wait to expose Matt Sanchez to the delights of the world as they see it.

Is nothing – even chapters of one’s life that are now closed – private anymore? Or didn’t they stop to think of the possible repercussions? Maybe they just don’t care. In their minds, whatever happens will serve him right for having the nerve to disagree with them politically.

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