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Dear Conservative Friends, What You Mean, What You Say, What We Hear & Why The Differences Matter

October 12, 2012

I’ve been getting some new readers. Waves to new readers. Hope you stick around.

A number of those readers, and several of my friends are conservatives. More than a few of them have asked me this question.

“Why do liberals always accuse conservatives of being racist, sexist, ageist, ableist, anti homosexual, hateful and ignorant?That’s not what we’re saying!”

I used to laugh until I realized they meant it.

OK, that’s a little shocking but I’ll try to explain.

What your say is “We’re going to TAKE OUR COUNTRY BACK!” That sentence, in and of itself, is fine. Liberals use it too.

What I assume the logical conservatives mean is “We are going to return our party and thus our political ideology to a position of control within the executive branch!” Neither does that sentence pose any problem. I mean, half of the country doesn’t agree with that sentiment, but that’s just how politics works.

What the Left hears and what the Far Right appears to mean is “We are going to return our nation to a social, political, and economic state which we believe existed at some previous point in our nation’s history!”

And that’s where our problems start.

Why are these two TV families my examples? Several reasons.

1. They are a straight couple with children.

2. They mother in each case is a housewife.

3. Both of their children are male.

4. They are solidly middle class to well off.

5. They are young.

6. They are all able bodied.

7. They are Caucasians. Every one of their friends is a Caucasian. Everyone they pass on the street is a Caucasian. All of their children’s teachers are Caucasian. All of the husband’s coworkers are Caucasian. The only People of Color they will ever interact with will be dressed like this.

 

More likely they would have been  able to avoid anyone who did not match their whitewashed understanding of the world altogether.

Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgenders and every other queer little darling would have been invisible, relegated to the ranks of the mentally ill. Working families, a class of people who have always existed and always will, are too. They elderly who need a social safety net? Nowhere. Hispanics, Asians, Arabs, Native Americans? Nowhere.

8. They are fictional! Families like this were fabricated for television consumption! It is possible that certain people had lives similar to this but they were far from the standard.

And the farther Right one goes, the farther back in time the groups want to push us.

Clearly some members of Congress want to move back to the 1840s so we don’t have to worry about that pesky evolution thing anymore.

And then there are the members of Congress who want to push us back to the 1780s “when men were men,” and if they were Caucasian property owners and everyone else fell into one of two categories, 3/5 of a person or not at all a person.

When you say “TAKE OUR COUNTRY BACK!” and immediately pivot to examples of how the past was so much better than it is right now, what we, everyone who doesn’t already agree with you, hear is that time of danger and hate and suppression and degradation and rape and often outright murder for so very many of your fellow citizens was great! And that’s the goal that we should be working toward for our nation.

The fault, in this specific case, is not with the listener because at least a portion of the Far Right is saying exactly that. “Slavery was a blessing,” or “some girls rape easy,” or stating that some forms of rape are legitimate and some are not,” and on and on.

You’re send a very specifically targeted message and you’re not being misunderstood. We understand what you’re saying. We find it reprehensible.

One of three things is happening here. Either, people on the sliding scale of right wing ideology don’t understand what they are saying and how reprehensible it is, you agree with what is happening here, or you too find the message reprehensible but not enough to do something about.

Either way. I hope you now understand the reaction from the logical left.

See you at the polls.

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