Yeah, the heading is a little inflammatory and if you want to, you can skip to the end of this post to see just that point. I hope however you read the entire post.
One thing this week has taught me is that for many Americans nothing I am going to say, nothing at all, is going to make one lick of difference. Millions of women and men marched in the streets around the country (and the world) for women’s rights, LGBT rights, minority rights, immigrant rights – – human rights – – on the 21st (estimated at 3 million people).
I watched part of the rally held in Washington on TV and was somewhat dismayed. While I love that the left and progressive side has a big inclusive tent, I realized while watching it that if there was a thought that anyone to the right-of-center was going to find common ground with them, it was not going to happen.
I deliberately went to Facebook and looked at comments on pages that I knew would be right-leaning. I did this despite knowing that I would probably be depressed and possibly even physically ill to my stomach when I was done. What I found confirmed my opinion. While some who are right-leaning truly want to understand what the march was about, most people that I saw commenting do not care what the left thinks. They do not want a big inclusive tent. They believe the big inclusive tent is part of the problem. Some of the most disheartening comments came from people in my local community.
They truly believe that they have been left behind over the last 8 years and now that they are the ones in power. They believe that their wants and needs will now be taking care of. You can stand on your head all you want and explain that when Barack Obama took over in January of 2009 the economy was already in bad shape and that it is greatly improved. You can explain that there was a global recession and that people everywhere were in trouble. You can explain that the stock market had risen 13000 points. You can explain that the housing market is back where it was in 2006. You can say that Planned Parenthood is 97% health care for poor people and that no federal funding goes to abortions and they won’t believe you. They do not care that the new Cabinet is filled with the same people that they would have complained bitterly about if anyone else had set it up.
They will reply with anectodal stories: their great-aunt who had to go bankrupt, that they had to take a loss on their house, that they lost their job and they’re working for less money, that their insurance went up $300 a month. While that is all anecdotal, it is real enough for them which I certainly understand because it’s personal to them and because it did happen to them. They may not realize that it happened to some of us too but that we’re not circling the wagons with an “Us versus Them” mentality.
Many of these people truly believe that the media spins things against them. They only believe Fox and Breitbart and any other news is not credible. When I look up some of their facts I find that only right-wing conspiracy websites, Fox or Breitbart, have reported on those facts and to these people that is proof enough that the liberal media is not credible– because why aren’t they posting about it. Isn’t that proof?
And then there are those that don’t read or watch the news at all. I have no idea where they are getting their information from. This week I learned that they do not know that there have been bomb threats against Jewish community centers around the country over the last two weeks. Even Breitbart reported about those.
Because of our new commander-in-chief they do not trust the intelligence community. They do not trust the news media. They do not trust anybody outside of their party. Therefore, anything that is said or done by anyone in those groups is suspect. This is how it’s going to be for the next four years. Frankly I’m afraid this is how it’s going to be for a very long time.
I see some similar viewpoints on the far left progressive side as well.
I had a conversation with a friend yesterday about the fact that I am too far to the left for my conservative friends and too far to the right for my more liberal and progressive friends. His reply was that it is out of vogue to be a moderate. I replied that it’s been out of vogue since I was first eligible to vote (1979). But this is where I am and this is where I’m comfortable. I will continue to voice my opinion as I see fit and I know that I will make people on both sides uncomfortable sometimes.
So I’m going to say something largely unpopular to both groups.
To my liberal and progressive friends, if you are not regularly contacting your senators and representatives about bills that are being presented for votes then you are part of the problem. Griping on Facebook is not going to get the job done. Marching makes a point but by itself is not going to get the job done. Our Congress and our local state legislators work for us. Even DT works for us although he may loathe to admit it. It is our job to speak loudly and to make our voices heard. But that means making regular phone calls to Congress and our local legislators. I guarantee you they are not trolling Facebook to determine what you think.
For those people that consider me to be a friend, think very hard the next time you make a blanket statement calling someone to the left of you a libtard or a snowflake. Because you’re calling me that. I don’t mind that we have a disagreement over policy. I don’t mind that we have a difference of opinion. But if you like me or at least respect me, may I suggest that you cut that language out of your vocabulary, and if you won’t, please understand that it will be very difficult to remain friends with somebody that can be so disrespectful to me. Because you may just think it’s rhetoric but it is piercing my heart. I am taking it to heart.