The Divided States of America
I had an epiphany this week. Dyed-in-the-wool Liberals think I’m a bad person. I don’t mean they just disagree with me; they truly think I am evil. While I believe most liberals to be generally well-meaning, but misguided or uninformed, many think of me as a hateful person who revels in human suffering and who cares only for myself. They see my calls for budget cuts as proof that I don’t care about the poor, and am fine with old people starving and dying in the streets. They see any criticism of President Obama’s policies as proof of racism. They see my opposition to anti-global warming legislation and regulation as prima facie evidence that I don’t care for the environment.
This is nothing new, of course. It is stuff you hear all the time. But I guess I always assumed it was over-the-top, hyperbolic rhetoric meant to fire up their base. I am no stranger to hyperbole. My Facebook debates with my liberal friends are replete with it, my comments often marinated in sarcasm. It’s part of the fun of debating liberals; taking the truth and giving it a conservative, candy-coated shell. Yet at the end of the day, we all know that the core of our comments represent our true beliefs, but those beliefs are sprinkled with a heavy helping of trash-talking.
My epiphany came in the form of the unscripted comments of one David Chalian, unaware he was speaking near an open microphone. No run-of-the-mill Occupy protestor, Chalian was the Washington Bureau Chief for Yahoo! News, former political editor for PBS Newshour, and faculty member at Georgetown University. This is a seasoned political media member, which makes his comments all the more shocking.
In reference to the Republican National Convention in progress even as Hurricane Isaac made landfall in New Orleans, Chalian said “They’re not concerned at all. They’re happy to have a party with black people drowning” (tellingly, he did not attribute the same glee to Obama, who was at yet another fundraiser). Again, this was not the calculated comments of some left-wing politico at a rally for Occupy Wall Street or Code Pink trying to whip the lefty lunatic fringe into a froth; this was the blunt, off-the-cuff comments of a respected journalist who actually believed what he was saying. And that is what bothers me. Not what he said, because it’s nothing worse than anything Joe “Back in Chains” Biden, or Kenny G-clone Debbie Wasserman Schultz, have said; but the simple fact that, for the first time, I realized that this liberals actually believe me and my conservative friends truly hate other people different from us.
Understanding that now puts other comments from liberal Democrats and media members in a whole new light. Consider some of things that liberals have said lately about conservatives, and then consider what that means for our future political discourse and the ability to find middle ground if our political opposition believes us to be not just wrong, but evil. In addition to the ad showing a Paul Ryan look-alike rolling an elderly woman off a cliff, or the ad implying Romney was responsible for the death of a steel worker’s wife, or the constant claims from the left that the is a war against women being waged by Republicans, there are these jewels:
“Because of the Citizens United decision, Karl Rove and the Republicans are looking forward to a breakfast the day after the election. They are going to assemble 17 angry old white men for breakfast, some of them will slobber in their food, some will have scrambled eggs, some will have oatmeal, their teeth are gone. But these 17 angry old white men will say, ‘Hey, we just bought America. Wasn’t so bad. We still have a whole lot of money left.’” —Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)
“Bless their hearts, [Republicans] act upon their beliefs. It’s an ideology — we shouldn’t have a government role. So, reduce the police, the firemen, the teachers. Reduce the role. Give tax cuts to the high end… And I say to them, do you have children who breathe air? Do you have grandchildren who drink water? … As a mom, I was vigilant about food safety, right moms? I mean, if you could depend on the government for one thing it was that you had to be able to trust the water that our kids drank and the food that they ate. But this is the E. coli club. They do not want to spend money to do that.” – House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi
“Paul Ryan … may look young and hip and new generation, with his iPod full of heavy metal jams and his cute kids. But he’s just a fresh face on a Taliban creed — the evermore antediluvian, anti-women, anti-immigrant, anti-gay conservative core.” ~ Maureen Dowd, New York Times
“Now, [Todd] Akin’s choice of words isn’t the real issue here. The real issue is a Republican party — led by Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan — whose policies on women and their health are dangerously wrong. I’m outraged at the Republicans trying to take women back to the dark ages.” —DNC head Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL)
The comments constantly made by the left and the media were such a caricature of our beliefs that it was hard to fathom anyone actually believed them. A tiny bit of common sense and observation would reveal such assertions as patently false. Conservatives aren’t greedy, they just want to keep more of what they earn to use as THEY see fit, and that includes substantial charitable giving. According to a recent study published by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, the most generous Americans were those that were religious, conservative, and living in “red” states.
We don’t want to abandon the elderly, we just realize that bankrupting our nation by expanding insolvent entitlement programs does no favor for them in the long run if the economy collapses; empty promises don’t feed or shelter grandma.
Conservatives are not the ones that look at society through the prism of sex and race. We are the ones calling for a meritocracy. But that doesn’t fit the liberal media narrative, as evidenced by the MSM coverage which kept switching to commentary whenever a woman or minority was speaking at the RNC. Had they wanted America to see diversity along those lines, they could have enjoyed rousing speeches by minorities/ women like former Bush Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, Alabama Congressman Artur Davis, Utah Congressonal candidate Mia Love, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, and Texas Senate candidate Ted Cruz, just to name a few. Yet Democrats, desperate to retain power, feel they must divide America along racial, gender, and socio-economic lines and pit us against each other, hoping to cobble together just enough votes to maintain their death grip on power.
On the other hand, I admit it amuses me to think of the conflicted feelings liberals must have towards my libertarian friends, many of whom support homosexual marriage and decriminalizing drug use, but would gut or eliminate most government programs and agencies even more than the average conservative.
So to liberals everywhere, know this. I have hate in my heart for no man, and want to see everyone succeed on their merits, with each of us lifting up the poor and downtrodden out of the kindness of our hearts, not because government puts a gun to our head and steals our wallet to redistribute the wealth. Why? Because I understand that when government grows too powerful, the only ones that win are those in charge.