So let’s just start with a fundamental truth: the difference between a Liberal and a Conservative is that a Liberal believes that everyone should be able to live as they choose so long as it’s not hurting anyone else, whereas a Conservative believes that everyone should live exactly as they do, and that the government should make sure of it. I’m sure this seems like an outrageous statement to Conservatives, but it’s true (suck it big time), and we’ll have a little lesson on that point later.
Moving on, this past weekend the LA Times published two left vs. right opinions on the topic of how to talk to the other side, a topic we’ve been exploring in this blog. I’m not going to attempt to sway conservatives at this point anymore—the goal of this blog from now on will be to make rational arguments to those who are willing to listen. Charlotte Allen’s (the Conservative) recent piece in the Times is a perfect example of why rational Americans should reject the Conservative ideology, which, at its most fundamental core, is hateful and horrifying.
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-allen-it-is-not-possible-to-talk-to-liberals-20120219,0,4795838.story (the article, if you want to read it)
First, she argues that liberals believe conservatives are evil, whereas conservatives just believe we’re “silly.” I’m sure this is why Obama is labeled on right wing radio and Fox News everyday as a socialist, Marxist, fascist from Kenya who believes in Islam and hates America, right? He’s just a silly head: a silly head who is also a dangerous, bloodthirsty savage hell bent on killing us all!
Sarcasm aside, she then goes on to state that liberals are unbelievably judgmental, because “tell a liberal that you hope President Obama is defeated in the upcoming election, and you’ll be branded a racist.” She continues that if you, “voice your opposition to same-sex marriage…you’re a homophobe.” Moreover, Allen claims that just because someone is opposed to building a Mosque near Ground Zero, supports the Tea Party, or wants to defund planned parenthood, doesn’t mean they’re an Islamophobe, anti-poor people, anti-woman, or anti tolerance. No, it’s simply that Liberals are too judgmental…
OK, let’s take this point by point:
1) Liberals don’t believe all Conservatives are racist, but we do know that all racists are Conservatives. And let’s make it clear that the racism we’re talking about is white against black racism. Yes, other racism does exist, but not in the entrenched or nasty and dangerous way it does for African Americans, who were institutionally enslaved on the basis of their race. So no, just because you don’t want Obama to be re-elected doesn’t mean you are racist. But you’re voting right along side everyone else who is.
2) If you are opposed to same sex marriage, you ARE a homophobe. Now, conservatives may not technically be “afraid” of gays/lesbians as the term phobia implies, but if you believe that the U.S. and state governments should discriminate against people based on their sexual orientation, then you are a bigot—period, end of story.
Look, if the argument is that clearly believing in government sponsored bigotry against a particular group of people is not indicative of, in effect, hating them, then I don’t know what does. Put it this way: if I came up to and told you that not only you should you not have the right to get married to the person you love, but I’m going to actively advocate against you in this regard, would you say, “oh that’s OK, I respect that you don’t believe I’m as human as you are?” I don’t think so.
And let’s be clear: no one, not even the most leftist liberal, is suggesting that churches should have to marry gays and lesbians if it violates their religious tenets. All liberals are advocating for is the right for gays and lesbians to be issued a marriage license by the state government.
So, yeah, if you tell me that you are opposed to same sex marriage as a matter of politics, I do think you are a horrible person, because…well, you are.
3) If you believe a Mosque shouldn’t be built near Ground Zero, then you don’t believe in the First Amendment, or the Fourteenth (the same could be said of the last point as well). Basically, you are saying that because some people claiming to be Muslim committed mass murder, all Muslims are bad, and we should disregard the Constitution when it comes to the freedom of religion and equal protection under the law for all American citizens. So should we outlaw the building of Christian churches in Oklahoma City as well? How about Waco, Texas? Why is it that white, Christian terrorists get a pass on this issue?
Again, if you genuinely believe this Liberals are 100% right in being horrified that any American with an ounce of sense would hold such a view, especially given that this nation was founded by people seeking the freedom to practice their religion without government interference. If a group of Muslims has the money to rent a building or space and turn it into a mosque, it shouldn’t matter where it is that they want to practice their faith, because this country DOES NOT discriminate against people on the basis of their religion. I mean, isn’t that what makes our country BETTER than theirs—that we allow people to practice their faith without throwing a fit about it?
4) So I’m going to combine the last two (I think we’ve already clearly proven that Conservatives are anti-tolerance): why supporters of Republicans and Conservatives can legitimately be labeled “anti-poor” and “anti-woman.” It shouldn’t be news to anyone that Conservatives want to cut schools, cut government, cut welfare, cut unemployment, cut, cut, cut, and then cut some more. Well, who is going to be impacted by all these cuts? The poor, right? I mean, the rich can pay for whatever they need in life, and if you notice, the only things Conservatives haven’t proposed getting rid of are tax subsidies for multinational corporations or the Bush tax cuts. Oh, and they certainly don’t want to cut the military budget, which by the way, is six times bigger than China’s. In other words, Conservatives want to cut the size and scope of government, but ONLY for programs that help the poor or act as equalizers in our society, like public schools, which are meant to give every child a chance to work hard and realize the American dream. So, I’d say it is pretty fair to say that Conservatives hate the poor; at least, if not in conscience, than in practice.
And by this time, we ought to know they hate women. Not only do they want to stop women from getting abortions, but now they want to prevent them from getting birth control as well. In fact, these “pro-life” Conservatives are so in favor of defunding Planned Parenthood, they don’t care if that means fewer women will be screened for breast cancer or other potentially life threatening diseases, or that poor women receive all kinds of health services at these clinics.
Well, we’ve now clearly established that Conservatives hate gays, lesbians, Muslims, the poor, and women, which makes them the antithesis of tolerance. Liberals find this abhorrent, disgusting, and totally at odds with our Constitution and the nature as a free society. Maybe this is why Charlotte’s liberal friends don’t want to be friends with her anymore, because from a rational standpoint, she’s a detestable human being. Sure, she absolutely has the right to think whatever she wants—but it doesn’t mean we have to like it.
Anyway, to get back to the point we started with, Conservatives seem to believe that the government should basically operate as a tyrannical instrument that dictates morality based on the notions of whoever happens to be screaming the loudest at the time or whoever claims to be most offended…
My question: isn’t it possible to be offended by something or opposed to a particular behavior without banning it, throwing someone in jail for a thousand years, or violating the Constitution? Isn’t it possible to be opposed to the idea of gay marriage religiously without demanding that the government ban it? Isn’t it possible to think that smoking and drinking are harmful drugs that you don’t want to use without making them illegal? Isn’t it possible to keep all of our little prejudices and opinions in our personal lives without taking action?
It is. I mean, I hate that we allow obese people to eat so much (I’m talking about the people that are so fat they have to roll around on a cart in the grocery store, the people that are so fat they can’t even really walk or wear normal clothing). They’re a massive burden on our healthcare system, and personally, I think it is disgusting and ridiculous that people don’t try to be at least a tiny bit conscious of their health. However, how can the government possibly regulate this without violating people’s rights? Answer: it can’t. Moreover, am I being a hypocrite (not the skinniest guy in the world for certain) by placing my values/beliefs before those of others? Answer: yup. I mean, why shouldn’t someone be free to eat as much as they want if that’s how they want to live their life? Answer: they probably should, even though I think it’s awful.
To me, this is the very principle of freedom and democracy, and it goes back to our foundations: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
Part of what Jefferson meant in “The Declaration of Independence” is that if we believe in the freedom of speech, it only means something if we believe it means that people have the right to say things that we hate. The freedom of religion means that we believe in the right of others to practice a religion other than our own, whether or not we consider it foreign or taboo. It means that quite frankly, as long as the pursuit of happiness doesn’t deprive others of life or liberty, then people should be able to do whatever they want without the government stepping in.
Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.