I feel sorry for my moderately conservative, socially liberal/fiscally conservative (SLFC) friends, of which I have many.
It will probably shock the gollywockers out of you that at one point of my life, I considered myself to be SLFC. I am, after all, both white and male, and, I mean, how many of us white, male, self-acclaimed SLFCs could there be, right? Not many, I’m sure.
But, yes, I was once one.
Therefore, I do actually feel sorry for many friends today because they have spent their lives believing with their hearts and souls that the party they considered themselves part of was actually about truth, justice, and the American Way. I mean, they completely believed it. Totally. Honestly. Fully. And this belief was a justified belief for them. They saw it with their own two eyes—they saw people getting helped, people going to school and getting jobs. They saw businesses growing. Oh, sure, these progressing people were mostly people like them (white, male, and from environments that were considerably mainstream), but there were “lots” of examples of diverse people “pulling their own weight” to prove beyond reasonable doubt that, despite arguments otherwise, the party of the conservative way was absolutely NOT filled to the brim with folks who were, at their core, racist or misogynistic or just basically old-boy, Country Club assholes. Every group has its unsavory underside, of course, but those few republican bad apples were just that, few and far between.
So, yes, unless they pulled their heads out of the sand and took a real look around, it was easy to believe the right was not permeated with pure contempt for the idea of actual, real live equal opportunity for all. It was “easy” to let themselves believe their leaders’ words actually matched their actions. I know this, because I was once pretty much in their camp.
But now …
Now I feel sorry for my moderately conservative SLFC buddies because now they have to decide if they are going to do the hard work it will take to pretend they don’t see the piece of bile-spewing cow crap that’s sitting at the top of their party’s dungheap. They have to look at Donald Trump and the shit storm of aggressively isolation-minded support that’s mired in a layer of racism and white/American superiority so odoriferous they can’t possibly miss it, and they have to find some way of pretending this groundswell of vitriol doesn’t exist. They have to find a way to pretend that this raving lunatic, this massive groundswell of idiocy, does not actually represent the republican party they have aligned themselves with for so long.
They have to pretend that their nominated leader actually has a plan. That he actually knows what the constitution means. They have to tell themselves that he doesn’t actually mean the words he says. They have to find a way to suggest that Trump’s business acumen (whatever it is) will translate to making and executing cogent policy. Somehow in God’s name, or whatever power they believe in’s name, they have to actually look at the guy their party nominated and find a way to convince themselves that if they stand by Trump they are not, themselves, one of the horde of racially driven, science-ignorant, short-minded people who have now been proven beyond reasonable doubt to be the MAJORITY of the Republican Party.
I get it. I do.
After thinking these guys were just a few bad apples, it’s hard to accept they actually comprise a majority of folks in the room.
To make matters worse, I feel sorry for my moderately conservative republican friends because when they wake up and see the truth of the matter (which they will, because they are intelligent people on the whole—even if a bit oblivious), they will be faced with the idea that if they change their minds and actually want to save the world from this ridiculous airbag of a comic book villain, they will now have to vote for a person who, for many very justifiable reasons, they absolutely despise. It also sucks for them that this person they find so hard to accept is actually capable of running the office of the president. And, yes, they will realize that they really do have to decide between Trump and Clinton, because, having finally seen the truth of the crowd behind Trump, and being intelligent, they will clearly see that the emotionally-expedient sugar-high of voting third party will do absolutely nothing but put this insanely bad candidate and the people who are supporting him into the most powerful single seat that exists on the planet.
And, when they finally get to looking into the mirror, that will be an unacceptable result.
So, this has to suck for them. Really, it does.
I feel sorry for them.
I wish it had not taken this kind of a shake up to draw their attention to the facts about the make-up of their party. It would have been easier if they had seen it earlier and maybe found another person to get behind, but these kinds of beliefs only break when they are put under pressure of obvious facts, and they are only put under that kind of pressure when the shit hits the fan.
And let’s make no bones about it, an entire mountain of shit has now hit the fan for my moderately minded conservative republican friends.
The question is: what will happen next? I have some thoughts on that, and I have some thoughts on the Hillary conundrum, too. But they can wait.
For now, just know that I feel sorry for my moderately conservative SLFC friends.
There is only so much lipstick you can put on a pig, after all, and eventually true colors present themselves.
If you consider yourself a moderate Republican, I think you need to take a real look around you and see who you’re standing with. I mean really standing with.
“Slaves who worked there were well-fed and had decent lodging provided by the government”
– Bill O’Reilly, Fox News
I mean … really?
Yes, my friends. It’s time to take a good, hard look in the mirror and decide who you really are. I know that’s hard. After years of either missing what’s happening around you or just flat-out pretending not to see it, it’s difficult to admit you’ve been blind something so huge and so obvious.
But it’s time now.