No, Liberals Don't Hate Conservatives.
By Erin Bella on March 30, 2012
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Don't you just hate Republicans?
Um...no. By the way, it's really ignorant to think I'd hate someone just because they subscribe to different politics. It's akin to you asking if you hate me just because I'm Black. Sure, there are some racist pricks out there who see the world in terms of black and white, but most of us know we can have our differences, fight to the death, and still not kill each other over of a social construct that doesn't wholly define any of us. That's true for Black and white, Democrat and Republican, Tar Heels and Blue Devils.
I promise, everyone I hate is hated for very good reason. It's not just because of their political ideologies. A Republican Duke fan might be hated just on GP. Two wrongs make someone very much in the wrong.
Image: "Play Nice" by nosha via Flickr
But you're liberal. I thought liberals hate conservatives and conservatives hate liberals.
Are you drunk right now? No? Oh...ok, fine. I'll stop playing dumb.
In truth, everything you hear about the two-party political system has party dwellers diametrically opposed to one another. But that kind of black and white thinking doesn't work for diets, race, or politics. Don't believe the hype that the parties are divided by a single vertical line, where liberals fall left and conservatives fall right. It's more like a spectrum. My position on abortion is pro-choice, so I'd plot a dot on the far left along with my dot for a progressive tax rate. And while I don't think the government should be in the healthcare business, since the industry has gotten out of control and threatens the economic freedom of way too many Americans, then I do support universal healthcare funded from the tax base -- although I hope it's not implemented in the way public schools are funded. Where's that dot go? Left of center, I suppose.
All of that is enough to get some right-winged conservatives spewing hateful rhetoric at me. I don't care. We all have rights and the government's role is to protect those rights from the state, religion, and business. I don't hate people who are pro-life or anti-socialized medicine. I don't understand war hungry, fundamentalist Christians who want to keep the government out of healthcare yet in the same breath want to pull in the reigns on women's reproductive rights. It sounds like utter hypocrisy to me. To them, it sounds like protecting the rights of the people. It's why there are so many denominations of Christian Protestantism; everyone's got their own interpretation.
I lean towards the liberal, but depending on who you ask, that word means something different. To me, it means having a government that protects the constitutional rights and interests of the people above all other interests. The balance between "freedom of" and "freedom from" is a delicate one. It takes a strong federal government to strike that balance and to garner the trust necessary to govern the masses. But that's an opinion. Someone else might be of the opinion that less is more. But a weak federal government makes room for strong state governments that I know would run amok with unrestrained powers. I'm suspicious of anyone shouting "states' rights." I'm Black. Not only do I not trust the states, I don't trust the people all too much either. Young Black boys in hoodies don't scare me; old white men in suits do.
Call me naive, but I think Washington is the lesser of 51 evils. And yes, I realize just how sad that is.
Do you have any conservative views?
Unashamedly, I do. I support a strong military for the defense of our country. As much as I wish I were anti-war, I recognize it as a necessary evil. I can't think of anyone against U.S. involvement in WWII. Anyone think the American Revolutionary War shouldn't have been fought? That Britain would have given us independence on a whim? It was necessary. Vietnam? Not so much. Iraq? Afghanistan? Don't even get me started.
Hopefully, no one takes my liberal voter registration card because I think eminent domain is unconstitutional and the amnesty of the '80s backfired and created an insurmountable illegal immigration problem. Three conservative leanings does not a Republican make, although some of my socialist friends might disagree. Well, I only have one socialist friend, but I'm pretty sure my love for President Obama officially makes me as right-winged as Mitt Romney. Ask Santorum, and Romney and I are practically socialists.
Do you really have Republican friends?
Well...some of my conservative friends I've known since high school. You know, back before we could actually vote anyone into office. I disagreed with their political beliefs back then but I wasn't going to break up with them or anything. The real shocker is that in recent years I've befriended some very right leaning, fundamentalist Christians. It's a little scary that one of my good friends, a constitutionalist, is greatly opposed to the 14th Amendment because it nationalized citizenship, diminishing states' sovereignty. That's probably true. I couldn't be more glad for diminished states' rights.
And really, I don't go around thinking of my friends in terms of how they vote. I store that kind of information in the back of my mind. No, not so that I can still be friends with them, but because it is more important for our friendship to respect our political differences than it is to bait each other into arguments over issues we personally will never resolve. Besides, in such a debate I would argue with a legal argument and he'd use a biblical argument. Then I would argue there's no place for the Bible in American politics because of that whole separation of church and state notion that we atheist liberals created. And then, yes, I'd get angry. Not because I hate him, but because I hate his position and how he got there.
So you hate their positions?
Hate's a strong word. Yes. I hate most conservative positions. Mostly, I hate how the claim to be the moral compass of the nation, the face of family values, the way and the truth and the light. Why would anyone be against affirmative action unless they're a closeted racist? Who protests a woman's right to choose abortion yet insists that capital punishment is neither cruel nor unusual? Are they serious when they say they don't believe in global warming or are they just being contrary? Who doesn't think the Stand Your Ground law in Florida reeks of legal KKK activities for suspicious-looking men in hoods to kill Black men who don't know their place? Why in the world would anyone want the right to bear arms? Guns kill people. Accidentally. Purposefully. Makes no difference. The gun violence that plagues our inner cities should be enough of an incentive to repeal the Second Amendment. If I don't have a gun, you don't need a gun to protect yourself from me. If homeboy in hoodie doesn't have a gun in the gated community, then you don't need to Stand Your Ground and shoot him. He's just trying to keep dry in the rain.
Everyone's safe. That's what I think liberals want.
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