Do we still know the difference between conservatives and liberals?
Beyond “my side is good and their side is bad”, do we still know? I’m not sure anymore.
Isn’t one key difference between the two camps the attitudes toward individuals and groups? Don’t we criticize the left for collectivist tendencies and Group Think?
What about the rules we play by? Does it drive us crazy when different groups play by different rules, and liberals call it justice?
Don’t we accuse their side of holding ideas rooted mainly in emotions, where we (ideally) start with cohesive principles, and our passion follows afterward?
I ask, because as I survey the political spectacle, we are falling into some of the other side’s patterns and habits.
Here’s a few examples:
Remember the Bill Cosby story? Accusations by several women about sexual misconduct. What happened? Boom. Instant social outcast. Everyone disowned him. He was tossed faster than the General Lee at a BLM event.
But Bill Clinton has faced similar allegations, right? Was he disowned the same way? No. He was enabled with a wink and a nod. We find that outrageous, right?
Before we get too smug, is our side actually any better? We are more interested in the politics of destruction (a liberal, Alinsky tactic) than winning someone over by advancing the better idea. Because building takes work. Destroying is quick and easy.
We tolerate digs about the size of a person, or his, *ahem* equipment. Did I miss a memo? Have conservatives introduced a size requirement (in either sense) for the leadership selection process?
Are our sexual double-standards really any better than the Democrats? Herman Cain was drummed out of contention when rumors about his sex life were first floated. This time around, the media salivated over allegations of Rubio’s mistresses and foam parties. (Comment threads are routinely packed with homosexual allegations.)
Church-lady types were “outraged” by a woman who appeared in an ad for Ted Cruz. That’s so hypocritical. She never had sex on screen. An “A-lister” could do similar scenes and get a pass. This was nothing more than a “gotcha” tactic, used purely for the manipulation of voters. So why is such manipulation a legitimately “conservative” tactic now?
The crowds were told they should be outraged, so dutifully (and uncritically) many were. These same people are outraged by a clip of Ted in his twenties. Ted mentioned “bewbs”, and that he liked to look at them. Shocking! Somebody give the man his scarlet letter! It will have to be one of you, though, because I personally can’t afford to throw that first stone. Glass houses and all that. You understand.
So instead they flock to Trump. Do they know the name “Marla Maples”? She’s the model Donald slept with while married to Ivana. He later divorced Ivana and married Marla. Trump even calls his adultery “fair game” when asked by reporters.
Which is it, people? Sex disqualifies from leadership, or it doesn’t? We can’t have it both ways. Figure out where your principles are, and apply that equally to all candidates. Don’t hold double standards.
But the other problem — of Group Think — is just as bad, and maybe worse.
Look how the memes and rhetoric are heating up. Have we really come to the stage where “you’re dead to me” is a correct response for someone voting differently than you?
And before you answer that question to yourself, think of the way Liberals treat an ethnic minority, homosexual, transsexual (etc) who dares to cross the aisle and vote for “the enemy”. The hostility is over the top.
That’s where Group Think takes you. The royal collectivist “we” that decrees which decisions you may or may not make without being cut from the herd, shamed, and excluded. The peer pressure to conform.
Now think of the way conservatives treat supporters of the “wrong” candidate. How have we been behaving? How are we any better?
I get that passions run high. Really, I do. But the guy supporting that other candidate is just as American as you are. Have we forgotten that? Win him over. Pitch your guy’s strengths. While you do so, treat him with the respect we want to be given ourselves.
Because if we can’t even do that?
No matter which candidate gets the nod, we will have already lost something more important than an election. We will have lost something of ourselves.