Why Conservatives Lose

I work in the IT industry and if I find that if I associate with a design, thought, group or a “click” for too long, I develop a form of a bias. I’m far from perfect, which is why it is important to me to always be curious and not to succumb to the complacency of what’s familiar and accepted in my circles — that could prevent me from finding the optimal solution.

There’s a lot of political noise and trolls out there and people are quick now days to put people into categories.  For conservatives this even more dangerous to react in this matter because if supports the template that conservatives are mean and uncaring. I believe that conservatism can lead to effective solutions that help and empower people but sometimes conservatives don’t handle the communication part of this too well.

Before I continue I’m sure people will say “well how do I know that you’re not a fake conservative”.  Perhaps I may be “liberal” on some social issues but I founded and served as President the College Republicans at my university where I met the Vice President, worked on a US Senator’s campaign staff, and then there’s my tweet stream and this post.  Moving on….

 

I saw this tweet which struck a chord with me.  I understand that Think Progress is trying to fuel the poverty industry and wealth transfer, and I also very much agree that there are way too many who make poor financial decisions and try to escape the consequences of their actions.  I’m right there with ya. 

But in looking at my experience and others I do believe that many are one major life event or hardship from financial burdens and that’s not because of their choice.   Perhaps because of my family’s own hardships the “choice” part of this just struck a nerve with me.

In retrospect I wish I hadn’t made this about MY situation but I think the point is valid — some incur hardship not due to any fault of their own.

Or in other words, “he disagreed with me! Now watch while I destroy the liberal scum with my words!”

I’m all for preparation and self-sufficiency but I still believe that people can still plan and be one life event away from a severe hardship. I believe this because I experienced it myself.

At this point nothing is known about me but my objections from my single tweet above, and yet the confidence exists to assume that I don’t support myself “like an adult” and that I am a liberal.

Kurt, please ask any of the doctors or nurses we worked with while my daughter had 10 life threatening operations during her first year and every year since. Ask them if I didn’t behave like an adult.

When we were discharged from bankruptcy the judge said “wait, you only have $4,000 of credit card debt?”. We told the judge we wanted to do the right thing for the past several years by trying to pay the medical bills and both our lawyer and the judge said we should have filed sooner rather than over burdening ourselves.

I bought a house from loan sharks which was a terrible financial decision but a necessary decision for the medical well being of my daughter. For years I worked like a dog trying to make sure I never missed a payment on a mortgage with double digit interest rates. So yes, I happen to be fighting a bank right now and I am feeling a sense of financial duress. Is this my fault? I work 70-90 hours a week across two jobs and haven’t had a single weekend this year to relax with my kids. But please don’t be afraid to judge me Kurt for not “supporting [myself] like an adult”

But let’s not make this about me, what if it was anyone else going through a legitimate hardship? The respondent who took issue with the original statement must be liberal and therefore we must assume that this person is a lazy slob — which would be just as untrue and unfair. No wonder conservatives get accused of lacking compassion when this is how their social media heavyweights interact with people.

And again, because I dared to question a line of thinking I must be one of those who hated Sarah Palin for having a special needs kid — which is just perfect because I wrote this blog post on that topic at that time.

Now at this point I was ticked off so I was getting a little uppity. Fair enough. But again here’s the accusation that “[I] can’t support [my family]”. Who said I couldn’t support my family? And what do you know about all I’ve done to support it Kurt? If you’re reading this post you might know something which is more than the “nothing” you knew when you wrote this. You judged me to be the liberal dude who wants a free handout that you wanted me to be without knowing a thing about me. More retweeted and replied to this conversation also not knowing a thing about me, my positions or my situations. Just judge and attack.

I would really like to know what Melvin thinks I’m hiding. I agree that this is sick.

And there’s more like this.

Throughout this episode no one wanted to acknowledge the possibility that many families might be just one life event away from significant financial hardship.  Gasp, would doing so be…LIBERAL?!?

Of course not — compassion transcends politics and too many conservatives seem to forget this.  Perhaps conservatives can grow their ranks by denying the existence of hardships, and attacking anyone who disagrees with you even if they might be on the same side of the fence.  Kurt would later tweet that what I said was “embarrassing for a conservative” (for which he offered no qualification) as if he needed to reassure his minions that he had not stepped out of line.

We all get that there’s different schools of thought on the most effective ways to help people. I believe that most — liberal or conservative — are sincere that they genuinely want to help people — the questions and arguments revolve around what’s more effective.

Since conservatism is typically aligned with lower government interaction and greater self sufficiency, they are naturally more vulnerable to the “you’re mean and not compassionate because you don’t want to help people” arguments which in my opinion are most of the time quite unfair. But conservatives aren’t going to sway and new hearts and minds by engaging in dialogue like this. That the person they judge and lash out against would be one of their own only adds more embarrassment.

Conservatives will never win when they express their viewpoints like this — denying the reality of hardships, immediately labeling someone as an enemy because they acknowledge this hardship, and then unload the red meat cannons at your straw man and take pride in the destruction.   Independents and other objective audiences will only be more easily convinced that conservatives are insensitive and uncaring, and can you blame them?

2 Responses to Why Conservatives Lose

  1. Kevin says:

    Excellent points. I see this a lot. And from both sides of the fence. No one is willing to see the other side’s point of view and every one seems quick to jump into angry, judgmental arguments that result in name calling. How did we get here? How did we get to the point where I’m not allowed to have an opinion that differs from yours without being labeled “un-American”? We need opposing points of view, that’s what makes democracy work. When I see these types of interactions, I can’t help but think that we’re lured into these divisive mind sets in an attempt to distract us from reality. We’re being divided so that we may be conquered.

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