We libs *can* work with the right on some issues without assimilation into the Mar-A-Borg-o cult
Pejorative labels are meant to control us via the fear of shame. But they have only as much power as we give them.
There’s a quick ‘n’ easy way to officially lose an argument on social media with your first post or tweet.
If a label bothers me, it’s my job to examine it. Is it accurate? Am I guilty? Do I resemble that remark?
There’s one label that’s bugged me a bit, more than the now-tired racist, Nazi, white supremacist, transphobe, TERF, closet Michael Cohen groupie, etc. but which I’ve now faced down and realize I no longer need fear.
While the other labels now leave my blood pressure at a comfortable 139/68, calling me a ‘right-winger’ has made me want to run for the exit like a little girl.
“You morons don’t realize you’re shills for the right wing!” the tran-scult crowd crows.
Before, I fell over myself protesting that I was NOT in fact a right-wing shill. Perish the thought! How dare they!
But I found a certain level of denial: A kinship I find sometimes with the right—even conservatives like fundamentalist Christians I would otherwise eschew, and against whom I was a liberal gadfly for many years when I wrote for an alternative newspaper in Connecticut.
That was before progressives abandoned liberal principles and embraced authoritarianism, censorship, and demanded unquestioned fealty to their illogical ideologies.
Now my blood pressure hops like an anemic frog at the ‘right-wing’ accusation and returns to my customary resting state. Buddhism kicks in and says, “It’s just a label, this is XTwitter, so whaddaya expect?”
I don’t have to agree with Those People on much, but I can tweet a supportive comment once in awhile to a PATRIOT CHRISTIAN GOD BLESS AMERICA THESE COLORS DON’T RUN XTwitteratus profile when she comments about not supporting laws that deny puberty for children.
We can agree on that, at least.
She and I won’t follow each other, but I may get a like or a supportive comment in return. We’d never kaffeeklatsch if I lived in her ‘Murican ‘hood and it’s best if we don’t talk about guns, free trade, income inequality, immigration, abortion, Jesus, Trump, Canada’s Freedom Convoy, MAGA, the 2024 election, indictments, Lauren Boebert, MTG, or gay kids, but we can figuratively bump fists in passing as we both support what we agree to be one of the greatest evils and failings of the so-called ‘progressive left’ - the uncritical acceptance of the misogyny-fueled trans movement. It’s gone far beyond normal rights for non-conformists to a hate-on for women and a sick obsession with medically changing children whom we wouldn’t trust to smoke, drink, vote, or drive, but whose words we treat as though they issued from granite tablets under Moses’s armpits when they say, ‘I want to be a girl.’
I’m not a shill for the right, but I will sound like it when I state what is verboten to the ‘woke’ left:
At least on this one particular issue, the right is right and the left is wrong.
Hold your nose and extend your hand
I speak treason. “Fluently!”
Here’s some more treason for ya:
The right needs the left and the left needs the right. One speaks the truth when the other side won’t.
If you really want to know what’s going on with Donald Trump’s alleged (or confessed) crimes and his indictments, consult the left-wing media.
If you really want to know what’s going on with the growing evidence of the transgender movement’s toxicity and lack of scientific evidence for gender-affirming care, consult the right-wing media.
We’re coming to a place where we must work with people we don’t like very much - or at all - in order to rein in two toxic cults gone mad.
This isn’t as bugspit insane as it sounds. We used to do it like this in the olden days of the twentieth century. We even do it sometimes now, when something like a financial collapse or a killer pandemic has us by the short ‘n’ curlies.
Back in the olden days, transgender meant folks who had transitioned for any number of reasons and left it at that. When it became politicized by misogynist men it greatly resembled what feminists have always had to contend with—self-centered male backlash in response to expanded rights and growing power for women.
Invade my boardroom will you, you uppity little rhymes-with-runt? Fine, I’m coming for your bathrooms!
A woman stole my job, because she couldn’t possibly have gotten it through merit. Penis, for gods’ sakes! It adds like 65 points to your IQ! Okay bitch, I’m coming for your sports trophies!
I know the right wing has never been much of a friend to women, and yeah, it’s their fault American women have to jump through ever more—now illegal—hoops to access an abortion, but fighting the excesses of the transgender movement and especially its horrifying attack on children’s bodies is every bit as critical. It means conservatives will, whether they want to or not, fight for women’s rights, power, and bodily autonomy, which could bite them in the ass later with a different Supreme Court. Forcing male athletes back onto male athletic teams will boost Title IX sports once again, giving young women an opportunity to compete fairly, achieve, win and take that killer confidence into the adult world.
So who knows, maybe some will accuse them of being shills for the left.
Not all liberals wave the Pride flag, and not all conservatives wave the Confederate one.
Both can be selectively pro-science. One side can’t acknowledge climate change despite living on our planet, while the other denies the biological differences of their own eyes.
So, like, ludicrously blind stupidity is bi-sectual.
There are Nazis and Communists and Fascists and Antifascists and Libertarians and monarchists and socialists and Social Democrats and Market Liberals and whateverthefuck Jordan Peterson is this week.
Some conservatives know climate change is real and a gigantic threat to humanity; I hope Greta Thunberg and others will accept their help and support if they want to work toward a cleaner planet before it burns to a crisp or turns Miami into an underwater snorkel park.
My sister-in-law’s dearly departed sister-in-law, a cherished member of our blended family, was a conservative Christian who worked with women to choose alternatives to abortion.
But she still supported choice, even though she thought it was the worst one. She couldn’t in good conscience tell a woman she must have a baby.
She also didn’t think you must accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, which is why we enjoyed many digestion-boosting post-Thanksgiving walks and chats before she died.
People don’t fit the neat little peg holes we create. They especially don’t fit our childishly simplistic dichotomous pits of moral certainty, the ‘wrong’ side defined as anything less than 100% purity in one’s commitment to a dogmatic narrative.
As the ‘progressive’ left descends into chaos, ‘eating its own’, creating dangerous conspiracy theories and turning its back on science and evidence-based policy, I find myself looking over to the other side to see with whom I can commune, who are as repulsed by the excesses of conservatism gone wild and Trumpian authoritarianism.
So I look ‘right-wing’ to minds that can’t see a swathe of blended shades of beliefs, values, ideologies, religious beliefs, and understanding of humanity.
I can agree with the right—the rational-minded ones—without joining Mar-A-Borg-o.
Just as they agree with me on some issues, if not on everything, they may not want to subscribe to my Substack.
The mark of a true progressive is evidenced by someone close to me who recently said, “My husband and I are almost to the point financially where it would make sense for us to vote Republican. But I won’t do that; I won’t forget those who don’t have a seat at the table.”
She recognizes her privilege and doesn’t blame others who couldn’t accomplish what she and her husband have. They got lucky in the birth lottery.
How many of us are that strong a liberal? If you found yourself making enough money that it would be in your best interests to vote for all those juicy Republican tax breaks, would you do it?
How much of an economic political whore are you? You may never have to find out.
The other day, someone threw the ‘right-wing’ label at me for a snarky comment I made. The iron-poor amphibian hopped like a feeble old man.
The label no longer burns because I’ve confronted my own role, and gotten honest with myself about engaging with ‘the enemy’. Not all of them are.
We need them if we’re going to change anything. Not all the anti-democratic dangers are on the right.
I was surprised to learn from a podcast featuring Greg Lukanioff, the inspiration for The Coddling of the American Mind, that of the top ten schools in America, the left has a 75% success rate in getting a professor punished or fired. This includes not just losing one’s job but suspensions, extended investigations, ‘sensitivity’ training, and having your paper or syllabus censored. He also notes we don’t know what’s happening at the schools outside the top 400 because their cases rarely, if ever, make the news media. But threats from the right result in punishment less than half the time.
Lukianoff further notes that on most college campuses, there’s not much chance of being cancelled by the right, unless you teach at a religious college or a state university in a red state. Overall, attempts to get people fired come from the left 60% of the time, and from the right 40%, with right-wing organizations like Fox News pitching many of the tantrums about ‘offensive speech’.
You may not like what Ron ‘Don’t say gay’ DeSantis is doing in Florida, but you can’t ignore the left either.
Opposing political sides have never been wholly at peace with each other; mudslinging political attacks are as old as the rise of politics many thousands of years ago. Ancient Romans accused their political rivals of murder, incest, greed, impiety, sacrilege, effeminacy, drunkenness and public vomiting, just to name a few. Cicero really pissed off Marc Antony when he accused him of having had a love affair with a young man during his misspent youth.
Oh please. That’s a Democratic campaign slogan!
But an empire divided is ripe for conquest, which is why dictatorship was such a popular form of government back then. Sometimes, you needed one super-strong proven dude to lord over the rest and tell them how it will be, and send anyone to the gallows or the torture chamber who gave him any shit.
We can still work across the fence. Like, even, believe it or not, right now. Both parties in America have come together in the last few years on legislation to support military sexual assault prevention, on reforming the police after the George Floyd tragedy, and this summer to suspend the debt ceiling and set federal spending limits.
I guess no one in Congress wants their daughter getting raped by her C.O. and prefers to reform the police before the far-left garners enough support to defund it.
Cross-partisanship can happen. We need to find our common ground with the other side on issues we agree are important and, uh—not talk about a lot of other stuff.
Republicans and conservatives who want to see Donald Trump kept out of the White House will find plenty of support in the liberal wing. They may not have enough support on their own side - Republican Congresscritters display an appalling lack of balls or labia to stand up to the Trump Train(wreck) - and will need reinforcements. Others can back them up when the MAGAs start throwing tomatoes, rocks or pipe bombs.
Democrats and liberals who want parents to understand there’s no real science behind ‘gender affirming care’ will find plenty of support from the ‘Murican flag-wavers and cross-wearers.
We may not agree on much, but at least we can on: Hell No, Trump Must Go Home, And Fer Fuck’s Sake, Leave Kids Alone!
Here’s the deliciously subversive part: We might even make some odd new friends. Because not all Christians are rigid Bible thumpers, not all pro-choicers are on the left, not all liberals want to abolish the police nor all conservatives the FBI.
There’s a Silent Majority in the middle, somewhere between MAGA and woke, where we can work together, perhaps even talk together about politics without downtowns nesting in glass-shattered streets and cop cars burning like a Canadian forest.
Where, if we can listen to each other, we can find commonalities, and perhaps integrate some of our compatible beliefs and values to incorporate some good ideas we got from those other guys.
Like: They respect authority and we respect science. Make Evidence-Backed Doctors Great Again!
Because here’s the thing: The other Republicans are trying to seize power illegally since they can’t win enough votes, and the far left preaches we must ‘burn the system down’, and some of them may try. They sound frighteningly similar.
The rest of us look at both extreme alternatives, shake our heads, and say, “Nuh-uh.”
It’s up to us, folks. The bird can’t fly with only one wing.
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