Yes. 100% just quoted Rocky.
Hidy ho, it’s your friendly neighborhood Democrat coming back for more. *waves*
Let me start by saying, humility has never been my strong suit when it comes to being intelligent or funny. Those are two things I really value and the ugly side of me wants to be the smartest and the funniest sometimes at the expense of my better judgement and almost always at the expense of kindness. Smug is a really good way to describe me when I think I’m right about something, and I know that. Guys, I know me. If you’re reading this and I’ve ever hurt your feelings by attempting to make you feel stupid in order to make a point, trust me, you aren’t alone. I’m not at all proud of that, because unfortunately, I think I’m right a lot.
Anyway, yesterday, I read this article about the smugness of American liberalism and that thing bothered me. Not just bothered me, but it convicted me. Deeply. If you’d like to read it (or skim it, it is extremely lengthy) click here. Fellow progressives, I’m not saying I agree with the entirety of the text, but I am saying that I wholly agree with the sentiment.
Perhaps I would feel differently if I had a different family, lived somewhere else, and was not 90/10 outnumbered when it comes to my political ideology and beliefs. However, I choose to live in eastern Kentucky. Nobody held a gun to my head and made me buy a house in Johnson County, I wanted to. I wanted to stay. My life is far from an echo-chamber (I am loving that word today) of yes men and women when it comes to how I see the world. When I was younger, I was insufferable. I look back at my Facebook statuses and my twitter updates from elections before and wince. I called Republicans morons and classless and other things because I thought I was smarter. How silly that you vote this way, you just haven’t met people different from you, I would think. How silly, indeed. But, not them… me.
The last year and a half has been a a steady evolution for me as far as learning to speak TO people instead of AT them. I unhid all of the conservative folks I’d hidden on my FB, to start. I thought, you know, this is bull. I can’t sit here and act like I’m all tolerant and just be constantly reading opinions of folks I agree with. Next, I started commenting and conversing. I started asking questions — and most importantly — I started listening. People think what they think and believe what they believe for A LOT of reasons and you learn a lot when you back off from trying to get them to change their minds (they wont) and move forward with finding a place, any place at all, that you can agree.
As long as it remains respectful and never steps into racism, into misogyny, or into hatred, I’m open and willing to talk to you. I don’t have a choice, really. I don’t live in a blue bubble. My bubble is red, and I am a teeny tiny blue dot, swimming against the current, and I’ll just keep swimming. I’m stubborn like that.
Conservative friends and family, most people who identify as liberal and progressive that I know are a lot like me. Some of the kindest, most accepting, loving people with hearts beyond anything I have ever known. Progressive/liberal friends and family? Most of the people I know personally and interact with on a daily basis are hardline conservatives, and they, too, are some of the kindest, most accepting, loving, big-hearted people I know. I know we’ve got bad apples on each side, but as someone who knows a lot of both sides, I promise you, we are more alike than we are not alike.
The narratives seek to divide us, and it’s working. The internet is a big place, full of a lot of facts, and unfortunately, a lot of lies. If you’re just reading stuff that aligns with how you think, you aren’t challenging yourself. Brietbart doesn’t have the answers, and neither does the Huffington Post. I think the best thing we could all do is put down the memes and talk to one another. I may not convince you that I am right, but I will give you something to think about and another angle to look at, and I think that’s invaluable. But, that’s just me, you guys. I’m not gonna like Trump, you never liked Obama, but I think we like each other, and that’s pretty cool.