What Conservatives Have Right About The Liberal Overmind
While often wrong about their facts, they’re getting the tone and emotional motivation spot on.
I often chill with lesbian trans-women when I go to lesbian events because we bond over our uncertainness about if we’re really welcome. Two or three years ago, it was not uncommon for bisexual or trans women to be explicitly banned from such events with specifications like “lesbians only” or “for women born women” in written descriptions. Now, something so explicit would probably be frowned upon, but I often still feel an underlying hostility at queer women’s events.
I felt a similar hostility when reading this piece entitled “Dear Straight Allies Please Don’t Come To Pride Until You’ve Understood These 6 Things.” It reads basically as you’d expect, with the author informing straight people they’re not welcome at pride unless they conform her personal worldview of what a straight ally should be. I found some of the commenters agreed with my distaste on the tone of the piece:
I am openly Gay, The LGBTQ community has been excluded from soo many things, and now how dare we say that we will do the same?? I am utterly disgusted in the “new generation” of self entitled LGBTQ members, if they understood the real struggles and how allies are a major factor and game changer for LGBT rights then maybe their attitudes would be different. If it was not for straight allies (family) who actually put our cause for rights through the doors of politics and society then we would not be where we are. Understanding, acceptance, LOVE, Dialogue and Inclusion leads to PROGRESS. Exclusion, self entitlement, hate, isolation leads to Regression.
Bluntly stated, it looks to me like a lot of queers are looking for reasons to kick people out of their community. Sometimes it’s those of us who “aren’t queer enough” (bisexuals), sometimes it’s those of us who are “too queer” (trans folk) and sometimes it’s aimed at those who are easy targets (straight allies) but the underlying motivation seems to be the same. I think it’s a desire for people to feel special about themselves by excluding other people. The reasons for excluding people change, but the desire to exclude someone seems strong.
This isn’t just a trend in the queer community; this has been an increasing tend in the larger liberal community. Over the past few years, liberals have become highly intolerant of anyone with differing viewpoints and speech has become so policed that it’s damn near impossible to say something that isn’t offensive to someone. Instead of trying to understand the meaning of what someone is trying to say, we have become more focused on completely dismissing people because of the way they say things. This isn’t about keeping things safe for people anymore, this is a sophisticated form of intolerance that is ultimately aimed at reducing thought diversity in the population. Anyone who doesn’t think “the right way” is rejected and ridiculed so that everyone remaining hops into line. It’s like the thought police from 1984, except instead of the government, the populous is policing itself.
Anyway, conservatives have picked up on this hostility and they’re reacting to it. My teacher read a quote from a conservative blog about the Orlando shooting in our Zen group the other night, arguing that liberals are in a pickle because they don’t know what “special interest group” to defend:
[T]he Texas senator has voiced the position Democrats and social justice warriors are faced with: Do they stand up for one special interest group — LGBT individuals — and condemn the ideology that calls for their murder, or do they stand for the Muslim community and the religious system that drove Omar Mateen to commit this heinous crime against the LGBT community?
I’m envisioning fevered, secret meetings in someone’s safe space, as they decide which group they’re more willing to hang out to dry.
Either way, as they wring their hands and desperately try to find some way to blame this on Christians, ISIS are likely planning their next attack.
Article in Red State by Susan Wright
So, ok — there is so much wrong in this quote. First of all, the shooter’s primary motivation was likely his own repressed homosexuality, not some Islamic terrorist allegiance. Second of all, this woman clearly has no clue what we do in our liberal meetings in secret safe spaces. There’s a lot of crying and hugging, maybe some pot smoking, but not so much high level plotting of who to “hang out to dry.” Then finally, we’re clearly not going to blame this one on the Christians. We don’t even usually blame things on “the Christians” anyway, just the fundamentalists.
And yet, I can’t help but feel like she picked up on something real. When I read that quote, what shines through her incorrect facts, is her belief that we “liberals” are plotting against her. That we’re not interested in what she has to say, and that we’re going to dismiss her concerns because we think we’re above her. And she’s right.
She feels like her world is being attacked by people who don’t give a shit about her, and she’s right. She thinks that her way of life is being threatened, and she’s right.
What she’s wrong about, however, is she doesn’t know who to fear. It’s not the Muslims, or the immigrants, or people of color who are going to destroy all that’s dear to her. It is this great schism that is forming between democrat and republican, liberal and conservative. This animosity has gridlocked our country, and created space for a series of insane politicians profiting off the fear. This terrible divide has come about for a multitude of reasons, it’s certainly not entirely the fault of liberal exclusionism. But we are making it worse, with our arrogance and ideological intolerance, and we have to find a way out of it. Because, one way or another, winter is coming. This tension cannot last forever, but what will end it? That remains to be seen.