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June 03, 2004

The Liberal Disease

Another strong piece.

The writer's wife told her rich, liberal (presumably NY and/or DC) friends that no, she wouldn't be assisting them in their raise-money-for-Kerry activities. These brave proponents of the untrammelled right to free speech immediately called her a "fascist" and ostracised her.

I'd like some genuine imput, here.

Let me tell you what liberals in New York are like. They have absolutely no hesitation about injecting stridently liberal politics into conversations with perfect strangers they only just met. They have no sense that perhaps they ought not to be insulting those with different beliefs.

Usually, I give them three bites at the apple. Three free swings before responding. I don't bother contradicting them the first three times; I just nod noncommitally and say, "What can you do, what can you do." I try to steer the conversation away from politics.

After the three bites, I let them have it. Not rudely, but without sugar-coating it.

They're generally a) stunned to have met anyone so incredibly exotic as a Bush supporter and b) immediately hostile.

Me? I'm used to living in a city of liberals. I tend not to write people off as thought-criminals, although I do consider them to be idiots as far as politics. So I don't usually become hostile; I just sort of smile and attempt to inject a bit of levity into the awkward situation (a situation I didn't create, by the way).

I usually get no levity in response. No, "Oh, let's agree to disagree." It's often burning anger.

Now, maybe "usually" overstates it. "Usually" I'm not talking about politics at all with near-strangers. And even when I do, perhaps it's an overstatement to say that "usually" liberals respond with such hatred.

But it does happen. Quite a bit.

So I've been wondering: Is this something peculiar to liberals? Or is it actually a fairly widespread phenomenon? What I'm asking is-- in conservative areas of the country, do conservatives behave as liberals do in New York?

Be honest. I'm curious about it. Is this really a liberal problem, or is it a problem generally with the dominant/majority group in any particular area?

If you live deep in Bush country, do you typically inject conservative politics, in strident terms, into light social situations?

I suspect it's a trait more or less unique to liberals, who have simply swapped liberal politics for passionate religious belief, but I actually don't know.

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posted by Ace at 12:32 AM

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