I recently wrote a piece on Red State about liberal pundit (and friend of mine) Sally Kohn. Without going into too much detail — you can read HERE for full background — the nucleus of it was that the presence of liberal commentary not only challenges us, but energizes us, resulting in a greater resolve to be proactive in the political world.
Making friends or enemies is never my goal when I write. I just express what’s on my heart. But I will say that over the past few years I’ve been on a mission, not to win … but to understand. Of course, I want to defeat the progressive, secularist ideology of the liberal left, but I think it’s just as important to understand why the left believes the way that they do. Then — and only then — can we make true progress and turn the tide.
During the Dallas to-spray-or-not-to-spray West Nile debate, we had Mayor Mike Rawlings on our show who discussed how passionately advocates on both sides of that debate had become. How could people — all with certainly good intentions — come to such differing conclusions? He referenced a book called “The Righteous Mind – Why Good People Are Divided By Politics and Religion” by Jonathan Haidt, and I felt compelled to grab a copy. I’m glad I did because it’s been so beneficial in understanding some basic truths about human behavior. When you really dig down you realize that it is our intuition (which is shaped by a variety of influences) that leads us to mental justifications (a.k.a. our version of “truth”) that then lead us, via our tribal nature, to feel compelled attack the other side and its version of truth. This isn’t some make-believe hypothesis; it’s actually how we found ourselves in the Civil War. If we’re unwilling to listen to each other … the outcome isn’t just dangerous, it’s deadly.
That was a tangent, and I apologize … look, just get the book.
Now, circle back to my blog about Sally. I’m sorry to report that it was not well received. This doesn’t personally hurt me or make me angry, but I did find it to be so very disappointing. I do what I do for a living, not for the money — if you work in radio, you know this to be true — but to make a difference. I’ve campaigned aggressively for the conservative causes I believe in. I’ve donated my time. My treasure. I throw myself into this because I truly believe in the Founders’ vision of limited government and personal liberty.
All it took to erase a great amount of good will I’ve earned was one complimentary post about a liberal — a liberal who happens to be a lesbian, and you bet I believe that the reaction would have been far more tepid were this not the case.
Am I calling many of my fellow conservatives bigots? You bet I am.
I thought I’d pull some excerpts from comments that were left on my blog to let you see just how hateful and aggressive people became:
“Susan Cloud … producer of crap.”
“You are a joke. Now, please go away and entertain your liberal guests elsewhere.”
“Your article is crap, you are arrogant, yet still not half as smart as you think you are.”
“What a laugh.”
“This diary sucks.”
“… take a hike.”
“If you want to do what you call writing, then get a piece of paper.”
“She pretends she’s a conservative….Sheesh. She belongs in the liberal’s camp. Her reasoning is loony.”
“This is ridiculous. Really.”
“Well that is pretty much an asshole attitude.”
“You really are coming across as a jerk.”
” … as to the rest of your BS, who are you? Why do you matter and why do you think your opinion is worth a crap here?”
“Susan’s diary is offensive, condescending and insulting all at the same time.”
“… childish rants.”
… so there you have it, folks. Seriously considering starting my own political party at this point. Open to suggestions, and quite upset to learn that “Bacon Party” is already taken.
Thanks for reading.