Jerks on the Left of Me, Jerks on the Right


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.”

“Bullshit.”

“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.

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7 thoughts on “Jerks on the Left of Me, Jerks on the Right

  1. Jim Fischer says:

    I read your post and commend you for listening to the other side. That is something I don’t do enough of. Listening and striving to understand the liberal viewpoint is not the same as agreeing with. Twitter and the internet is an unforgiving world of morons and cretins alongside decent, hard-working people like yourself. There are always Trolls waiting under the bridge for unsuspecting, well-meaning people passing by. They add nothing to the discourse. Don’t let these jerks stop you doing the great work that you do. Thank you!

  2. I admire you for being balanced in your approach to political communication. Neither party has a lock on good ideas that can see our nation go forward. A major reason that Congress is perpetually quagmired is the inability of either side of the aisle to get beyond party titles. I’m not a Republican or a Democrat, I do not have to be either I’m an American. Unfortunately the resposes you seem to be getting are from people who learned their of communication skills (or lack there of) from social media.

  3. Lance Erickson says:

    My wife constantly gripes at me for even tuning into Chris Matthews or Rachel Maddow. I am fascinated by folks who believe in a fashion that is so foreign to me. Plus, like you said…I don’t need to hear my sincerely held beliefs regurgitated every hour. After each one of the debates, I wanted to watch CNN and hear what Gloria Borger and Van Jones had to say as much as my favorite commentator Ari Fleischer. I have no respect for the uninformed leftists, or rightists for that matter. Just like it is with religion for me, I respect informed and actual devotion. I don’t have to love it, but I should respect it because I would like the same respect in return.

  4. Nathan Hansard says:

    I hear you about starting your own political party. As a person whose been told that I can’t be a Democrat and be against gay marriage or be a Democrat and not believe in gun control it is frustrating. But I stand my ground especially on Gay marriage because of my faith in Jesus Christ and what is right by him. This year having been a Dem most my life and with only days till the election I can truly say I am undecided. I know Obama sucks but again religion kicks in and I have a hard time trusting a Mormon I know it’s jerky to judge someone by their religion but I view the Mormon church as a cult plain and simple so on that how do I trust Romney and then I would be voting with the same types that left comments on your blog and call it arrogance but I view myself as a step above those people so what is there to do? I keep coming back to the Bible James 5:12 and that makes me wonder if we all shouldn’t be independent voters because if you are voting or arguing just one viewpoint then are you not swearing alligeance to one party therefore committing false idolatry? I don’t know but would love some opinions on this for sure

  5. I. too, am a fan of striving to understand the other side. Sadly, I’ve come to the conclusion that it will never happen. I do admire your continued attempts to do so, however. One word of advice, if I may. Don’t use “Here I am, working in conservative talk radio, making far less money than I did in my previous world of marketing, but staying focused on the goal: to make a difference. I’ve campaigned aggressively for the conservative causes I believe in. I’ve donated my time. My treasure” in your arguments. I say this for a couple of reasons: 1) nobody on the other side cares 2) nobody made you give up your previous paycheck and 3) it makes you sound whiny (thus, weak). Just say what you have in your heart and defend it with your natural passion. You are on the right side of history. Oh, and yes, people suck.

  6. Ed Braddock says:

    Sometimes ( rarely ) disagree with you , but admire the way that you seem to be able to sometimes straddle both sides , agreeing to disagree with grace . I believe there is a verse , ” Blessed are the Peacemakers ….. ” . Recognise that the Blessings will be in the next world , instead of this one . There is a WHOLE theorum , about people and their inability to accept reality , because if they accept it , it means they will never be able to have what they most desire . Also , as the head of psych at the Mayo clinic stated , ” We are ALL crazy ; it’s just some of us are more functional than others .” This has always explained SO much to me ! And even if we disagree , I will still believe in your basic goodness . You work on converting them .

  7. Hiya Susan,

    Don’t let it phase you one little bit!

    Ignore the garbage. Just ignore it.

    I say this from experience. I started a blog back in 2007 to vent about out of control spending and other political rantings. It didn’t take long for some of my writing to rub people the wrong way – on the right and left..mostly left.

    What I learned was this:

    There are only two political parties, but there are thousands of shades of a**hole.

    When they come at you, the best way to handle them is to 1) call them out for being a**holes, then ignore them.

    Just because conservatives have the power of a superior argument, does not also mean that conservatives cannot be a**holes.

    So… Just blow it off. There will always be jerks.

    The work you do is too important to back off in any way.

    PS – after appearing on your show, my blog got a big bump in popularity that has never faded!

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