The last year or so has been a transformative time in politics. That’s been something we have all felt in the air for a while, but the last few weeks have illustrated for me just how divided the left has made us and how, more than ever, those of us on the right must be loud.
From the little things, like receiving messages like this:
Hi Andrew. I'm going to unfriend you on Facebook. You seem like a nice and smart person, but I am unable to tolerate your endorsement of Donald Trump. He and the values he stands for are hurting our community, even killing LGBT people all over the world. I will not tolerate it. I wish you and your family the best.
I’m still not sure what that person meant by insinuating that President Trump is “killing LGBT people all over the world,” but when I tried to politely ask her what she was talking about, I received no response. It was very clear that any support of President Donald Trump, no matter how polite or subdued, would simply not be “tolerated.”
To the bigger things, like a member of Congress being shot by someone with differing opinions on tax policy. Perhaps more importantly, it was the reaction of people, both famous and “normal,” after the shooting. There was a lot of “yeah it’s not okay that he got shot, BUT” going around… People victim blaming – “he shouldn’t have voted against gun control.” Or “he shouldn’t have been wasting his time with charity baseball and he wouldn’t have gotten shot.” To straight out defending the shooting – “well he IS a racist homophobe.”
As a small business owner, I treat myself like I am always in the public eye. Apparently, I was right to do so because as I learned, no matter how discrete or respectful someone is being, someone is watching and judging – the new world we live in.
I generally maintain a semi-neutral position because so many Hollywood stars have made themselves less palatable to me by injecting themselves into a political conversation they seemingly know nothing about. I was never mad at them for being human beings with thoughts or feelings, but it does “tarnish the brand” if they talk about things I view as ridiculous or horrendously misguided and naïve (I’m looking at you Katy Perry).
As Peggy Noonan pointed out in the WSJ yesterday, these stars aren’t really being all that brave – saying that “love Trumps hate” or that you were insensitive to black people because you wore corn rows in a music video doesn’t really cost you anything in the world of music and movies. In fact, it actually ups your sales and ups your street cred with the youngsters who still want to buy Katy Perry albums. She just came in at number one with her new album debut so her “bravery” paid off!
However, celebrities who say anything conservative are usually forced to pay a brutal and very tangible price. Kanye West kind of supported Trump and that got his friends to make him go to a mental hospital – remember, Kanye’s always been “out there,” but the quasi Trump support is what made people think he was crazy. When he created the most awkward moment in TV history by hijacking a fundraiser and saying George Bush doesn’t care about black people – insinuating that W. was somehow idly sitting around while people died in New Orleans, the culture thought that was just Kanye being Kanye and went on appreciating his music and buying tickets to his shows.
Poor Austin Powers and Chris Tucker, though:
Or the time Proud Boy founder Gavin McInnes suggested that trans people might be mentally ill and need our help instead of genital reassignment surgery. He lost his multi-million dollar advertising company for voicing that opinion that I would venture much of the country shares to some extent. That idea took bravery because the backlash was inevitable.
I don’t think people would be risking much in their social circle or professional life if they said “we should accept trans people for who they are.”
Conservative opinions, conversely, are expensive. It can cost you your livelihood, your friends, and your future. In most neighborhoods if you wear a Make America Great Again hat, you need to be ready to get into a fist fight. My wife gets worried for my safety every time I bring it out. The side that demands “safe spaces,” provides none for you.
So here we are. Conservatives can either be quiet and adjust our behavior not to make waves with their Facebook friends or at their jobs, continuing to lurk in the shadows until we elect more conservatives next election – leading liberals to believe it must be Russia that “stole” the election. Or we can speak up and start fighting the fight that truly matters – the fight for our culture - our fading Western values.
I am no longer interested in being "semi-neutral." To be quiet is to be a coward.
It may not be the easy thing to do. It’s certainly the right thing to do. Ultimately, it's a fight we can't afford to lose.
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A conservative blog promoting western culture and values