Saturday, June 11, 2016

It's tough being a rightwinger

It’s difficult being a warrior in the rightwing social struggle. Liberals underestimate what you go through. After all, you have to be ready at a moment’s notice when your marching orders come down. You don’t know from day to day who or what you’ll be called on to hate.

In recent weeks alone, you’ve had to navigate between the war on gays and lesbians to Muslims, refugees and undocumented workers to worrying about who sits in the bathroom stall next to you.

Liberals underestimate how exhausting it is to feed a persecution complex. You cannot be passive. Like Olympic sprinters you must be ready, poised at the starting blocks, waiting for one of your handlers whether it be Trump, Rush, WyWatch Family Action, or Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson to give the signal. You don’t dare miss an episode of Hannity or the O’Reilly Factor.

On your marks. Get set. Go.

An Olympic sprinter has an advantage over radical rightwing social warriors. She knows what race she’s running. She knows what to expect. She’s trained for a specific event whether it’s a 100-yard dash or the 10,000-meter run.

But you? How do you know what to train for? You never know which race you’ll be called to run. It might be building a wall today, supporting laws permitting discrimination tomorrow or toting guns in schools the next, stirring fear against transgender folks or Muslims the following day. Yet, when that gun sounds, you’re off like a scared rabbit.

I have to say how much I admire that. Armed with only preconceived notions, stereotypes, and prejudices, you hear the signal and you burst from the starting gate with whelming enthusiasm.

Admit it. Your life is made easier by the fact that you don’t need facts. You don’t have to spend much time thinking or Googling. Living in a post-factual world has its advantages. Facts are such ambiguous things anyway. As Pontius Pilate asked, “What is truth?” Who knows whom to believe?

Take science for example. It’s really hard to understand isn’t it? Those climate change studies, for example, are voluminous. They’re filled with mathematical equations and technical folderol far beyond the ability of most non-scientists to decode. Who can read that stuff anyway? Who wants to? After all, it’s only some scientist’s theory, like Darwin’s “Theory of Evolution.” We all know how the Bible shredded that one.

So what do you do?

You listen to “experts” like Sara Palin. That’s what you do. Sara boils all of that science down to a three easy words. “It is bogus.” And then she gives you some guidance on how to handle all the other scientific claims that interfere with your notions. “If this is bogus, you know,” says the not-quite one-term former governor of Alaska, “what else are they trying to tell us and trying to control us around if they can’t get this one right?”

That question must haunt radical social conservatives. It must keep you up at night. If you can’t sleep, you might just as well read the Bible that’s been gathering dust on the end table next to your bed.

Be careful. You might encounter stuff in the Good Book that could throw you off course. It’s better if you let someone like Jerry Falwell, Jr. or Pat Robertson read it for you. They know what to look for. They can exercise quality control and lead you right to the verses you need to know to do what you are called to do.

I get it. Life on the far right is not easy. I don’t envy you. Liberals are always questioning your constitutional right to torture logic and say things that are not quite true. They’re out to deny your “religious freedom” to employ your beliefs to marginalize anyone you don’t like for whatever reason you’ve been given to dislike them.

If we just understood how difficult your life is, we might be able to forgive you for making the lives of others so difficult.

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