Thursday, June 9, 2016

Conservatives' Central Problem: Social Progress Wasn't Made for Them. It Was Made for Social Progressives.

We progressives might gain if we could empathize with conservatives who have so much change to process. It would be wise, I think. But then, part of me says, fuck it, grow up.

Think maybe these are conservatives. Their problem is they don't see social
evolution as progress, as a public good. And the trouble is, they can't.

During my travels through Europe recently, I encountered a young student studying abroad. He was from ordinarily conservative Orange County and attended Cal State Fullerton. We talked about what millennials brought to the table, and he told me, quite simply, it was human rights. He didn't have "politics," per se, but every issue he confronted was run through the human-rights filter.

It's as if I had encountered a world-changer out in the wild. He, his generation, and like-minded Gen Xers, Gen Yers, and Baby Boomers added up to enough momentum to drive social change that we Americans -- and we're all Americans -- had to be ready for. Some of us just weren't ready. And some of us were powerful not ready.

Look, I had to evolve to get to the point where I was ready to support LGBT rights -- all of them -- and before I was ready I probably was as befuddled as the conservatives now are. The ground is shifting around them, and it doesn't feel good. For my part, I shifted with the ground, so I managed.

So before we say, "Fuck those Neanderthal dickheads," try a little tenderness. It might not accomplish any immediate political goal, but you'll be the better for it.

And read this piece by Martin Longman at Political Animal that inspired me.

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