Thursday, November 10, 2016

Maybe we're doing it wrong?

Pictured: the next President
looking as shocked as the rest of us.
Say, you don't suppose that maybe we kind of had this coming do you? Like, leaving aside the fact that the arcane and antiquated clusterfuck that is the electoral college has screwed us once again, is it possible that maybe the groundswell of angry conservatives climbing up out of their Rapture shelters just long enough to fill out a ballot might have been driven to do so in part by eight years of simmering rage at our smug moral superiority? Because when you look at the résumés of the two major party candidates, blind rage has to have been a deciding factor for a lot of people.

Above: noted red-state shit merchant
and vice-president elect, Mike Pence.
I'm not saying our smugness was misplaced. We're usually right, it's just that maybe we could have been a little less dickish about it. I don't know about you, but I tend to describe the American right as rabid-foam crazy-racist-misogynist-homophobes with persecution complexes. And in my defense, they tend to say and do rabid-foam crazy, racist, misogynistic and homophobic things often while complaining, without the slightest hint of irony, that white males are somehow the underdogs. But when I write off the Republican party as a bunch of red-state shit merchants, am I really helping?

Probably not. New research suggests that conservatives feel something akin to human emotion as well. It's hard to spot sometimes particularly when they're trying to build border walls and defund Planned Parenthood, but it's there.
"Fascinating...according to this CAT scan, conservatives seem to posses
the parts of the brain responsible for reason and empathy, so the question
is why are they such gigantic asshats when it comes to gay people?"
"Hey, this guy on the internet's
right! We are basically Hitler."

-some conservatives
So why are we mean to those we disagree with? Obviously because it feels good to knock people who are clearly wrong about everything, but I think in some weird way we're also hoping to persuade them. We've got it in our heads that if a conservative reads our stupid blog or Facebook post or whatever, they'll see the light. And while it would be totally gratifying to know that we've brought someone over to our side with a clever argument or biting observation, people don't usually respond that way to having their worldview bashed. In fact it just makes them think we're jerks, which, maybe they're not entirely wrong.

These adorable animals get along even though
kittens support school vouchers and puppies favor
stricter gun-control laws. Let's learn from them.
Oh, and also it makes them vote for the candidate who doesn't talk down to them. And that's sort of what happened on Tuesday. It's not all of what happened, but it's a big part of it. Ok, so what do we do about it? How do we get along with a party and a President that ran an entire campaign on turning people against one another? I don't know. But trying to keep in mind that from their perspective they were running a campaign based on giving a voice to people we've been dismissing as ignorant goons would be a start. We don't have to roll over on our issues, but we do have to be civil to them or better yet, (gulp) friendly. 

It's not going to be easy, but it is what we're going to have to do. We're not abolishing the electoral college tomorrow, but we can work on being decent to one another and getting along, even if they are a bunch of goons...sorry. But for real, we can't go on like this.
Although holy shit, let's absolutely abolish the electoral college tomorrow,
because this is absurd. Ab-goddamn-surd. Can we at least all agree on that?

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