The Heartless Right

POSTED ON Oct 04th 2013 BY LESLIE LOFTIS UNDER Online Debate, Politics, Sons, The Federalist Links

My first piece in a new webmag, The Federalist, posted this morning. It is about how heartless conservatives are. It proved quite timely in this household.

“What’s a bastard?” nine year old Calvin asked as he got off the bus yesterday. Whether because I had just finished my article that morning and had the subject on the brain or because I know my son, I asked, “Were you talking politics on the bus?”

He was. He got into a ‘I’m a conservative’/’I’m a liberal’…banter with a couple of 5th graders. They told him that if he was conservative that made him a bastard.

I explained the historical meaning of the term to him first. That he hardly got that at all. What did it matter if your parents were married? You’re father is your father. But he got the second and intended meaning, cold and heartless. We had a long discussion about mistaking preferred methods with seeking different results. I used the ‘teach a man to fish’ story too. That worked best for him.


  1. Maggie Magdalene said:

    What amazes me is that in the same breath, someone who has known me my whole life can make comments about my politics, saying that I clearly don’t care about the poor or must be sadly misinformed, or whatever, and then say that they get the same treatment from conservatives. I have worked very hard to be respectful. Of course, their response would be, “Well, we don’t mean YOU, personally.” Then whom do you mean when you respond to my PERSONAL social media posts saying nasty things about conservatives? Really?

  2. Leslie Loftis said:

    Cheeky of me, pasting an old post in the comments, but I know exactly what you mean. From November 2011: (links broken)
    Comrade C and his family came to London. As per my usual, I took them to tea at the place with the nude in mosaic. The girls are in high school. They are Christian and conservative and sadly accustomed to the “but you seem so smart/normal/nice/well informed” remarks.
    Such comments are common conversation topics when conservatives get together. I told them about the recent, “I can’t believe my best friend is a Republican.” article in Salon. Read the whole thing, but this bit caught my attention:

    When I moved to Los Angeles, the 2004 election had just finished ravaging the neighborhood. Friendships had ended over differences of opinions, a few marriages had learned what they were made of when one couldn’t abide what hadn’t been that big of a deal before 9/11. And so when I met Janet, she was on the defensive. That first dinner at her house, someone brought up her Republicanism. I looked down into my soup, sure this was something we shouldn’t talk about. I don’t remember the comment, or Janet’s reply, but I remember my husband asking why she’d be friends with all these liberals — and yes, it was only liberals at the table — if she felt so strongly. Throwing her hands up, she said, “I guess I lack the courage of my convictions.”
    But it’s not that. I don’t speak for Janet, but I think there’s something deeper at play. Janet’s willingness to associate with so many liberal friends — though I know she seeks refuge in chat rooms and magazines that share her beliefs — makes her a better and more interesting person. She has her beliefs challenged constantly. She is more well-read and educated in her politics than most of the liberals I know. Too many liberals I know are lazy, they have a belief system that consists of making fun of Glenn Beck and watching “The Daily Show.” Shouldn’t their beliefs be challenged, too?

    I won’t quibble with Taffy’s conclusion about liberals needing to be challenged, but she is wrong about the reason for her friend’s comment. She missed, or avoided, that her friend’s comment about courage of her convictions was ironic. Her friend doesn’t lack the courage of her convictions. In a moment of frustration, she was accusing liberals of lacking the courage of theirs.*

    Liberals tell us that they are the most open and tolerant, yet it is the liberal Janet who can’t look her friend in the eye and missed the subtle jibe that refusing to socialize with the Other is hardly courageous. It is the friend who is willing to sit amongst the Other, willing to have her beliefs challenged, willing to calmly explain and defend her beliefs to someone who sometimes won’t even look her in the face. It is the friend who will have to endure the common smear that conservatives are so intolerant that we must find it difficult to associate with people with whom we disagree–while we sit amongst those with whom we disagree.

    We conservatives know of liberal contempt. Liberals should not imagine that they hide it well. When the friend seeks refuge in chat rooms and magazines, I assure you that the topic of the left’s impressive irony resistance capabilities comes up from time to time. Sometimes we get weary. But we pick up and carry on. After all, we aren’t going to win any hearts or minds by crying on a pillow or preaching to the choir.

    In related links, Another heartless conservative (last item)
    If you want intolerance, move to California. (h/t Instapundit)

    *Note, we conservatives do respect the courage that some have. We know how our liberal friends have to defend themselves and, perhaps, to keep us separate from their other friends. Some are braver than others, of course, but we know they come under fire for associating with us. The effort does not go unnoticed.

  3. edge of the sandbox said:

    Yep, that’s my life. I just sit there being insulted by neighborhood yentas. I am perfectly capable of standing up for myself, mind you, but I know that if I do, my children will have no playdates.

  4. Heatblizzard said:

    Being a conservative is a very lonely position sadly.

  5. ari said:

    okay, so huge comment eaten. Just as well.

    It helps to know that the only group of more conservative than liberal women, demographically, is women in junior high or high school during the Reagan presidency. All other women, as a group, are more liberal in outlook.

    This isn’t some daddy issue, as has been sneered before. In the Reagan years, America worked in a very real, physical way: it wasn’t wonky guys in big eyeglasses on talk shows. It was stuff like: saturated colors in clothes, generous cuts on clothes, exuberant hair-styles, new jobs in entire new industries, optimistic music and adventurous movies about ambitious people.

    Saturated colors take more dye than washed out colors- those dyes are expensive. The fabrics changed from the many varieties of polyester and acrylic- smelly, hot in summer, cold in winter, unpleasant on the skin- to natural fibers used in generously cut clothes- full skirts falling to one’s shins, blousy shirts, oversize teeshirts, baggy jackets. Fabric- it’s expensive by the yard. You can practically see the first part of the housing bust in the capris and shrunken tee-shirts of the later nineties- less fabric, less cost.

    Hair: Reagan got rid of the wage and price controls that had meant, mainly, that only old people could afford to own salons, and only older people could afford hair-cuts. There was a White House committee hashing out the “right price” for haircuts. It’s in the documentary “The Commanding Heights.” That 70’s shagginess- it was n’t just that people were slovenly- it’s that haircuts were a scarce, expensive service. Reagan abolished wage and price controls- and that led to Supercuts and other budget salons- and younger hair-cutters and stylists and hair-dyers. Hairstyles looked younger and more exuberant b/c young people could, and did, open salons catering to their peers.

    Charles Murray writes in Coming Apart about how a mass of college- educated people graduated and began careers. He lists 1977 as a turning point in both manufacturing and design in America- they got better, markedly better, starting that year. I’m willing to believe it, from a few little examples- female sanitary napkins, and shampoo. If you saw the pads….and then saw the improvements…- but even little things like adhesive strips, or super-absorbancy–made every month better. Shampoo- P&G started hiring research PhDs- so shampoo went from a wazy, harsh chemical treatment, to the, well, full aisles of custom hair-care we take for granted, today. Those PhDs- they do enough really elegant work that they’ve spilled over into medical treatments. That’s pretty spectacular research and brain-power, right?

    So, I’m listing some examples of every day betterness- and they didn’t happen randomly- they happened from real policies and real politics and real economics. People could afford the big clothes- manufacturers could afford to make and sell them- here and abroad- that’s trade agreements….

    The jobs were from Reagan spearheading the tech revolution. He didn’t just do Dept of Defense stuff- he seeded Silicon Valley, and encouraged finance guys, starting from when he was governor in California.

    After that, Bush really didn’t get ‘the vision thing’ and then Clinton….people think the prosperity washed in with Clinton’s saxophone solo……I read blogs by younger people where they sneer at their parent’s crafts and such from the seventies and eighties- and they don’t get- that’s what people could afford, that’s what was being sold, there wasn’t an internet–it’s painful, the sneering and cluelessness. People past Reagan think prosperity, good quality items, abundance, mass affluence is the normal order of things.

  6. ari said:

    The OPEC boycotts- oil shocks, cars in lines for rationed gas b/c Jimmy Carter couldn’t run the country- the Iran hostage crisis- which is, honestly, why I think they let the ambassador in Libya die at the hands of militants- he couldn’t be a hostage if he’s dead- industries not getting enough energy, or enough plastic or other supplies….

    Abortion stats can pretty much be linked to access to energy: right now, North Dakota and Texas are rolling back abortion regimes. They have the most improved economies from fracking. The seventies: most abortions in American history, ever, across all classes, ages and races. It messes with a person’s head to go through one. So, lots of stunned, distressed, traumatized people. When one reads a study about Russian drug addicts- the precipitating event of going from drinking liquor with friends to drugs- is usually an abortion. America had really never experienced that level of personal, diffused trauma. Or that many drugs taken by so many judging themselves destroyable.

    Oh- the low-level, near constant bombing campaign waged by seventies leftist dissidents. We joke about the Unabomber, and Mr Ayers is a floppy, nasty “respected” professor of education now- but he bombed the snot out of all sorts of people who usually make things work in America- lab researchers, postal workers, young people in the military- him and his friends. It was a violent incident a month, for years and years, all across America. Reagan gave the FBI resources and respect- and they arrested most of the chaotic, violent people. To gauge the difference- when you read Russian history- they couldn’t ever get enough of their anarchists arrested and sent away. The violent ones finally overwhelmed the state, and killed off the royal government.

    Or even something like cable television. In the early seventies the three main broadcast companies stopped showing their most popular shows, and brought in, among others, Norman Lear’s social engineering projects. They never earned the popularity of, say, Gunsmoke. It sounds silly- but entertainment quit being conventionally moral and entertaining, and switched to corrosive, uncomfortable propaganda. Cable TV was strongly local, strongly opinionated, and not as time-bound. It could show older movies- not current brainwashing. That helped the video and DVD markets come into imagination, at least.

    It’s hard to convey how squalid, uncomfortable, traumatized, disorderly, inept, ugly ( avocado sectional sofas, anyone? harvest gold refrigerators?) incompetent…..everything…..everywhere…..was.

  7. Heatblizzard said:

    Well said though I had a hard time understanding some of you’re sentences but I think I get the gist of what you’re saying on media industry going down the tubes.

  8. Heatblizzard said:

    It’s all just a political distraction. There is no *right* or *left*. They all want global control and the American public gets a boxed seat view of the charade as both sides serve negative forces.

    That is why it appears the right is *cold and heartless* because they are using only *logic* and the Liberals have emotions but use them in the wrong places without logic and act like children throwing a tantrum when their parents say NO.

    It’s all a guise to fool the public and it’s working quite well too but hopefully more people like Snowdan come out in the open to expose the lies.

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