The Conversation

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I mention this frequently. I have a number of conservative friends, and especially on Facebook I cultivate them. They are a view into a different world, which makes for interesting commentary.

Besides Facebook, I have classmates from high school and at a reunion earlier this year I had a chance to get their comments:

I brought up Donald Trump’s obvious shortcomings. Particularly his many unpresidential statements. When Trump calls women sluts, he’s not talking about all women, I was informed. There was an easy response, and I took it. Yes, Donald Trump was not talking about all women. He was talking about some women in particular. And he named these women, and he called them fat and ugly and sluts. I am guessing any reflection on this is not going to change this person’s mind.

Some of my classmates live in the San Antonio area, and we have been getting together for lunch on a yearly basis. Friday following the election promised to be enlightening. See the image above.

I knew in advance Sabina and Art would be voting for Donald Trump, especially Sabina. Sabina and her husband own an industrial concern north of the city, and I tried to get her take on how liberal administration policies affect such a business. While waiting for Art to arrive I began to quiz her.

She told me government regulations and taxes on businesses are her big objection. I pressed on government regulations, and she named the EEOC (Equal Opportunity Commission) in particular. It means her business is forced to hire “the one-eyed homeless person” and that it is harder to fire an employee. Guessing that the weight falls equally on all businesses, I asked that very question. How does that place her company at a disadvantage, compared to her competitors.

At one point the conversation turned weird. Had I ever created a job? Well no, but… But if you haven’t created jobs, where do you get off on  this? I reminded her I wasn’t getting off on anything, but I was asking questions, wanting to know. I detected a considerable amount of defensiveness on her part. She eventually pointed out that small businesses are exempt from some regulations, implying this put her company at a disadvantage. Also, her business tax (assuming a family business, not a corporation) is 35%. It’s 15% for smaller businesses.

Over lunch with Art the conversation turned to other matters political. It is difficult for Sabina to get away from how repulsive liberals are. She spoke of the “anarchists” breaking windows, hinting at the riots going on in some cities.

I found this comment immediately interesting, not because I did not think this was going on, but because of her use of the word. When I hear “anarchist” I think of the literal meaning of the word. I think of people like Cliven Bundy and his gang. These people are the definition of anarchists. They are anti government. They are for less government involvement. The people rioting and breaking windows and throwing stuff at the police are properly called thugs, hooligans, vandals, and more. But anarchists, literally, they are not.

When I challenged Sabina on her use of the word she said something to the extent this was what people considered anarchy. My response was typically snarky. I emphasized that it does not matter what others may think, we are the people who know what the word means, and we are the only ones sitting at the table talking about it.

That was not well received.

Finally, as lunch drew to a close, Sabina announce this would be the last time she would come. She would no longer tolerate my “bloviating.”

And then I realized what I had just done. I had done what I have so often done before. I had made a conservative cry and leave the room. Shit! I hate it when I do that. You would think I would have learned by now.

There is this person I knew long ago. He worked with Barbara Jean, and he’s on Facebook now. Something has formed him in the intervening twenty years. His Facebook posts are revealing:

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The history is that David has since come out as homosexual, and I found his cozying to Trump, and especially Pence, too very odd. When I posted a link to this story I was immediately unfriended. This happens a lot.

I’m not telling you that only conservatives get their feelings hurt and then run off and cry. I frequently see my liberal Facebook friends announce they have just unfriended somebody who makes objectionable statements. For the record, I have never unfriended anybody due to their posts. The sorriest, the most stupid, these are fodder for this blog. Without objectionable material, Skeptical Analysis would dry up and die.

So, conservative (and liberal and flat earth and creationist) friends on Facebook, keep those silly snatches of wisdom coming my way. And watch for them to pop up in the future on a blog posting near you.

Keep reading. And may Jesus have mercy on your soul.

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One thought on “The Conversation

  1. I’m eleven time zones away from all the hubbub so my perspective is somewhat skewed (I understand the Earth is round, but light bends, so…)

    I too have family in Texas, and friends, mostly on the side that would describe itself as “conservative” but when you hear their attitudes on issues like New Deal-era programs and food stamps it sounds more like “radical reactionary” to me.

    I found it amazing that with all the fierce posturing and declarations half the electorate didn’t get out and vote. Of course that could be its own form of protest, particularly when it’s a notorious grifter like Clinton who’s asking for your backing.

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