When one of those people I tend to call "a Far Right nutbucket" shared this article as "a leftist conspiracy to discredit Trump," I found myself singing "Another one jumped the shark" to the tune of Queen's "Another One Bites The Dust."
Don't people read our "About" post?
Then I found myself asking whether or not people take our About post seriously. I thought I'd made it clear that we don't entertain divisive attitudes, authoritarian positions, conspiracy theories, or stupidity here, but they don't seem to get it. Then I realised what the problem is.
They think they ARE rational.
Yesterday at work I was reminded that it was the 14th anniversary of the 9/11 atrocity in New York. Needless to say, the minute Billy mentioned that, my colleagues went a bit nuts recycling Truther conspiracy theories. "Didn't the owner take out a trillion dollars insurance policy?" asked one of the girls.
"You're supposed to take out adequate insurance on a building you own, and as the landlord that was his job," I pointed out.
Now that I've had a chance to process my irritation at the nonsense spouted by the people I work with I've come to the conclusion that a) I'm a grumpy old cow, and b) the reason they repeated that crap was because it seemed perfectly reasonable to them before I metaphorically crushed it underfoot.
So yeah, to recap, I've come to the conclusion that the reason we get all the nutbuckets posting the most outrageous nonsense here sometimes is NOT because they haven't read our About post, it's because they have, and think we're kindred spirits since they are "rational" too. Which brings me back to my question, what does "conservative" mean? And why, for the love of God, are WE letting it mean that?
The fringe loons have co-opted the word
Letting people on the Far Right control the conservative narrative in exchange for supporting people who were losing support from We The People is to blame for this. Per a recent article in Salon, Ann Coulter couldn't get arrested, let alone a TV spot these days, is because her extreme views have become so mainstream in conservative circles she's not news any more.
The UK version, Katie Hopkins, of "Gunboats for Migrants fame," will surely suffer the same fate.
Is picking on the very people our foreign and trade policies have driven from their homes via poverty or war, etc., a value we were raised with? Not in my house.
Is putting money (economic considerations), not people first a value you were raised with? Not in my house.
Is singling out individuals and groups whose worldview differs from your own for abuse and contempt a value you were raised with? Not in my house.
In my house we were taught to share, to care, and to bear with those people we didn't see eye-to-eye with; the worst they could expect was a bit of eyeroll now and again, and all because there's a certain amount of give and take required to live in an orderly society. What happened to that? Because as far as I'm concerned, that's not Marxist, communist, Socialist, or [$ dog whistle word of your choice]. That, my friends, is what traditional values are.
Let's be more outspoken
We need to be talking more about our values and what it really does mean to be conservative so that ours is the narrative that dominates. Until we do, the word "Conservative" will continue to mean "Loon" and I'm not having that. I won't stand for it. Let's push those people back to the fringes where they belong and let the sensible designated drivers take the lead once more.
Who's with me?