I was certainly raised in a conservative family. At least by modern-day standards. My parents were gun-owning, Jesus-loving, pro-life promoting Republicans. To qualify, and unfortunately this must be said, they weren't and aren't racist. They treated everyone the same and we were expected to act the same. This being in part I'm sure to both my mother being a social worker, and my father being in the military for 22 years. It's rather hard to be racist when you've been in 32 different countries and seen different cultures first hand.
At any rate, I followed suit with their ideology as I grew up. I remember sponsoring some very conservative arguments at mock congress in high school. This isn't at all untypical. Most children do somewhat adopt the ideology or politics of their parents.
As I got older and saw more of the world, my ideology changed a bit. I wouldn't say that I completely gave up my conservative background, but I did become much more progressive. The gay marriage conundrum didn't matter to me. I had gay friends. It didn't affect me personally, so why would I care? And as a Christian, who am I to tell people how to love, how to worship, or how to live? It wasn't my place, and it wasn't wrong to me. So, I evolved somewhat. And eventually, I decided to liken myself to more of a Libertarian sort of philosophy. What people do behind close doors is none of my business unless it infringed on my rights.
I guess the social climate of this country changed after 9/11. I was in my mid 20's when the attack happened. What I noticed was an initial coming together of everyone in the nation. Other nations stood in solidarity with the US, and we all learned to lean on each other. It was a sad thing to see, but an incredible thing to see, this social consciousness.
Then things started to change rapidly. Suddenly, it became socially wrong to say things that hurt people's feelings. It started small. I remember dating my then boyfriend, who by the way was a Muslim, and I remember us talking about how the British were much more racist than Americans- his words, not mine. In the next breath, he would talk down about America in a way that was mystifying. Here was a young man who got a visa, went to school free in this country, and lived with his mother who stayed home and lived on public assistance.
Back then, in those early to mid-years of the 2000's, it was still acceptable to tell him the truth. To tell him that if he didn't like this country that was doing so much for him and his family that he was welcome to leave it. And he had no comeback, either. Back then common sense prevailed. If you disliked your situation, no matter what it was? You changed it. And you didn't bite the proverbial hand that fed you.
But the seeds were already there. Which is why I came to find out later on that he was allowed to get away with things at work that had anyone else done it they would have been fired. They just didn't want to offend him. And eventually, he was fired, but only because the evidence they had on him was physical proof and it couldn't be ignored.
Please understand. I don't harbor him any ill-will. I'm only speaking of a situation to illustrate the start of an ongoing agenda that has bled into modern day society. I wish and hope he is well.
As time progressed the agenda of "progressiveness" became stronger. A lot of it I welcomed. Granted, I didn't think free speech should be hindered, but I enjoyed that people were becoming more self-aware of what they were saying. I liked the openness to different lifestyles and ideas.
And then came the election year of Obama's first term. For the record, I feel that Obama is a man with good intentions. And I'm aware that many conservatives called him things like the "anti-christ", and they weren't joking. Of which I would roll my eyes. The man wasn't the antichrist. What he was was a man who reigned in the era of hyper-awareness. This hyper-awareness, however, was not being used for self-reflection. It was used to be aware of how others were acting.
Suddenly, it was identity politics all around. White CIS males didn't understand the dilemma, you see. And racism was everywhere. And everyone was oppressed that wasn't white. And feminism was about equality for all, but how about those conservative bigots, ehhhh?
And so Obama was elected into office, and things got worse. Small minorities of white folks acted dumb, and suddenly the whole white race was indicted by some. Then it was white privilege, which I agree with in some regard. It just led to white guilt and apologists for things that most people never did or participated in to begin with.
The problem with the above arguments is that it was rhetoric that took away from a very real issue. Is there still racism? Yes. Of course, there is, but when you hear about it constantly, and you're being told over and over that you're racist simply because you're either white or you don't 100% agree with the other side? The argument loses it's value because people tune it out.
No one wants to be told they suck all the time.
Black people felt oppressed. They feared for their lives. They were being shot by cops with what seemed like a constant rate. And it was understandable that they felt that way with the media finding any story they could to promote that. It generated headlines, brought people to their facebook pages, and made them money via hits. So they stoked the fires. Even to the point of showing up at the cities where these shooting occurred as they waited for rioting and poor behavior from black people.
And then Progressives REALLY began to lay it on thick. The time for discussion was over. Either you get with the program, or you're the enemy. Refrains of someone being a racist, or a bigot, or a woman hater sprang up thru the land. You were wrong. They were on the side of the oppressed. The people who supposedly couldn't speak for themselves.
Except they weren't. The same people, black people, STILL felt oppressed. Furthermore, not only did black people still feel this way, but almost everyone who was not left leaning felt the same, too! Suddenly, a literal nation of people felt marginalized and insignificant. Except the Liberals/Progressives. They felt fine. And they were "fighting the good fight". And that was either by patting you on your head like a pet if you were black, or insulting and looking down on you if you disagreed with them.
Then the 2016 election cycle started, and shit really hit the fan.
Of course, it started with Donald Trump. This is not the first time he has contemplated running. Honestly, when I heard he was going to run? I rolled my eyes. Then 16 other candidates for the GOP nomination. It became a circus, and Trump became the ring leader. People mocked Trump and said he would never win the nomination. Almost every competitor being an "establishment" republican.
Then Donald Trump won the nomination.
He didn't win it because he was a great candidate. He won it because of everything I've written about so far. People were tired. They were tired of the placating and the lip service. They were tired of the same ole, same ole. And they were sure tired of being told how awful they were. So, they voted him in as the nominee.
Meanwhile, a more "civilized" nomination process was happening on the DNC side with Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. Bernie started a movement within the DNC. Hillary, on the other hand, represented everything that people didn't want, which was interestingly enough very similar to their GOP counterpart's complaints. She was "establishment". Not only that, but she was seemingly corrupt. She was investigated by both the FBI and had to go in front of congress for both Benghazi AND her emails. She represented cronyism and everything people were so against in the 2016 election cycle. At least she wasn't like Donald Trump and she kept it nice and clean.
Except she didn't.
Thru the marvel of Wikileaks, we found out the truth. We found out that the Clinton campaign along with the DNC worked adamantly to discredit Bernie. To malign him and to take his movement away. Not only that, but we learned that Clinton's campaign WANTED Trump to win the nomination because they felt he was easy to beat. That's right, they encouraged and promoted him to win the nomination. Let that one sink in. They wanted him to get the nomination.
Then we get on the subject of the media. Clinton is now partially blaming the media for her defeat at the hands of Donald Trump.
Is she kidding?
First, we know this isn't true because again, Wikileaks showed emails of major news organizations openly colluding with her campaign. Up to and including giving her actual debate questions. Giving her news articles before they were even sent to the "journalists" editor. I literally couldn't go thru a DAY without seeing some article on Trump because he didn't wash his hands after he peed- that's really how bad it was. Sometimes, I'd see media pages post three and four articles a day about him. Sometimes, they'd wait a few days, and then regurgitate the same article again. Meanwhile? Wikileaks, emails, or comments from Hillary? Very little coverage. To say that she lost because of the media being unfair to her is like me saying I'm overweight because companies make food.
Hillary lost because she was a bad candidate. Period. Because people are tired of any oligarchies with the name Bush or Clinton attached to it. Because she knocked out the most viable candidate who could have beat Trump with her own lust for greed and trickery.
Mostly, she lost because the Democratic Party has lost touch with the American people and is living in a bubble. They have lost their way.
So, now to everyone's surprise- mine as well, Trump has won.
And now I see a basic "sea of white" protesting the results of a legitimate general election. Mostly White and Hispanic protesters- I feel that this is probably in part to the Black voters not only feeling oppressed still, but knowing that protesting does little for their cause- and Democrats only help them every four years when it's time to cash in on their votes. Also mostly Millenials, which by the way had the lowest amount of voter turn-out in this election, are treating this country like we're a 3rd world country. They're vandalizing property. They're burning mannequins of the President-elect. There's even been shootings. All because things didn't turn out how they thought they should.
And now our "Progressives", who hated Donald Trump because he was going to bring violence to this nation, are being violent. Worse, both Clinton supporters and Progressives are attacking people who voted for Trump. Calling them racists and xenophobes. Blaming them for Trump's victory. You horrible, nasty deplorable!
Blame yourselves. He won because of you.
He won because you stopped trying to help people, and started judging them. He won because you shamed anyone who said they'd vote for him, and they kept silent- and that's why your polls were so off. He won because you didn't take him seriously. He won because you talk a good game, you act sympathetic, but do nothing to change it. He won because you think your righteous indignation of what is right and wrong is the only way.
That is why he won.
And I find myself in a precarious position. I'm socially progressive, but I find myself at odds with the same people who deem themselves the same way. As the media continues to report of current racism, they conveniently leave out the group of people that gleefully beat up a Trump supporter. Or my friends who have told me personally that they're afraid to even admit who they voted for. Or my friends who say they have been verbally attacked for voting for Trump- and not on social media, either. They're being attacked in the streets and on college campuses. Or the children who are being attacked and criticized perpetuated with half-truths from the media driven "hate squad" to invoke fear or loathing.
At this point, I would much rather prefer to call myself a Conservative if this is what being a "Progressive" has turned into.
Enjoy the good fight, "right fighters"....but before you do? Perhaps you should think about the fact that the Democrats lost the House in 2010, the Senate in 2014, and now the Presidency in 2016.
Perhaps a little self-evaluation is in order.