Friday, September 5, 2008

Conservative, but Don't Tell Anyone

Bookworm, the Marin County, California mom who lives a secret life as a conservative blogger in one of the bluest spots in America, wrote about her plight in a 2005 article, Confession of a Crypto-conservative Woman. On her own website Bookworm Worm, she features a piece about the lengths to which conservatives in strong blue areas feel intimidated about expressing their political views. The intolerant left is becoming more obnoxious in its demonization of those who dissent from their orthodoxy. An excellent example is the protesters, the so-called "anti-war protesters" during the Republican National Convention: looting, broken windows, slashed tires and a variety of other types of vandalism. Slashed tires? I haven't heard of such a thing since Woodward Academy played "Dixie" during the football halftime at Henry County High School back in the mid-70s. Blacks were enraged, so they slashed the tires of the Woodward buses. (On a side note: Can I call myself a Scottish-American?)

Alexander Solzhenitsyn is no longer with us, so it seems fitting to highlight the velvet gulag inhabited by conservatives in Hollywood, Marin, Berkeley, CA and yes, even in the deep south of Atlanta, Athens and God help us, Macon, GA. Don't feel sorry for any of us: we are quite comfortable, thank-you. But we also live with the fear of being denounced, shunned, and abused by those with whom we must associate as neighbors, colleagues, and even just strangers in a restaurant overhearing a conversation.

Understand that the left is revealing its hand as people who do not tolerate those who disagree.

A sample from Bookworm's new essay:

"During the 2004 elections, people who were unaware of my political inclinations announced in front of me that "Bush is the worst President ever," "Republicans are stupid," "Republicans are evil," "Bush is stupid," "Republicans are corrupt," "Republicans are fascists" and "Bush should be impeached." Children ran up to me on the sidewalk chanting "Bush is evil, Bush is evil" - so you know what their parents were saying at the dinner table. In this election cycle, one of my children announced after school that she was voting for Barack Obama "since every one is because he's black." I quickly scotched that line of reasoning.

I know I should be speaking out when I hear statements such as these, but the sad fact is that I like these people. Barring their monomaniacal animosity towards Bush and the Republicans, they're otherwise very nice: they're hard workers, loving parents, good neighbors and helpful and reliable friends. Being the social creature that I am, I don't want with one word ("Republican") to turn these friendships upside down and inside out. (I'm not the only one with this problem.) I don't want to be on the receiving end of some hideous Jekyll to Hyde transformation, so I just keep my mouth shut.

Those people I know who have spoken aloud their new conservative political views have been horrified by the animosity turned against them by formerly friendly neighbors and colleagues. My in-laws who are, like me, 9/11 neocons (down in Los Angeles) have stared open-mouthed at colleagues who use staff meetings to revile Bush and the Republicans - all to the cheers and huzzahs of the other staff members. (Indeed, what they describe sounds remarkably like Orwell's Two Minutes Hate.) On the occasions when they've suggested that maybe, just maybe, Bush isn't the Antichrist, they've found themselves shunned by these same colleagues.



Cliff H. said...

Hey Walter- Your post brought back an old memory for me-- doesn't have anything to do with your post, but I just want to write about it.

I played football for Woodward on the 1970 state championship team. We played Henry County in the last regular season game of that year- it was their Homecoming game. We were a great team and they were really bad- I think they went 1-9 or something. It was 41 to 0 at halftime- the only first down they made all night was when they ran a sweep-- Our cornerback was flirting with a cheerleader on the sideline and was out of position, so they made their only first down of the game.

We punted on 3rd down to keep from scoring. We had to put in the third string offense to keep from running up the score. It was a total mismatch. We could have scored 100 points on them. Head Coach Hixon wouldn't let us score any more, so the game ended 41-0.

As we huddled up for the post game prayer, lots of rocks started flying toward us from a dark place. No one was hit, but I remember Asst Coach Stallings yelling at us to put our helmets back on and sprint to the team bus. We prayed on the run that night.

Walter said...

Thanks for sharing that memory. Great story! Nothing like WA Football. I was on the 1980 Championship team, so it's a small world, Cliff. Hope all is great with you!

Your story brought back my memory of a play-off game in Early County in 1980. After the game, we stayed at the Quail Hotel since it was such a long drive back to College Park. The Early County fans (maybe players, too?) were so upset by Woodward spoiling their championship hopes, they did doughnuts all night in the hotel parking lot, until Gerald Browner (6'-3", 320 lbs) and Coach Stallings scared them off and called the Sheriff.

Oh by the way, Woodward plays Eagle's Landing September 12th at Eagle's Landing, which is of course, in HENRY COUNTY!