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Hate

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Hey, liberals! Here is some news! Contrary to the blathering of much of the political punditry, especially during this bitter confirmation fight, we conservatives don't hate you. Really! It's just that you scare the hell out of us.

We see politics as analogous to two people stuck together in a car fighting over the steering wheel, each seeking to be the one who determines the destination and route. We feel no need to tell you how to live your lives as long as it doesn't hurt us, and we just wish that you reciprocated the sentiment. We just hope that our struggle doesn't crash the "car," or put it into a ditch. We see your route preferences as determined to drive us over a cliff.

I mean, defund or eliminate the police? Really? Or effectively open up the borders? How that could go badly? Or try to provide free everything for everybody? Incite class warfare, and racial unrest, resentment, and division, until everybody is pissed off at everyone else? That'll sure bring us together.

As annoying as I may find someone else's politics, I don't let politics drive me to hatred. For one, I am forced to accept that a majority of my beloved family are flaming liberals. At family gatherings, I am forced to curb my plentiful and normally freely offered opinions, lest the turkey drumsticks become weaponized, and the stuffing be judged less on its flavor and more on its heft and trajectory. As my dry cleaner will verify from the few times I have violated my political "vow of silence," cranberry sauce stains are not easily removed.

I truly like and enjoy many liberals. They tend to be kind, humane, and well-intentioned folks, can be witty and engaging, and are often more pleasant company than those dour, tight-assed conservatives. It is just that you all lack pragmatism, and we don't trust you to make decisions with serious consequences, especially when one of the possible courses of action is emotionally appealing yet predictably disastrous. Too often we have seen you go charging off on some "big new thing" that has suddenly engaged you, and although you hadn't even given the idea a second thought until just recently, you now find it to be such a compelling moral imperative that you are driven to bend everyone to your will and force obedience.

I don't hate Joe Biden. While he may be addled, corrupt, and eager to cravenly implement the agenda of his party's extremists, he is also more likable than Trump. He would win on personality. Obama was certainly more "presidential." Even Hillary Clinton doesn't drive me to hatred. And, if Clinton was vanquished, and I somehow found myself as a guest at a celebratory banquet of her detractors where she was being offered up in a cannibal's stew pot? I would instead opt for the vegetarian lasagna. And, no, it wouldn't be because I was dieting.

But this is not an election of high school student body officers—here agenda matters more than personality. The agendas of the candidates are vastly different, and the policies of the victor will have a profound impact on our lives for a long period.

Unfortunately, many on the left do hate deeply. During the recent riots, we saw rioters with faces twisted in blind, incoherent rage engaged in violence against cops and the public. We saw buildings and cars with no political association burned, just because the rioters wanted to "vent." We saw activists angrily assail and bully random strangers merely due to their race, demanding shows of fealty to their cause. The liberal media has become so progressively unhinged in the ferocity of their hatred of Trump that I am afraid that they will collectively stroke out.

When was the last time you saw conservatives riot, burn, and loot? How many conservatives have threatened to "burn down" the country if an opposing president exercised their constitutional right to appoint a justice?

We conservatives just wish you were more pragmatic, and we often feel a bit like Spock of Star Trek fame. Spock, of course, was the relentlessly logical voice who was often mocked because he "just didn't get it" when he objected that a proposed course of action was illogical. The "it" that the rest of the crew "got" was usually some emotionally driven imperative that preempted and overrode rational considerations. For example, engaging in a horrific planetary war to prevent the Romulans from killing an adorable little puppy. Spock: "Captain, going to war over a dog is illogical." Kirk: "But just look how cute he is!"

Of course, in Star Trek, the emotionally driven decisions always somehow worked out for the best, which is one reason why it was classified as "science fiction." The great advantage of writing fiction is that the author can make a plot turn out however he chooses, while real life is not nearly so accommodating.

We conservatives just prefer a different route. Perhaps it is time to dial down the hatred. Δ

John Donegan is a retired attorney in Pismo Beach, who is all sweetness and light unless you catch him after he has been binge-watching Fox. Send him comments through the editor at clanham@newtimesslo.com or write a response for publication and email it to letters@newtimesslo.com.

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