The Christian holiday based on the birth of Jesus and made even more kid-friendly by Northern European folklore is upon us. The odds are pretty high you’re one of the nearly 100 million Americans who traveled to spend it with family, and the odds are even higher you’re going to have a disagreement about politics while you’re there.
I’m in Madison right now, which is the Berkeley of the Midwest, but the holidays have also included Chicago and New York with plenty of visitors from all over in each place. It’s been an interesting sampling of the country (albeit with a fairly liberal skew). I’ve seen a heartening trend with millennial males where they’re into far-right black guys such as Tommy Sotomayor, E.T. Williams, and Taleeb Starkes. I guess it’s the only way to be non-liberal and still get laid these days. Among landowning fathers I’m seeing a lot of socially liberal fiscal conservatives who are libertarian on everything but open borders and will be against foreign intervention right after we take care of ISIS (nobody likes ISIS). Women, minorities, and young people tend to be incredibly left-wing and even more uninformed, which seems irrelevant until Michael Moore points out that they represent 81% of the population. Here’s what they’re saying.
(1) “[Trump] wants all the Muslims out.”
This was said by a thirtysomething white woman at a Manhattan holiday party where presents were exchanged and someone brought a Trump board game ironically. I was given the game by the person who won it because she didn’t really want it. I asked this woman to name one specific thing wrong with Trump and she said the above quote (I heard others joke, “He wants to get the difference out”). In their world, Trump didn’t just call for a temporary immigration ban on Muslims immediately after a terrorist attack—he wants all 12 million Muslims to be escorted off the continent. When I explained what he really said and why he really said it, she didn’t seem to care. When you hear politicians described as “idiotic” and “insane” their critics are usually extrapolating from cartoon premises that the politician never said and when that cartoon bubble bursts, they just move on to the next one.
(2) “Why don’t we just kill Obama’s kids?”
This hair-whitening statement came from a Madison mom and inspired today’s column. When asked if I prefer Trump or Cruz, I said that’s like choosing between Superman and Batman and she was furious I didn’t hate Cruz. The premise of her statement goes: Ted Cruz is an evangelical and their credo is racism. They don’t believe black lives matter, therefore black people being murdered will be met with a tsunami of shrugs from the establishment.
I can just see Cruz standing at the podium for the inaugural address and smiling like Mr. Burns as Malia and Sasha meet the same fate as J. Christopher Stevens. The fictional world liberals create for the GOP is alive and well in the Middle East, but they prefer cartoons to reality.
(3) “I think I’m losing a friend, you guys. She’s pretty out-there with the lip piercing and the mohawk but the other day she told me she’s not a feminist.”
This was another thirtysomething, but this time she was from L.A. Her friend had let her down by jumping ship and when all the other women in the room heard it, they didn’t understand. “How can she say that?” one said, and we heard the horrible woman quoted above had also said she likes the idea of the patriarchy and would love to be taken care of. “That doesn’t mean you’re not a feminist,” the ladies chimed in. “You can be a stay-at-home mom and still think women deserve equal rights.” Not only did these women not understand why someone would deny being a feminist, they didn’t understand what the word means. By definition, to be a feminist means you believe women are “systematically and seriously oppressed.” If you think this applies to American women in 2015, you don’t think much. We also learned the lady with the pierced lip was a wage-gap denier. At this point, I couldn’t help but jump in and explain that the wage gap is a myth. Instead of this clarification being met with derision, all the women agreed with my logic. It became clear that the discussion wasn’t really about facts. It was about feelings.
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