Progressive Reporter Ponders Family Divisions Over Politics Over the Summer. Her Take Is Entirely Wrong.
The AP's Leanne Italie wrote a piece yesterday, thinking about how one navigates family when disagreements in politics pretty much dot the American landscape, ready to explode the moment your auntie has one too many mimosas and starts to lecture everyone about the value of socialist systems. How does one deal with family who may disagree with them? That's what Italie is wondering.
Well, she picked a couple of examples, and each one pretty much outlines exactly where she stands. The first family is one cut off from her family because they allowed their middle child to "transition." Another is an "ultra-progressive" liberal, educated at Berkeley, who tip-toes around her conservative Texas family. Why would any good, tolerant person ever want to cut ties with these delightful people?
Let's get this out of the way: Allowing your child to "transition" is child abuse--mental, physical, and emotional child abuse--and for anyone to accept such conduct is to endorse it. I wouldn't endorse my brother viciously beating his child, and likewise, I would not accept him standing idiotically by and giving permission for his child to start poisoning herself with hormones or hacking off parts of her body. Every family should be so decent as to cut off those in their midst who abuse their children. They're despicable.
As for the second example, I think we all know who in the room would be attempting to push her views on the rest of the family. Live and let live isn't exactly the mindset of any Berkeley activist.
However, what Italie seems to endorse as a kind of salve for these interactions is just as bad as any position an individual might attempt to bring up at the family barbeque. She cites two psychology professors, Daryl Van Tongeren and Thomas Plante, who believe that those conversations should be confronted with humility. "Humility has the potential to change our relationships, our communities and nations. It helps bridge divides, and it centers the humanity of each of us."
Perhaps, but then why would a decent human being want to build a bridge with someone abusing their own child? There's no humanity in that individual. At least, I don't see it. Nor do I care to approach someone who does such a thing as if there is some kernel of value in what they're doing or a logic in it I simply cannot see. Not all positions are morally equal, and there are things worth cutting people off entirely.
"Having a heated conversation during a picnic or over the barbecue isn't going to change anyone's mind. It only creates tensions and hurt feelings as a rule," says Thomas Plante.
Good. If you feel bad about what you're doing when I point it out, it's probably because you feel ashamed--somewhere deep down inside, you feel ashamed. That should tell you something about your behavior.
When a lefty chastizes me for being pro-life, I don't feel bad about myself. Why should I feel bad about wanting babies to live? If the abortion activist feels bad when I point out they are supporting the dismemberment of babies, perhaps they should rethink their position on the dismemberment of babies.
For Leanne Italie of the Associated Press, the liberal side is obviously correct or she wouldn't have decided to use all liberals for her article. But what she wants are the conservatives to understand that those liberal positions are just as acceptable. They should be treated as valuable or respectable in some way--or at least not pointed out for the disgusting, deviant, and abusive positions that they are. She wants this because it's the first step in giving up ground to the left. First, you meet them at the table as equals, and then they start asking for inches, and before you know it, they've started performing drag shows for children.
The leftist notions aren't equally moral, though, nor should they be treated as such. If your sister is bringing her son to drag shows, you shouldn't just accept it. If your brother is an avowed Marxist with a membership to the Democratic Socialists of America, you don't have to respect him.
There are absolutely reasons to no longer associate with people, even family. I'm not saying you can't try to convince them of otherwise--and perhaps they aren't altogether intransigent and can be reasoned out of their positions--but for those who have planted themselves firmly in the toxic soil of leftism, do not allow them to water themselves with your kindness. Don't sustain them with your company. Don't allow them access to your family to spread their poison.
This summer, I will take time to visit family. I will enjoy fishing with my brothers, barbeques with my parents, and playing with my daughter, nieces, and nephews, but what I won't do is stay quiet when someone says something egregious. And I won't walk on eggshells when they voice stupid opinions. Conservatives have right on our side and shouldn't be afraid to wield it.
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