Monday, November 3, 2008

The Conservatives Are Suffering

I’ve been thinking recently about those American conservatives who feel it’ll be the end of the world if Obama gets elected. The ones for whom an Obama Presidency is unthinkable.

To them I say…

I am so sympathetic to your situation.

Do you feel fear? Are you afraid for the world your children will grow up in? I know that feeling exactly! I’ve had a lot of time to get used to it over the last eight years. “I don’t want my children to grow up in this country?” “This country has become so scary?” I know that feeling!

Do you feel ashamed of your country? I know all about that! “I used to think this was a country I could trust.” Yep. “I never thought the US was this bad.” Yes, my thoughts exactly.

Everything you’ve fought so hard for is going to be ruined? Oh yeah.

We have a lot in common. That sense you have that it will take years, if not decades, to reverse the damage the new President is doing? We can tell you all about that. We’ve just been there–for the past eight years. Your values have been set back? Yes! Barbarians have taken over your country? Come here brother.

I feel bitter about my discoveries–you’ll see how that is soon. Eight years of bitterness really seeps into your bones. I have had it made painfully plain to me that the US is not a peaceful nation, is not a smart nation. I have had it made repeatedly obvious that the US is neither generous nor compassionate.

Now you’ll be tasting the bitterness of disappointment. I don’t really understand your values, but your disappointment will be about something like the US not being a strong, pure nation, a Christian nation, a model of white leadership… I don’t know. That’s not the point.

The point is that like us, you will withdraw a bit into yourseves, to “endure” the next four years. To see what you can save. To dream about how it could be. We know all about that.

I know sympathy is not your way. Sympathy is our thing. We wear it, we flaunt it. It would be stupid for us to extend sympathy to you and expect to receive it back. That would be like asking you to accept our values, which is what this conflict is all about anyway. Strength is your thing. Dominance. Security. And some old-timey stuff, whose tastefulness and appropriateness we disagree on anyway.

But we can observe your suffering.

We can take note of it. The conservatives are suffering, look! They are suffering now. They feel uncomfortable. They feel exposed, without a refuge to take pride in. They feel insecure. They feel isolated, by-passed.

The conservatives are suffering. Let us be aware of this.