I’ve had more debates with Republicans than I can even recall. I’ve talked to sensible Republicans who give me the slightest of hope for the GOP and I’ve talked to such radical, right-wing fanatics that it’s actually terrifying how these people are among us — free to do as they please.
But there’s still a trait I recognize within all of them, and I honestly believe it’s the root of the vast majority of what makes many of them so hopelessly ignorant about the world around them.
Conservatives simply lack the ability to see the world through any vantage point other than their own.
They can’t grasp what it’s like to be someone else. They don’t get that just because they were raised a certain way, that doesn’t mean everyone should follow that same set of rules. They don’t understand that just because they are capable of something, doesn’t mean everyone else is.
To conservatives (most of them anyway) they really believe we were “all created equal,” but only in the twisted sense that we should all be forced to worship the same religion, and “pick ourselves up by the bootstraps” with no help whatsoever. Which completely misses the point of what “equality” is all about.
If you want to look at the root of their racism; sexism; homophobia; Islamaphobia; bigotry and just overall inability to gain an understanding on the world around them, it’s their ethnocentric mindset which is the catalyst for much of their ignorance.
I learned a long time ago that just because I was capable of achieving something didn’t mean everyone else was. The achievements I’ve reached in my life are minuscule to some and extraordinary to others. It’s ridiculous to judge everyone based upon what I feel I can do because not everyone is like me. We all face different challenges throughout our lives which some just aren’t able to overcome. I see children being raised by horrible parents all the time who I know stand little to no chance in life without an extraordinary change for the better or help from somebody else.
I think of it like this: French, Spanish, Russian—they’re all languages. Sure, you might be able to learn them, but many people struggle at picking up a second language. It’s the language we were raised to speak which comes easiest to us. That’s how life is. I might speak one “language” in life that another person simply cannot understand because they weren’t raised with that “language.” Sure, some can learn it, but many will forever struggle to adapt based upon how they were raised.
Now I’m not excusing those who can help themselves, but choose not to. There are plenty of people with the capabilities to overcome their hardships yet simply choose not to do so. But those people are often the exception, not the rule. There’s been this false presumption perpetuated by conservatives that abusers of the system are the majority while those who need help are the minority. This, of course, is complete garbage.
Our compassion toward those we don’t understand or really relate to is a trait that makes Americans great — though it’s a trait within conservatives that seems to be fading into extinction.
And when it’s all said and done, it’s this inability to show compassion, understanding, or embrace the differences of others which is really the catalyst for what makes conservatives so damn regressive.
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