Enemies share a smoke
The Left really did a number on themselves. This was not supposed to happen.
The thing is, as I’ve written elsewhere, while conservatives at their best tend to view their liberal foes sympathetically (healthcare for all isn’t a bad idea, but you can’t implement it that way), the Left at its best views the right as either stupid or sinister. The Left’s contempt was there before the election. Their terror is here now that Stupid has won.
As the dust settles, Trumpians begin to raise their hands to be counted and conversations have begun. The Left is still mad, but they’re beginning to listen, a bit, I think. Still, as one liberal coworker put it to me after I gave a rousing defense Trump: “How are we friends?” Amazing what being stuck in a carpool with someone ten hours a week will do to a person.
But that’s not a flippant aside. It’s the point: as a conservative, I’m friends with numerous liberal colleagues and on social media I interact with even more folks from the Left. These friendships and acquaintances have a way of breaking down stereotypes and making people listen to the other side. My coworkers and I laugh in the car and over beers about work, students, school administration, and culture. I’m conversant in their lingo and know their concerns and political passions. We talk about politics, but I’m also diplomatic. Part of this is self-preservation (no need to rock the boat too much). Part of it is my desire give them a window into the other side. Part of it is that I can’t help myself (you know, before going off on Trump’s deportation schemes, Obama has deported more people than any other president?). And they listen, sort of. Either way, at the end of the day, we know how to put those differences aside and laugh about that obnoxious kid from Brazil that plagues us all. Continue reading
“How could Nixon have won? Nobody I know voted for him.” —Pauline Kael
The quote is tongue-in-cheek and somewhat apocryphal (Kael, a highbrow film critic for The New Yorker, was aware of her own elitist bubble) but it is apropos to the Trump phenomenon.
Over Christmas break I had a conversation with our traveling correspondent, Argos (see his reports from Belgium, Jordan, and Sweden). A white collar, pragmatic conservative not given to flights of fancy over winning the culture war through legislation, he expressed some discomfort with the Trump’s boorishness and doubts over his electability. I caught up with him the other day to discuss the subject again.
The mood has changed and it’s telling, though anecdotal. Simply put: if the election was tomorrow, he’d vote for Trump in a heartbeat.
Argos just returned from some wanderings in Jordan, Sweden, and Hungary. This report focuses on his first stop: Jordan and its neighbors.
First, a quick refresher. Argos has a new job in which he jets about the globe as an adviser to his organization’s regional leaders and gathers information for corporate. Whenever he gets back stateside he gives me a call to share his observations. His first trip took him to Belgium.
Second, a caveat: these write-ups are anecdotal but hopefully insightful.
Years ago I walked into a Palestinian barbershop in the Old City of Jerusalem and came across pictures of Yasser Arafat and Elvis pinned to the same wall—a terrorist-freedom fighter and an American rockstar.
Travelling has a way of jolting assumptions and categories and lending perspective to global situations often processed for us by the mainstream media.
So I’d like to introduce a friend that has agreed to share his travelogue with us. We’ll call him Argos.
Argos has a new job in which he jets about the globe as an adviser to his organization’s regional leaders and gathers information for corporate. It’s a sweet gig if you can handle the flying.
Whenever he gets back stateside he’s going to give me a call to share his observations and some of the conversations he had with the locals about politics and culture. Consequently, this will be a reoccurring column at feralyawp. That said, while we’re well aware that Argos’ insights are anecdotal, they are nevertheless suggestive and possibly insightful.
Argos first trip took him to Belgium.