Last light, Stone Steps © Robert Sommers 2023

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Party lines

I've been trying real hard to steer clear of politics of late. So divisive. So pointless. I have worn out the nation's crappy marriage metaphor from overuse. But it does seem that we are at that point in the breakup when we just want to impact maximum damage on each other if given an opening.

Take Biden's stumble. My god, you would think the guy was a senile dotard getting spoon fed gruel the way they jumped on that. He slipped. It happens. I have slipped. Trump slipped. So did Gerald Ford. But Biden did it and he is ready for Bingo and the shuffleboard courts. 

Of course liberals were every bit as reflexively willing to blast Trump at every opportunity so I guess it is payback time and I don't see it stopping anytime soon. Ready, fire, aim.

The two camps just snarl and talk past each other, I see little hope for anybody finding middle ground anytime soon. People are perfectly happy to live in their own respective camps and watch their own slanted media and rather than get anything accomplished, wait for their side to have the upper hand again.

I am lucky. My friends are distributed about 50/50 across the ideological spectrum. I even agree occasionally regarding points of policy with my more conservative friends. And this is not new. Go to the blast search box and put in the words Iran and Obama and you will see that I was quite angry with him often on both matters of foreign policy and civil liberties. 

I mention that to my conservative cronies and I hear that my negativity towards liberal is gratuitous, or for show or just not nearly enough. You can't please some people, it is easier for the world to deal in black and white than deal in matters of nuance and degree.

I got a funny call from my friend Bruce last week. Bruce is a conservative but one with a very good sense of humor. "Bobby," he says. "You've been awfully quiet on Joe Biden lately. Quite the love affair. Just think how hard you were bashing Trump at every turn. What happened?"

I said something sort of unprintable about trying to get a whiff of Joe's holy flatulence that will go unwritten right now. But I get his point. It is important to try to keep balance and intellectual integrity and I would like too think I still have some.

I read two things this week that gave me pause. The first was Sidney Powell's statement that no reasonable person would confuse her Dominion Systems statements with the truth. See No reasonable person would take her voter fraud claims as fact. Which is sadly funny because so many stupid people obviously bought her crap hook, line and sinker. And she obviously has no qualms with being outed as a despicable liar.

And the second thing was this article at Politico - How "owning the libs" became the GOP's core belief by Derek Robertson. I think that it is worth the read. Because it is clearly true that it has been a favorite conservative pastime of late to say something with racist or misogynist overtones and then watch liberal heads blow up. They take great pleasure in that and I get it. Because ultra political correctness makes me want to hurl too. The perpetually woke also have their periods of nauseating deafness to reality, obviously. 

I got a couple good responses when I sent the article to my mostly conservative friends. My lead in question was "Is this really what it is all about?" I hope it is okay to anonymously print a few comments:

Hi Robert, this is interesting, but as a conservative Republican, I can tell you there is a lot of mischaracterization. I don't believe "lib-owning" is even a thing, except for the ability to debate the issues and get your point across and sometimes that is funny, or uncomfortable or whatever. This writer is carrying through with popular rhetoric and narratives highlighting the most outrageous things instead of what is mainstream. It would be interesting to have a conversation with this writer. Many many many of Trump supporters are uncomfortable with his brash and sometimes rude comments. I can't tell you how many times Republicans have commented at how they miss the charisma of Ronald Reagan or John F. Kennedy (I know he was a Democrat). They were people who spoke their mind, including the evils of big government, but were able to do it with class. Reagan talked a lot about big government and think about how JFK talked about even dismantling the CIA. However, it is also discussed how they don't think a more reserved or sensitive person could have withstood the constant attacks like Russia, Ukraine, etc. that he has had to fight while being leader of the free world. A weaker man could not have withstood the pressure. 

While Trump was not my first choice, what people like me appreciated about him was that he was a businessman, an outsider (like Obama) who had a specific plan with measurable goals and in the first 100 days he got an amazing amount of them done. It was backwards. He made his money before he got into office. He angered both Democrats and Republicans with his outsider ways and brash behavior. When I asked people like J----- what he thought about the accomplishments of Trump, he said, "what accomplishments?" That was an epiphany for me because he really didn't know anything that Trump's administration got accomplished. All he knew about was the false accusations about Russia and "yellow man bad" So, it's hard to have an intelligent conversation with people who don't know both sides, and are so steeped in the rhetoric (and that's both Republicans and Democrats) that they can't have an honest open conversation. 
That's what this Politico piece screams. There's no mention of how conservatives have been targeted, not only by the IRS, shootings at baseball games, efigies of Trump's bloody head or him on fire, the congressmen and people being bullied and threatened leaving the Rose Garden, death threats to Senators by members of the Press for changing parties. And because the media is so biased, it's not at all surprising. It's to be expected if a group of people is constantly mischaracterized by a non-stop media campaign of smears, lies, and demonization. 
I believe we have to understand that the majority of people on both sides of the fence are honest and most likely want the best, although they may have different paths for reaching the goal, whatever it is. And that is why free speech is so important. If we keep trying to shut each other up and cancel each other we can't learn from each other. When we start to get lost we have to remember the age old principle of treat people the way you want to be treated. That's what Trump doesn't do.
This is why I take so much time to answer the nasty letters about me in the paper. It's out of respect and I honestly want to have the conversation. Now there's a few people saying I need to be canceled. It's just such a ignorant and weak position for them to "cancel" people. But that's the way things are going. We're so worried about Mr. Potato Head and Pepe LePew, but we celebrate Cardi B crawling all over the stage and singing about Wet Ass Pussy and how she gets cars, rings and money for it on national TV. IT's just so weird, but they have the right to free speech too. Everything is just so weird right now. 

Sorry to ramble on. 
Thanks for sharing,


The publisher of Politico has said he is trying to “reshape” the way people think. The hate just needs to stop. It’s worse than ever. Both parties. 



It clearly is about owning to some people.  But I think the author makes an unfortunate mistake of commingling baiting and trolling a la Trump with serious intellectual policy debate a la Buckley (thereby weakening his argument).  

Buckley was an entirely different animal.  Agree or disagree with his views, he tried to intellectually dismantle 
liberal policy positions.  And the fact that he was very good at it, made him dangerous to especially those 
liberals who could not match his debate skills.  This he had in common with other conservative thinkers 
like Kristol, Krauthammer, and Will, none of which supported Trump. 

There are some people who are somewhere in the middle.  They can be intellectual but also love trolling.
I think that Ben Shapiro falls into this category, for example.


Unfortunately, yes.

It’s about the bullies taking over the playground and bossing others around.

Juvenile instincts.


I saw a good conservative friend at the Post Office the other day, a woman who I honestly love. She said the same thing I have heard from several people lately, I am a conservative but I do not like or support Trump. Now I believe that current polls show that at least 64% of Republicans do support him but I take it as a good sign that many do not. 

This makes me at least somewhat hopeful. Of course I hated Trump on pretty much every level and on every policy but I made my feelings quite clear. It is possible that I will also come to dislike many of Biden's policies, his purge of pot smokers in his administration was not a good sign and any talk of rapprochement with Iran would be dangerous and foolhardy. 

My friend said that the political tension is so bad in our country and in her own family that her brother will not let liberal family members come to the house for family gatherings and celebrations. And the opposite is obviously occurring too, with many of us divorcing or unfriending those with differing political beliefs.

But at least we are free of the daily invective of the ex narcissist in chief, the man who stood for nothing but himself and his seedy band of grifters. A man with no real convictions except faith in his ability to manipulate his flock.

I had a conservative friend from Colorado show up yesterday. He and his new girlfriend are avid Trumpers. She needed to use my restroom and mentioned the Obama book near the john, which John Morris sent me and I have not yet read.

She said something like "Isn't is a shame that the President is so senile and out of it and soon we will have that marxist Kamela running the country?" And I had to choke, told her that the only Marx that mattered to me was Groucho and that it was none of my business who Willie Brown slept with. I stoked the partisan fire as they left. "You know how bad you hate Biden right now?" That is how I felt the last four years." They looked at me in amazement, our narratives so different.

If you look at Fox news right now, they have dropped any semblance of objectivity and it is just blast the Biden administration at every turn, create a false furor about the border and keep the right wing attack machine on constant red alert. Republicans in Congress will be against anything Biden does, even if they were supporting identical policies during the last administration. Because people are dumb and they have short memories.

And maybe the left wing press wasn't much if at all better but this is one damn nauseating way to run a country into the ground and it makes me sick. I agree with letter writer D. Both sides are guilty and one can only hope that one day we can start speaking to each other like adults again.


Sanoguy said...

Ms. Sidney Powell will be in the poor house when Dominion is through with her. I would be happy to drive her there!

Anonymous said...

I'd like the list of Trumps good accomplishments, I might be one of those blind liberals who don't see very much good in what he did. I think the problem is the definition of "good", not the accomplishments. My first recollection was the banning of certain religions from entering the country, causing confusion and shut-down at airports.

Anonymous said...

Robert this not directed at you just most conservatives
The conservatives do one thing, blast whatever Biden does, thats it, nothing else. Unless I am missing something? I watched Fox news last night, all they did was attack the border situation that Fuckface created, they even mentioned Hunter Biden. They are 100% opposed to do anything period, guns NOPE, Voting rights, NOPE, gay rights NOPE womens rights NOPE climate change NOPE look at them senators all so fucking old and filled with hatred of anyone not white, Down with the electoral college. Ron Johnson he's a real beauty!! someone along with Trump that conservatives can be proud of. BTW I am as white as they come


Anonymous said...

simple solution , its called term limits, no more professional politicians ,that way its not a forever job and the mix gets equal, right now looks like they'll feather their bed from our wallets, come in broke all make fat deals on both sides and smile. just saying

Liz said...

I distinctly remember Don and mom pointing out at dinner that there was only one sin - and that was to vote republican. The only thing I ever agreed with don about. I once almost voted for John Warner for senator, but came to my senses. Point out to your friends that compared to your family,you are conservative.

JeffN said...

Robert, I enjoyed the essay. Agree 100% with Anonymous above on term limits. Your essay inspired me to write a companion piece on my site.