Dear Conservative Republicans,
I am writing to you out of respect and concern for our country and political future. I am asking you one thing:
Would you please leave me alone?
I respect and recognize that our voting history may be different. Some may consider us to be at odds.
I do not.
I believe that my freedom of choice and expression of political values relies upon allowing others (even right-wing extremists) the freedom to express themselves as much as they like. However, time and time again, your conservative mouth seems insistant that I must agree with you on every point or I am somehow morally repugnant and then (as if to better sway me to join their "side") you commence to shove your beliefs down my throat. And however ignorant I may consider some of YOUR beliefs, I am more than happy to listen to them so long as you are willing to extend the same courtesy. Our democratic system is a lovely thing; it was designed for us to have different opinions in order to have a greater perspective and come to a compromise which would serve the greatest good.
Aren't we tired of the "dark side" quips and self-righteous assertion that my church membership is questionable because of the association with pro-choice values? I'm really shocked I still get this one. Last I checked, my faith is very much concerned with individual agency and the common good. Not an "every man for himself (so long as that makes ME more profitable)" attitude. And besides- it's MY choice and MY vote. And I will excercise this right according to my values which are built from my experiences; not yours.
Please don't fool yourself into believing that insulting my intelliegence by regurgitating whatever your white, upper-middle class father says at the dinner table or think that the more you attack me the more likely I will be to see the light. YOUR light. Now, I've been putting up with this sort of biased, bigoted treatment for years and I never really let it get to me. But as someone outside your mainstream who is TRYING to communicate productively with you, I have two suggestions:
1) If you expect to convince someone of your point of view, please refrain from indignant, generalized rants of passion that hinge upon telling your friend that they are not only wrong, but immoral, unworthy, and unrighteous. Last time I checked, there was only one person qualified to judge me. And I'm pretty sure it wasn't you. In fact, if you are trying to convince someone of your point of view, the best avenue is not to try shoving your opinion down their throat, but to simply explain where you're coming from and why you feel it is beneficial to society. I delight in the idealism of my conservative friends; I support and respect them and even admire some for their beautiful idealism, and even agree with most of their beliefs. The difference between us is that I simply believe we need to prepare to help those who are not helping themselves. Primarily because that minority affects the lives of an entirely new generation who does not deserve to suffer from the ignorance or foibles of their parents. Do your best to refrain from self-righteousness. It's not appealing as it makes you look ignorant, foolish, and generally asinine, so it's a really ineffective premise if you're trying to get me to agree with you.
2) Don't feel threatened because I think differently than you. It baffles me at how your reaction to my politics somehow makes you recoil/sneer/gasp as though I am walking around pantless, eating raw baby flesh. Just because I have a different perspective does not mean that I think you are foolish, stupid, or immoral for having your beliefs. It just means that my experiences have made me more sensitive to certain topics more than someone who may not have been exposed to issues related to poverty. And that's okay. I'm not about to burn anyone's house down. Yet.
As we prepare for the primaries, I hope you've kept your mind and heart open as I have. Not just in regards to the information out there but to those around you. While I may be accoustomed to taking your snide remarks with a grain of salty humor in order to not further embarass you, not everyone will be as open to embrace your assumptions as I am. For your sake and for the sake of the party you wish to represent, I ask that you be sensitive to the politics of others. Being open minded and accepting of somoene's differences may be the best way to convince someone that you are, in fact, as moral and upright as you wish to be percieved.
I hope that's helpful on your crusade. Best of luck. And thanks for voting.