Because of my deeply-rooted disdain for conservatives, I’m often labeled a liberal, which makes my truly liberal friends giggle because to them my views are too conservative, but I’d like to take a moment to explain my dislike for and disgust of most things conservative.
My paternal grandfather fought in the Korean War and was badly wounded by a mortar shell. He lived his entire adult life with shrapnel in his neck, but he rarely complained and worked for 33 years as a rural mail carrier. He was a good and decent man who did his duty and then, despite a lifetime of pain, provided for his family as best as he could. In 1995, he came to Memphis to watch my commencement ceremony, which was held in the Pyramid. At that point, Papaw had trouble walking so he and I rode the elevator down to the floor to find the handicapped seating for him, but that section was already full. Beside it, there was a section roped off for the business leaders of the city. Over half of the seats were empty, so I asked the dean who was serving as usher if my grandfather could please sit there since the handicapped section had filled up.
The dean, who was glad-handing with the big-wigs, looked at us as if we were servants and with a stone-faced expression replied, “No.” I tried to explain about Papaw’s injuries from Korea, but he cut me off and pointed to the “public” sections on the second and third levels. I’ve only felt so helpless and insignificant a couple of other times, and I offered to walk with my grandfather to help him find a seat, but he put his hand on my shoulder and told me it was okay. He could make it.
I will guarantee that dean and those big-shots sit in their socialite churches every Sunday, listening to their pastor tell them how they deserve all their good fortune because they believe in the savior Jesus Christ, and come election time, they hide behind their gilded religious beliefs and patriotism to appear as righteous men, but they know nothing of Christian love and cannot be sullied by the likes of the rank and file. In my experience, the overwhelming majority of conservatives are just like this. Religion is a social event to appear upstanding in the eyes of the community, but if Christ himself were to walk into their church, stinking of the addicts and whores he had spent the night helping, they would summarily march him back outside because smelling like that he couldn’t possibly be as righteous as they are.
My entire life is full of moments like that, where the well-to-do conservatives have looked down their noses at me and my family because we have less than them, but then they put on a front of moral righteousness when the social situation calls for it. I cannot and will not stomach such hypocrisy. I believe in the free market, and I believe in democracy, but both of those are dependent upon men like my grandfather who are brave enough to go to war to defend it, and it depends upon the muscle and sweat of the working class to keep things moving. Until ALL of our citizens have access to education and healthcare, this nation is not truly free. Until ALL of our citizens have an equal opportunity to compete, the work of our forefathers is not complete. And it’s funny to me that conservatives quote our founding fathers. Conservatives would have been Tories during the revolution, trying to preserve the status quo and hindering the progress of democracy.
That’s just one reason why I see conservatives as the enemy.