I have an addiction that is worse than heroin and twice as likely to end in my tragic death at my own hands... I read the comments under political news stories. In part because keeping my finger on the ketchup-and-gravy-infused pulse of America is my job, but really because I was that kid who always wondered if it was possible to summon demons.
You can. Just write a story about our Attorney General appealing the ruling that strikes down Texas' rather blatantly unconstitutional same-sex marriage ban and all the posse of Old Scratch himself will bubble to the surface to gibber and scream.
In reading these comments, I've realized that there are certain words and concepts that the radical conservative right have actually ruined for the rest of us. Thinks like...
Anything to do with the flag There is only one man in all of Houston that I can see wearing and American flag-themed article of clothing on his person and not immediately think he's either being ironic or a complete asshole, and that's Christian Kidd of the Hates. You literally have to be one of the kindest and most-beloved humans of Houston to deflect the automatic cringe I feel whenever I see a flag attached to a person instead of a pole. The radical right uses flags like newbie Mortal Kombat players used to use crouching in the corner doing leg sweeps; it's a chickenshit dodge. They get away with it because they also stole the concept of...Post your longest time to listening to this drivel in the comments!
Patriotisim When radical conservatives says they love their country they mean two things.
The first is that they love the country as it is right now, which usually means tilted firmly in their favor. That's the problem with privilege. Too much of it breeds the poisonous idea that you get where you are on grit alone when there's a whole lot of stats that have been buffed by your birth. Anyone that tries leveling up outside the group usually finds these guys camping at the spawn point making sure no one else can get a kill in for experience points.
The second meaning is that you and your position don't love your country. Why else say it? I'm not sure how they called dibs on Murka first, but the left has never been able to wrest it back. Mostly because the best examples we have on how to get health care to everyone and cut back gun deaths come from other countries and it's easy to paint that as traitorous.
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Religion There are American Christians out there being embarrassingly better people that most of us. Like all those religious leaders that have called for embracing refugee children from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador instead of standing out at the border and shouting at them to go home before they take all our jobs and give them ebola. Those cats are doing Christ's real work.
They're not the minority, either. As I've pointed out before, Christians cannot statistically be on the other side of every liberal position. The math just won't work. Yet every time I see a crucifix or something similar in a person's profile pic I just automatically assume they're going to hit me with a hate brick wrapped in Bible paper. It's probably the reason people adhering to organized religions in America is on the decline. There aren't many of those meanies, but it only take one turd in the punchbowl before everyone switches to bottled water.
On that note...
Tolerance I don't mean the concept itself, but the word. It's become a kind of vocabulary akido. Strike down a same sex marriage ban or force a business to provide birth control in its health insurance? Now you're being intolerant. How do you like that?
The argument goes like this, and see if you can follow because it took me two years to figure out the labyrinth they've twisted the word into... You say you want tolerance, because intolerance is bad. However, in your quest for tolerance you are in essence being intolerant, which you just said is bad. Either you have to tolerate our intolerance to avoid being a hypocrite, or admit that our not stoning you in the street is tolerance enough. Either way, you can't call for tolerance without being wrong at the same time. Neener neener neener.
Luckily, "justice" works better anyway, and you feel like Batman when you say it. Still, shed a tear for "tolerance".
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Freedom America loves freedom. Witness me first amendmenting all over you guys right here. It's instilled in us from birth. Freedom is paramount, and everyone that disagrees with us hates our freedom.
The problem is that there is negative liberty and there is positive liberty. To explain more fully, there is the freedom to do something and there is freedom from something. You are free to own a gun, for example, but society is free to expect a reasonable assurance they won't be shot. You are free to pursue great wealth, but society is free to expect you to pay back into it so as to not destabilize the chance for everyone else to pursue wealth as well. You are free to worship as you see fit, but society is free from having to join you in exchange for basic rights, gainful employment, or other necessities.
The radical right has made sure that negative liberty is freedom, and positive liberty is socialism, communism, or any other bogeyword intended to scare the country away from the idea that maybe we might be a little more free to pursue happiness if we weren't broke, starving, sick, and surrounded by the trigger happy every day.
Because if there was someone screaming about their freedom in a news story that didn't involve that person being a complete asshole I sure haven't read it recently.