To my Republican friends:
I didn’t know what you did. All these years when I said with complete and utter disdain, “I don’t watch Fox,” I didn’t know that if I had, I might well have known what you knew to be true. Things that I knew to be “facts” you knew to be “theory” or worse. What a world? Seems nuts. I’m sorry. I repent starting now.
Learning that I’ve had my blinders on all this time has taught me a hard lesson. The fact that I didn’t read Drudge, couldn’t listen to Peggy Noonan* and wanted Karl Rove in jail, kept me from hearing the drone of truth that you knew. No balance at all. Certainly unfair.
The whole time I was reading newspapers, listening to the mainstream media and going from one site or book to another. Often “fact” checking. I was missing what you knew all along. Now it feels a bit like how a diabetic must have felt when they didn’t have sugarfree Kool-Aid at the last Jim Jones meeting.
Or how a North Korean must feel when a western newspaper blows across the DMZ. Or a child catching Santa. Or someone always home schooled. Stuff taken for granted turns out to be total unmitigated crap. I know. That must still sound like heresy, if there is such a thing. What is one to believe when everything they have known and trust now seems upside down?
So how was it that I came to see the light? A friend sent me a link to a story in, well, a “lamestream” site, the Atlantic. I naively just clicked the link and started reading. My jaw dropped. Saliva drooled from my mouth forming a wet spot that I didn’t even notice until I got up and… well, that’s another story. My point is that it never once occurred to me that you guys made a channel decision years ago for whatever reason and, well, let me just quote from the story:
Tuesday’s result was, for them, an unpleasant surprise. So many on the right had predicted a Mitt Romney victory, or even a blowout — Dick Morris, George Will, and Michael Barone all predicted the GOP would break 300 electoral votes. Joe Scarborough scoffed at the notion that the election was anything other than a toss-up. Peggy Noonan insisted that those predicting an Obama victory were ignoring the world around them. Even Karl Rove, supposed political genius, missed the bulls-eye. These voices drove the coverage on Fox News, talk radio, the Drudge Report, and conservative blogs.
Those audiences were misinformed.
Outside the conservative media, the narrative was completely different.
How many hours of Glenn Beck conspiracy theories did Fox News broadcast to its viewers? How many hours of transparently mindless Sean Hannity content is still broadcast daily? Why don’t Americans trust Republicans on foreign policy as they once did? In part because conservatism hasn’t grappled with the foreign-policy failures of George W. Bush. A conspiracy of silence surrounds the subject. Romney could neither run on the man’s record nor repudiate it. The most damaging Romney gaffe of the campaign, where he talked about how the 47 percent of Americans who pay no income taxes are a lost cause for Republicans? Either he was unaware that many of those people are Republican voters, or was pandering to GOP donors who are misinformed. Either way, bad information within the conservative movement was to blame.
The point is, I was intolerant and I despise intolerance. Jon Stewart and others tried to warn me, but I wouldn’t listen. I just assumed that you were stubborn and incapable of accepting a different point of view. I realize that you must feel just awful to have been duped so and for so long. So foolish. Especially when you did so publicly. In front of everyone you know. All your friends and co-workers. Your family. Your children. And you were sooooo righteous. Often telling us loudly and with absolute hatred that we were complete Godless idiots before slamming the door and going back into your cult to plan the overthrow of the heretics. I just want to say that I will forgive you. I’ll be kind. There will be no required “Hunger Games” as a result. How can I help? Perhaps I could suggest a good book?
* I’d rather listen to fingernails on a blackboard or an endless loop of the best of Andy Williams than that woman’s voice. Makes me scream and pull my hair out. Aaaaaaaah! I’ll be alright. I just need some quiet.
- Image Credit: from Gajah Kawin photos at Photobucket.
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