I talk directly and indirectly to hundreds of people every week. Right wingers troll me ad nauseam. Recently, something strange has begun; I find conservatives trolling my trolls in my defense as I continue to expound our progressive mantra.
It is clear to me from my experience in my own community, people who stumble onto my radio show Politics Done Right, and from a recently attended Bridge Alliance Conference that the fever is breaking. People yearning for dialogue need a path to spaces.
I think one of the biggest mistakes we as a society make, irrespective of ideologies, is allowing the plutocracy to use these differences to maintain and increase their power. If we are fighting one another we give those who are inflicting the damage on us all a pass. We take our eyes off the ball. Progressives and conservatives have a genuine fear of each other. I think it is irrational but it is by design. If you watch Fox News you would fear progressives as well.
This week a caller to Politics Done Right made several points. She first made it clear she was on the right. But then she explained that she came to the realization that it was less about the parties and more about class. More importantly, she realized that “others” are instigating. If we are fighting one another we cannot fight those responsible for our ills.
I remember discussing what a healthcare system could look like if it were humane with a very attentive white conservative woman. I bring race up because in my area there are false preconceived notions that I initially had to break through before she became a very deep listener. The thing is, I never used the word Medicare for All, I just defined the process and fair method to pay for it. She was loving it so much she began adding to the narrative. I started to feel a bit guilty. I knew this woman was very conservative who likely thought that because I was in that Starbucks I was likely a conservative. I finally told her I was very progressive at the very left of the spectrum. She turned red, looked me straight in the eye and said, “But you are so nice.” Suffice it to say our conversation continued and I encouraged her to have lunch with “Liberal Ladies Who Lunch.”