Conservative Friends: I’m Still Curious

Saturday morning, I posted a query to “my conservative Facebook contacts”, accompanied by a link to a Washington Post article called Trump Appears To Promote Violence Against CNN With Tweet:

Washington Post Story
A screenshot of the Washington Post article in question.
If any of my conservative Facebook contacts haven’t yet “unfollowed” me, I’m curious about your thoughts on this. Do you find it acceptable? Normal? Does it make you feel like the U.S. is on the right track? Is it making us “great again”? If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, I am genuinely interested in your reasoning.

This morning, our president tweeted a video (an actual video from one of his “pro wrestling” appearances) of himself slamming a man to the ground and repeatedly punching him about the head. The video had been doctored, with a “CNN” logo superimposed over the victim’s face.

Based on other interactions (or lack thereof), I suspect that many of the most conservative have “unfollowed” me, so they didn’t even see this post. If they did, I really do wonder what their answer(s) would be.

Perhaps one of them will see this blog entry, or my link to it on Facebook or elsewhere. Hopefully, someone will answer my question(s). In my mind, the lack of responses is (and will be) telling. I think they are questions that need to be asked, and answered. I need to know that even traditionally right-leaning voters (at least those in my circles) aren’t condoning this sort of behavior or accepting it as the new normal.

A lot of pundits and politicians have spoken recently about quitting the “violent rhetoric” and working together, so I think my questions are fair — can we indeed “come together” as a nation if multiple sides won’t interact with each other? And one side can’t propose solutions that the other side will accept, if we’re so divided that no one can tell what the other side is thinking.

Comments from other people (strangers) on the internet indicate that at least some conservatives actually do answer “yes” to some or all of my questions. But many, even within the Republican party, want the president to “stay focused” on his agenda and quit mouthing off on social media. I don’t know any of those people, so it’s difficult to know whether they’re bots or trolls. I was hoping at least one family member or conservative friend would respond.

Perhaps obviously, I think the correct answers are “no”, to all four questions. If there is a “yes” answer to any of the questions, I am still interested to know why.

(As for my non-conservative, non-regressive readers, who seem to be the only ones I have left, I welcome any guesses as to what the right is thinking about this.)


EDIT, 2017.07.05: I’ve reworded this post to use less divisive language, due in part to Michael’s comment below. I think he was correct that my original wording was not representative of my desire for open dialog.

  1. I know that this is your blog and you alone control the content, but in the past you’ve been much more careful with your language. “…don’t have a good answer”, “…the other side”, “The correct answer…” And while I agree with you, I’m not sure that your communicating your openness to dialog by calling out the wrongheadedness of those who disagree with you. Just sayin’.

    • Wil C. Fry says:

      Point(s) taken. Thank you, Michael.

      In my initial post on Facebook, I think I was “more careful with [my] language”, but I wasn’t here. I suppose I allowed emotion (frustration, mostly?) to push me toward a stronger, perhaps even “baiting” tone.

      I can do better.

    • Wil C. Fry says:

      I’ve reworded most of this entry. While a few of the phrases you quoted still do appear, hopefully the new context will read less divisively.

  2. Dana says:

    Frankly, I’ve given up wondering or caring. I’m long past hoping that someone from the right would stand up for what is right.

    • Wil C. Fry says:

      I’m sure I would be in that exact same boat if it weren’t for my knowledge that at least *half* the people I’m related to are still voting Republican.

      I suppose what I really want is for SOME of them (or at least one of them) to respond, one way or the other. I know most of them, in their daily lives, are generally “good people” (kind, honest, law-abiding, courteous, etc.), and so I’m trying to dig out of them either a yes or no answer here, for my own peace of mind.

      If they would simply respond with a “no”, at least I could sympathize that their decisions to continue to vote Republican isn’t an easy one. Maybe that would mean there’s an opening.

      If they would respond with a “yes, this is all fine by me”, then I want to know what method they’re using to justify this to themselves.

      Call it a goad, or a bait, or whatever. For several months, I’ve been on the edge of a knife, wondering if they are still the “good people” I once knew, or if all of that was just a brilliantly evil facade.

  3. Dana says:

    So why not just ask them directly? Send them a text or an email…

    • Wil C. Fry says:

      That’s a good question, Dana. Perhaps I’m reverting to passive-aggression and/or fear of direct confrontation. It *feels* better to make a generalized, blanket statement, in the hope that someone will rise to challenge it, rather than feeling like I’m making the challenge directly. I guess it’s the difference between “anyone?” and “you!”

      Sigh. I’m still working on myself, I suppose. :-)

  4. Dana says:

    I don’t think it’s that’s confrontational to say, “I’m genuinely curious; I know you’re a life long Republican and I’m not trying to question your personal politics but how do you reconcile your political beliefs with some of Trumps more outrageous actions – for example…”

    • Wil C. Fry says:

      LOL. Good point.

      Maybe I’m afraid of their actual answers, so I post in public where I assume they won’t respond. :-)

      (I’m not always the best at parsing my own motivations…)

  5. Dana says:

    Well, given that the President’s rating is at an all time low (36% according to some polls), I think it’s safe to assume that a fair number of Republicans are, in fact, unhappy with the President’s behavior.

    • Wil C. Fry says:

      That 36% is still astoundingly high to me… I wonder, if he raped and killed someone in front of Congress, would it drop to 34%? 32? How bad does it have to get for them? (Rhetorical question.)

  6. Dana says:

    I think they would have to find out that he was really born in Kenya before his approval ratings hit rock bottom.

    I think that as long as he stays out of Congress’ hair and lets them carry out their conservative agenda, they don’t much care what he does. If he starts to become a hindrance to their agenda, then they will be much less tolerant of his shenanigans. Until then, they just turn a blind eye and deaf ear to it.

    • Wil C. Fry says:

      Perhaps so. I also assume their chosen news sources are very unlikely to report certain behaviors. And when they do report on them, it’s very brief with a lot of “alleged” phrasing. And it’s never the top story. And it’s gone from the website within hours, buried under a bunch of PizzaGate speculation (or something).

      This is just a guess.

      I used to check Brietbart, Fox, and other conservative-leaning websites *occasionally*, just to see what they’re getting, but doing so very often made me sick to my stomach. :-(

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