Friday, August 8, 2014
The Paranoid Majority
I keep seeing posts like these on Facebook implying that it takes courage to stand up for the American flag and boldness to admit you believe in the Bible. Really? Are there hosts of Americans being attacked for their patriotism or their faith? Do you risk getting punched in the nose if you fly the flag or kicked in the groin if you profess your love of Jesus? Am I not watching enough news because if this is the case, I must have missed the reporting on it?
Honestly, the American right has such a defensive chip on its collective shoulder. Come on, People, you are in the majority by about a gazillion to one. There is no need to be afraid...really. The odds are big-time in your favor.
You appear to be trapped in the throes of a persecution complex fueled by paranoia. You see yourselves as perpetual victims as your enemies try to take away your Christmas. (You've probably noticed how Christmas ads and sales and television specials and shopping has dropped off to almost nothing. Oh, you haven't? You say it is all about semantics - Happy Holidays versus Merry Christmas. Really, that's your big piss-off?)
And whites are being overpowered by minorities until we're barely even represented in our own government anymore. Here, this picture of the House Committee chairmen might ease your mind a little.
And what do you want to bet that these white men are all Christians too?
And oh, my, God, the gays are coming out in droves and they actually expect to get married AND force you to bake their wedding cake too! And Obama is dictating that you must carry health insurance and if you're a business, you have to pay for your female employees' contraceptives.
Actually, you right-wingers really should be pro-contraceptive and pro-abortion. You're always excoriating liberals and wishing they would disappear off the face of the earth. Commonsense would seem to indicate that most women who have abortions probably lean liberal while more women who have babies lean conservative so if you just let us manage our own reproductive business, we might fulfill your wish for you and pretty soon most little babies will be raised in conservative homes!
Of course, some of the fetuses liberals terminate are being replaced by undocumented immigrants so that might turn out to be a wash. They are definitely threatening your lifestyle because damn, you wanted that dishwashing job at the Lowlife Cafe!
And poor people. The terrifying unwashed masses of them. They sort of remind you of zombies, don't they? Coming at you with open mouths and staring eyes, wanting to steal your stuff.
Although the fact is that most people on food stamps work. They just don't make enough to survive without assistance. (Thank you, Walmart and McDonald's and Papa John). And the ones who don't work are children or the elderly or the disabled, including veterans. And most illegal immigrants work too and pay in to help subsidize your Social Security though they'll never collect themselves. (And, in addition, most of them are Christians.)
Despite your concerns about the flag, I watch NASCAR every week where they wave the flag and sing the Star-Spangled Banner (not to mention saying a Christian prayer). And flags hang from lots of homes in my town and flies in front of the Sheriff's Department and the Courthouse and City Hall and the city parks. And the cemeteries are a sea of red, white and blue on Veteran's Day. So far, I haven't heard of a single person being beaten up by anti-flag thugs or one Christian being mugged by a gang of atheists.
The reality is, of course, that it is still much more dangerous to be anything but a hyper-patriotic white straight Christian American. You're way, way more likely to be shot coming home from the store if your name is Trayvon Martin than if it's Mitt Romney, Junior. You're way more likely to be arrested and sent to prison if you're any color but white. You're way more likely to be discriminated against if you're gay. You're way more likely to suffer hunger and homelessness and illness if you're poor. And try running for any office in the next election after admitting you're an atheist and see how far you get.
So, sorry, but I don't think it takes any particular guts to fly the American flag or profess your Christianity because that simply makes you a member of the norm. It's coloring outside those lines that takes a certain amount of nerve.