I haven’t been north of my house for shopping or anything else in several weeks, certainly not before the mask mandates for the whole state came down. I went to a dollar store about a mile north of my house this morning for coffee creamer (because the world ends in this place if there is no coffee creamer), put my mask on, and went in the store.
Maybe it’s because my shirt looked kinda crappy (I was about to do yardwork and didn’t want to change), or the noticeably shaved hair even under my bandanna, or maybe that I was wearing a mask and being pleasant in it, but it seemed to take a few people aback outside when I went in. I wondered if maybe it was the fact that I was generally pleasant, but I also felt as soon as I went in that this was gonna get awkward.
I looked around, did my thing, and didn’t make eye-contact with people (not that there were many in there). I noticed only I and the cashier (once she’d come in from sweeping) had our masks on and properly. Others had their noses uncovered, or hanging from one ear while they did other stuff. That made me want to get out of there.
I had a feeling that minor-paranoia I had about people visiting us at work for services abiding by the rules there, but doing the bare minimum outside the building, wasn’t an overreaction. Town is about 8 miles north and I don’t even want to go to that grocery store if this morning’s any indication of behavior to expect… not yet.
But when I went to checkout, I noticed a guy in line a few feet behind me, arms crossed, sullen, with a black face mask that said “make liberals cry again” on it.
And yeah, I was eager to get home to my first cup of coffee after that and think on it, because it’s just another thing I noticed that got me thinking: I don’t get the seething hatred toward liberals by conservatives, and why it exists.
I mean, there are conservatives I don’t like, but I’ve never advocated instilling policies or trying to “make conservatives cry.” I don’t think I’ve heard ANY liberal saying “let’s make conservatives cry.” I’ve joked about a few policies (or hypocrisies) here and there, but never said or believed that conservatives should all be lined up and shot, either.
But I hear a bunch say that about liberals. That’s probably the most common one.
I’ve never heard a liberal talking point that focused on using the police against conservatives and beating the hell out of them.
I’ve never seen footage of a confirmed liberal waving a gun in the face of someone saying something they don’t like in a store or parking lot.
But I’ve seen footage of conservatives (or Dump supporters, at least) and read articles where they were pulling out or showing their gun and daring people to contradict them or do something.
Now, a lot of that are more national examples I have seen online and in the news the past few years. Down here it’s more sniping and signs, the person with crossed arms, daring you to say something.
Because I’m sure for some, especially around here, the gun wouldn’t be far behind. I said years ago that thanks to Dump’s election, I’m more afraid of my neighbors than any foreign terrorist. Now, it’s true more than ever.
Of course, with the MAGA hat thing (the few I’ve seen, admittedly, which surprises me), maybe there were some side-glances and discomfort, but nobody yelling out that they were racist crap and needed to die.
At least, not in my neck of the woods.
When I see the disparity of manners, treatment, discussion, etc. I admit I’m getting Bill Maher’s point more and more when he bitches about liberals being wusses and the need to stand up and fight back, because conservatives play to win and they play dirty. They don’t apologize for their opinion.
Maybe that’s the reason. Anybody who has watched NCIS, like ever, knows that to Gibbs, apologies are a sign of weakness. I can see oodles of folks believing that all over, which also explains why we now have a “leadership” that doubles down on their mistakes because they can’t admit any. Because admitting mistakes would be akin to an apology.
I’m in the middle of Dump country down here. I see it in the yards. Not the little staked yard signs, but the flags as big as the U.S. Flag (or bigger) on pick-up truck beds or in yards next to the U.S. Flag (and sometimes the stars and bars…ugh).
I just shake my head and go away when I see stuff like that. I don’t take a page out of their playbook and march up to them screaming obscenities. My middle finger gets twitchy when I drive by it, but I don’t let it fly.
What I see is quiet for the most part. It ranges from the basic support of Dump in small yard signs and the like, to anti-liberal slogans put on people’s fences as they drive by (I’ve seen a couple of those, largely anti-socialist, which they see as the same thing down here), to big ol’ flags in pick up trucks as far as inanimate reminders go.
Otherwise, I largely have what I saw before the 2016 election, whereby people are rushing out to get their concealed carry licenses because of the fear of violence. A customer yesterday told me that the local sporting goods store had no ammo left on the shelves. Others have been telling me the same thing I’ve heard every election cycle, that if the Democrats win we’re all gonna lose our guns. Last election, I didn’t hear that until late September (and though it may sound like a gross generalization, at least a dozen people told me that to my face that season). Guess the paranoia’s starting early this year.
And if there’s even a hint of an opening for political discussion, it’s all about how Dump has to win. Occasionally people are proud of him, or act like they are, but I keep my mouth shut. Mainly because I’m on the job when I encounter most of those people. I do my best to get them out the door fast.
I just realized with all this seething hate against liberals, though, with passive-aggressive to very direct signs and masks and slogans, I have no clue what to expect. Even when Biden wins in November (fingers crossed because I can’t picture the alternative), what are the odds it’s gonna be a peaceful transition?
Recent events have made me more aware than ever that the distance between November 3rd and January 20th is a long one indeed.
I actually bought some stickers and t-shirts to support the Biden campaign. I was so fed up seeing Dump’s signs all over the place that I figured a sticker or two on my car would at least be something. I live too far from the main road to make a yard sign really useful, and my grass grows super fast, which would mean moving it around a bunch or it wouldn’t be visible much.
I have actually wondered if I will get enough courage to put a little sticker for Joe 2020 on my car. It hasn’t come in yet, but I’m still waffling. I’ve been a bloody coward about how I feel about things publicly because I’m so used to getting shot down verbally any time it doesn’t line up or I don’t want to offend, so I backtrack (I’ve been that liberal Bill Maher complains about most of my life, dammit).
My S.B.C. keeps telling me I oughta go live up in Washington with her because it’s liberal country and I’d fit right in with my quirkiness and all that. Would be nice, but at the same time, it feels too easy. I think where I live is worth fighting for and trying to improve with my vote. Not gonna do much good if I live in a place that’s already tried out different ideas.
Living down here, I feel intimidated, because I don’t know how other people feel. Admittedly, that’s part of the reason I’m still living here, despite how uncomfortable it is, because perhaps there are plenty of others around like me who don’t want Dump in office anymore and will vote otherwise, but they’re all quiet about it because of the intimidation factor. I might have seen one Biden bumper sticker or window decal in the past few months that I’m aware of, but that’s it. I’d like others to know there’s someone else in their area that doesn’t want another 4 years of the Great Pumpkin.
It feels really really stupid and maybe a bit paranoid, but I’m so fed up that a little 4 inch sticker on my car saying Joe 2020 is a hill I’m willing to die on, so to speak. Likely, nothing will happen to my car, but if it did, I’ll hold my head up high and slap another one on there.
It will go quite nicely with my education and science related bumper stickers, actually, so why not?
I’m sick of being wary, intimidated, afraid because some folks are getting off on the power trip by their dear leader. And maybe it’ll be a sign to others that yeah, other people around here can’t stand Dump either, so make sure to go vote and turn this county around to the 21st century.
And after seeing that “make liberals cry again” mask this morning, I figured I’d kill with kindness when at all possible. It’s a hiding tactic, perhaps, but it’s up my alley at this point until something comes along. I have some reusable masks coming to me, and I’m gonna get a few more now so I can wash them more often. I picked one out that has a smiley face on it and says “have a nice day.” I’m gonna wear it everywhere when I put that sticker on my car, and just be sickeningly nice in the face of pissy people.
I guess we could call that a “bless your heart” thing with a liberal twist. Hmm…
I am tired and can’t think of the best way to ask this question, but do you have any idea where that disconnect is? The more I hear people or read people who are totally in the conservative Dump supporting camp, the more it feels like a total disconnect, like society trying to split into two or more parts itself.
So, if you’re a liberal, have you experienced actual hate from conservatives around you or others? How did that come about and why do you think liberals don’t respond in an obviously hateful way to conservative opinions (or have they/you and it just looks different than where I am)?
Hopefully we’ll all be good and ready for transition in 107 & 1/2 days. Be well, folks. I need another cup of coffee and some Tylenol now.