March 21, 2013

Do conservatives only care when they can personally relate?

I don't think that is true, but unfortunately, it seems to be the case.  As Fred notes, there are several cases where conservatives change their approach when they have a personal connection.  With Mark Kirk, it was a stroke that made him realize that poor people with the same issue would never be able to recover.  With Rob Portman, a gay son made him realize that he didn't oppose marriage for his son.

Why then?  Is it too difficult for conservatives to imagine life for poor people struggling with a major illness or what it might be like to be gay?  To be very fair, of course, the other conservatives could not wait to say that they would still oppose gay rights even if their own kids were gay.  When you are in the conservative tribe, nothing loses you membership like backing off of bigotry.

1 comment:

steves said...

Excellent points. I think that many people, in general, have a hard time relating to others or just plain lack empathy. This is certainly true of many conservatives.

I attend a church with a membership that probably leans pretty far to the right. Today, the pastor talked about gays and joked that he would probably be fired. Basically, his message was that there are plenty of other things in the Bible besides sexual sins and that maybe people should focus on making gay people feel more welcome, rather than excluded.

It is sad that he would have to worry that saying that would make people mad.