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Robert McReynolds’ post about “Smart Republicans” could not be more apropos to a conversation I had over dinner with a dear friend and fellow young Conservative. Part of our conversation included a discussion about becoming less tolerant of intolerance as we become older.
We both said that our circle of friends is shrinking with each passing year, as the drudgery of putting on a smile and biting our tongue — while someone makes a snide comment about how awful things will be now that those Republicans control the House and the Senate — increasingly grates on us. Actually, it’s the hypocrisy of the Left that drives us batty, but those on the Left don’t see it that way. They believe they are the purveyors of truth and tolerance, and those that don’t agree with them can shut the foxtrot up!
My dinner mate and I — both semi-hipsters — don’t shop exclusively at Whole Foods (what?!), don’t eat only organic (outrageous!), are Christian (you are so hateful!) and Conservative (you’re an awful person). And all of that makes us un-cool. The Academy, in their ivory tower genterie, has done a bang-up job of branding Conservatism the worst thing possible to a Millennial — uncool. After all, is there anything more horrible to a young person that to be uncool, unhip, unfashionable?
The tragedy of being uncool is aided by the vacuousness of youth and Millennial culture. When the deepest thought a 21-year-old has is about how brave Kim K was for posing nude in order to “break the internet,” it is not hard to sell that person on the virtues of being “cool” at all cost. Progressivism is cool, young, hip, and forward-thinking. Conservatism is for old, outdated, sweater vest-wearing fogies (one might make a joke about wearing a sweater around one’s neck if one were so inclined…). The Academy and the liberal media have created an “us vs. them” mentality between Liberals and Conservatives, much as there is an “us vs. them” aspect between children and their parents. And if you’re young, you don’t want to be like your parents — ugh!
As a result of this intense Millennial need for ‘coolness’ and acceptance — funny, considering the joke of how you drown a hipster (“in the mainstream”) — has pushed many young Conservatives effectively into the closet, with all the same fears of retaliation and hatred the gay community experienced “back in the day.” When I’m in certain circles, I do not feel at liberty to offer my thoughts on current events or politics, because I quite enjoy having my throat intact.
I am intensely irritated at the hypocrisy of the whole situation — those who claim to be the most tolerant are themselves supremely intolerant, and that makes me want to scream at them, which I believe is socially unacceptable? Therefore, if I can help it, I often choose to not interact with people of the Whole Foods, inner-arm tattoo, organic microbrewery bent.
I am fortunate to work at a facility that is largely conservative, though there is a group that loudly expresses their opposing views. And guess what? I’m okay with that! My dinner mate, however, works at an ad agency. “I’m pretty sure I would be lynched if I let my coworkers know my political views,” he told me tonight. What a horrible thing to feel! What discrimination festers at that office! Oh wait, they’re Liberal, so it’s okay for them to discriminate, right…?