Conservatives, we don’t hate you

Online Editor Trever McKenzie lets conservatives know that they aren’t hated for their political beliefs and explains why there is animosity between the left and the right.

Editor’s note: To avoid conflict of interest, this article has not been considered for the featured articles.

In the previous two issues, two op-eds of very similar nature were published. Both addressed a phenomenon in which conservatives feel afraid to come forward about their right-wing beliefs for fear of criticism. Specifically, they are afraid of being criticized for being a conservative. I fully understand why they might fear something like this. Colleges are becoming more left-wing with every decision they make.

What I say next may be met with criticism or disagreement, but it must be said. Conservatives, liberals do not hate you for being conservative. I have a few right-wing friends myself. But there is a key difference between a conservative I am friends with and one I am not. My acceptance has entirely to do with their acceptance of me, my identities and my views.

Look at social media and you’ll find an abundance of comments by many right-wing citizens that openly criticize marginalized groups for their activism and existence. Minorities of all kinds are often the target of vocal members of the right. These attitudes are alienating in harmful ways. An overwhelming number of minorities are liberal because liberalism is a political ideology that validates minority existence and addresses minority problems instead of erasing both. One is hard-pressed to find a conservative equivalent.

I am openly liberal and I have conservative friends, but if one of them ever tells me that they think being gay is a choice or that they don’t approve of same-sex marriage, I will immediately cut them out of my life. I am allowed to discontinue our friendships because of your beliefs. As a human, I am entitled to have my identity respected and validated, and I have the right to defriend those who challenge the validity of my identity. Other minorities, I’m sure, feel the same way.

This is where I believe misunderstandings occur. Conservatives may feel that their beliefs aren’t being respected when liberals criticize the socially right-wing. Some might even think the criticism is unfair because they personally don’t attack minorities. Some conservatives may even feel that all liberals generalize all conservatives as anti-minority.

What may not be understood is that liberals are fully aware that there are conservatives who aren’t discriminatory. However, we are aware of the large number who are, and that’s who we criticize. So, no, conservatives, liberals do not hate you because they think all conservatives are horrible people. But you should be aware that your passivity toward, resistance to or opposition of the advancement of minority causes is not well-received and may not ever be.

For those of you about to get up in arms, remember that we are aware of the conservatives who don’t do these things. If you are 100 percent receptive to all minority issues, or even 75 percent, we don’t have an issue. For those that aren’t, honestly talk with yourself about where you stand on minority issues and ask why others might be unreceptive to those stances.

Do you think that same-sex marriage is wrong? Don’t expect sympathy from gay men, lesbians or bisexuals.

Do you think trans men and women aren’t their gender or that non-binary people aren’t real? Don’t expect sympathy from the trans* community.

Do you think immigrants shouldn’t be allowed in the country? Don’t expect sympathy from immigrants.

Do you think that POC don’t experience racism? Don’t expect sympathy from them.

Conservatives, we don’t hate you. Many of you are upstanding people. But resistance to minority issues is not going to earn you minority sympathy. We know our experiences and identities better than you, and trying to challenge them will not make us your friends. We don’t hate you for being conservative. We will, however, strongly criticize all regressive attitudes toward minorities. Minority identities and existences are always on the chopping block – don’t be the butcher or the bystander.

Trever McKenzie is a junior theatre major and the Online Editor for the Newswire from Higginsport, Ohio.

3 thoughts on “Conservatives, we don’t hate you

  1. Very well said Trevor. I am proud of the voice you have found within yourself. I once considered myself a Conservative. But in recent years, I have not wanted to claim this stigma associated with Conservatives as being blatantly unwilling to accept another person’s views, reality or identity. I have conservative political views on economics and morals, but I guess I am liberal socially. However, there seems to be no middle of the road…”Conserverals.” Lol. I accept all people and am willing to stand for those who are treated as less than equal for whatever reason. I am not gay, I am not black, I am not an immigrant. But, I am human….just human as all of these despised and ridiculed minority groups are. I hate injustice and prejudice and discrimination and am willing to stand with the victims of such hate for change. So, often I do not fit with the Conservative agenda while my views of welfare and it’s consequences are seen as conservative. So I guess it is kinda like this…..if you have to call me something with a label that means something about who I am ……call me human.

  2. I think that if you cut people out of your life because they disagree with you on specific issues, you’re opening up a dangerous path towards polarization. We should be able to acknowledge our differences within reason. Seems to me were drawing the line too soon.

  3. Trevor, every point you made can be said about the other side. You focus on conservatives who accept basically what you agree with, which doesn’t mean much. Of course you wouldn’t hate a conservative who accepts all the things you listed out that you believe in. That’s the problem. The second one disagrees on a social issue with the Democratic Party you DO hate them and try not to care as to why people have certain opinions. This is an article that is purely meant to make it seem like you’d love to have a conversation with liberals and conservatives but the reality is if you don’t be agree with them (conservatives) you couldn’t care less. Very superficial words throughout this article.

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