10/06/2034 11:26 PM ET

OPINION

Go Ahead, Grab A Conservative

Timothy D'Abonazzio
Ally and supporter of the free

CC0 1.0 Image by unknown author | Writer image: CC BY-SA 4.0 - image changes released under same license First Human face by me by Ehsan Quddusi | Images were cropped. Images used for illustration purposes only.
You may need to get a little rough - but it's worth it to correct injustice.
Starbucks made me realize what conservatives need to wake them up.

I was ordering my grande cherry licorice iced frappe the other day. I remember it well, because the sun was pouring through the windows, the line was unusually long, and David Bowie was playing in the background.

And the most annoying man in Louisville was in line right behind me.

He was chatting to a friend; he was one of those guys who doesn't mind if everyone hears the details of his conversation, in fact he really thinks other people should hear the details of his conversation. He was self-important in a way that fit the suit he was wearing. A banker, I'd guess.

But what was most obnoxious about this man was that he was a certified, mouth-breathing conservative. And not just conservative, but conservative. I did not intuit this, I learned it through being unable to escape the retching details of his conversation.

I learned:

That he thinks we should just "bomb 'em all", "over there" (the Middle East).

That he thinks "dudes who wear a dress" should be detained indefinitely.

That he thinks medicare should be slashed because he doesn't like having to pay for "deadbeats".


These were the highlights (low lights?) in what was a wide-ranging conversation hitting all the Republican g-spots. And I thought Tea Party ideology died ten years ago! Silly me.

But this frothing, foaming idiocy brought me to an inescapable conclusion.

We can't let this go on. We need to do something about these people. Something radical.

Just as we couldn't afford any climate change denial twenty years ago, we can't afford for people like the man behind me to go unconfronted.

We need to change these conservatives. We need to grab them and make them listen.

I don't mean "grab" their attention; I mean physically place your hand on their arm, squeeze tightly, and not let go until you've told them what a lying, arrogant, malicious walking anachronism they are, and why, and until you've beaten down their well-worn arguments with common sense and reason.

Oh, they'll try to run. So you need to grab tighter. Or they'll fight, in which case you need to defend yourself. But you need to make them listen.

You need to tell them to their face that we won't accept their kind anymore. And that they can expect more of this from everyone who feels that civilized society is more important than their vaunted "freedom of speech".

Conservatives have been the eye of every vicious social storm for centuries: slavery, Jim Crow, homophobia, transphobia, speciephobia, anti-choice, anti-union, anti-immigrant, misogyny, and the list just keeps growing. How many people have died, or been subjected to humiliating discrimination and cowardly bigotry by conservatives? How many more? Can we let these people walk around unchallenged?

Surely the lives and dignity of our neighbors and friends is worth standing up for? Surely it's worth confronting bullies for?

You can believe that if the situation were reversed, that conservatives would have no problem confronting you. Or simply shooting you with one of their beloved guns.

We need an intervention. I did say it was radical, but I stick by it. We need to grab these people by the arm and change them. One at a time.

Change is never easy, but it has to come.

Starbucks made me realize.
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