Hello dear reader(s)!
I have decided to do a weekend coffee share. I believe I first saw that at Part-Time Monster. Which it appears was somehow removed from my following list until I went to go look for it today. I blame Trump.
If we were having coffee, I would blame Trump for pretty much any negative thing that came up, simply because his supporters did the same to Obama who was an actual President who won his elections fairly and legitimately, without having to bend over and call Putin “Daddy”.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you about how much my hands have healed. They were horribly dry and cracked until recently when my girlfriend suggested I discover the joys of lotion. If we were having coffee, then I probably wouldn’t need to tell you how much I despise lotion for it’s sticky or greasy residue, and how despite that, I have been using a lotion which was recommended by my doctor to be a great moisturizer that simply hasn’t been doing a damn bit of good, much like Trump. But if we were having coffee, I would tell you how my girlfriend actually listened to my concerns with lotion and found a substance that would be perfect for me. I would tell you that she sneakily bought a tub of of cocoa butter for me and it has been working great. I would tell you how nice it is not to have cracked and bleeding hands while blog-type-thinging, and how wonderful it is to have someone in my life so lovely who cares about me. I would tell you all the other things she does for me but then you would get to the point where you want to talk about something else and I would pretend to understand but resent you for not being as happy for me as you could.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you how well it pairs with the blueberry strudel pieces I picked up at the store the other day. It does.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I woke up feeling good this morning. Not just okay. Not just in less pain. Good. I would tell you that it has been a long time since that happened.
If we were having coffee, once the pleasantries were out of the way, I would draw the shades and lock the doors. I would have my security team of cats look for bugs around the perimeter of the room. I would tell them to kill any bugs they found, because the bugs can be outside, but we’re having coffee in here. Then, I would get down to business.
I would tell you of the traps we must avoid if we are to keep our resistance growing. I would tell you of the reasons why conservatives can motivate so many people, even when it seems that none of their arguments make sense. I would tell you how badly we have been guilty of self-sabotage in the past, and how we must avoid these pitfalls at all costs this time around, because too much is at stake now if we fail. Then I would tell you how good a nice, juicy steak sounds, every time I say there is too much at stake.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you to pour another cup, as I went over the following presentation.
How Liberals And Progressives Screw Ourselves Over With Words and Smug Moral Superiority
I don’t think anything helped Trump and his followers gain power more than Twitter, Facebook, and other social media’s self-appointed marginalized spokespeople attempting to shame anyone they feel does not live up to their ideals of a completely sensitive and politically correct (as they see it) standard of communication. These people typically lack the awareness to recognize when there is an honest error in speech as opposed to an attempt to be divisive or a simple lack of understanding. Rather than educating, they tend to attack and belittle those who could be important allies. If someone is working on passing legislation to prevent workplace discrimination against LGBTQ individuals, and fail to include an I in their speech about it, these people make them bigger enemies than those who are fighting the legislation. These are the people who insist everyone uses the term “undocumented immigrant” and can’t understand why that would upset those who think it is brushing the notion that a law was violated under the rug. I agree that there are no illegal people, but I also believe that if you break a law, you don’t ignore that. Now, if you wanted to talk to me about the stupidity of the law being there in the first place…
Conservatives are much better at putting aside petty differences to team up in order to defeat a larger foe. Look at Trump and the “Family Values” crowd. We can’t even be mostly like-minded in a cause without turning on each other if someone says words another doesn’t like, or doesn’t show their pet-cause their own sense of required deference.
Words do matter. Some things need to be addressed. But sometimes when someone says to write their Congressman instead of Congressperson, (ahem!) it isn’t a statement that women aren’t, can’t, or shouldn’t be in Congress. It may be something as simple as not believing (until looking it up on Google) that there could actually be Congresswomen in support of Trump. Yes, there are. How fucking stupid are they? Are we sure they are women?
It is one thing to ask people not to go our of their way to be an asshole, but we tend to cling to words as if they are all that matters. And Conservatives pick up on this and have become experts at trolling us with it. We hit them with fact and policy, and they hit us with “snowflake” that makes us look like we are overly-sheltered crybabies who think life is too unfair and scary and then Trump is President.
We come up with buzzwords for things that have been around for a long time, so that conservatives can use them against us. A good example is “safe-space”. Reasonable, moderate people hear that and think it’s an attack on free speech, but don’t realize that the concept has been around in education since the beginning of group education. (I will do a full post on how the concept of “safe-spaces” is not unreasonable, or new, but sounds like it to even moderate people.)
We need to stop being so concerned with words, and more concerned with actions. We can listen, we can educate, but we are turning people away from us by making them feel like less when they’re communication does not align with our requirements.
This election should have taught us what happens when we turn away those who might otherwise be on our side.