I wrote this comment over at My Best Internet Acquaintance's blog, and thought it was worth reposting.
Something to consider about the people "who worked really hard to make sure that I and everyone who didn’t agree with their blind support of Bush and Bush policies didn’t feel welcome...”
It can be excruciatingly difficult to put yourself in this headspace, but my theory about why those people act the way they do is this:
-They don't feel welcome. They feel like they're the persecuted minorities.
-They feel afraid. They're scared of so much in this world, because it's so different from how they experience the world.
Ever read "Red Family, Blue Family"? It's a great overview of George Lakoff and James Ault's work in political cognition and sociology. Here's an excerpt:
"Liberals tend to view themselves as live-and-let-live people. It’s the other side, we believe, that wants to start wars, keep the poor in their place, and make second-class citizens out of gays, non-Christians, non-English-speakers, and anyone else who didn’t come out of their cookie-cutter. We’re the nice guys. We believe in tolerance, diversity, and letting people be what they have to be. It’s hard for us to credit the idea that someone could be afraid of us.
Someone is. And for good reasons. Understanding that uncomfortable fact is the first step towards grasping what has been going on in this country’s politics for the last quarter century."
Understanding and accepting that there's this deeply rooted fear, and that that's what's driving a lot of the decisions those people make, might help with the blind resentment and rage. Acceptance doesn't mean condoning what they've done; it doesn't mean approving of it, either. But it does make it easier to reframe it, and to redirect the impulse to bully them right back into making America a more tolerant, accepting place.
Art-related posts will resume soon, I promise.