This article is from the ultra-left-wing Salon.com. (H/T Mary)
Basically, it’s written by a crazy left-wing liberal Democrat woman, and she explains what she thinks about her conservative Republican friend, and why. I think that conservatives (and Christians) can learn a lot from this article. Aside from the obvious point about how conservatives should make friends with liberals, here are four points I want to emphasize. Point one: liberals respect study, intelligence and academic credentials. Point two: Liberals remember when conservatives treat them nicely. Point three: liberals think that you don’t believe what you say you believe unless they see you professing what you believe openly and confidently in front of liberals. Point four: talking to liberals intelligently and explaining why you believe what you believe with the authority of public square knowledge creates tolerance and respect for conservative ideas.
In the beginning, it didn’t matter. We were more concerned with our own mutual war on body fat. And we soon found on the periphery of weight loss the other things we had in common: a love of books and science, a hatred of hysterics.
[…]She believes what she’s telling me, and she’s studied the issues. That might be what is so difficult: She has the same education as I have, and yet she has made different decisions, decisions that are so counter to what I believe. Decisions I find abhorrent.
[…]Janet’s willingness to associate with so many liberal friends — though I know she seeks refuge in chat rooms and magazines that share her beliefs — makes her a better and more interesting person. She has her beliefs challenged constantly. She is more well-read and educated in her politics than most of the liberals I know. Too many liberals I know are lazy, they have a belief system that consists of making fun of Glenn Beck and watching “The Daily Show.”
Then I remember the things that don’t get discussed in our debates — how she held my hand through a recent surgical procedure, rubbing it and distracting me the way a mother would, how she calms my fears about parenting, how she has been a family to me in a town where I have none. How that right-wing, gun-loving, flag-wearing, union-busting Republican still thinks, after all this time, and with so much information to the contrary, that I can lose and keep off weight.
Her daughters’ names are Liberty, Honor and Victory, the latter named at the time we invaded Iraq. (Her son’s name, inexplicably, is Bernard.) She owns a bust of Ronald Reagan and cried when he died, proving that she, perhaps alone with Nancy, had remembered that he was still alive. There is a bumper sticker on her very, very large SUV that says “REPEAL,” and I believe it refers to the healthcare bill.
…I think having a Republican friend is making me a better liberal. We need friends who differ from us. It’s easy to watch Republican extremism and think, “Wow, they’re crazy.” But when someone is sitting face to face with us, when someone we admire and respect is telling us they believe differently, it is at this fine point that we find nuance, and we begin to understand exactly how we got to this point in history. We lose something critical when we surround ourselves with people who agree with us all the time. We lose out on the wisdom of seeing the other side.
I recommend you read the whole thing. It’s really encouraging to hear the liberal valuing the differences of her conservative friend, and recognizing how having sincere, intelligent people on the other side makes her more articulate and informed about the liberal views that she believes.
And when I tell you all to emphasize raising children who will be intelligent, effective and influential, this is why. Leftists respect intelligence and conviction. The reason why they try to suppress us is because they think we are stupid, that we don’t really have reasons for what we believe – but just inherited it from our parents. It’s up to us to study these issues and debate with skill when the opportunity arises.