Won't Someone Think Of All The Bigots Who Won't Be Invited To Christmas This Year?
Since the beginning of all of this hysteria over children being taught in schools that racism exists and LGBTQIA+ people exist, some of us have been saying that what this is all really about is that people are afraid their kids will reject them for being bigots — and rather than get with the times, they'd simply rather stalk librarians and scream and holler at school board meetings in hopes of being able to turn back time.
However, no one expected anyone to actually say this out loud. Enter Dennis Prager.
The rightwing conservative site American Greatness published a plaintive essay by Prager this week, titled "Why Many Conservatives Won’t Be With Their Children or Grandchildren This Christmas" and subtitled "On the Left, it is a grave sin to abuse the Earth. Not one's parents."
First we're fighting a War on Christmas and now we're doing "abuse." Does our cruelty know no bounds?
There are probably hundreds of thousands of men and women who, because of political differences, maintain minimal or no contact with their parents and, even more cruelly, do not allow their parents to have any contact with their children—their parents’ grandchildren.
Probably an unprecedented number of Americans with grown children will be alone this Christmas because their children will neither visit them nor invite them for the holiday dinner.
In some rare instances of horrific parental behavior, this may be excusable, but when the reason is politics, it is inexcusable.
This might be true if politics were entirely separate from one's personality and behavior ... but it's not. People who vote Republican right now are doing so because they don't believe in systemic racism, because they are mad at trans people for existing, because they are mad at drag queens for existing, because they are mad at immigrants for being in this country, because they think they should be allowed to control people's reproductive choices, etc. etc. It's not like having a favorite sports team. These are views that are hurtful to actual human beings, who may or may not be their children, their grandchildren or friends thereof.
I know of this firsthand. Parent after parent calls my radio show, often close to tears, sometimes actually sobbing, pouring their heart out to me about being alone on holidays despite having children and grandchildren.
Technically that is secondhand.
In virtually every case, the parent is conservative, and the child is on the Left. I assume there are cases of grown conservative children who won’t allow a liberal/Left parent to see his or her grandchildren—but I have never heard of a single such case. It is almost impossible to imagine a conservative adult depriving his or her parents of access to their grandchildren because the parent(s) voted for Joe Biden. Moreover, if there were such a person, every conservative I know would vociferously condemn this individual.
It is indeed hard to imagine that a lot of liberals call in to Dennis Prager's radio show to pour their hearts out about their familial issues.
That being said, it is quite easy to imagine that conservatives would freeze out any relative, parent or not, who belonged to one of the various groups they are currently mad at. We know for sure they have a tendency to throw their LGBTQIA+ children out on the streets. Forty-seven percent of homeless LGBTQIA+ teens are living the streets because their parents rejected them. It seems fair to say that parents have far more of an obligation to take care of their own children than adult children of bigots have to invite their parents to Christmas dinner.
Why does Dennis Prager believe this happens? Because we are mean, that's why. Mean to innocent angels like Brett Kavanaugh.
The fact is that leftism often produces mean people. There are decent and indecent liberals, and decent and indecent conservatives. But many leftists are indecent—and leftism makes them so, whereas neither liberalism nor conservatism makes people indecent. Leftism breeds ingratitude, victimhood, moral arrogance—and therefore cruelty. The Democrats’ treatment of Brett Kavanaugh was one of innumerable examples. The screaming shutdowns of conservative speakers on campuses is another. And cruel treatment of parents is yet another.
Aw, the poor dears. It's almost like someone can't be credibly accused of rape or write a book about how Black people are intellectually inferior to white people without people being super mean to them about it.
I personally think it's a lot more mean to rape someone or to write a book about how Black people are intellectually inferior to white people, but what do I know? I'm just a mean leftist who actually gets along fine with her family (who also, for the record, are not into either of those things), thank you very much.
The second reason we are so horrible, Prager says, is that we don't believe in God and follow our consciences instead of just following the Ten Commandments or not doing stuff for fear we could end up in hell.
The Left proves the utter inadequacy of the conscience. To cite the present example, the adult children who deprive their conservative parents of contact with the parents’ grandchildren have a perfectly clear conscience. All those secular people—including secular conservatives—who argue that God is unnecessary because it is enough for people to answer to their conscience are spectacularly naïve. The consciences of most people who do evil are blissfully untroubled.
Most religious people who have done—or at least not resisted—evil also have undisturbed consciences. But to return to our present example, religious people who believe they have to answer to God for their behavior are likely to treat their parents better than those who do not believe so. They believe that God commands them to honor their father and mother. There is no such command on the Left.
The many, many religious people on the Left notwithstanding, it's weird to only be nice to people for fear you are going to burn for all eternity if you do not. That being said, apparently "parents" are the only people God demands conservatives be nice to, and that, to me, seems wholly inadequate.
The third reason? College.
Millions of young Americans who graduate from college are, morally speaking, worse people than they were when they entered college. How many parents believe their child became a finer—or even a happier—human being at college? How many parents believe their child became a worse—and less happy—person?
People who think a lot, as one is required to do in college, are frequently less blithely cheerful than those who just sail through life not thinking very deeply about things. That being said, conservatives who just go around believing everything Tucker Carlson and Dennis Prager tell them are frequently very angry and thus perhaps not the world's best dinner guests at Christmas or any other time.
You almost have to be a college graduate to shun your parents and deprive them of their grandchildren because of political differences. If you had asked most of these college graduates before they enrolled in college who, because of political differences, won’t see their parents for Christmas if they could imagine never talking to their parents because of political differences, most of them would probably have deemed the question absurd. After four years of college indoctrination—essentially consisting of hatred of nonleftists—the question is no longer absurd.
Clearly, the moral of this story is to never educate your children.
Either that, or it is "If you vote for things that hurt people, if you say things that hurt people, people — including your own children — may not invite you over for tea. Or Christmas dinner."
It seems highly unlikely that the parents being frozen out of Christmas dinners are those who "just happen" to vote Republican, but rather those who insist upon torturing their relatives with QAnon conspiracies and whatever Tucker Carlson has been on about as of late. If those relatives don't want to put up with that behavior, don't want to put their children or their friends at risk of being discriminated against by these people, then they should perhaps consider being less terrible.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse