Projection And The Conservative Snowflake

Projection And The Conservative Snowflake

The new liberal 'snowflake' phenomenon owes its origin to decades of conservative outrage.
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Ad hominem attacks and cleverly-constructed insults are a perennial part of political discourse in this country. In recent years though, the attacks haven’t been quite as articulate as they used to be. While some insults, like being called a ‘cuck’ because I think ‘the God Emperor’ is a moron, can be entertaining; some of them are just weak, chief among them being the term ‘snowflake’. It’s an insult that derives mainly from the behavior of a fringe group of college students that have made it their goal in life to be offended over every little thing: claiming cafeteria lunches are cultural appropriation, calling people bigoted for not recognizing the 2,000-and-growing list of gender pronouns, etc. This term has taken on a wider meaning, used in the context of people who generally support the principle of political correctness. It’s not difficult to attack the fringes; any mindless buffoon with a microphone can do it- ask Tomi Lahren and Milo Yiannopoulos. But conservatives have delighted themselves so much in attacking the safe-space-dwelling liberal snowflakes that they’ve forgotten one thing; they started this phenomenon.

Conservatives practically have a monopoly on getting offended over the most trivial nonsense. Remember the time people lost their ever-loving minds because Starbucks announced they would begin a program to hire 10,000 refugees? They fumed about how they should hire 10,000 veterans instead: though they couldn’t be bothered to do a Google search which would show that they’re already doing that exact thing. But that’s only one example.

The Super Bowl has its share of political ads. This year, some touched on the immigration issue with subtlety, while some just outright went straight to the point about the wall being an un-American idea. A few years ago, one ad that really ruffled feathers was a Coca-Cola ad that showed “America the Beautiful” being sung in several different languages. It’s a nice ad that shows the multicultural diversity of the United States and our immigrant heritage. Predictably, there was a wave of fake outrage from the right, as if a song being sung in a language other than English (or in Sarah Palin’s deluded world, in ‘American’) were going to tear apart the fabric of democracy.

This is a common phenomenon. Here's an experiment: next time a corporation shows an ad on TV that portrays a gay or lesbian couple, go on social media. Take a look at how many conservatives are screaming (likely in all caps) and calling to boycott a continually-growing list of companies. One example was a promotional campaign done by Doritos, where a certain amount of its revenue would go to the It Gets Better project, an organization founded by columnist Dan Savage to prevent LGBT youth suicide. Conservatives screeched. A gay couple in a Wells Fargo ad? How dare they!

The last examples, although annoying, are relatively harmless (unless you consider the minor economic losses from a short-lived boycott). Some conservative-outrage storms, however, do have some real consequences. While it is one of the most verifiable concepts in science and serving as the backbone of modern biology, the theory of evolution is something that gets under the skin of a lot of conservatives. Despite the fact that humans share around 98% of our DNA with chimpanzees, many conservatives have made it a goal to try and undermine evolution in public schools. If that doesn’t work, they try to shoe-horn their own ideas into the classroom, even though they are not scientific, don’t hold up to peer-review, and don't hold up in a court of law. Like the consensus on anthropogenic climate change, evolution shares practically universal scientific consensus; yet many conservatives do everything they can to undermine the process of science, simply because they don’t like the results.

This is all worth remembering when people like Tomi Lahren trot out the meme that liberals are just whiny babies. Or when Dana Perino unironically states that conservatives are driven by facts and logic, while liberals are driven by feelings. Conservatives have perfected the act of fake outrage like a fine art, an art form that only recently have liberals picked up on. And you know what they say, the best form of flattery is imitation.

Cover Image Credit: Huffington Post

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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Saying You "Don't Take Political Stances" IS A Political Stance

All you're doing by saying this is revealing your privilege to not care politically, and here's why that's a problem.

bethkrat
bethkrat
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I'm sure all of us know at least one person who refuses to engage in political discussions - sure, you can make the argument that there is a time and a place to bring up the political happenings of our world today, but you can't possibly ignore it all the time. You bring up the last ridiculous tweet our president sent or you try to discuss your feelings on the new reproductive regulation bills that are rising throughout the states, and they find any excuse to dip out as quickly as possible. They say I don't talk about politics, or I'm apolitical. Well everyone, I'm here to tell you why that's complete bullsh*t.

Many people don't have the luxury and privilege of ignoring the political climate and sitting complacent while terrible things happen in our country. So many issues remain a constant battle for so many, be it the systematic racism that persists in nearly every aspect of our society, the fact that Flint still doesn't have clean water, the thousands of children that have been killed due to gun violence, those drowning in debt from unreasonable medical bills, kids fighting for their rights as citizens while their families are deported and separated from them... you get the point. So many people have to fight every single day because they don't have any other choice. If you have the ability to say that you just don't want to have anything to do with politics, it's because you aren't affected by any failing systems. You have a privilege and it is important to recognize it.

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "history will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people."

We recognize that bad people exist in this world, and we recognize that they bring forth the systems that fail so many people every single day, but what is even more important to recognize are the silent majority - the people who, by engaging in neutrality, enable and purvey the side of the oppressors by doing nothing for their brothers and sisters on the front lines.

Maybe we think being neutral and not causing conflict is supposed to be about peacekeeping and in some way benefits the political discussion if we don't try to argue. But if we don't call out those who purvey failing systems, even if it's our best friend who says something homophobic, even if it's our representatives who support bills like the abortion ban in Alabama, even if it's our president who denies the fact that climate change is killing our planet faster than we can hope to reverse it, do we not, in essence, by all accounts of technicality side with those pushing the issues forward? If we let our best friend get away with saying something homophobic, will he ever start to change his ways, or will he ever be forced to realize that what he's said isn't something that we can just brush aside? If we let our representatives get away with ratifying abortion bans, how far will the laws go until women have no safe and reasonable control over their own bodily decisions? If we let our president continue to deny climate change, will we not lose our ability to live on this planet by choosing to do nothing?

We cannot pander to people who think that being neutral in times of injustice is a reasonable stance to take. We cannot have sympathy for people who decide they don't want to care about the political climate we're in today. Your attempts at avoiding conflict only make the conflict worse - your silence in this aspect is deafening. You've given ammunition for the oppressors who take your silence and apathy and continue to carry forth their oppression. If you want to be a good person, you need to suck it up and take a stand, or else nothing is going to change. We need to raise the voices of those who struggle to be heard by giving them the support they need to succeed against the opposition.

With all this in mind, just remember for the next time someone tells you that they're apolitical: you know exactly which side they're on.

bethkrat
bethkrat

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