I live in deep blue America and am a conservative. When I see old friends after a long absence, or meet new people, they assume I’m a liberal Democrat, in part because they are, and also because I live in a blue city in a blue state. I don’t like to argue in social settings, so normally I don’t reveal my political views. I can deal with differences of opinion, but what I find increasingly unpleasant is how smug and nasty liberal Democrats are when referring to conservatives, Republicans, or even independents. I’d like to remain close to old friends and form new friendships, too. How do you suggest I deal with the demeaning attitudes and intense anger that so many liberals express toward conservatives these days?
– Adrift in San Francisco
(1) It is unpleasant to be treated as a moron, or criminally insane, a traitor to all that’s good and true, and, of course, a pariah, just because of your politics. It’s even more than unpleasant to incur wrath because you don’t want to dive head first into the blue seas of the liberal Democrats around you. In regions like yours it’s easy to be blindsided — stunned, really — by the unanimity of idolatry toward the current president. It’s galling to be presented with this uncongenial Venti, topped off as it invariably is by the latte of condescension. Disdainful liberals are unable to hide their contempt for those who differ with them. You begin what seems like an enjoyable conversation, but as soon you declare your political perspective, you go from being an attractive object of interest to the objectionable equivalent of a social leper.