FROSTMAN COLUMN: Condescending remarks from left fuel conservative fires

FROSTMAN COLUMN: Condescending remarks from left fuel conservative fires

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‘From the sublime to the ridiculous,” this is generally credited to Napoleon Bonaparte or Thomas Paine in his “Age of Reason.” It’s meant to describe the transition from something nice and desirable to something to be ridiculed. How do you describe circumstances when going from ridiculous to even more ridiculous? Make sure it’s not “The Onion,” a leading satirical website?

A Nov. 8, Campus Reform story reported a since-deleted series of tweets by University of California-Berkeley instructor Jackson Kernion. Bashing rural Americans, Kernion wrote “Rural Healthcare should be expensive! And that expense should be borne by those who choose rural America!” Further, “It should be uncomfortable to live in rural America. It should be uncomfortable not to move.” He then tweeted, “I unironically embrace the bashing of rural Americans. They, as a group, are bad people who have made bad decisions. Some, I assume, are good people. But the nostalgia for some imagined pastoral way of life is stupid, and we should shame people who aren’t pro-city.”

Well, good for you buddy. Hard to know where to start to unpack the pile of condescending arrogance loaded into those tweets. Rural Americans are bad people? Go ahead and think that until you want to eat food, sit on furniture, have a roof over your head, or enjoy any other basic means of existence, because whatever you’re consuming, it probably has rural American roots.

The hubris in these statements, and so many others, is palpable. Just one more way the left demonstrates a disdain for those who don’t buy into their agenda.

A prime example of haughtiness was displayed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren during the Democratic presidential debate on Oct. 10, covered in an Oct. 12 USA Today story. This question was asked by Morgan Cox of the Human Rights Campaign, “Let’s say you’re on the campaign trail and a supporter approaches you and says, ‘Senator, I’m old-fashioned, and my faith teaches me that marriage is between one man and one woman.’ What is your response?”

“Well, I’m going to assume it’s a guy who said that, and I’m going to say, ‘Then just marry one woman. I’m cool with that.” Sen. Warren, let’s pause for a moment right there. Do you automatically presume the only people who could possibly support traditional marriage are men? In your mind, I guess no woman would ever support traditional marriage. Far be it from me to ever correct you on that galling assumption.

There’s more. Sen. Warren delivered a condescending zinger in her comment, “assuming you can find one,” drawing cheers from the audience. There it is. Not only is it solely men who favor traditional marriage, but those feckless rubes, undoubtedly from fly-over country where they might be seen in a church are all repulsive to women. Got it.

I shouldn’t criticize Warren, but rather encourage her to keep the insults flowing. It’s easy enough to be dismissive of some Berkeley yutz looking for 15 minutes of fame, but Warren is seeking to be president.

These insults are some of the latest in the constant barrage of condescending remarks hurled at conservatives, and small-town America in particular.

We remember President Barack Obama’s comment about “bitter clingers,” implying when times get difficult, folks cling to their guns and religion for support and comfort. It is true many Americans rely on their faith to help them through difficult times. Many are proud to call themselves “bitter clingers.”

In the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton famously referred to most Donald Trump supporters as a “basket of deplorables,” citing the oft-repeated drone of sexist, racist, xenophobic, homophobic — did I forget anything? In the end, I’m thankful she made that comment, key to fueling the fire of disdain for Clinton, and key to President Trump’s victory in 2016.

Many conservatives embrace the title “Deplorable.” There are companies devoted to “Deplorable” merchandise. Go to Amazon and shop away. Who said Clinton wouldn’t create jobs?

Millions of those on the conservative side of thinking aren’t racist, homophobic, sexist, and all the rest, but if the radical left wishes to paint them in that vein, many will feel honored to be recognized, and the left fails to grasp the irony of that acceptance.

We see this irony from the party and the political leaning to the left accusing the other of intolerance, lack of inclusion, and stereotyping. Many conservatives rightly express sincere disdain at those from the right that use stereotyping, and lack of compassion in their own stances. You can take issue with Trump’s twitter habits, and cringe at his rhetoric.

Civility in discourse is far too pastoral a concept to fit into today’s narrative on the left, and those who practice pastoral politeness must be “bad people.” Bear that in mind as you consider America’s future.

Scott Frostman lives in Baraboo and has roots throughout Wisconsin. He believes anyone can make a difference and can be reached at scfrostman@gmail.com.

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