Though I'm finding them increasingly scarce, I can respect the thinking conservative. It's important to understand the opposition and address their concerns when based on legitimate facts and analysis. My cousin is not a thinking conservative. He's a regular white guy from a certain kind of upbringing who feels very strongly about soundbites and platitudes without examining them. And he has political aspirations.
I was introduced to his facebook persona a little over a year ago, exchanged some nice messages, and I tried to reconcile the person I knew with the inflammatory propaganda littering his page. I witnessed the inception of his website, which at first claimed to be a nonpartisan political forum (why do so many Republicans try to disguise themselves as independents?) and it looked like ass. Not even normal ass, but festering, pustule-ridden baboon in heat ass. In fact, that assy baboon is probably the one who designed the website. He created a fanpage for his site, and of course at first only friends and sympathetic family members like myself became fans.
In time, he dropped the nonpartisan ruse and developed an internet radio show. He was clearly angling to be the next Rush Limbaugh. I listened to his first show, which was about two days after the inauguration. He sounded beat-down, he mumbled about how he was scared for the future and hadn't ruled out election fraud, and starting rambling about some of the ways he was scared. He mentioned the moves to bring the detainees at Guantanamo to trial as terrifying and deplorable and un-American. He actually got a caller who asked what he proposed we do with the detainees instead.
"I just... I don't know. We can't... I don't know," was essentially his reply. The caller mentioned that even if John McCain were president, the outcome in that situation would probably be pretty similar because "We gotta do something with those guys."
I stopped listening, threw down my headphones, and ranted to my boyfriend about people who conveniently ignore parts of the constitution about the right to a fair trial even for noncitizens and habeas corpus.
I decided not to listen to his show after that, but I was still privy to his status messages and listening party invitations. I got to read his remarks about Obama being a Muslim communist from Kenya sent to destroy America, and other gems. I watched his friends gradually grow into the thousands, and saw his guests become more and more high-profile.
I was reluctant to call my cousin an idiot on the internet, because he's family and I love him. Then I remembered that through his status messages and blog posts directed at all liberals, he's not only effectively called me an idiot, he's called me a socialist, a nazi, a babykiller, a fascist, un-American, and oh, an ugly fat chick, because all us liberal women are. Worse than that, he's actively personally trying to deny me healthcare. I have a lot at stake in a public option, as do my mother and my sister, because I don't know if we can even get insurance otherwise. He's working as hard as he can to spread the word that giving me the opportunity to receive affordable healthcare is evil nazi socialism. And he has a lot more influence than me.
Well, cuz's website is looking a little better, but it's still janky as all fuck. I took a listen to his most recent show, the sound quality has had little to no improvement, and the insight certainly was as lacking as before. The one thing that changed is his level of confidence. He was certainly self-assured and smug as he laughed with his phoned-in co-host about the death of Ted Kennedy and his socialist policies. I stopped listening after about thirty seconds. Now I find out that he's going to be appearing on a popular pundit's show on Fox News.
I've seen a lot of shit-ass websites in my day that look to be designed by a twelve year old kid's half-blind chihuahua, sites both liberal and conservative that puke propaganda and half-formed opinions into a janky interface. I gotta say that I've never seen the liberal websites getting legitimate attention from the media. It makes me sad and honestly jealous, that here I am, newly unemployed and unable to pull myself out of this rut, while self-propelled idiots take over my world.
I know I'm whining. It's my blog, I can do that. And I know it's my biggest flaw that I'm an introvert, that I'm the opposite of a self-starter, that I get mired in depression and self-doubt. While I'm doing this, another Limbaugh is born and ready to take the media by storm.
I try hard to understand and support my family no matter what. At least I can be proud that he earned his slot on Fox News by having a crappy website rather than by bringing a loaded weapon to a town hall.