Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Am I a Republicanophobe?

I am scared to write this post. First I am afraid to admit that I am prejudiced. But more importantly I am afraid that you, the reader, might be a Republican, and Republicans scare me. Why? Because, like other people who are prejudiced, I have an all or nothing mentality. Now is when you might get angry with me. But please don't yell, I am attempting to come to the root of my prejudice and abolish it. This morning, on Facebook, someone told me not to go all "right-wing" on him. It was, to me, a staunch tree-hugging, animal rights supporting, pro-choice, educated woman, an insult.

When I picture a Republican, I picture a gun-toting, anti-woman, racist,  homophobe. And people with guns scare me, and sexist, racist homophobes scare me. Therefore, Republicans scare me. And it all really just comes down to fear, fear of the unknown. I have tried to understand Republican economic theory, but I am a child of the 70's and I watched as the trickle down never trickle down. I read about huge corporations paying nothing in taxes and hiding their billions in profits in off-shore accounts. I watch as so-called Christians ignore the poverty stricken in this country, "they should work harder, they are moochers." When I picture a Republican I picture a person, devoid of compassion for those less fortunate. I watch as Republicans vote against the Equal Pay Act, as they cut assistance for needy children, and as they demonize women and teachers. This is what I see, hence my all or nothing mentality. I am no better than a racist, I let fear of the "other" guide my opinions. It comes down to the fear of the unknown. As a woman living in a sheltered community, I do not come in contact with many Republicans.

How can I abolish this extreme prejudice? It all comes down to the "us against them" mentality. If I focus on the differences, how can I begin to find compassion for the other, that person who holds different beliefs than I? After all, the world would be a boring place if we all believed the same things. The first step then, is to find common ground. So, my dear Republican reader, kindly help me out, help me to find common ground. I am a runner, I know, left turn, bear with me. As I runner, I race. When I go to races I run with thousands of other runners. We connect through our mutual similarities. I have no clue what political party my fellow racers belong to, we come for the common joy of running. When I pass a runner on the road, I am kind, I connect, I wave, I move over or slow down, after all it is a fellow runner. Turn right again, what commonalities can I find with my fellow Republicans? If I can find this, I might be able to soften around my opinions, my fears and my Republicanophobia.

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