Wednesday, June 23, 2010

One thing (among many) that I find amazing about conservatives.

I was surfing through the web after the pretty amazing ending to the World Cup match between the U.S. and Algeria. Lots of very happy fans, but there were a number of people who actually took the time to log on and throw in their comments about hating soccer and hoping the U.S. loses. I won’t link, but you can find them easily enough. I then saw one post that talked about how Glenn Beck was on a rant about how much he hated soccer and was tired of “them” (whoever they are) “ramming it down our throat.” Here’s Bob Cesca’s post on that.

"It doesn't matter how you try to sell it to us, it doesn't matter how many celebrities you get, it doesn't matter how many bars open early, it doesn't matter how many beer commercials they run, we don't want the World Cup, we don't like the World Cup, we don't like soccer, we want nothing to do with it. [...] I hate it so much, probably because the rest of the world likes it so much, and they riot over it, and they continually try to jam it down our throat." Glenn Beck

Good grief… I can understand why someone wouldn’t like soccer. It does take some getting used to for Americans raised on football, baseball and basketball. But Beck sounds absolutely offended that a number of people in this country will watch ESPN for World Cup coverage. And we will even watch matches that don’t involve the U.S.! What is up with this? Does everyone in the world have to agree with Glenn Beck about everything? There can be no difference of likes/dislikes, ever? Jeez.

I remember seeing a letter to the editor in the local newspaper a year or so ago. It was from a man who passed a hybrid car on the freeway. I guess the driver of the hybrid wasn’t going fast enough for this guy’s tastes. He said he was “disgusted” about this car and made more disparaging remarks.

Again, what’s up with this attitude? You don’t like hybrids? Don’t buy one! You don’t like soccer? Don’t watch it! But what’s with this sense of outrage? Yeah, we expect differences of opinion about rather important things, such as politics. I can see how people can get pretty emotional about those subjects, even if I don’t understand their specific positions. But on things that don’t matter, what’s the deal with this sense of outrage and indignation? It’s like these people are personally offended by even being in the presence of something they don’t agree with.

I don’t like NASCAR. I think it is a huge waste of increasingly scarce petroleum products, and it is very polluting to the local environment. But I am not offended that it exists. I just don’t support it. But a lot of conservatives seem to take soccer and other matters of personal likes and dislikes as a personal insult.

I am wondering what insight into the psyche of the conservative mind this gives us. Are Glenn Beck and people like him so convinced that they are right about every single thing they might express an opinion about that they expect everyone in the country to actually agree with them? Do they see things like soccer and hybrid cars as some extension of “creeping liberalism” that they cannot abide their very existence? Or are they so used to bitching and complaining about every single thing they don’t like that this just seems natural, like scratching an itch?

I suppose this makes perfect sense to conservatives, but it sure seems really stupid to me.

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