Operation: own the liberals

OMG, conservatives are really going for the throat this time. Know how they’re giving us the finger? Giving Obama a big ol’ f-bomb? They’re eating an all-meat diet! That’ll put us in our place!

As noted at the link, this seems to be a combination of multiple things: the imaginary liberals in their head are all harassing them about going vegan, so they have to eat meat; crackpot diet fads; a desire to prove their masculinity (meat is manly!); and a desire to “own the liberals,” infuriating us by doing stuff we hate.

And yes, I’m absolutely horrified and shaken at the thought of those meat-eating right wingers. My blood curdles! Mostly because I doubt it’s good for them, and because pissing off liberals is a poor reason to do anything.

Don’t get me wrong, I get some satisfaction from imagining the religious right’s horror at the Obergefell decision legalizing gay marriage. But that’s a fringe benefit: what’s important about the decision is that it makes America juster and fairer than before. I’m delighted Paul Ryan didn’t get to gut the social safety net and I hope it gnaws at him; that’s because gutting the social safety net is bad and Ryan’s full of bullshit. I look forward to the future conservatives don’t want because it’s a better future than the straight WASP male dystopia they’re yearning for. And I don’t want the government to adopt policies that actually hurt them, the way Republicans are targeting blue state taxpayers.

But “owning the liberals, as several left-wing blogs have pointed out, really is a raison d’etre for some people on the right. Like the guy who told me he voted Trump purely to piss off liberals (although I strongly suspect he was lying about not supporting Trump’s policies). Or human achievement hour, in which the objective is to turn on all your lights and run your appliances “to make up for the hippies turning off the lights for one hour” in Earth Hour. Or hedge-fund manager Jacob Wohl who chortles that “you can do something as simple as pull a ‘Make America Great Again’ hat out of your briefcase, put it on your head, and somebody will start crying. And it’s just incredible. It’s funny. Of course it’s funny … It’s the same kind of humor that you’d see when parents tell the kids that Christmas is cancelled and they say just kidding. It’s like why are these adults acting with such infantile lack of control over their emotions?”

I think there’s an element of projection in this. A lot of conservatives really are horrified by seeing gay couples, women bosses, interracial couples, or anyone Not Them who intrudes on their safe spaces. The “future that liberals want” where Muslims and drag queens share public space amicably is a dystopian hell-hole.

So they imagine we react the same. That the sight of them being not-liberals, doing not-liberal things like eating meat (actually lots of liberals eat meat) or wearing a MAGA hat will trigger us, freak us out and send us sniveling. And it’ll be much worse than right-wingers whining because they can’t get dates or get invited to parties, or Trump sniveling that the death count from Hurricane Maria is all made up to make him look bad.

Maybe there’s some liberals out there who go fetal from being owned, but I’m suspecting there ain’t many.

Image from @polNewsNetwork1, all rights remain to current holder.

5 Comments

Filed under Politics

5 responses to “Operation: own the liberals

  1. Zosimus the Heathen

    The most ridiculous thing I think I’ve ever seen American right-wingers do to “own the libs” is engage in the practice of “coal rolling” ie modifying the engine of one’s pickup (or whatever other suitably overcompensating vehicle one chooses to drive[*]) so that when one drives it, great, noxious clouds of pollution go spewing out of the exhaust pipes. Yes, I’m sure it results in greatly increased gasoline bills, and I also wouldn’t be at all surprised if it ends up doing serious damage to the engine so modified, but I’m sure those are a small price to pay for owning the libs! Hur dur dur! You sure showed us!

    Re conservatives adopting all-meat diets to piss off the libs, this reminds me of how many alt-Right bloggers I used to follow (more out of morbid, if not downright masochistic, curiosity than anything else) used to be really big on the so-called paleo diet (and loved to remind their readers at every opportunity they were on it!). It was particularly bizarre when the bloggers in question also happened to be creationists – “Hold on!” I’d think. “You guys don’t believe paleo man even *existed*! How come you’re following a diet based on his supposed eating habits?” There’s actually a big advocate of that diet here in Australia called Pete Evans (he’s apparently some kind of celebrity chef on Australian TV); I don’t actually know much about him, though I’ve heard that he’s a right crank.

    *And which will, of course, have an obligatory pair of truck nuts attached to it!

  2. Zosimus the Heathen

    Re the picture of “the future that liberals want”, I’d have to admit that that image makes me a little uncomfortable myself, though more because I don’t think that Muslim women feeling they have to almost completely cover themselves, even when living in the West, is anything to celebrate (I’ve seen a few instances of it here in Australia, and it just looks wrong). That said, I doubt that the average alt-Right Islamophobe is motivated by any great desire for women’s liberation, just as I don’t think that the typical anti-Semite is motivated by righteous indignation at some of the more morally dubious laws of the Old Testament, or disgust at Biblical accounts of the Ancient Hebrews’ merciless slaughter of various Canaanite tribes.

    I do like the drag queen in that picture, though – she reminds me a bit of Daphne from Scooby Doo. Talking of which, I remember a bunch of conservative bloggers being sent into an absolute tizzy (you might even say they were triggered!) a few years ago by a news story about a boy wanting to dress as Daphne for Halloween (I suppose the fact such a thing would even be considered newsworthy to begin with is sort of a sad reflection on society). What made their outrage particularly ironic (and kind of hilarious) was the fact that so many of them were the sort of Self-Proclaimed Alpha Males (hey! That’s another kind of irritating SPAM you often encounter on the Internet!) who, any other time, would have been banging on with a bunch of chest-beating nonsense about how “real” men “live by their own rules!”, “do whatever the hell they want!” and “don’t give a crap what anyone else thinks of them!” Yet, when confronted by this particular example of a boy doing pretty much that, they were all “He shouldn’t be doing that!”, “Rules exist for a reason!” and other such rubbish. As I said, I found that all rather ironic!

    • Religious-right purity culture overlaps conservative Islam quite a bit. I’m not a fan of either but if the woman feels she’s got to cover herself to be right with god or keep her family from nagging her, she should be able to do it without getting hassled.
      There’s actually a Pakistani cartoon Burka Avenger, about a female martial artist fighting repressive mullahs who want to stop girls learning. She wears the burka partly because it completely conceals her true identity.

  3. Pingback: Kavanaugh, sexual assault and witch hunts | Fraser Sherman's Blog

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