Dear Amy: I am an intellectual conservative, living in liberal and one-party Berkeley, California.
Time after time at dinner parties (even my own), the guests just assume that I am a liberal like they are.
When I tell them that I’m fairly conservative, they just don’t get it. They freely disparage “right-wing hillbillies” and say that all conservatives are “evil people.”
One time I countered, “Forty percent of the people in this country are not evil. They are good people. They just have different values from yours.”
The table became silent, they all glared at me, and the dinner party was ruined.
What is one to do? Must one just smile faintly and bear it? What can one say?
— Frustrated Republican in Berkeley
Dear Frustrated: Whenever I try to tackle a politics-adjacent question, the reader-responses range the gamut from people decrying my conservative hot takes, my liberal views, or my “both-sides-ism.” This tells me that people are avoiding nuance, context, or subtext.
My take on the phenomenon you describe is that one unexpected and unfortunate consequence of our president’s personal and public comportment is that it seems to have inspired a parallel mindset in the opposition. I do not lay the blame for the close-minded attitude of many progressives on the current administration; I simply note the parallels.