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My problem with all conservatives, even the ones who are good people.

You can’t be neutral on a moving train.

In the show Breaking Bad, which is about a schoolteacher turned drug dealer, there is a cop named Hank.

Hank is an interesting person. He cracks up at the sight of mutilated drug dealers, but he’s the kindest person you could imagine when it comes to his friends and family.

Is this respectable? Is it admirable? I don’t think so. Hank demonstrates beautifully what my problem with conservatives is, even if they are good people.

The world has no shortage of “good people,” by which I mean people who are upstanding in their community.

But the world has no shortage of evil either. It only makes sense that these two concepts overlap, right?

My problem with all conservatives, and this is based on my personal experience, is that they operate based on who’s their in-group and who’s in the out-group.

People who care so deeply about their in-group, which is to say their family and friends, can easily be a part of the KKK and not feel two ways about it. Anyone in the out-group can be sacrificed or at least expected to bear a burden that the “good” people would not bear themselves.

That’s why the nicest people will say things like, “We should just bomb them all.”

If you’re in the in-group, it’s easy to handwave away people in the out-group when they express a problem with conservatives, because you haven’t personally experienced what it feels like to be in the out-group.

It doesn’t feel nice. It is literally dehumanizing and violent, in fact.

I don’t deny conservatives can be “good” people by this definition. But I also think as the world grows, life gets harder. And I think people who don’t step up to the challenge, preferring instead to pretend we still live in their parents’ day and age, are not people I trust.

The people I trust are those who understand that being good is beyond doing the default. That sometimes life involves going against the grain.

You can’t be neutral on a moving train.

Howard Zinn

The oppressor is driving the train. What are you doing?

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