In defense of feeling defensive

“Ryan, you HAVE to tone down your language when you talk politics.”

“None of this matters anyway.”

“You seem so angry all the time about political stuff.”

“You state your opinions like they’re facts.”

My friends and family have feelings about my political attitudes…

And I get it. I do. I’m outspoken and loud. I speak in vibrant, sometimes hyperbolic language. I vehemently and staunchly defend each position I put forward. I definitely scare away some people who may be on the fence politically with my flamboyant and unrepentant commentary on these issues.

It’s a choice I made. And one people are free to question and disagree with. In my personal life, if I’m conversing with a rational actor, I sound nothing like I sound out here in the Internet world. But if I’m confronted face-to-face with someone spewing the kind of factless, mean-spirited, dangerous, evil rhetoric that I encounter on the net, you bet your sweet bippie I snap into my persona. I figured it was time to do two things: 1-Show you what my reasoning is for why I do/say what I do and 2-Show you what pushed me there.

Why I use “angry” language that isn’t “toned down” about my opinions

The Republican party is more conservative than they have ever been, at least in the modern era. While it’s true the Democrats have grown more liberal, proportionately, this hasn’t been an equal response. Remember: Only people really passionate and loud ever go around publicly talking about politics. So, what you have is an America where the EXTREME conservative voice is frequently heard and is rebut by a middling liberal response. A few years ago, I saw a friend of mine being absolutely assailed on Facebook about gay rights. I know a woman whose gun control beliefs caused her to publicly get threatened. I’ve seen former welfare recipients called terrible names. This is just in my personal experience, mind you. This is just what I see. What I haven’t seen is any of my liberal friends threatening conservatives with gun talk. I haven’t seen Democrats suggesting Republicans should be fed to Satan. I’m not saying that there aren’t people out there who take an extreme liberal stance and stand up to the loud conservative voices. I just think there’s far less of them.

When I turn on a sports game I don’t care about, my proclivity is to root for whoever is losing. My favorite superhero is Spider-man. I love the underdog. I hate bullies. I am very, very aware that my brazen approach ticks people off. I’m equally aware that some of those people were neutral on the issues and were turned off by my approach or agree with me on the issues but hate how I say it. I respect that. That’s totally fair.

But the other side doesn’t get to be loudmouth bullies anymore, not while I’m watching. They don’t get to spew hate speech and anger unchecked. If this world is going to change, if we’re going to get any progress from our elected officials, we need to have smart, educated people making controlled arguments that win people over for sure. But we also need people who do research, formulate positions, and then punch back against the bullies as loud and as hard as they can. I know lots of people who are and will be the former. So I chose the latter. And I’m not sorry.

Why I feel this way

The tagline for this blog is “Life as a democrat in a state that hates them.” I’ve been told that’s an exaggeration. That this state doesn’t “hate” democrats. I’m not going to do much talking on this one. Here’s the GOP in Nebraska in their own words, see if you can pick up on a theme.

It’s only inferred there, with the “Nancy Pelosi” name drop… Oh, and it turns out that Brad Ashford’s votes on those taxes were mostly prompted by REPUBLICAN Governor Dave Heinemann. So…

“Too liberal for Nebraska.” That’s the tag. “He’s liberal” counts as all the negative advertising you need.

Here in my great state, it’s perfectly acceptable to simply point and say “THAT PERSON IS A DEMOCRAT” and watch as the pearl clutching and gasping ensues. I live in a state where simply BEING LIBERAL is an unelectable stance. That’s why I get worked up. That’s why I speak out. I hope you understand, even if you may not agree.

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