In an essay that inspired unintentional laughter all over social media, right-wing commentator Dennis Prager expressed deep concern about how so many conservatives are no longer welcome in their kids’ homes over Christmas because of their politics.
Probably an unprecedented number of Americans with grown children will be alone this Christmas because their children will neither visit them nor invite them for the holiday dinner.
… Parent after parent calls my radio show, often close to tears, sometimes actually sobbing, pouring their heart out to me about being alone on holidays despite having children and grandchildren.
Without reading any further, the reasons for this are obvious.
If you care about LGBTQ people, civil rights, or reproductive rights—or you’re someone personally affected by those battles—you know damn well that the Republican Party opposes all of that. The people who vote for them either oppose all of that, or don’t care about any of it, or are willing to accept those things in exchange for other policy positions, which is hardly any better.
If you care about your health, then people who reject vaccines and spread conspiracy theories about COVID (not to mention other diseases) are literally putting lives at risk.
All of that’s before we get into banning books, denying election results, whitewashing history, denying science, demanding more guns in more hands in more places, and believing whatever other lies FOX hosts shove into their heads.
These aren’t differences of opinions that can be set aside or debated over dinner. These are harmful beliefs that threaten the lives of you and the people you love. Your kids will suffer more because of decisions made by their conservative grandparents. Shared blood and genes doesn’t make up for any of that. Why invite people with dangerous views into your home voluntarily? That’s especially true if you have kids. Parents want to protect their children, and that may mean protecting them from their grandparents’ cuckoo bananas beliefs.
Again, that just seems obvious, yet Prager, always ready with a horrible take, offered several other explanations for these rifts.
The further left you go, the less likely you are to believe that you are accountable to an absolute moral code, let alone to a Giver of an absolute moral code. On the other hand, conservatives, certainly religious conservatives—who are people who believe in a God-given Ten Commandments—believe that they are obligated to honor their parents irrespective of such things as political differences.
… religious people who believe they have to answer to God for their behavior are likely to treat their parents better than those who do not believe so. They believe that God commands them to honor their father and mother. There is no such command on the Left.
Having a moral code is precisely why liberal adults may not want to see their conservative parents. We’re the ones with values; they’re the ones whose beliefs inspire and justify cruelty. If the only reason you want to “honor thy parents” is because an ancient list told you to, it means you wouldn’t do it if you didn’t have to. Prager seems to think obligation overrides decency. I have far more respect for people who thought about it and realized they were better off without all that bad energy in their lives, even if it was coming from their parents.
This isn’t about political differences. Families aren’t breaking up because members have different ideas about taxes. This is about values and decency and the fact that one side revels in hurting others.
Prager refuses to acknowledge that right-wing cruelty is a dealbreaker for many people. That’s true with friendships, dating, and familial ties. He claims his side would never do this the other way around, but why would they? Progressives are fighting for things like stronger unions, universal health care, and a safer environment. Even if you disagree with certain positions, that’s a far cry from a GOP platform that promotes conservative Christian beliefs and wants to punish everyone who disagrees.
Prager also blames “college” for this supposed problem because, well, he blames college for just about every cultural grievance he can imagine to the point where he created his own fictional university to spread bad ideas. He refuses to accept that more in-depth education, and exposure to a wider variety of people, and the ability to explore new ideas away from cultural/societal barriers might lead students down a more progressive path.
Conservative thrive on the belief that they’re always being persecuted and their values are always under attack. Their solution is to reward the winners while creating more obstacles for everyone else. That might sound great inside a right-wing silo like PragerU but it falls flat everywhere else. We know what a Prager-like mentality gets us: failed governance, more people left behind, and larger inequalities.
So, no, we’re not inviting religious bigots, MAGA cultists, red-pilled “debate me” addicts, or regular Dennis Prager readers to dinner over Christmas because we want to spend that time with people we actually love, not people we’re obligated to be around.
If older conservatives like Dennis Prager can’t handle being alone over Christmas, they should take a long hard look at their misguided beliefs, not blame everyone else for our refusal to embrace their broken minds.
If they want to be loved, they should try being more loving. Apparently, they have plenty of free time over the holidays to rethink their life choices, so there’s no better time to get started.