This is what we’ve come to: One of Mitt Romney’s former ad men has launched an entire campaign around the idea that “Republicans Are People, Too.”
And, unsurprisingly, some liberals are amused.
MSNBC’s Steve Benen derided the message as “overly defensive” and wrote: “If you have to remind the public that Republicans ‘are people’ and ‘have emotions,’ then you’re implicitly suggesting that Republicans’ basic humanity is, at least for some, in doubt.”
Well…sometimes, yeah, it is in doubt.
Okay, sure, no one’s going around saying conservatives and Republicans aren’t human. But there’s often a host of negative assumptions and stereotyping, fueled by our liberal pop culture and mainstream media.
Doubt it? Read liberals’ own accounts.
In a Salon article headlined, “I Fell in Love with a Republican,” writer Anna David, a self-confessed liberal, talks about her own shock that she could fall for a man whose politics she disagreed with – and the shock waves her new romance caused among her social circle.
“What surprised me was that mostly it was not the intolerant, sanctimonious Republicans but my love-the-world, yoga-practicing, gluten-free progressive best friends who were apoplectic over my new romance,” she wrote in the essay published earlier this year. “’A Republican? Are you that desperate? Don’t you know what they’re doing to our country?’ (Funny, they were never as worried about the heroin addicts or that one guy who’d seen the inside of Folsom [prison].)”
Suddenly, Vinny Minchillo, the ad guru behind “Republicans Are People, Too” doesn’t sound as ridiculous for writing, “There are people who will stick up for Genghis Khan before they’ll defend a Republican. (‘Genghis was just misunderstood.’)”
Just about any conservative who has spent some time in a blue culture can tell you there’s a lot of stereotyping from the left. As a teen, I worked in a chain bookstore in a San Francisco suburb. One day, after I’d been there a while, the topic of politics came up, and I ‘fessed up to being conservative. One of my fellow co-workers was floored, stammering something along the lines of “But you’re a nice person.”
Yes. (Or at least aspirationally.) I also don’t own a car and rely on public transit. I recycle. And I’m also conservative.
It might sound ludicrous to the left that conservatives actually have to clarify things like that … but that’s because liberals haven’t been the ones forced to clarify.
Sure, it’s a smidgen snicker-worthy that the line “Republicans have feelings, too” is actually included in the very not-subtle video. But hopefully it starts a conversation – and inspires liberals to be more civil to and open-minded about their conservatives friends.