The leadership and activists of the American left are, and have always been, anxious to portray conservatives as racists, bigots, homophobes, sexists, and xenophobes (among other things).

It’s a great marketing strategy when you know you’re up against the worst marketing department in the world.

What’s always fascinated me about this is that we all know conservatives. But that doesn’t seem to occur to people.

Back in high school, I used to sit with two friends who constantly discussed the politics of the day. Reagan was President at this point, and listening to them, you’d think he was the most evil, vile, conniving man in the world.

And I used to walk away with the same thought: How could someone this horrible be elected President in this country?

My experiences with people have lead me to believe that people are generally good and want to help others. I’ve just not encountered or witnessed all of the hate and bigotry that we’re told runs rampant in our society.

All I’ve seen is people who, when given the chance, will do what they can for others. Obviously, there are exceptions. But that’s just how I see it.

Bringing this home even further, I used to go home and talk to my Dad about the conversations of that day. My Dad is an informed and solid conservative. He follows politics quite closely.

And the thing about my Dad is that I know him well. He raised me. I lived with him for 18 years. There’s not a racist, sexist, homophobic, mean, or evil bone in his body.

Quite the opposite. He’s a very kind and thoughtful man. He’s always wanted the best for everyone, and I’d heard over the years that everyone who worked for him really thought he was a stand out manager. Worked hard to empower his employees with the freedom to do what they thought best.

So I had to ask myself, how could this man, who was a conservative, be considered so evil? It just didn’t add up.

This was in high school. I’ve been seeking to answer this question, and have been looking at human interaction through this lens, for 30 years, and I’m left to conclude that people who consider themselves liberal don’t know or understand conservatism.

And they don’t realize that many of their friends or co-workers are conservatives. If we all had to wear our alignment on our sleeves, I think many liberals would be surprised at who, among them, are conservatives.

(I also think they’d be surprised to find out that, while they think they’re liberal because they’re not racist or any of those things, their beliefs are actually more consistent with conservatism. But that’s another post…)