A recent story in the New York Times by Katie Rogers referred to a housing ad that offered a room in a home for $500/month. The ad was placed by a married couple who described themselves as “open minded” and liberal and included this: “If you’re racist, sexist, homophobic or a Trump supporter please don’t respond. We won’t get along.”
Kevin Williamson writing at National Review sees this as a form of totalitarianism just short of wanting to build prison camps for those who disagree with their political stance:
One of the less understood criticisms of progressivism is that it is totalitarian, not in the sense that kale-eating Brooklynites want to build prison camps for political nonconformists (except for the ones who want to lock up global-warming skeptics) but in the sense that it assumes that there is no life outside of politics, that there is no separate sphere of private life, and that church, family, art, and much else properly resides within that sphere.
My reaction is that Kevin Williamson is correct in how he characterizes such people, but that this couple is also correct when they say we wouldn’t get along. I’d never respond to such an ad for that very reason. I’d be grateful for their disclosure because it would save me a lot of frustration. Imagine if I moved in with them and then found them hating me when I let slip that I voted for and am a supporter of Donald Trump.
Some self examination ensued as I thought more about this. Would I want to share my home with an Obama supporter? There are a few million men in America who think pretty much like me and who are married to wives who not only voted twice for Obama but also for Hillary last November. I don’t know if that bothers them, perhaps not. It would bother me because I question the sanity of anyone who voted twice for Obama and recently for Hillary. Maybe it’s not their sanity, maybe it’s just ignorance. At least that can be corrected, although it seldom is.
Of course, the wives I describe apparently are nothing like the hopeful landlords who placed that ad in New York. As far as I know massive divorces are not occurring over different political preferences. Somehow the politically polar opposite couples are finding marital bliss in other ways. That would indicate that not all
dumbbells Obama/Hillary voters are fascist totalitarians.
If I were seeking to rent out a room in my home, would I want someone I believed to be a three-time political idiot? No, I would not. Does that make me totalitarian every bit as much as those New Yorkers?
I’m desperately trying to think the answer is no, I’m different. But, really? In my defense all I can offer is that some of my wife’s close friends are extremely liberal Democrat progs and I would be willing to bet a large sum that they are proud Obama/Hillary voters. They are also very nice people whose company I can enjoy so long as we don’t discuss politics, which we never do. They seem to sense the situation the same as I, it would not be productive.
If that doesn’t exonerate me from being a totalitarian, I have another, stronger defense to the charge. Unlike the New York couple, I do not accuse those whose politics I find antithetical of being racist, sexist and homophobic with no evidence except how they vote.
Kevin Williamson’s article at National Review is very good, and I recommended it heartily.