The Paradox of a Poor Conservative 

Look, I recognize my own ideological chains. I’ve drunk the Koolade because it goes down easy on my gullet. 

Our political affiliations are much like our adherence to faith systems–takes a bomb to shake the foundation and worse to bring it toppling down. Anything that flies in the face of it is met with hostile, often irrational counterstrikes. Why? Because cognitive dissonance is a motherfucker. 

So when a good friend sends me a video of Ben Shapiro, all I can hear is the nasaly twerp who says things like, “evolutionarily, men are more inclined toward polygamy.” And when she tells me he’s a Harvard educated lawyer who wrote for Breitbart, all I hear is “entitled douche monkey” and “white-nationalist-sorry-excuse-for-journalism-rag.” Can’t help it. 🤷🏼‍♀️ 

Am I bringing all my liberal baggage to bear? Sure. As much as Cubans in Miami bring the Bay of Pigs and their deep-rooted racism to bear on the ballot. 

Family Member Who Must Not Be Named is adamant that the “welfare state” is real and Queens of said State push Beamers, get their hair and nails done every week, and generally “live better than him.”

I ask him where he collects this empirical data. 

“You can see it.”

I ask if he has ever lived in Section 8 housing. 


I ask if he knew that just 10% of those deemed under the poverty line that receive government benefits have been found to commit fraud, and that the majority of aid recipients are single mothers. 

“Who told them to have all those babies?” 

I ask him what’s the worst thing Obama has done during his presidency. 

Here he struggles a bit. It’s either the ACA or budgetary deficit. He goes for the deficit. 

So I ask if he knows that our illustrious leader has lowered the tax rate for the top 1% down to 15% (from 35%). This action alone will add billions to the deficit in lost tax revenue. 

“That will trickle down to help the lower classes.” 

Ah, Reagonomics to the rescue again. Because that worked out so well when the housing market crashed in 08. 

I ask him if it bothers him at all that these billionaires are paying about half the percentage that he gets taken out of his paycheck. 

“15% of their pay is so much, so it’s fair.” 

When a hard-working poor man justifies a rich man’s privilege, whether it’s earned or not, I can see it’s a lost cause. It doesn’t matter what I say; he still feels entitled to less.  You gotta hand it to the GOP; the self-effacing rhetoric is sly AF.