I am a Cate Blanchett super-fan.
Can’t get enough of her as Carol Aird, Hela, Florence Zimmerman, Bernadette, Kate Wheeler, Daisy, and even the voice of the snake in Mowgli. And don’t even get me started on the number of interviews I’ve watched of hers.
I hate seeing her get shot in Babel, but love how she admits she’s peed her pants. How she portrays a woman on the brink in Blue Jasmine is so fantastic. And if you haven’t watched Manifesto, you’re missing out.
She’s a great actress and lovely, but if that’s where your admiration of her stops, get up on my level. She’s a fantastic activist for environmental and humanitarian causes. She’s a straight-up business baller. And seeing photos of her with her family gives me all the starry-eyes.
Her latest turn as Phyllis Schlafly in FX’s Mrs. America has been great for a politics and history nerd like me. Not because I take it as law, but because I have the educational background to track the events portrayed.
But, as much as I love this dramatic retelling of the movement to ratify the ERA, watching the show has me even further down on the effects of the insincere, power-hungry Cretans who turned true “small government” conservatism into the Christian-pandering, stifling, “morality police” GOP we’re familiar with today.
Part of me thinks Jill Ruckelshaus would balk. Or, at the very least, yell:
We are the party of Lincoln!
And therein lies the problem…
The show follows the efforts of Schlafly and her Eagles Forum against Gloria Steinem (portrayed by Rose Byrne, LUV) and the women’s liberation movement. The conservative women formed alliances with religious groups around the country, including some from the Church of Christ who were aligned with the KKK, and recruited people on the fear-based premise that their way of life was threatened. Yep, that old chestnut…
It shows how Social conservatives, so-called traditionalists were co-opted and adopted into the only party where they might fit.
They were stirred up by the events of the day. Duped into giving their support to the party that could easily shoe-horn conservative personal feelings into the party’s stance. All for the sake of winning.
I mean, props to the Grover Norquists and Roger Stones who saw the shot and took it. But also, shame on them for misleading those people and their good intentions and ruining The Right for everyone else.
Conservatism used to mean non-interference, fewer regulations. “Get the government off your back” type of stuff. It was of the mindset that the government shouldn’t tell us too much about how to live our lives.
I can get behind that.
However, as religious people were recruited, the Republican Party started to stand for fewer rights for people, less freedom to live how you want. They became associated with racism, bigotry, homophobia, & evangelical “morality” that shuts people out and encourages a nanny state that caters to their constituents beliefs. Understand this: the politicians just do what it takes to get votes.
It’s the type of pandering that got us a donald trump.
I can’t get behind that.
[Seriously, the hypocrisy and ugly personality of the right turn so many people away, including me. It sucks to see that the party’s true original purpose could really get people on-board, but I guess they don’t want too many people empowered and ready to keep the government in its proper place.)
Being a conservative type of person is one thing.
Being a political conservative is another.
“Conservative” and “liberal” used to speak to how you view the role of government in our lives. That should be the proper context of dealing with government. We should decide it’s role, not the other way around. But now, those labels dictate people’s identities as they shallowly participate in an unsophisticated and detrimental political world.
Being straight, white, more traditional in how you want to live is FINE. Go to church & praise God. Be a stay-at-home mom. Be a guy who likes to watch sports. Don’t swear. Don’t drink. Do what you want to do with your life. Use it as an adjective.
Don’t just do word association and join the party that used the word first. That’s not the proper context.
If you joined up with the Schlaflys of the world who saw the chance to prey on peoples’ sincerely-held beliefs to further their ambitions, it’s time to reevaluate your alliances.
(And I’ll get to the different types of Republicans in another post… because that’s it’s own barrel of monkeys… so don’t poop your Pampers if you’re a fiscal conservative.)