Counter arguments to: How to ruin Christmas: A holiday guide to arguing with conservative relatives

WEDNESDAY, DEC 25, 2013 07:45 AM EST

Holiday rule #1: Never, ever argue politics. But if you must, here’s how to beat your right-wing relatives

Go here for the original article at Salon.

While I am not a conservative on the political slidebar without a doubt I am to the right of Pareene.  I will be inserting my comment, counter arguments if you will, in red.

Happy holidays, fellow soldiers in the War on Christmas. It is the time of year when many Americans are expected to spend some time with people they are related to. Maybe some of the people you are related to listen to talk radio or read Twitchy. [I only time I lessen to talk radio is when I am driving from here to thar, to and fro, and I have never heard of Twitchy until today.  That aside, what he in implying here is that conservative do not think for themselves, and without talk radio they would have no opinions about anything.]  That doesn’t have to be a problem — as always, the first rule of arguing politics over the holidays is never ever do it ever — [Now this is pure  bullshit, the Progressives go out to pick a fight ever chance they get, consider the hype about talking about talking about signing up for ObomaCare over the Christmas and New Year’s week to make my point] but if some things come up, and you want to have your say, perhaps you need some help countering the easily digestible sound bytes of the conservative media machine. Here is a guide.

It has only been a few weeks since the last holiday argument guide, [These guides are nought but talking points they want their fellow travelers talking about] but in those weeks the right has moved on from criticizing the nationwide launch of a complex series of health insurance markets to … complaining about the persecution of a homophobic [homophobic is the label they put on anyone who disagrees with their agenda to make being queer as normal as being strait] television character and making fun of a stock photo model. So let’s move on with them, I guess.

The Duck guys have been silenced by liberal fascism

Well, let’s just get this bit out of the way: No, the First Amendment does not apply to private corporations [they got this right, the 1st Amendment only applies to government actors], like A&E Networks. The “Duck Dynasty” guy has a contract with a corporation that allows them to suspend or fire him if they feel like it. That’s how private contracts work, and private contracts are what modern capitalism is built on. A&E felt that the best thing they could do from a business perspective is suspend the duck guy after he said a bunch of offensive things. Sorry, if that makes you mad, you are mad at the free market, not liberals.  [To start with there has not been a free market it in America in over a hundred years, thanks to the Progressive law enacted such as the creation of the FEDs, EPA regulations, (I know Nixon signed the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), but it was in response to the lies told by Rachel Carson about DDT in “Silent Spring,”), but I regress, as much as A&E has the right to fire anyone who does not fulfill their terms of employment, the audience has a 1st Amendment right to express their displeasure, and to boycott if they so desire.  And it was a progressive who set this whole ball of wax into motion.  Scott Gurney the Duck Dynasty’ creator who sent Phill over to GM for that interview.  He played a “gay-for-pay” meth addict who acts in erotic videos “The Fluffer” .  

How I do not know for sure but I reckon that Gurney, know how Phill would answer, let him go into the lion’s den, hoping that he would end up with everyone laughing at his backwards opinions about queers.

Maybe you think Phil Robertson’s remarks — essentially that butts are gross — are in fact a brave statement of an endangered point of view. They sort of are! But much of America has decided that that particular point of view deserves to become an anachronism, and they did not come to that conclusion because the liberal media has silenced those who argue that butts are gross. In fact it is quite easy to hear variations on that sentiment, from prominent political and media figures who are under no threat of being silenced. But the message just isn’t resonating anymore, because it’s stupid.

It is resounding with a lot more people than Pareene wants to admit to. Considing the percentages of the following groups thinking that gay sex is always wrong:

54% of those born in the 1940-1950 period, 65% of those from the East South Central region of the country, 77% of those believing that the Bible is the literal word of God, 72% of Protestant fundamentalists, and 51% of males.

Other groups in which a majority believes that gay sex is always wrong include: 52% of male Democrats, 60% of male Republicans, and 63% of African Americans, including 58% of African-American females

It is also maybe worthwhile to remember that in addition to his sophisticated musings on sexuality, the duck guy effectively endorsed racial segregation and Jim Crow.  Now this is nothing more than a blatant attempt to link the drive for queer rights to the blacks struggles for their civil rights.  By invoking the lynching of a black 16-year-old, Freddie Moore, in Labadieville, Louisiana  on Monday, Oct. 9, 1933, there are trying to draw an equivalence with their inability to get married any place they deem proper.   Well it just won’t wash. This attitude far outweighs the one Pareene impliesin spite of their great effort to sell the idea,

It is actually the case that there are a lot of potential and actual problems with a system in which employees can be punished by their bosses for the expression of certain beliefs outside the workplace. But just as celebrities don’t have the same reasonable expectation of privacy that normal civilians are supposed to enjoy under the law, they also can’t expect the same freedom to express unpopular or controversial opinions without fear of economic reprisal. [Seems to me that Phill’s opinion is not near as unpopular as both Pareene and Gurney had hoped that it would be.  The only one, as far as I can tell, who think his expression of his beliefs are controversial are GLLAD and LGBT supporters.] I mean, if your wealth and status depend on appealing to the broadest swath of Americans possible, most people would tell you to avoid controversy. (It is obviously also possible to have fame that depends on the generation of controversy, and it seems like the duck people might switch over to that line of work sooner or later.)  [Obviouly the Duck People do not need GLLAD and LGBT supporters, and in spite of their attempt to ridicule their beliefs their popularity has only increased.]

But let’s think about these duck guys, this Robertson family with the television show that millions of people watch. Maybe this is the north enforcing its cultural hegemony at the expense of an innocent southern man, tarred as a bigot and kicked off his own television show just for saying what he thinks. But if you are southern, maybe you should think some more about the Robertsons and their television show and what message it sends to the rest of the country.  [There is no doubt in my mind that they are sending the correct message to the rest of the county, consider this:  In their State of the Bible in 2013 report, the American Bible Society reveals an overwhelming majority of Americans own and believe what the Bible says. Eighty-eight percent own a Bible, Eighty percent say the Bible is sacred and 61 percent wished they read it more. Pareene, GLLAD and LGBT should consider getting in step with the rest of Americans instead of trying to make everyone believe that they have the only true light.]

The Robertson family is a gang of college-educated millionaires pretending to be backwoods hillbillies. [Neglecting to tell you that it was the success of their duck call, which works,  else  so many would not have bought them to make them millionaires]  The beards and camo are literally costumes. [So what?] Before they had a television show they were clean-shaven yuppies in polo shirts and cargo shorts.  [When they got the money to do what that wanted to do, they did what they wanted to do.] The Robertsons are performing a pantomime of southernness, and it is making them even richer than they were before. They are performing for a nationwide audience that is probably not mostly southern, and that is definitely not mostly rural and southern. No one on reality television — especially in this era, when it’s more staged than ever — is being their authentic self. [I do not know the truth of that one way or the other.] That’s not in and of itself a problem; entertainment is entertainment. But the Duck Dynasty guys are essentially doing a hillbilly minstrel act [As I recall minstrel act were a very popular entertainment.], filmed and aired by a network jointly owned by the Hearst Corporation and Disney. Maybe that doesn’t offend you. But for much of America, these people are the most prominent modern representatives of white southernness, and the duck guy just confirmed for them the stereotype that white southerners are bible-thumping bigots with twisted racist delusions.  [I know of no one who has to watch them, I have never seen an episode, not my cup of tea, but my neagbhor Frank, two houses down, does not miss a showing, even the reruns.  He would love nothing better than to have the money to live his life in the same manner, but he has not built the better duck call that has the world beating a path to his door, so he lives it vascurly through “Duck Dynasty”.

What I think is that when Scott Gurney created  ‘Duck Dynasty’ it was with the intent to have American laughing at the clowns’, Bible thumping, rednecks as fools worthy of condemnation.  Then when it became obvious that was not going to happen.  They were laughing because they found their antics funny, and in many ways identified with them and their expressed religious beliefs.  That is why, imo, that he let them go to GQ for the interview, and get the show, which is not doing his cause any good, kicked off the are inspite of how much money it is making for A&E.

Pajama guy represents the death of masculinity in the Obama era plus he is gay lol

What is even wrong with you that you are so obsessed with a stock photo model. He is a guy in a stock photo. Get over it.

Wear pajamas. Drink hot chocolate. Talk about getting health insurance. #GetTalking.”  

That sound like a call to arguing politics over the holidays to me if there ever was one.

Alex Pareene writes about politics for Salon and is the author of “The Rude Guide to Mitt.” Email him at and follow him on Twitter @pareene


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  28. “But I regress”


    “homophobic is the label they put on anyone who disagrees with their agenda to make being queer as normal as being strait”

    Dire straits indeed. Or perhaps just one dire strait.

    I have also heard that “anti-Semitic” is the label “they” put on anyone who disagrees with their agenda to make being Jewish as normal as being Christian. I guess because we’ve established that the word is merely a “label”, applied by the dark, sinister forces of “they”, it is somehow not a meaningful concept?

    “As I recall minstrel act were a very popular entertainment.”

    Who cares? The metaphor of the show as a “hillbilly minstrel” had nothing to do with the show’s popularity or lack thereof, it was clearly describing its alleged artificiality. The reason it might be worth pointing out that these people’s backwoods manners are staged is that we’ve had to hear endlessly about how these duck guys are the “real Americans”, the “normal people” of the heartland, who usually aren’t represented in the media. If this “reality” is in fact fictitious and put on, doesn’t that have important implications about the whole “real Americans” concept and those who promulgate it? Milli Vanilli were also quite popular in their heyday. The fact of their popularity has no bearing on the question of whether they were actually singing.

    • “Dire straits indeed.” Thanks for my misuse of the word, I am dyslectic, and if my spell checker does not flag it I sometimes let things like that get past me.

      ‘I have also heard that “anti-Semitic” is the label “they” put on anyone who disagrees with their agenda to make being Jewish as normal as being Christian.” Anti-Semitism does not denote fear of the Jews as homophobic tries to say that anyone who does not approve of the queer agenda are afraid of gays. This conflating a religious belief with equality sexual preferences is a strange way to try and make your point, show me where anyone in the least 100 years in America that the Jews are not as normal as Christian?

      “I guess because we’ve established that the word is merely a ‘label’, applied by the dark, sinister forces of ‘they’, it is somehow not a meaningful concept?” Yes, words are labels, and the ones you pick label someone or a group denotes how the labeler want the one(s) labeled to be perceived. It was, imo, the sinister forces’ behind the gay rights agenda that labeled those that opposed them as phobic, i.e., only someone who was afraid of them would oppose them.

      “Who cares? The metaphor of the show as a “hillbilly minstrel” had nothing to do with the show’s popularity or lack thereof; it was clearly describing its alleged artificiality.” Who made this allegation of artificiality? It doesn’t matter, anyone watching a TV Reality Show knows that it is a scripted show, directed and edited. The part that the Duck’s would not let them write out of the scrip was their religion. You could rightly call Hee Haw a hillbilly minstrel but the title just does not work for the Ducks, if it was supposed to be a metaphor it did not carry its intended message. What I took from the comparancance to the intended “Blackface Minstrel” that it invoked. Putting on a blackface now gets you in a whole lot of trouble with the PC police.

      “The reason it might be worth pointing out that these people’s backwoods manners are staged is that we’ve had to hear endlessly about how these duck guys are the “real Americans”, the “normal people” of the heartland, who usually aren’t represented in the media.” If this is touted, it is A&E that puts that message out, not the Ducks nor their fans.

      “If this “reality” is in fact fictitious and put on, doesn’t that have important implications about the whole “real Americans” concept and those who promulgate it?” As far as the Ducks are concerned it has been A&E, Disney, et al, that have promulgate it, and it has come back to bite them in the ass.

      “Milli Vanilli were also quite popular in their heyday. The fact of their popularity has no bearing on the question of whether they were actually singing.” Everyone believed that lead vocals on their record the voices of Morvan and Pilatus, and when they found out that I was not their Grammy was withdrawn. I was not a fan so I have little recollection of it. However, the things that the Ducks do are not done by others; they do them because they find it fun to do.

      “…backwoods manners are staged is that we’ve had to hear endlessly about how these duck guys are the ‘real Americans'” And just who have you heard that from? Surely not anyone from GLLAD or LGBT. I would lay odds on that.

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