A Liberal Goes to Texas and is Shocked at What He Finds

One of the most entertaining things to watch on social media is when someone goes on a self-exposing rant without having any awareness that they’re totally undermining their own credibility. You’re always left to wonder whether they ever realize it, or whether someone in their circle quietly messages them to stop.

Take the recent Twitter rant of #ObamaAndKids creator Michael Skolnik where he sought to entertain his 208,000 followers with tales of his recent trip to Texas, which he teased:

“Walking around a very small Texas town that voted 80% for Trump with my Obama t-shirt on this morning has been quite the experience.”

And just what kind of experience was it encountering these strange beings who don’t share Michael’s politics? He went on:

“In the restaurant I had breakfast at one of the cooks came out from the kitchen and came over and said, ‘I just wanted to see your shirt.’”

Not sure the curiosity of a cook really lives up to the tease as being, “quite the experience,” but maybe there was more to come?

“In the gun store that I wanted to check out, the nice lady behind the counter told me when I walked in that ‘I looked like I was lost.’”

Okay, so add a polite sales lady to the curious chef. Not sure we have the making of a political thriller here. Michael summed up the experience this way:

“It’s a very beautiful town + the people are very nice. Here for a wedding of a friend who worked for Obama, so I wore t-shirt to represent.”

My first question reading all this was pretty simple: exactly what did he expect? It’s almost as though Skolnik was expecting to feel like he was in a foreign country with these odd beings that didn’t resemble the humans he knew or interacted with regularly. His last tweet almost reads as the journal of a Spanish conquistador landing in the new world, commenting on the strangely pleasant and generous natives.

But in a larger context, it seems as though Skolnik might want to use this “experience” as impetus for a little self-introspection. If he was anticipating anything but kindness and politeness from these Texans he encountered, maybe that isn’t a reflection on them nearly as much as it is a reflection on his own:

  1. Closed mind that assumes all the fake caricatures of Trump-voting Republicans created by the media are true;
  2. Liberal communities and circles that lack the tolerance and kindness he was given by these conservatives.

Something obviously caused Skolnik to anticipate fear, hostility, or mistreatment at the hands of Republican Texans. Could it be that is the result of his own awareness of what would happen to a conservative wearing a Trump t-shirt in the city of Berkeley?

And if so, maybe Michael could help push his fellow liberals to dial down the daily hostility, derision, and hatred they direct at southern Republicans from self-righteous soapboxes of pretend superiority? Just a thought.

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Peter Heck

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