By Kelly Young

Guest columnist

I had one of my most uncomfortable conversations in recent memory a few weeks ago, and even recalling it now leaves me shaking my head in frustration. I was talking politics with a local acquaintance, and the longer he went on, the more willpower I had to devote to keeping all the blood in my body from shooting out my ears.

Now, most regular readers of my column are probably guessing at this point that my confrontation was with a liberal, and that my discomfiture was caused by just how bass ackwards his logic was, but that was not the situation at all. The reason for my distress wasn’t because this man and I ascribed to antithetical worldviews, but rather I found myself barely quelling the urge to throttle him because his imaginary voting ballot would look virtually identical to mine – but for all the most ignorant and hateful of reasons.

This individual listed four primary grounds for his fierce dislike of President Barack Obama: his death panels are going to unplug my nanna, he wasn’t born in America, he’s a Muslim and he’s black. Wrong, wrong, wrong and so what?

It was a heartbreaking moment for me because, no matter how marginal a voice this pitiable person and his kind have in the national political discourse, his very existence means that risible liberal commentators like Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann are at least slightly correct when they label the entire conservative movement as provincial, misinformed and racially motivated.

Let me make this perfectly clear. There are countless, innumerable, unquantifiable, boundless, multitudinous reasons to oppose Obama’s policies and to fear his impact on America – but conspiracy theories, sensationalized inaccuracies and the hue of his skin don’t make the list.

Instead of fixating on his birth certificate, focus rather on his soon-to-be-realized healthcare reform plan which will use a manufactured crisis to bring a whole sixth of the U.S. economy under federal control; raising premiums and taxes, skyrocketing the deficit, greatly expanding an already grievously flawed system without addressing the flaws and leaving the door wide open for even more sweeping socialistic measures in the future.

Instead of railing on endlessly with nonsense about the president being an adherent of Islam, why not talk to your friends about how nearly all of his campaign promises have been lies or about how an administration that promised unprecedented transparency has instead practiced the most opaque government in American history.

What you should be getting fired up about is Obama and his cronies suppressing all dissent, idealizing the murderous Mao Tse-tung, prosecuting Navy SEALs while granting legal rights to unrepentant enemy combatants, blindly pushing the garbage science of global warming in order to further their environmental agenda, cutting defense spending while funding pork barrel projects by the thousands, saddling future generations with our monumental debt and killing the dollar.

Each of those are legitimate concerns. Each demonstrates an erosion, either intentional or otherwise, of our nation’s exceptionalism. With such an ample and truly terrifying assortment of genuine reasons to oppose Obama, why resort to such an ignoble motive as race?

The same God that made me white made him black. Who am I to decide that what is precious in His sight is inferior to mine? I personally am thrilled to see America elect its first black president, I just really wish he or she hadn’t been a liberal ideologue.

Convictions rooted in little more than hate and blissful unawareness serve only to bring the whole conservative movement down, unfairly make me (and hopefully you too) look bad and cheapen everything I believe in.

But the antidote to ignorance will always be education, and in today’s world — where it is easier to get your hands on pure, unadulterated knowledge than at any other time in human history — there is simply no excuse for anyone’s political platform being based on nothing more than bigotry and dubious conspiracy theories.

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