I’ve heard it said many times on the difference between how liberals and conservatives treat opposing view points was so at odds because “we just think they’re wrong, but they think we’re evil.”

I have heard conservatives time and again lament the fact that liberals treat conservative thought with such contempt. Despite claiming the title “liberal”, the left in this country has been horrifically narrow-minded when it comes to opinion and thought. Any deviation from the established parameters of liberalism has always been met with vitriol and charges of racism, sexism, or pick-a-phobia…ism.

It has been the heartbreak of many conservatives I know to realize that they are hated by people who have known them for years simply because they expressed a conservative position  or supported a Republican politician. With the rise of Twitter it has become popular to point out the hypocrisy of the left when it comes to tolerance and their decidedly intolerant treatment of anyone who isn’t a liberal.

“How can anyone think like that?” we’ve asked each other.

How can anyone be okay with completely erasing from their lives a person they’ve known and even respected simply because they think there is another way to do things? It’s unfair and it’s heinous.

Why is it so hard for liberals to just argue the idea instead of judging a person’s entire earthly value based on a political opinion?

All this typically followed by some version of, “I just don’t understand it. I’ll never understand it”.

Well, conservatives take a good a look around you at the smoking, stinking ashes of the modern conservative movement and then look in the mirror.

You now know what it’s like to be a liberal.

Since Donald Trump emerged from the Republican primaries conservatives have been at each other’s throats accusing one another of the heinous things that used to only be hurled at us from the left.

You voted for Trump and his “Svengali”, Steve Bannon? You are a racist and enabler of the alt-right Neo-Nazis who seek to redefine conservatism. You voted for a dictator, a mentally ill egomaniac, woman-hating narcissist who will destroy this country and maybe even the world. You have betrayed conservatism!

You are #NeverTrump and could never bring yourself to vote for a “fake conservative”? You are a wannabe liberal, a tool of the left being used to bludgeon the right. You’re too blinded by your Trump Derangement Syndrome to look at him objectively. You’ve chosen to believe the selectively edited lies the media dispenses and you’re too arrogant to see that is the choice the conservative movement has made moving forward. You’re a loser and a dupe.

But it isn’t just name-calling that is the problem. To my complete heartbreak I have seen conservatives who have been friends for years end their relationships over the differences in opinion on Trump and all things Trump related.

I have seen conservatives who claim to know what the Gospel of Christ says about salvation and a relationship with Jesus say that anyone who voted for Trump isn’t really a Christian and can’t say they love God.

Seriously? Anyone who believes that one vote in one election cycle is the marker for your entire life and faith in God has a shockingly shallow view of the reason for Christ’s sacrifice.

I have seen conservatives both quietly and with overwrought public statements unfollow and unfriend people they’ve known for years in real life. They will not tolerate even the slightest dissent from the Trump Train and see it as being judged for their own views.

It seems like almost everyone has picked a “side” in this civil war and feels comfortably self-righteous about it. If you land on one side the other, congratulations. You now know what it’s like to be a liberal.

“How can a liberal be so close-minded they would judge you and your whole life based on a political view?”

You’ve answered your own question

But Kira, we’re talking about the end/beginning of real conservatism! I refuse to support a hypocrite/heretic who’s actions and beliefs are going to bring down the entire conservative movement! I have principles and I won’t compromise them for anyone!

Fine. And just know that’s exactly what a liberal says to herself when she tells her sister-in-law she’ll never be allowed over for the holidays again because she voted for *insert favorite Republican monster here*. She’s standing on principle and she isn’t just angry. She believes what she is doing is right. She believes that she is combatting ignorance and defending common sense. For her, disinviting her SIL is the same as telling a KKK member he’s not allowed in her home.

Those of us who have decided to make an effort to hear and see both sides of the issue are seen as fence-riders and cowards. Common sense and objectivity are no longer values of the conservative movement. They are not appreciated on either side.

I have made a concerted effort to refrain from criticizing Trump to my #TrumpTrain friends because so many of them take it so very personally. I don’t consider their anger at criticism of the President reason enough to end what are otherwise lovely friendships with people who in every other aspect of their lives display great generosity and kindness.

I have completely disengaged in discussion with my #NeverTrump friends. Imploring anyone to even just recognize that a person’s political views don’t define their entire value as a human being is met almost exclusively with snark, sarcasm and condescension. I’m unwilling to label those friends as my enemies either.

Both sides are an echo chamber right now, with dissent in either camp met with banishment that is justified as “the right thing” for people full of such hate (whatever version of “hate” meets your definition, of course).

Just like liberals, who also feel genuinely morally justified in their rejections of dissent.

I do not lay the blame for this at the feet of Donald Trump. If you have it in your heart to end relationships and harshly judge a person you call a friend just because they don’t follow your line of thought that is a symptom of your own personality. Trump is just the thing that gave you permission to act out on that.

I blame ourselves, for being hypocrites, for being what we said we never were and never would be – bitter and rigid in our self-righteousness. We have now become all the things we said we could never understand about liberals. We succumb to soundbites and headlines. We’ve stopped looking for original sources or reading to the end of an article. We’ve taken on the news-digestion habits of the left and it is only serving to fuel our rage towards one another.

Every issue of the day (today it’s Milo’s CPAC debacle) is very dramatically the signal of conservatism’s demise and the Republican party’s split. There is no relief from the constant onslaught of hysteria about the future of the movement. It is exhausting.

In the last few months I’ve simply come to the sad realization that the conservative movement was never a righteous movement. It was just a political one. We may have the best ideas on American exceptionalism, the economy and freedom, and we may have correctly predicted the backlash that would one day hit liberal America, but the one thing we didn’t count on while fighting this war was our own human nature.

It is inevitable that a movement will turn against itself. I suppose it’s happened to every effective movement throughout history. Why should we be any different?

I’m willing to accept that what I knew as “conservatism” never really existed. I’m willing to be a voice for the values of freedom and God but I am no longer willing to be saddled with the same bitterness, anger and close-mindedness that made me leave liberalism in the first place.

And I don’t want to hear anyone complaining about being treated like dirt by liberals when we’re treating each other exactly the same.

You did it, conservatives! You finally cracked the code. Now you know what it’s like to be a liberal.