U.S. women’s soccer star and World Cup champ Megan Rapinoe did an interview with the U.K’s. Guardian newspaper last month in which she talked about a variety of issues, including her team’s championship victory over the Netherlands, the mythical “equal pay” issue, and gay rights.
In the piece, just published over the weekend, Rapinoe also spoke about her close relationship with her parents and how they were at odds with her politically. Here’s what she said:
Was [Rapinoe’s family home a] political household? “No, not at all. I feel like I grew up with all of these lessons [about equality], but nothing was ever spoken. No language was ever put around it. Both of my parents should be really progressive – especially my mom – and I don’t get that they’re not. I’m always saying: ‘You guys should really be Democrats!’ But they’re not, so what’s happening?”
Perhaps Rapinoe is the expression of their sublimated liberalism, the things that her parents can’t say, I suggest. “I know. And I’m very similar to how they are, even though I think my dad voted for Trump and I’ll say: ‘I don’t get it. How are you simultaneously as proud as punch of me, and watching Fox News all the time, [who are doing] takedowns of your daughter?’ That’s why I’m like: ‘You guys need to go to therapy.’”
Do they fight now? “There’s been some major blow-ups. There’s definitely been some dust-ups.” At the same time, she says: “I’m very close to my family. It’s not like: ‘Ugh, I’m from a conservative town and I never talk to them any more.’ I talk to my parents all the time, every day. And I feel like I have seen progress and growth. I would love it if people understood you should never say racist things and be OK with gay people, or whatever it is. But, obviously, it doesn’t happen that quickly.”
Rapinoe was born in Redding, California, which is considered one of the more conservative areas of California.
The answer to Rapinoe’s question is simple, although she can’t see it simply because she’s wrapped herself in this bubble of perpetual liberal victimhood because she happens to be a (very successful and rich) gay woman. Rapinoe has this bad habit of viewing almost anyone who has legitimate political disagreements with her as a racist, or a homophobe, or any of the other various insulting names that liberals love to call conservatives in place of substantive debate.
What she doesn’t seem to be willing to acknowledge is that people can disagree politically and not be enemies. It’s very hard in the toxic political climate we live in to believe that but it’s true. In the real world, most people’s everyday lives do not revolve around politics and tearing down people as the scum of the earth just because they happen to disagree with you.
While politicians and commentators sometimes have little choice but to fling harsh words back and forth at each other because everything is stupid, families and friends in mainstream America know each other on a more personal level, knowing a person’s heart and where they stand, their motivations and what not. Most of them can look into the eyes of their loved ones and know that in spite of any political disagreement that their hearts are in the right place.
In other words, they know that in most instances their family member or friend is not a racist, or a bigot, or whatever other name people want to throw out there just because they voted for Trump (who is not a racist), or because they are pro-life, pro-2A, and/or believe women’s rights should not be sacrificed in the transgender debate.
Essentially Rapinoe answered her own question, even though she doesn’t know it. Families and friends can have political disagreements with each other and still love each other.
I can’t speak for her parents and what they’re actually thinking. It’s a safe bet to say that they don’t agree with everything that’s been said about their daughter on Fox News or by Trump. But they’re also probably very aware that Rapinoe has put herself out there as an outspoken spokesperson on a number of fronts and has set herself up for much of the criticisms she’s received.
In other words, if you’re gonna dish it out, Megan, best learn how to be able take it when it’s turned around on you.
— Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter. –