Emma-Jo Morris on Being a Conservative in a Liberal City: You ‘Forge Your Own Path,’ Liberals ‘Don’t Have That Muscle’

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    “You become hardened in a certain way, and you get used to having to forge your own path in ways that people who fit in more, politically, in their greater society don’t have that muscle,” Morris said.

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    “Andrew Breitbart was always a huge influence for me, and a huge inspiration to me, and he had a really important quote that has lived on for years since he’s died, which is, ‘Walk toward the fire,'” she added. “And as people watch you do that, and as people see that, and agree with you, they’ll start to see that they can do it, too.”

    In discussing how to deal with people who agree with conservative ideas but are too afraid to admit it, Morris said she agrees that “there’s not so much patience for the people who are all worried” about facing backlash, but to keep in mind that “people come around in their own time, and they realize as they see people like us — they can do it, too. But there’s a lag.”

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    “I also think it’s important to engage those people,” Morris said, elaborating:

    I have a friend who’s progressive — she thinks — and we were talking about the trans sports stuff, and she was saying, “I kind of agree with you, but sometimes I bring this up with my other friends who are progressive, and I feel extremely judged, and I feel like they’re not going to want to engage with me, and maybe not even going to want to be my friend.”

    So I said, “What do they find outrageous about what you think?” and when you sit with them, and take time to really unpack what their beliefs are, and they realize themselves that this isn’t hateful, this isn’t coming from a malicious place — they start to feel to feel more comfortable — after having worked it out with somebody who’s safe, to articulate themselves better to the people around them.

    “So it’s kind of like you have to try and hold their hand a little bit,” Morris said. “There’s something to be said for being patient and being supportive.”

    “The same way we want these people to be supportive of us is to be supportive of them on their path of understanding the world around them, which is extremely complicated, as we all know,” Morris added.

    You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.

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