Not really. But I had the distinct misfortune of encountering someone with this belief the other day who would not stop hammering it into me until I pretended that I shared their view. But because I was in a completely Republican, gun-toting city in my county, I didn't argue otherwise.
The event that brought me face-to-face with this woman appeared harmless enough: I was going to meet with my teacher to receive my report card. See, I'm in a home-schooling program, and I had to meet with my instructor in person to get my report card for this last semester. My teacher handed it to me, and in passing mentioned that I was taking college classes along with my high school classes. Another woman in the room was getting report cards for her girls, and she asked me how I liked my college classes; I thought it seemed a harmless enough question, so I answered.
I personally have loved college, so I told her. She asked me what classes I was taking, and I mentioned I had taken a history class. Then things got a little weird. She asked me what my history class was like, in a Glenn-Becky, paranoid sort of way.
I'm not so sure what this woman's name was, so let's call her Becky.
Becky: So, this college history class. What was it like? I mean, were you left with a sense of patriotism for your country, or was America presented in a very tyrannical, evil sort of way? You know, colleges these days try so hard to destroy those strong Conservative views.
How the hell was I supposed to answer that? After I said I felt patriotic with hopes of stopping this awkward conversation, she went on:
Becky: Good. That means you had a good teacher. I wish these colleges would fire all the whack-jobs and keep the sensible ones.
First off, I did not have a good teacher. He could not have possibly have found a more boring method of teaching that class, and he liked to eye the one African American in the lecture hall whenever he spoke about slavery. But that's beside the point. I had to wonder "What does she mean by 'whack-jobs'?"
But fear not! Becky cleared that up for us.
Becky: I don't want my girls taking a college history class because I don't want to run the risk of them getting a pot-smoking Liberal who hates his country, you know what I mean?
No, I didn't know what Becky meant. I was so outraged, disgusted, angry, and embarrassed for this woman. I couldn't believe that this was really how she thought. I wanted so much to argue with her, to say that she was wrong, but I didn't. I realized that anything I said was not going to change this woman's opinion, and she wasn't going to change mine.
I like to think of myself as someone with an open mind. It's hard not to be in my family. We're the most racially diverse group of people I know of, full of dozens of differing religious and moral beliefs. I have gay friends and relatives. In short, I was fortunate enough to be raised in a family that celebrates diversity and everyone for who they are, not what they are. Maybe that's why it angers me so much when I encounter people that are as narrow-minded as Becky was.
She also mentioned the word "Progressives" like it was a dirty word. Though I didn't ask her, I can guarantee, one hundred percent, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that Becky is a religious watcher of Fox News. She's got the lingo and the "get 'em they're different" mindset down beautifully.
I don't have anything against Conservatives or Republicans. A great portion of my family is Republican. But I do have something against people who use attempt to use their beliefs to diminish other human beings. Though I wanted to start a fight with this woman and watch the steam blow out her ears when I told her I was not a Republican, I felt sorry for Becky more than anything.
You see, you can't ever be completely happy or live your life to the fullest of your ability if you spend it convinced others are against you and evil and full of hate because they don't share your same opinions. Then you become the very thing you're so sworn against; you grow to hate these people-- in this case pot-smoking Liberal college professors-- rather than try to understand them.
It's a good thing I didn't go into too much detail about my Political Science professor. She would've hated him.