The Fear Behind the Conservative Agenda

Karen Shiebler
4 min readJul 18, 2021
Photo by David Todd McCarty on Unsplash

For as long as I can remember, I’ve heard conservative Americans crowing about their patriotism. I’ve heard them bragging about their support for the military, telling lefties like me that “Freedom ain’t free” and that real Americans aren’t afraid to fight for it.

I’ve read countless comments about what a bunch of bleeding hearts we are on the left. About how weak we are, how fearful of getting our hands dirty and doing hard work. If you ask them, all of us progressive ‘snowflakes’ just stand around wringing our hands and waiting for people to give us handouts.

A lot of socially conservative people I know see themselves as the strong and the brave. They believe that they are warriors who won’t hesitate to grab a big-ass gun and go to war against anyone who threatens us. Macho to the max, that’s the image they have of themselves.

Marjory Taylor Greene, for instance, wants the world to know that she’ll shoot you dead just for talking about universal healthcare.

Badass Wannabes

But I’ve come to realize that it isn’t actually courage and badassery that is behind the raging rhetoric of the right-wing. Oh, no, indeedy it isn’t.

In fact, the more closely I listen to the noise coming from the GOP and Fox News, the more obvious it seems that they are all scared right out of their tiny minds.

Think about it.

I know a very conservative man who lives in one of the safest towns in one of the safest states in the country. The crime rate is so low it barely registers. But you know what? He just bought himself a gun because he wants to protect his wife and himself “in case of a violent home invasion.”

He’s afraid of his neighbors. He’s afraid that some mythical bad guy is going to target his nice suburban home in his quiet suburban town, choosing HIS place over the other 20,000 nice suburban homes in town. What are the odds? Miniscule, right?

Still, he’s afraid.

Conservatives want guns because they’re scared. Scared of each other, scared of the government, scared of terrorists.

Karen Shiebler

A Mother, a grandmother, a progressive voter. I write because it’s getting harder to march and because words are my only weapon. I blog at