I am sick and tired of name calling. It is personally insulting, politically distracting, and frankly, it is childish. Nevertheless, conservatives need to learn to deal with it more effectively if we are to survive in this vicious political atmosphere.

By nature, many conservatives are placid, compliant, and respectful towards others. For the most part, we are civil, patriotic Americans who simply want to be left alone to be with our families (and yes, Mr. President, our guns and religion). When those on the Left start hurling insults at us, we are typically speechless. We don’t know what to say, and more often than not, we just ignore it. Besides, we know what is right and what is wrong. We don’t feel the need for self-justification. The truth speaks for itself.

Or does it?

In my opinion, the never-ending onslaught of personal attacks, lies, and name-calling coming from the Left has severely damaged the cause of the conservative movement, especially on the Millennial front. For a generation with the attention span of a goldfish and the critical thinking skills of a four-year old, name-calling and political labels can be quite attractive. What young conservative hasn’t been accused of being a homophobe, a xenophobe, or an Islamophobe by fellow peers?

Homophobia is defined as “The fear of feelings of love for members of one’s own sex and therefore the hatred of those feelings in others…” In other words, conservatives are insecure about their own homosexual feelings and project their insecurities on other people through hatred of gays. (Because obviously, if you support traditional marriage, then you hate gay people.) It is theorized that the causes of homophobia stem from this sexual insecurity as well as misinformation, competition for power, and unjustified societal norms. More reasonable people might suspect that homophobia is merely an invention of the Left to smother dissenting opinions.

Similarly, any American that has the slightest uncertainty about the religion of Islam is immediately branded as an Islamaphobe. In 2010, one of Time Magazine’s leading articles was “Islamaphobia: Does America have a Muslim Problem?” The article cites an ATB SRBI poll which found that 46% of Americans believe that the religion of Islam is more likely to encourage violence against nonbelievers than other religions. Crazy, right? Especially since there have been over 18,000 Islamic terrorist attacks carried out since 9/11. The sorriest excuse for a piece of journalism also cited the fact that only 37% of Americans know a Muslim as evidence that America is an Islamaphobic nation. Muslims only make up 1% of the U.S. population, so obviously not many Americans come in daily contact with them. Interestingly, Buddhists and Hindus also make up 1% of the population; Jews make up 2%. Why don’t Americans also have a “phobia” of Jews, or Buddhists, or Hindus?

The Left has long perpetuated the myth of American xenophobia, or the irrational fear of foreigners. History has been rewritten so that all that is remembered about our cultural heritage is the prejudice and racial tensions that have existed in the past. Rather than moving forward into a post-racial America, the Left likes to reopen old wounds and incite division for political convenience. In recent application, conservatives have been branded as xenophobic and racist against Latinos for supporting immigration reform. Such as been the case in Arizona, Alabama, and my home state of Tennessee.

Homophobic. Islamaphobic. Xenophobic. Phobia, phobia, phobia…

I will not conclude this article with the typical lecture on the need to be “civil” and to maintain the “health of the national discourse,” or other fanciful abstractions. As a realist, I understand that politics will always be uncivil. We can’t just sit idly by and let the cause of liberty be slandered. We have to stand up for our beliefs. We have to confront those who throw around cheap, inaccurate labels for the sake of political expediency.

The next time a liberal calls you a homophobe or an Islamaphobe or any other “-phobe” for that matter, you should call them a conservaphobe –one who is plagued by an irrational fear of conservatives. Tell them that their own philosophical insecurity and lack of moral clarity causes them to subconsciously project their negative feelings toward conservatives. Tell them that they are simply jealous of your confidence and consistency. Tell them that they probably don’t know very many conservatives, which is why they are afraid of them. Then tell your liberal friend that American Leftists have a history in this country of hatred toward the Western culture, Judeo-Christian values, and individual liberty. Call them narrow-minded, intolerant, and intellectually inconsiderate. That should shut them up.

Of course, this fictional conversation is purely hypothetical. I would never endorse disrespect or incivility. We have to take the moral high ground in that respect. Actions speak louder than words. At the same time, however, this is an accurate reflection of the illogical arguments made by the Left who accuse conservatives of being afraid of everyone with whom they disagree. Conservatives must learn out to show the inconsistencies of the Left’s arguments. We must learn to expose the hypocrisy. We must stand up to the name-calling, lies, and slander against our fellow patriots in liberty.

So the next time you find yourself sparring with a liberal bomb thrower, unsheathe the sword of truth. Go forth and conquer.

Alan Groves | Hillsdale College | Brentwood, Tennessee | @AlanGroves2