What's up with that? They've each known me for years, and to be fair to them I don't expect my relationships with either to change. They are each better than their recent speech, and I know it. I know too that there are (as in any group) Republicans and conservatives who might be labeled scary. But I would have thought that decency and charity would have prevented these friends from insulting me so directly.
It leads me ask, why should American conservatism seem scary? We right wingers are not the ones attempting to completely run the lives of others. As I've said before, outside of a handful of critical issues the right, by and large, is live and let live. It's the left who would not allow you to cut down a tree on your own property, to turn into boards to fix your own steps. It is the left who will not allow you the full use of your property if some part of it holds, to them, an environmental value. It is the left who wants to force you onto public transport because they feel it proper, and who want you to send your kids to inadequate public (read that government) schools or join a union merely because they see such things as laudable. Such attitudes do not support true human rights. At least when a Republican argues against abortion, there is arguably an actual human life at stake. To the left it's simply a matter of save the whales, but human beings don't have human children.
In short, I think they have more to fear from the progressives and socialists than from a truly conservative government. At that, I would never have told either that they scared me. But when your rival is a straw man and your goals of good intention, I suppose almost anything else will frighten you.