The only hope liberalism has for the future is cloning.
Having gotten this far in all this I hope you take the underlying theme, ponder it, and come up with something better than I (which is only yelling as loud as possible) to do about it . What you should have noticed here is how far I go to compensate for how far they go. It is a serious matter that has caused countless mass emigrations, coups, assassinations, revolutions and civil wars; and here it is in our own backyard going on as you read this. In other places different political definitions are used, but it’s the same principle.
When we think in terms of Republican versus Democrat we perceive each other as adversaries, when we think in terms of conservative versus liberal the sense is we are antagonists, but with whatever this is we got going on now, we have become enemies.
Overstated? What are the two issues conservatives have in common whether they be the religious Right, the secular Right, the racist Right, or the libertarian Right? An absolutist interpretation of the Second Amendment. The issue, in the full frontal nudity they are not a least bit embarrassed about expressing, has nothing to do with sport (were the Weavers up to their armpits in weapons to hunt quail) and little to do with crime (were the Branch Davidians up to their ears in assault rifles to protect their Bibles), but with the armed might to overthrow the United States Government. Pick up any NRA literature, any Klan or Aryan Nation pamphlets or just say hello to a Libertarian and it’s most of what you will hear. A seething neurotic hatred of the government. And pray tell who do they perceive the government as being? A non-Christian entity with a greater proportion of Blacks in the bureaucracy than in the private sector; along with liberals, Democrats, homosexuals, unions, environmentalists, smart people and women and children on welfare. Don’t kid yourself about what the guns are really for.
There are three reasons to get in a political debate:
- 1) To gain some degree of satisfaction by getting one’s licks in.
- 2) To move others to your side.
- 3) To entertain and reinforce the beliefs of the like minded.
This book was conceived with the first in mind but ended up as the third. Though it is the second which is the nub of the matter. Though one wouldn’t know it, most of my mail is very positive, a few hundred of which over the years told me reading this caused them to leave the grip of the GOP to subsequently vote for Democrats. Had they all been from Florida, Al Gore would be president.
It is important for you to find such people and engage them. Either with the help of this book or on your own. They make up about 40% of voters with no real ideological bent or party affiliation. Tens of millions of people vote for Republicans because; they always have, their family does, they think they will profit from it, and because they are not paying attention. They can be appreciably and positively affected.
If you are a liberal and want to argue with conservatives with any success, understanding of course that there is no chance in Hell of changing them, it is important to remember these four rules:
- 1) Stay always on the offensive.
- 2) Be both entertaining and humorous.
- 3) Don’t get angry.
- 4) Never give them the benefit of the doubt.
As you have probably noticed in your own political discourse, reasoned debate does not work well on the conservative mindset. Facts don’t count, for facts come from the media and the media is liberal, which pretty much leaves making fun of them the only other option. Of course that is problematic for many of us down here in Cracker Land where most of our family and friends are Right-wing lunatics.
I have had the best luck with two approaches. First is to keep it short; when they spout some especially onerous conservative crap a curt “Yeah, you and Tim McVeigh.” or “Indeed, you and David Duke.” or “Sure, you and bin Laden.” and then change the subject.
The other process where I have found some success is to kindly reply to their rabid screeds with, “Gosh, every time you express any view at all it’s either about shooting, bombing, executing, hitting, spanking, revenge, selfishness, or your endless stream of poorly disguised bigotry. All indications of humanities’ lowest roads, which most art, literature, philosophy and religion has been trying to pull us up from for millennia. I know you, you’re better than that. You are only saying all this awful crap because you are either trying to attract attention or phis me off. Which is it?”
Are You a Liberal?
I’ve been talking and typing at people for over a decade desperately trying to arrive at a timely and workable definition of liberal. Oh, I’ve heard the official definitions thousands of times, especially the classical liberal argument of Right-wing libertarians. Well to Hell with that semantic poop playing to different times and cultures. I’ve taken all the input I’ve received over the years and arrived at this ten defining beliefs:
- 1) Capital punishment is wrong.
- 2) Affirmative Action is the right thing to do.
- 3) Progressive taxation in lieu of regressive taxation.
- 4) Civil, legal and equal rights for minorities, women and gays.
- 5) Reasonable gun controls including registration.
- 6) Collective bargaining with scab free strikes.
- 7) Holding firm to the separation of church& state.
- 8) The right to an abortion to viability.
- 9) First & Fourth Amendment civil libertarian.
- 10) A serious environmental concern.
What To Do
“The only things in the middle of the road are yellow stripes and dead armadillos.” Jim Hightower
They now have the White House, the House of Representatives, the Senate, the Supreme Court, most of the press and through school vouchers, are out to get religious control of public education. Union membership is down 350%. The only politicians who have the balls to speak out are in the forty or so safe seats of the Congressional Black Caucus, who are universally ridiculed and despised by the vast majority of the American public. The GOP has even managed to equate the NAACP and Civil Rights with the new mainstream phrase “Jackson/Sharpton” connoting adultery, fraud and rioting.
We still have the arts and academia you say. Even that area they have managed to link mostly to heresy, promography and once again, communism. Pop art is controlled by a handful of enormous corporate conglomerates whose bottom line is marketing associated products. It is now accepted that colleges and universities are bastions of leftist totalitarianism because of the most effective Right-wing propaganda game in American history, political correctness.
Beyond television sitcoms, dramas and movies there is little left other than a few magazines and websites, but there is you. Email, write letters and call Democratic politicians, newspapers, radio and television stations and corporations to let them know how you feel. Do it personally and not through form letters or petitions. Vocalize your political views passionately and affably at work, with relatives, friends and acquaintances. But above all, understand that political power lays in the House of Representatives where the agenda is set and the money distributed. Put your political effort into electing Democrats to the House. If your representative is a shoe-in either way, pick another district to help out in.
Converting to Conservatism
Millions of liberals and moderates have become conservatives over the past generation. An ever increasing process which I have come to believe is both irreversible and inevitable until some great cataclysm sets things right.
So the question arises. What do we gain by pounding our different drum? Beyond a modicum of emotional and intellectual satisfaction, not much. The media is owned by large corporations; the Presidency, the House, the Senate and the Supreme Court are controlled by conservatives. Most states are run by conservative governors and legislatures, and what little liberal control there is in urban mayoral offices, city councils and school boards are moving to the dark side. The suburbs, where most of our population now resides, are where the votes are, and are overwhelmingly conservative. Blue collar Americans have moved into the bowels of the GOP for the racism and religious dogmatism inherent to their nature.
Being a liberal has become much like being a Cubs fan. Perhaps it is time to quit Wrigley Field and start going to Comiskey Park. Here are some good reasons to move over to the Dark Side:
- It could be very helpful to one’s mental stability, for quite often frustration levels run so high we find ourselves making up words like; conservanazi, gunloon, limbiciles, looneytarian, netscab and conservatively incorrect which are never picked up by the media as are; feminazis, tree huggers, environmental wackos and politically incorrect. It can make one feel they are living on an alien planet.
- It most certainly will improve one’s social acceptability regarding family, friends, acquaintances and the workplace. Remember in these times, a Nuke the Whales T-shirt is far more witty and acceptable than one that says Save the Whales.
- What with John Ashcroft watching you from one side and Homeland Security checking you out from the other, there really is some worry about saying or typing some unpatriotic thing or another and having the whip come down.
- And of course there is that very small but serious danger of being shot for being too outspoken a liberal, the Berg Effect.
It is no exaggeration that the single most dominate political factor of our time is the present day raw bitter hatred of liberals and the federal government. Having an advantage over many of you by having seen conservatives so eagerly bare their black little hearts all over the net for twenty years, I probably sense more danger than you, for if I were asked to describe the largest block of people tapping keyboards out there, I would say it’s the gun-gun-shoot-shoot crowd. Their technique of using lies, libel, harassment, invasion of privacy and threats to intimidate liberals out of the public forum is a standard daily occurrence. Just the law of inertia causes it to slosh out into the real world on occasion. To make the transition from liberal to conservative you must first come to terms with the two Immutable Laws of Conservatism:
- 1) An all encompassing genetic inability to see anything from any point of view other than one’s own.
- 2) Not giving a rat’s ass about anything or anyone anywhere other than oneself or one’s immediate tribe.
As most of us liberals lack these two genetic deficiencies, we not only have to play loose with the logic, we also need large amounts of whisky, tequila, Prozac and perhaps even a partial lobotomy to deal with it. I can help you reason out each issue, but your ability to adjust to this new way of thinking is dependent upon how well you can stifle your point of view ability and muddle your mind with drugs and alcohol.
Abortion – As a male, I will never need an abortion. I am well off enough that if any woman in my circle does need an abortion they can be shipped off somewhere or other as has been the case for thousands of years prior to 1973. So, denying women abortions only adversely affects the poor and I am not poor. Though some may fall to suicide and butchery, that is not my problem.
Affirmative Action – I have seen the conservative and libertarian argument on this tens of thousands of times. Racism is defined as favoring one race over another, thus Affirmative Action is racism, making anyone advocating it, a racist. Simple as that, just a matter of hiding one’s bigotry behind stone cold logic while at the same time ignoring who suffers it and who dispenses it.
Capital Punishment – Live by the sword, die by the sword. An eye for eye. The families of victims need vengeance for their spiritual well being. There is no recidivism. It’s a position I will never find myself in, so why should I care?
Crime – Let’s be honest about this. Drive-by murders, pimping, street drugs, riots, armed robbery, burglary are disproportionately committed by young black and Hispanic men (well those who are caught and convicted anyway). The courts and prisons are full up with them for good cause. Remove Black and Hispanic crime from our national statistics and we have one of the safest nations on earth. In fact why spend money on prisons at all. Ship them back to Africa or pay Mexico to take them and watch our national statistics climb to the top of the heap on every front.
Economy – This nation was built on greed. I want all I can get as fast as I can get it. And there is nothing wrong with that.
Education – There are only two factors of import here, my education and my children’s education. Somebody else’s education is not my problem, responsibility or concern. Why would it be? It takes an individual.
Environment – Not my problem. It’s long term and I won’t be around long enough to suffer any impact. I am only concerned with the next quarter.
Gays – This one’s easy. You need the tequila to get past the Special Rights crap, but if you just spend all your time concentrating on what they actually do when clothless, you are home free. Also bringing Roy Cohn to mind helps.
Guns – This one is the hardest for me. My best advice is to drink a quart of tequila and shoot up a couple grams of crank and you too can conclude that the more guns there are in bedrooms, pockets and cars – the bigger they are, the faster the fire, and the more bullets they can hold – the safer we will all be.
Racism – Blacks care less about whites than whites care about blacks. Same can be said of Jews, Hispanics, Asians, Indians, and what have you. Why on earth would anyone want to stick their neck out, or possibly give up something for the well being of those who don’t like you? Got me by the short and curlies.
Religion – That ignorance is bliss business is nothing to sneeze at. Those seeped in religious dogma do seem to be more content, have better disciplined children, and make fewer waves than most people. As such, why not force it on every child? A few tabs of otherworldly LSD should help with this one.
Taxes – Do enough Prozac to accept the fallacy that our overall tax rate is 50% rather than 30%. Then from that false premise you can arrive at the false conclusion that we are the most over taxed industrialist nation in the world rather than the most under taxed. From there its an easy road to whine and witch about taxes being theft and that we live in a Marxist, socialist society.
Entitlements – Why should I have to support the failure of others? Again, disproportionately it is minorities bleeding the entitlement programs. Send these dead enders to the dead end, a one way bus ticket to Terra Del Fuego would cut my taxes in half.
A Little Good News
The last few elections bring to mind the age old dichotomy of altruism vs. self-interest. Grand philosophies and great religions have taught throughout the ages that compassion and caring about one another not only improves society but oneself as well. It is the very basis of Christianity, but how strange it is to see conservatives thumping their Bibles while being so shamefully errant in the matter. As often happens (The Dark Ages, Nazi Germany, Jim Crow and now the United States for example) we regress for periods of time, but history shows we always seem to gain a bit of ground in the long run. Don’t give an inch. You are right and they are wrong.
This business we hear so often during elections cycles of the vital center is a long range win for them. For the debate is no longer between Left and Right or Liberal and Conservative, but between the middle and the Right, moving us ever more Rightward. But there is one overriding note of optimism. All over the world, in most every country and town (other than America) when people are asked what they pray for the most, the resounding answer is not lower taxes or a new SUV, but peace.
I want to let you know our relationship is over. Though I am not moving to New Zealand, or dropping out like Mr. Leary and Mr. Weyrich before me, I am disengaging. Perhaps there is some good in you somewhere, but I can’t seem to get past your ever darkening heart to unearth it. We find ourselves with less common ground as the years go by, I cannot make the jump to the dark side no matter how popular or emotionally satisfying it may be.
We no longer enjoy any serious communication. Any issue we discuss requiring even the least amount of intellectual consideration always ends with you either waving your flag, intoning the Lord, wanting to bomb someone, delighting in executions, advocating physical punishment and blaming everything on some poor woman of color with a bad kid on the other side of town or the other side of the world. The water you play in is just too shallow, two warm and too yellow for me. This has been building for quite some time now, a generation of disappointment creating a sadness within that only grows deeper whenever we talk. I can’t even say I wish you well.