A good friend sent me a joke in an e mail the other day. Unfortunately I read it at 1AM after a long day. I didn’t laugh.
It was a version of the old canard that a conservative is a liberal who got mugged. A bullshit proposition at best, but now seems to be “conventional wisdom.” Or at least was up until recently.
The joke is basically that a liberal is walking in a dark alley with his wife and little kids, and the liberal is carrying a powerful weapon, but when a terrorist approaches with a weapon and the obvious intention of doing harm to the liberal and his family, the liberal finds himself in a quandary over the usual liberal questions, so dithers away the opportunity to protect his family by asking himself a million questions about why the terrorist is attacking him etc. etc.
A conservative in the same situation with his wife and kids of course uses his weapon and bang, kills the terrorist.
Then the third proposition is a Texan, who not only shoots the terrorist bang, but bang bang and several more bangs and then his little girl comments on the type of weapon and his little boy on some other technical gun language.
The joke being that Texans not only protect their families, but the whole family knows all about guns and how to kill terrorists etc.
I didn’t laugh because it’s bullshit.
I’ve been in a lot of dark alleys in my life, and in some of them I was mugged, and though for a lot of my adult life I saw myself as farther left than “liberal,” being mugged certainly didn’t move me to the right.
My guess is, not many conservatives have actually been in dark alleys or been mugged, but are simply scared of dark alleys and of being mugged.
And as for Texans. If the guy in the White House, who of course is really a New England preppy WASP, but has certainly convinced a lot of people, mostly conservatives, that he’s a real Texan, if he is any example, I’m not impressed.
He’s got the swagger of a guy who works with weights a little too much and confuses the results with manhood.
I mean, who would you bet on in a real fist fight, him or Clinton? Rush Libmaugh or Al Franken?
Who would you rather be caught in a war with? In a swift boat with? Kerry or W.? Kerry won his medal for going back for a fellow serviceman under actual enemy fire. Hello.
I’ve known a lot of pacifist Texans, a lot of tough liberal Texans, and a few Texas bullies who like any other bullies I’ve ever known, talked a lot of shit they couldn’t back up unless the odds were skewed in their favor, and even then often still couldn’t back it up.
Like all these draft dodging war avoiding chicken shit hawks in this administration, including W. and can-only-talk-out-of-one-side-of-his-mouth so that should tell us something Dickhead Cheney, et. al.
It was liberals who risked their lives in the fight for civil rights and many died in the years when that struggle was at its apogee—white and black.
It was conservatives who did their dirty deeds in the dark of night against unarmed innocents, like the three little black girls in that church in Birmingham. Or with overwhelming odds and firepower in the light of day like those Southern sheriff’s deputies using fire hoses and attack dogs against unarmed young people and children.
Back in those days, I was part of the group that thought liberalism didn’t go far enough in fighting the good fight, that it was necessary to take more drastic measures, and we did. But it was the liberals who did the slow and often dirty work of inching government policies a little farther along toward treating all humans with dignity.
Us more violent and impatient young people certainly helped at times, putting pressure on everyone to move faster and do more, but we also hindered efforts back then, insisting on Utopian ideals and rejecting any compromise when it was often the liberal compromisers who actually brought about change while sometimes our efforts backfired and led to worse conditions as conservatives took power in the backlash.
Like Nixon. Me and my fellow radicals and revolutionaries who refused to vote for either Republican or Democrat helped Nixon get elected the first time which dragged the Vietnam War on for several more years and saw hundreds of thousands more people die as a result. If a compromise vote to elect a liberal would have saved even one life, it would have been worth it, but it could have saved hundreds of thousands.
Those who thought they were rejecting the liberals and the conservatives by voting for Nader caused the same kind of conservative power grab that could have been avoided had they thrown their support to Gore—and hundreds of thousands of people might not have died in the Iraq War.
I may have admired Malcolm X for his charisma, his clarity, his eloquence, his revolutionary integrity, but his radical and revolutionary stances and leadership led to divisions in the movement for civil rights and equality for African-Americans and in the black community itself, as well as ended up with himself as a sacrifice, along with many others.
Martin Luther King rejected violence and took a more liberal stance that was eventually dismissed by many of us younger folks as not revolutionary enough, but he was about uniting not only black people around common goals and achieving them through creating public support from the wider population, he was also about uniting white and black and brown and yellow, as they used to incorrectly describe “races” that aren’t anything but gradations of skin color throughout all humanity, but he was about bringing everyone together, and paid the price when he switched from racial issues to economic ones.
These cowardly lying conservatives and neo-conservatives who have run our government for the past several years, are, for the most part, blowhards. And as far as I am concerned they should be the ones portrayed as the wimps. Not the liberals, like John Edwards, or Ted Kennedy, who has passed more legislation supporting rights for those discriminated against in the past, including the poor, than anybody in government right now, while the fat cat conservatives and their cronies have robbed the government and all of us blind for years while distracting too many of us by pointing the finger at “liberals” as the cause of…what? All their fucking mistakes.
Now W. has the incredible moxie, probably because he’s been getting away with this shit for so long, to declare that the present Democratic majority Congress is doing damage to our troops and their families by not giving him the war funding he wants the way he wants it in the time he wants it, while not mentioning that the last funding bill for the war enacted under a Republican controlled congress took twice as long to get to his desk, or that the funding doesn’t run out for months anyway, or that the troops are already suffering, and their families, from lack of funding from his administration and the past Republican Congress, who didn’t supply them with the proper armor or armored vehicles or weaponry or leaders or turnaround time or etfuckingcetera.
In WWII, the so-called “good war” we stopped making cars, period, so those factories could produce tanks and other necessary military supplies. Under W. and the supposed all-volunteer army (if being guaranteed citizenship if you join can be seen as voluntary for foreigners trying to become citizens, or being promised non-war work for gullible underprivileged high school kids etc.) all “Americans” were asked to sacrifice was more of their hard earned cash for more consumer goods.
The dictionary should have a line-up shot of this administration for the definition of “hypocrisy.”
And now Imus is fired. I won’t miss him. But don’t let the pious bullshitters pretend it’s about him slurring the reputations and good name of the Rutgers womens basketball team. It’s because big sponsors were pulling out and he would no longer be a cash cow for MSNBC.
And don’t let the corporations get away with pretending they’re doing it out of some moral imperative, because of the racial and sexist slurs of Imus. I don’t see them pulling out of backing shows and music and movies and merchandise that as I said in my last post says a lot of the same shit Imus said, only more so.
Either we all pull our own coats about the realities of our world and cop to the truth of our own and each other’s hypocrisy, or we all fake it and became as hollow and as impotent as the Roman Empire toward the end. Or any other empire for that matter.
And by the way, there are plenty of well intentioned and good hearted conservatives and some of them make some pretty good points on some of the issues. Unfortunately, they haven’t had much influence on their fellow conservatives in power for years, and still don't.
It's been another long day. Maybe I should have waited until morning to write this. It might have been a little less of a rant, with a little less swearing. But I would have been trying to make the same point.
God bless the USA. And the rest of the effin' world.