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General Interest, Politics

POLITICS MADE SIMPLE: LIBERAL = THINKING OF THE OTHER GUY, CONSERVATIVE = SELF INTEREST

To be identified as a liberal was for years a badge of dishonor. Still is to a lot of people. Well, screw that. Anybody tells me I’m some sort of pussy to be a liberal I’ll tell them straight out they’re full of shit. Or Kool Aid, take your pick. Liberalism is simply the politics of looking out for the other guy as well as yourself. It makes more sense to care about more than yourself. No one walks this earth alone and there are no self-made men, never have been. True, there are many successful people who did things their own way, took great risks and made great things happen by the force of their brains,  personality, willpower, hard work and ingenuity, and that’s pretty cool. Let them be as successful as they can possibly be. None of them are successful, however, or even alive, without an assist from their fellow man.

Henry Ford never stood on an assembly line. Abraham Lincoln never led a cavalry charge during the Civil War. Thomas Edison never climbed a high-tension electrical tower with a flashlight, a tool kit and a prayer to find out what’s wrong with the electric grid he created. Andrew Carnegie never personally dug the iron ore from the bowels of the earth that was smelted into steel in his foundries in Pittsburgh by thousands of men. Great men all in their respective fields, all risen from humble backgrounds to the very pinnacle of achievement, wealth, power or all three. Every one of these “self-made” men was the product of human society, starting with their families, their doctors, their teachers, their peers and their first employers.

After those early experiences they took the reins of their own lives and made history, always with an able assist from their employees, their country, their partners, their customers or constituents and even their rivals. There are many such men and women in American history, and every generation produces more. Some hold liberal political views, others are conservatives. Most of them are very admirable people, others are decidedly not. Wealth and success has very little to do with political outlook or inherent worth as a human being. And there have been worthless human beings in both the liberal and conservative spectrum of politics, no doubt. It’s just that the majority of the worthless pieces of shit hold conservative political views.

Sorry, but that’s just the way it is. Look at which side of history conservatives have stood. They opposed the abolition of slavery, the creation of Social Security, racial integration, withdrawal from the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. How were any of those conservative positions anything but shitty? And when Bush The Younger attacked Iraq for no reason at all, conservatives blasted opponents of that war as liberal scum. What, it’s bad not to want 4,300 of our soldiers and 100,000 innocent Iraqis to die for nothing, and it’s good to want 4,300 of our soldiers and 100,000 Iraqis to die for nothing? That’s a pretty crazy way to look at things. Pretty stupid, too.

The fact is that this nation was founded by liberals, as far from the political mainstream in 1776 as it was possible to be. Our Founding Fathers insisted that their new nation would stand for freedom, equality, opportunity and tolerance for all. These liberal zanies even insisted that the pursuit of happiness was an inalienable right! How gay is that? And none of them insisted that their version of happiness was the only one allowed in their new nation, going so far as to insist that there would be a complete separation of church and state, and any one could practice any damned fool religion they felt like and get no grief from the government as long as they weren’t harming anyone else. That was an unbelievably radical step in the 1700s.

Actually, none of the things the Founding Fathers created was radical, only eminently sensible. Calling the states United, for one thing, only reinforced the notion of human interdependence, even as we declared our independence from the stifling conservatism that was the British Empire. A united society doesn’t necessarily mean a homogenized cookie cutter society, but a diverse group of people sharing common interests interacting with one another and building a society together. And the liberals who founded this society took pains to insure that no individual member of society should be forced to surrender their identity, their beliefs or their privacy.

These Quixotic fools inspired the world and triggered a massive emigration to these shores by millions of people fed up with conservative and repressive monarchies. Their liberal ideas took hold and before a century was out fewer and fewer monarchs remained who held any real power, figureheads at best, if not outright abolished like in France. Another century and a half has passed and you can now count the monarchs who hold any power on your fingers, and their countries are for the most part miserable shitholes that oppress the hell out of their people. The countries with quasi-kings, or dictators, are also living nightmares for their hapless citizens and are also for the most part miserable shitholes. Those are very conservative places, only they might call their conservatism fundamentalism, a handy excuse to shit all over others while hogging all the good things for themselves.

Not that every democracy is Shangri-La, but it’s the best deal that humans have come up with yet for governing themselves. And liberals invented it. Liberals have also initiated most of the improvements on our democracy, from abolition of slavery, to better working conditions, to Social Security, to Medicare that saved generations of seniors from medical expense bankruptcy, to civil rights, to Food Stamps that eliminated hunger in the richest nation ever, to equal voting rights and women’s suffrage to today’s modern day battles for universal health care and an end to the disenfranchisement of America’s last remaining niggers, our homosexual citizens.

Supposedly it is a liberal thing to want to provide health care for all and give every citizen their civil rights. No, it is not a liberal thing, it is a human thing, the decent thing. Conservatives are once more positioning themselves on the wrong side of history. Many of them make religious arguments about gay rights, forgetting that the United States Constitution makes no provision at all for recognizing religious arguments, only moral ones. Religious arguments put forth by today’s very confused and un-Christianlike conservatives are rarely anything but immoral (see Iraq and torture). And when you get Fundamentalist Christians getting involved in politics, well, there’s no talking to those assholes at all. They think everyone but themselves is deserving of nothing less than hell fire both in the afterlife and right now. Fuck them and their un-Christlike attitudes.

To deny any American citizen identical rights to every other American citizen is wrong not only by moral and American government standards, but also by any religious standard, unless somebody out there is worshipping a God who loves a few of His children a hell of a lot more than the others. Okay, scratch that, since that means a whole lot of somebodies and a whole lot of religions, another pressing reason why our Founding Fathers decided there wasn’t a damned one of them that practices what they preach. They all seem to have some chosen people that are exalted at the expense of others. On such notions were monarchy and slavery built, and conservatism too. America doesn’t roll like that, not anymore. Liberal stands for being good to others, conservative means a me-first philosophy that is more than willing to oppress others, or kill them if that’s what is convenient to attain their selfish ends. Real men and women look out for one another. Cowardly greedy children look out only for themselves, no matter who else gets hurt. It’s really as simple as that.

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