I used to have a habit of avoiding politics. A lot of political blogs disgust me because the writers are less qualified than I am to comment on the state of the nation. For instance, Rush Limbaugh, a man who clearly flunked economics, or Michael Moore, who clearly doesn’t see the hypocrisy between railing on capitalism while outsourcing his web site. Plus, a lot of political discussions around the water cooler have an annoying tendency to sound like brawls over which sports team is better.
Then there are the True Believers, a term I’ve used mainly for the right, but the left version of same is no less prevalent. You know the guy. The True Believer not only is passionate about his beliefs, but he wants you to be passionate about them, too. I’m all for passion, but it’s a religion for these types. I believe in my country. I believe in God. I don’t believe in religion. Go chew on that for a while.
I used to say that ideology was the opiate of the people, but that’s kind of stupid. Everyone has an ideology, even if it’s “All politics are crap.” But my blood pressure starts to skyrocket when someone wants to lecture me on the wrongness of my own beliefs. In the worst case, I worked next to a guy who went from tree-hugging eco-thumper to Ron Paul groupie in the span of thirty seconds. There is nothing more aggravating than to sit next to someone day in and day out who tells you that you’re a bad human being for not belonging to either Greenpeace or the Tea Party.
I’m all for rejecting the labels of conservative and liberal – it’s all a fallacy anyway, but Jesus, to go to both extremes? That’s madness. And the world has had more than its fill of mad men. Too bad there will never be a shortage of them.
But some things I think need to be stated for the record.
- I reject party affiliation out of hand. The job of a political party is to present candidates for me to choose to serve me, the citizen and tax payer, in the running of my town, county, state, and country. Unless I’m campaigning for someone or actually running for office, I am not a Democrat or a Republican or any other party. I’m the customer, not the salesman.
- Or to put it more bluntly, I do not live in the Democratic States of America or the Republican States of America. I live in the United States of America. Technically speaking, the parties are disposable, and breaking up both major parties would probably be the best thing that ever happened to this country. Really, do you think that the GOP being collectively obsessive compulsive about its platform makes it better than the Democrats? It just makes them have to bend into pretzels to get the same number of conflicting beliefs to fit under the tent. On the other hand, that same problem means the Democrats could have a unanimous majority in the House and Senate and still not find enough people to agree on something to field a decent softball team. Break them up. They serve no real purpose anymore.
- The average American citizen should refrain from calling anything socialist or communist. No, fighting in Korea or Vietnam does not give you a free pass. It’s simple. Communist (and to some extent socialist) systems are command economies. America is engaged in propping up a free market system that’s been long-overdue to have some safeties placed on it. That is impossible in a command economy, of which there are now only two left in the world. The one off the coast of Florida has decided enough time has passed to start experimenting with that market economy thangie we’ve been using for 300 years. The other one in Pyongyang is bankrupt, just like all the other command economies that have gone out of business. There is not one headquartered in Washington. So if you use the word “communist” in your argument, and there’s no party membership card in your wallet, you automatically lose the argument.
- I don’t like taxes, but I’m pretty pissed off about the big tax bill headed my way for the cuts in 2001 and 2003 and those checks that went out in 2008. Your taxes went up in 2001, people. You just haven’t gotten the credit card bill yet.
- I tend to throw rocks at the right more than the left because the left is easier to ignore. I’d like it (and a lot of liberals I know would like it) if they’d show a backbone and stop pretending the 1960’s never ended. The right needs to get over the fact that it does not have a monopoly on truth or patriotism. It’s like having to pick between Abby Hoffman and Joseph Goebbels. Why can’t it be Jon Stewart and Dennis Miller (when he was still funny)? (And if you think Dennis Miller was once a liberal, you weren’t paying attention way back when.)
- The end of the world is not looming. And it takes a sick mind to get all giddy over the idea that it is.
- I drank a shot of Jameson when bin Laden was killed. Does that make me a bad man? Would you do the same when Hitler died? Hell, had I been around when Hitler ate a bullet, I’d have thrown an orgy.
- It’s okay you don’t think like I do. I haven’t walked in your shoes. You haven’t walked in mine. Just don’t try to force fit your shoe size on me because you think that it’ll be a religious experience.