Friday, November 09, 2007

Dogs and Cats Living Together

One of my favorite commenters on 2Blowhards is Shouting Thomas. Our political views (his and mine) have this weird synergy - because they match up a lot, but he's a professed conservative and I'm a professed liberal.

While I really dislike some of the baggage that comes with being on the liberal side - such as the "Identity Politics" loonies, or anyone who doesn't realize Marx was full of shite right up to the tippy-top of his addled noggin, and (let's just say it) Hillary Clinton is no Bill Clinton - I have bigger problems with the wingnuts on the right.

To be blunt, I think the Republicans have put America at grave risk by allowing the Current Occupant to form an imperial presidency and change the laws so that citizens can be suppressed and imprisoned for no reason, and even have their belongings taken, other than someone in power says to. (If you don't believe the extent to which this has occurred, read Bill of Wrongs by Molly Ivins and Lou Dubose.) I really do feel our freedoms are in peril.

Also, I just don't understand what wingnuts have against public education and libraries. I DO understand their beef with the NEA, because I share it, but that just means we should fix or nuke the NEA. Don't deny kids a free education just because some Fed agency is overrun by nuts.

Those gripes aside, Shouting Thomas said something recently about living in a very liberal community and how it grates on him (or something to that effect). That really resonated with me, because I realized I feel the same way.

Right now, most of my close friends and neighbors are predominantly Republican. I've lived in very liberal communities - such as downtown Minneapolis and Boulder, Colorado - and didn't like it as much. A certain portion of the liberal community has a sense of entitlement that just annoys the hell out of me. It's as if we are here for the indulgence of their pleasure, and if you do something counter to that, they get mean. Their interpretation of "the pursuit of happiness" doesn't extend to thinking of others' happiness at the same time as pursuing their own. Some conservatives I know have a built-in courtesy to live and let live as long as no one's being a jerk. Some liberals act as though no one else exists, or worse, like spoiled brats when someone harshes their mellow.

This is ironic because liberals support social programs that provide a social safety net and free public education and so on - very admirable values. Seems the impulses they have for society at large don't match their daily behaviors with the people they actually come in contact with. Conservatives are the other way around; they don't like giving up tax money that isn't going to come back directly to them in some form or another - in effect, screw those who can't afford a private school or medical care. Yet, in person, most conservatives are very nice people.

I like living in communities where there's balance of political views - those are the best of all. But if I have to live in one that's skewed to one side - I like living with Republicans. Heh.

Some folks who read this will probably say, "Yahmdallah, why can't you connect the dots? If you like living in places where Republicans are the majority, don't you realize that you probably ARE one?" Donald of the 2Blowhards actually offers this as a possible reality.

Well, for the reasons stated here, I just can't get on the side of a group who - in my opinion - can't seem to figure out that if we don't educate people, and at least ensure a minimum of health care, this will result in a diminished quality of life.

Consider Mexico and our current immigration crisis. We are feeling the pangs of absorbing a people who have grown up in a conservative mecca - i.e. "fuck those who don't have a pot to piss in" - and come here because some of our Democratic presidents and their administrations have been successful in providing some basics for the necessity of having a decent quality if life.

Do we really want to be Mexico? No. I don't think we want to be Sweden, either, but can't we find a sweet spot in the middle?

But I digress.

I've always found this little bit of wisdom as true as it is funny:
Heaven is where the police are British, the chefs are French, the mechanics are German, the lovers Italian, and it's all organized by the Swiss.

Hell is where the chefs are British, the mechanics are French, the lovers are Swiss, the police are German, and it's all organized by the Italians.

Wouldn't it be nice if Republicans (though not the wingnuts, they're irredeemable) could make their political instincts match their personal polite behavior, and Democrats (though not the loonies, they're irredeemable, too) could be as generous in person as they are in politics?


Cowtown Pattie said...

What is the old saying, "if a frog had wings he wouldn't bump his belly?"

Good post, m'sir.

Lester Hunt said...

"Wingnuts." Can't you disagree with someone without calling them names?

patrick said...

I think I see the problem here - you grossly distort certain things, and don't understand others. Republicans do believe in educating people, I don't know where you would get the idea that only democrats believe in education. And people come here from Mexico because we have a very strong economy, and a low standard of living here is still high by the standards of many countries. If you are willing to work, you can do well in the US, and that's why people try to get here however they can.