It’s been a while since I have posted anything. For what its worth, I’ve been somewhat under the weather and there have been a few personal things going on. Plus, it is very hard to get up the enthusiasm to write about anything that just doesn’t sound like a broken record. I had intended to write another dazzlingly insightful piece on advertising, and still might. But it’s hard to be snarky and pointed when what is really bothering me is the entire political climate of this country, and how absolutely insane half of its inhabitants seem to be.
I know that steam starts coming out of my ears when I read something by some conservative wingnut that attributes all sorts of ridiculous motives to liberals (e.g., “Liberals want the terrorists to win!"), just so they can dismiss their enemies out of hand and feel better about their positions. So, I am somewhat hesitant to do it myself, lest I have to acknowledge myself as being inconsistent and hypocritical to boot. But what the hell! Why not? No one is reading anyway.
It is my firm belief that the hard-core… conservatives (I am really at a loss of what to call the type of people I am referring to, as there are out there, somewhere, truly principled conservatives) really need an enemy. An “other” upon whom they can focus their distain and hatred, and blame for all the ills of the world. This unfortunate trait seems to be firmly embedded somewhere in the human psyche, and it only takes some certain aspect of their lives to have it really come to the forefront. They seem be incapable of looking inward, of doing any true introspection. Everything bad that happens must be “someone else’s” fault. It’s part of their nature. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union and communism as a force in the world, they must turn their focus to someone else.
See how vilified “liberals” have become? And anyone who strays from their cast-in-stone ideology immediately gets anointed as a liberal. It doesn’t matter what the term “liberal” means anymore. To conservatives, all it means is, “the enemy” who is to be scorned, ridiculed, made to be less-than-human. And I find this all the more astounding, because the literal definition of the term liberal, per my Random House dictionary, is “1. Favoring progress or reform, as in politics, religion, etc. 2. Open minded or tolerant. 3. Characterized by generosity and willingness to give in large amounts.” So, those are the people that conservatives are vilifying. Open minded and tolerant. Generous. Sure sounds evil to me. But the word has been twisted to such an extent now that even someone like George Bush can be labeled as a liberal when he doesn’t live up to the strict precepts of other hard-core conservatives, when George doesn’t seem to be able to carry their water for them.
It’s all a very neat trick, and one that has been practiced by ideologues and tyrants down through history. I’m sorry, but some of the language that I have heard used to describe liberals by conservative talk show radio hosts could have been used by Germans in the run up to the Holocaust. I heard someone, I think it was Mike Savage, say something like “Turn over a rock, and you will find a slimy liberal. They are disgusting.” That’s not something you say about another fellow human, much less a fellow countryman. That’s something you say about slugs or insects that deserve to be stepped on just because they exist. That’s the feeling I get when listening to some of this amazing bile. Some of these people are working themselves into such a state that, if they were given total control, I would not be that surprised to see concentration camps, gulags, and enforced ghettos in this country.
Conservatives, in my estimation, have given up all concept of playing fair and trying to strive for any sort of common good. The only thing that matters is defeating “the enemy”. They cannot envision that “the enemy” can say or do anything that isn’t vile, evil, underhanded, etc. That is the only reason I can figure out, for instance, of the blindly stupid approach of denying that global warming exists. There is such a vast amount of data out there, and back by every credible person in the field, that this phenomenon exists, and we are getting ourselves in vast trouble because of human activity. No, in their reasoning, it must be some sort of plot, a conspiracy, by liberals and Democrats in order to cripple our economy. That is one theory that I saw advanced by someone on the web. I don’t know how many people actually subscribe to that ridiculous belief. But some do.
In other words, it’s much more important to them to be able to paint their opponents as crazy, irrational people who want to do harm to everything they believe in, rather than maybe consider the possibility that something that could possibly have serious ramifications on all life on our planet could actually be real. Just so they can feel good about their position, they will not even entertain the possibility that liberals could actually be correct about something as big as the possible destruction of the planet Earth as we know it.
How insane is that?