Sunday, December 04, 2005

Why I Am A Liberal -- Part 1

I am a liberal because, unlike your average conservative, I don't flatter myself that I'm more virtuous, self-disciplined, hard-working or courageous than everybody else.

Very few, if any, of the smug young trashmouths in Right-Wing punditry are anything to shout home to mother about. Be they male or female, most are vain, self-congratulatory phonies, living in a fool's paradise.

The women are usually heterosexual and almost always happily-married, with husbands who make plenty of money, and instead of thanking the Lord Above that they have been so blessed, they prefer to think it's something they have a right to feel proud of themselves about. In true conservative fashion, they believe they earned every blessing God has ever given them -- they just had it coming to them -- and that anyone who is gay, divorced, miserably married or poor deserves to be that way because they're just not as good.

The men live in a continual state of denial about how much easier, safer and more comfortable their lives are than were those of their grandfathers or great-grandfathers, yet pine away for women like the kind they used to make. They rarely support their families (if their wives work, then they're not supporting their families -- they're helping their wives support their families), and are so far gone in their molly-coddledness that they don't even have any pride about going to serve their country in the military in times of war. They seem unaware that Great-grandpa would have sooner died than let a woman fight in his place, or would have taken three jobs upon himself before making his wife work outside the home. Sure, Great-grandma deferred to him in ways women rarely do men any longer -- but make no mistake about it, she made him earn every minute of it.

That dream-girl of Great-grandma's generation would have laughed your average modern man right out of the room. She wouldn't have even recognized him as a man at all. He has traded certain privileges for others, he did so with his eyes wide open, and he has nobody to blame for it but himself. The fact that he wants all the privileges available to humankind without having to trade anything for them, and the fact that he cowers behind the convenient skirts of "the feminists," whimpering that "it's all their fault," would only make his dream-girl want to puke even harder. And the fact that he is so blissfully unaware of these facts, that he needs to make himself feel proud of the fact that, in the crapshoot of birth, he happened to be born in an historically-privileged position and that therefore everybody should defer to him, is nothing short of pathetic.

I am a liberal because I realize that the modernization of human society has involved a certain give-and-take between different groups of people. Heterosexuals wanted to be able to marry for love, and then to experiment sexually until they'd found spouses with whom they were sexually compatible. I would be the last person in the world to begrudge them that, but for them to toss traditional morality aside to the degree they have -- even going so far as to continue calling themselves Christian when they flout Jesus's clear condemnation against divorce (about which, unlike homosexuality, He really did have something to say) -- but then turn around and treat gay and lesbian people as if we're less than human, is ugly indeed. Traditional marriage is in the pickle it's in today because straight people refuse to behave themselves. Nobody ever solved a problem by scapegoating somebody else for it.

I am a liberal because when most contemporary conservatives talk about "individual responsibility," they're talking through their hindquarters. They are, for the most part, the whiniest, spoiled-brattiest, most cowardly, dishonest and self-indulgent bunch of losers I have ever seen. The only effective way to exercise moral leadership is by example, and this crowd is in a pretty sad condition to do it. They don't want to "walk the walk" of real morality -- they merely want to flap their traps about it.

I have no problem with a man who enjoys the fact that his life is better than his great-grandpa's, but who lovingly acknowledges the fact that his wife's job helped to make life better. I'm not criticizing him for having evenings and weekends free because she works; I just want him to understand that it's true. Nor do I have a problem with a woman who appreciates family -- as long as she also realizes that (unlike many other women) her family is something to appreciate. If you don't want to go get shot at in a war, that's okay too -- just don't call others cowards or traitors because they don't think other people ought to go get shot in it, either.

The phony conservatives of today live in a fantasy-world. They say they believe in the same things that decent people of former generations did: honor, truth-telling, commitment and common sense. Let them begin to live as if they really stand for such things. To the degree that those old-fangled values ever make a comeback (and it's as much the fault of so-called conservatives as it is the liberals' that they ever went away), then let's all pitch in and help to bring them back. In reality, they belong not just to the Right Wing, but to us all.

I am a liberal because I understand, as well, that the blessings God gives us do not come to us because we earn them, but because God has blessed us. And that the good things of life that we receive, God means for us not to hoard jealously away, but to share generously with as many others as possible.

I am a liberal because I believe that Jesus really meant everything He said. And because I recognize that I, myself, am not God. When I acknowledge a blessing, I thank God for it. I do not thank myself.

Let's by all means bring back the best of the values from the past. But let us realize that fairness and humility reign chief among them all.


Post a Comment

<< Home