Mightier Than The Pen

Making The World A Bitter Place

Liberals Are Human After All?

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For a time I wanted to be a radical leftist, but I couldn’t escape my own past: I was a staunch fan of the New York Yankees for a number of years during a formative period of my life.

The problem with being a leftist is that one seems almost required to root for the weaker side in any conflict, be it in politics, warfare, athletic competition or access to public services. Naturally, baseball’s “Evil Empire” simply cannot answer properly to that description, and identifying with said organization puts something of a damper on expressing concern for the have-nots. I don’t feel sorry for Pittsburgh; I feel smugly superior.

Unable to shake this attitude – and I remain unsure whether it directly stems from Yankee fandom, or merely speaks to my New York origins – I found it very difficult to cultivate vehement opposition to all things capitalist, elitist or unregulated. If you don’t happen to inhabit the top of the financial heap – or at least one of its upper strata – you probably deserve it, I reasoned. It was all very Republican.

This is not to say that I do not feel the tug of empathy toward the less fortunate – Rwanda genocide victims; Burmese political prisoners; Seattle Seahawks fans – but there’s only so much a fellow can do for them. I don’t expect you to give up your fourth-floor walk-up with leaky plumbing and exorbitant monthly rent just to travel to Africa and share with those poor souls the benefits of your remaining AA batteries, and you shouldn’t expect me to part with my predilection for sweatshop-produced athletic shoes just to give some Southeast Asian kid the afternoon off. And the Seahawks? What kind of a fan base continues to nurture such an organization? The Pacific Northwest can do much better, but they refuse to.

Some cracks have begun to reappear in my worldview, however. For example, since one cannot survive on a steady diet of FOX News and the Dearborn Independent – delivery of that publication is dreadfully slow; I haven’t received an issue in decades – I chose to broaden my mind with The Huffington Post and Ann Coulter. Little did I know, however, that these sources of information occasionally let through a liberal voice or two, even if only on the way to refuting them.

That little bit of exposure to alternative, dangerous ideas has infected me. I find myself actually grieving for the newly homeless Haitians – what a novel experience! Instead of dismissing them as less-than-fully human foreigners, I somehow would up thinking of them as real people. It was a heady feeling, almost like a psychoactive drug.

And as with all psychoactive drugs, it is best experienced in small, rare doses, if at all. Further indulgence could threaten my performance as a card-carrying conservative (American Express; member since 1964, in case you were wondering). So I do not readily flash any newfound liberal colors. I do, however, understand that others might, even though they clash terribly with the furniture.

Oh, and here’s a dollar. Go run out and get yourself something nice.



Written by Thag

December 22, 2010 at 4:11 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , , ,

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