Sunday, July 10, 2005

Liberals -vs- Conservatives: What a Laugh!

It's the new sporting event - Liberals versus Conservatives in a fight to the death. Turn on the radio or TV at any time day or night and watch the combatants wage war! "Liberals are traitors bent on turning the US into a cesspool of illegal immigrants, God-haters, cowards, enviro-terrorists, and queers of all stripes!" "Conservatives are traitors bent on pursuing illegal wars, trashing the environment, trampling the first amendment, establishing religious courts, and selling our economy to the lowest common denominator!" And so it goes...Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage versus Bill Moyers and whoever. Black versus White...and who is who depends on who is talking. Why are Americans so stupid as to get hooked on this crap in such great numbers?

Only a few minutes of concentration is needed to generate a list of great contributions made by both liberals and conservatives in America. For starters, liberals initiated the break from England in 1776 - the conservative Tories wanted to keep King Charles, remember? Then the conservatives grabbed the West, built the railroads, fueled the industrial revolution, and captured all the money, too. But liberals struck back with the New Deal, the end of sanctioned segregation, and women's lib. Not to be outdone, the conservatives won the Cold War to make amends for their being on Hitler's side prior to WWII, and they got free trade while reversing the power of unions gone amuck (read "United Airlines" and "General Motors"). So there has been an historic ebb and flow of good outcomes from both persuasions, and both sides have had their share of idiots.

Just because I heard Rush laugh away public libraries one day - "Mr. Smedley, do you know a single person who uses a public library?", and authoritatively pronounce global warming to be a myth (call him up, National Academy of Scientists!), doesn't mean that Rush is wrong on immigration, for example. Even a multipli-wed prescription drug addict gets something right on occasion., so give him a little credit.

And the liberals like Mr. Moyers are all worked up about the Supreme Court, forgetting that the court is as subject to American public opinion as it is to the Constitution. A new conservative jurist can help strike down Roe vs Wade, for example, but better stand back! A shitstorm is on the way, and it may take a lot with it. The law of unintended consequences at work, thank the Lord. So stop your handwringing, you limp-wristed wimpy liberals. How about trusting the American people a little bit?

So, enough of the labels. I'm tired of them. Even the evangelicals and the tree-huggers are finding some common ground, and if they can do it, we can. Let's make a pact: hear a media personality or politician use the words"conservative" or "liberal" in a pejorative sense, we turn the channel to an old movie or "greatest hits of the 60's and 70's". Those beat Tom Delay and Ted Kennedy any old day.

No comments: