Wednesday, January 04, 2006

I should have finished my grading

I hung around too long - if I'd done the grading, as I should have, I wouldn't need to get this off my chest.

I found this unbelievable piece of - well - BLATHERING via Fausta's Blog: The Bad Hair Blog. As I read it, I knew that I would have to answer it, or face heartburn from the experience. I'm going to take it a section at a time. The writer is Jane Smiley. I'm having a hard time believing that she hasn't been institutionalized - her thought processes rival those dear, deluded folks who wear tinfoil hats and mutter about being "probed". Can't imagine that? Read on:
I clearly remember back in 2000, when Bush cheated to
"win" the Presidential election with the help of Justices Scalia and Thomas, who dishonored themselves in perpetuity by voting to stop the Florida recount, the Republicans gloated and gloried in the "win". They acted like a nasty Little League team, who wins on a technicality and then goes on to rub the faces of the other team in the dirt, as if winning at the cost of the integrity of the game were actually a thing worth celebrating. Clearly, the Republicans had learned their sportsmanship on the football fields of America's colleges and universities, by observing the hiring practices of successful coaches, the educational careers of cheating athletes, and the fund-raising efforts of testosterone-poisoned alumni. It was not how you play the game, but whether you win or lose! What a terrific model of traditional values that is! The Bush team thereafter went on to exemplify "winning through intimidation"-- "You're with us or against us." "If you disagree with the President, you are supporting the terrorists". Blah blah blah--we know the whole litany, and it is nauseating. We also know where it came from--the corporate boardroom as well as the athletic stadium and the middle school and the frat house, where bullies are king and "the common good" is a joke. By 2004, the Republicans had refined their election stealing techniques, and anyway, they were benefiting from continued disbelief on the part of the Democrats, who didn't seem to be able to imagine that the Republicans could be so brazen as to do it again, even though when Texas redistricting came up, Tom Delay gave them a taste of the corruption in store. What does it matter, the Republicans seemed to be saying in 2004, fair elections? The whole idea was a joke to them and they hardly bothered to conceal their thousands of little cheats and obstacles to an honest vote.
Where can I start?

How about the fact that the 2000 election wasn't stolen. The reason for the prolonged vote counting, including changing the rules every time Gore STILL came out the loser in the count, was that the party lunatics clearly couldn't believe that the "little people" hadn't bought their hysterical propaganda about class war. The Republicans patiently waited for the Democratic Party to come to their senses, but to no avail. Every time Gore lost (you'd think he'd have gotten used to it), he took it to a higher court. Finally, in the Supreme Court, they re-affirmed what the Florida constitution said - the state of Florida had the right to set the standards. And, under those standards, Gore lost.

Let's not even discuss re-districting - I lived for many years in Cleveland, where the famous Pac-Man district was a running joke - and, BTW, the district had been designed by Democrats to benefit their party.
I was willing to admit that maybe some people didn't see these issues in quite the black and white way that I did. The conservative caste of mind is different from the liberal caste of mind, and much of what we believe is dictated by temperament.
I agree - we're sane, they're not. But, let's continue:
Conservatives, though, don't really mind doing harm to others, even murder, especially if they add the phrase, "for your own good." After all, people get harmed all the time--the world, to a natural conservative, is a harmful place and a vale of tears. To a conservative, the greatest crime is betrayal of the tribe, and if worst comes to worst, better that those outside the tribe (often not even defined as human) come to grief (get injured, get raped, lose everything, get killed, let's be honest) in preference to oneself or one's allies. To a true conservative, it doesn't matter that Jesus's number one rule was to do unto others as you would have them do unto you--they somehow read this as do unto others before they do unto you. Conservatives, I think, have a stronger flight/fight response than liberals. They are both more fearful and more aggressive. It shows in their religion (God is someone to fear), it shows in their child-rearing techniques (beatings,whippings, spankings are to be administered, not avoided), it shows in their attitude toward marriage and sexuality (conforming to one's own strict moral standards isn't enough--others must conform, also, or the whole society is in danger). To the conservative mind, harm may be justifiably done to others who do not conform.
Dear Ms. Smiley - I am a peace-loving person, who doesn't even own a gun (not a philosophical decision - I'm a volatile person, and don't entirely trust my mood swings). I didn't spank my children. They weren't allowed toy guns. Imagine my shock when 2 of the three joined the service. And, finally got to blast away with those forbidden guns.

Like most conservatives, I generally let others alone. If they want to wear wacky clothes, or run a non-traditional household, or practice odd religions, hey, I'm OK with that. Just don't try to impose your values on me or mine. In other words, keep it out of my house and yard, and I'm jiggy with that (I had to include the "j" word - my kids HATE that).

Jane, I hate to tell you, conservatives come in all stripes and colors. Some are semi-libertarian. Some are, indeed, passionately straight-laced and uptight. Some are pot-smokers. Some, like myself, never touched the stuff. Some are, as you said, religious. Even Fundamentalists. Others, like myself, Catholic. But many are agnostic, or even atheists.

You can't categorize people according to your prejudices. While some may fit some aspects, others don't. And even those who fit into your rigid categorization might surprise you with unexpected opinions, hobbies, manners, customs, and beliefs. It's hard to believe that you're not a kid - you seem to have the knack of sweeping generalization and passionate certainty, coupled with fastidious disdain for the motivations of those who don't agree with every one of your beliefs. It's a quality often seen in the young and callow. Generally, time teaches most of us that the world won't fit neatly in our philosophical pigeonholes.

But your insistence on labeling (or should I say, PROFILING?) conservatives indicates you aren't capable of understanding nuances. You are, I hate to point out, a bigot. Someone who lumps a group into an amorphous, fungible mass with identical characteristics.

Tags = Stupid People

2 comments:

Akaky said...

I hope you feel better with the venting, not that it'll do much good in dealing with Ms Smiley and her ilk. You could just as easily talk the stripes off a tiger or a Pentecostal out of believing in the Bible than get people like her to believe that Gore lost and that conservatives not the instruments of the devil, if they actually believed in the devil.

Jason said...

Ok, this Smiley lady, whoever she is, is nuts. I agree.

But, she made a claim of conservatives being violent, and you answered it with you don't trust yourself with a gun because of mood swings.

Are you agreeing with her?

As for individual Conservatives actually being violent... no. And yes, most individuals would just like to leave others alone who leave them alone.

The problem Smiley seems to have gone nuts over, is conservatives do seem to be actively supporting a system which purposely brings violence against those who, like you, would just like to be left alone. Try the War on *some Drugs to start. Or look how this current administration went out of the way to insure a man in Montana couldn't peacefully keep a homemade fully automatic firearm. Just a man living his life, exercising the right to keep and bear arms, without harming anyone.

If I cut my home-defense shotgun too short, (which would make it a better home-defense tool), violence would come against me as well.

The Constitution is where I would think all conservatives would agree to base their core values in. Yet, through indirect actions all citizens, (that includes conservatives), have brought violence to that man in Montana, the grandma with cataracts, and me, (not by shotgun but a much longer story).

No, I don't believe we would get any less violence with the other party in charge. Likely it would only be directed someplace else. You see, the only power government has over citizens is the power of violence. Therefore, the only way to get less violence from our government is LESS government. While conservatives claim that idea in their very namesake, their votes continually add to the size of this government at a rate that gives liberals a run for their money.

Yes, Smiley is insane... but our current system contributes to her type of insanity.