To those of you who base your entire political agenda on anger and hate, I would like to ask you once and for all just what your definition of Liberalism is. You post your little Facebook entries and you carry your little misspelled signs proudly at the Tea Party’s hate rallies by which you decry the very existence of Liberalism but really… do you even know what a Liberal is? Same thing for Socialism. If you were to have to define Socialism right now, without grabbing for the Google and coming back with the dictionary definition, what would your answer be? One friend of mine, when pressed, defined Socialism as a system wherein all the wealth and power is concentrated in the hands of a very few at the top while the rest of the people got nothing.
Well alrighty then. Yeah, I admit to kind of chuckling at him insofar as you can chuckle in an email and jokingly referred him to a couple of online dictionaries and told him I’d wait while he schooled himself on the actual definitions of Socialism and Liberalism. He of course got all incensed and informed me that he didn’t need any schooling and didn’t care what the dictionaries or encyclopedias said. All he knew was that basically Liberals and Socialists were bad and therefore he didn’t like Liberals or Socialists. The fact that I was not chuckling at his ignorance of the dictionary definition of the word but at the fact that he himself had just provided a classic illustration of American Capitalism and the entire unregulated free market philosophy went right over his head. It did set me to wondering though… why would this guy hate Liberals when he couldn’t even explain what a Liberal was?
We’ve had a few other political discussions since then in which he tosses the Tea Party definition of this or that “ism” out there and usually those definitions have as little basis in reality as his own definition of Socialism did but the dictionary definitions of this political philosophy or that one are not the point anyway. All those artificially constructed names do is provide labels by which the underinformed can categorize those they don’t like without having to admit that they don’t like them simply because they’re different. Liberalism and Liberal are simply the labels most commonly used by intellectually lazy and information disadvantaged because hey… EVERYBODY hates Liberals, am I right? Yeah, right..
And of course it’s this dislike or distrust of anyone different that the Plutocrats have been able to stir… almost said “whip” there but actually it hasn’t really taken that much effort since this kind of thing thrives on ignorance… managed to stir into outright hate for the man that the majority of the people in this country chose to be their president. Why? Do I really need to say why? Because it’s easy.
The low information rank and file right wingers have long used scapegoats to avoid any sense of responsibility for their own failures and inadequacies. Indeed their very existence revolves around a few vary basic factors, ones that require the barest minimum of thought: One of these is the conviction that a) shit rolls downhill and b) as long as there’s someone underneath you to roll it on down on, there’s nothing wrong with that. In order for this one to work, you have to have at least some form of superficial reasoning by which you can convince yourself and your peers that those “beneath” you are indeed beneath you and are inferior beings that somehow deserve to be the ones the shit ultimately rolls down on and sticks to. For the wantonly ignorant, that usually involves simply dehumanizing them entirely, turning them into something less that ordinary human beings who just happen to look different or simply have opinions, beliefs or situations that differ from your own and the easiest cheap shot they can take usually involves the word “Liberal” or in an increasing number of cases these days, “Socialist”.
In the beginning, this kind of reasoning was used to “justify” the waging of genocide on the aboriginal peoples whose land was being taken. Anything and everything done to the natives could be and at the time was justified by the contention that they weren’t “real” people, indeed were nothing but a pack of “subhuman savages”. And then of course, came a couple hundred years during which this country, as a matter of policy, engaged in one of the filthiest practices ever known to man, the trafficking of human beings. And again there was nothing wrong with it because Africans were after all, something less than people and besides, they had a “better life as slaves in America than they would have had as a free people in their own homeland, right?”. The white man has always found ways to justify his loutishness and decide what’s better for the “lesser” races.
While slavery itself was finally abolished in the mid 19th century it was another hundred years before any real attempt was made to do something about the second or third class citizenship status that had been conferred on African Americans, eventually resulting, a hundred years after the Emancipation Proclamation… in the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It’s shameful that after two hundred years we had to actually pass laws ending the “official” discrimination against non whites when in reality it was something that any truly moral or ethical person should have sought for him/herself but if I’ve learned one thing in the last 12 years it’s that fair play, ethics and moral considerations don’t exist when it comes to modern day Capitalism
Far from solving the problem, we saw whites… especially whites in the southern states that had formed the Confederacy… who were still seething over the Civil War a hundred years after it ended simply add any white people who actually believed that ALL men are created equal and not just all WHITE men, to the same bag they had the blacks in. Of course they couldn’t really call these white people “n*****s” (although more than a few of them used the term “n****r lovers” back in my younger days) since they could no longer openly refer to black people as such and eventually the word “liberal” came into common use both as a catch all replacement and to specifically denote (along with “communist” and “socialist” just about anyone who championed or otherwise displayed support for ideas that conflicted with the agenda of the White Christian Male Power Structure* which was of course to make sure that White Christian Males continued to be the power structure in America.
Think about that… an entire political party and mainstream media structure dedicated to maintaining power for white male Christians… and a black man living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Somehow I have this feeling that we haven’t even begun to plumb the depths of hate that we’ll be looking at for the next four years and after and that compared to it the past four years have been a high school civics debate, but maybe that’s just me.
Anyway, next time one of your right wing friends posts or says something about ALL Liberals being welfare queens or Liberals hating America and wanting the “Mooslins” to win or whatever the official sound bite bitch about Liberals happens to be that day, remember they aren’t speaking out of hate,malice or mean mindedness (or at least they’ll claim they aren’t). Of course that only leaves ignorance and stupidity, otherwise the statement would never have had to have been made in the first place but hey… if that’s what floats their little boat I guess I’m OK with it. Just pardon me if I kinda chuckle now and then.
*I didn’t make that White Christian Male Power Structure thing up. I first saw the phrase used by none other than Bill O’Reilly in full roar while decrying “attacks” on it. If you have issues in regard to its existence, go talk to him,