And don't even ask me about people who call themselves "conservative."
Liberal -- used to mean people who chose to be tolerant of other people's points of view, other people's beliefs, ways of life, etc. Liberal people were people who thought it was a good thing to let other people live their lives as they see fit. Even help them with some supports. It did NOT mean helping people with supports at the cost of them living their lives according to their own consciences.
An old friend once said "Tolerant means you stink but I don't mind holding my nose." That was his opinion and he may have been right. But he was an ethical man and as much as he DID mind holding his nose, he did it because he recognized that live and let live was the only sane code.
Conservatives -- well they used to be people who held that conserving was a good thing -- don't piss away all your money, whether personal or governmental, you don't piss away the topsoil or the forests or the rivers, and under it all -- you don't interfere in people's personal lives. Their point of view as to what was good, vital important for the country differed from those of the liberal persuasion -- the Conservatives believed strong economic health and vitality was the most essential thing of all -- that businesses and farms and suchlike must be allowed to be run by their owners and rise and fall on their own merits, i.e., the merits accepted in the marketplace.
The Liberal point of view was that such things were fine -- let the businesses and corporations thrive, but only so long as
people unable to compete in that marketplace were protected from eviction and starvation and injury and disease, workers were given a decent wage and enough benefits to have a decent life, and that businesses did not destroy the health and welfare of either the people or the communities.
Today, NEITHER of them seem to have a clue as to those meanings.
The Liberals (i.e., Democrats pretending they still have an idea as to what their party is/was about) wouldn't piss on a man on fire without demanding the right to check his or her home situation to see if perhaps they happened to have some piss hidden away they weren't using, but only if that piss had been inherited from his parents. Rather, it's not that they WOULDN'T -- they would strongly advocate the pissing, but ONLY under those certain conditions. Making rules intended to cover all possible situations, needing to SOLVE THE PROBLEM once and for all, even though social things change, move, balance and unbalance.
The Republicans wouldn't piss on a man on fire, period. Not unless he was properly religious. Or a pal and/or major contributor to the Cosa Mucosa we call our currently powerful band of slippery and slimy thieves. No welfare -- unless it's a big business that gave them a lot of money to help them get in. There was a time that conservatives were publicly religious only in the sense of common decency, i.e., NO conservative would have EVER allowed scum like Tom DeLay call himself either Republican or Conservative. And even when circumstances demanded a serious amount of fire-prevention pissing, the Republican/ Conservatives would have done it without demanding the people receiving this liquid blessing could prove they were living the proper life, as defined by the money and religious powers with their hands up the ass of the sock-puppets in the White House and Congress. But their
fatal flaw -- they need to make rules intended to cover all possible situations, needing to SOLVE THE PROBLEM once and for all, even though social things change, move, balance and unbalance.
This country, as it exists today, is not being directed by vision, although there might be one or two visions out there a bit more noble than "take it all and run." The country is being run by fear and anger and hatred. People try to simplify this phenomenon by saying "they hate anyone different from themselves." Not exactly.
They are terrified that the absolutist crap they've been spewing all along might not be absolutely true-- telling everyone that THIS and ONLY THIS is the way life should be lived, THIS is what God wants you to do, THIS is what God tells you NOT to do -- that we may be weak and finite but I, the Preacher, knows exectly what the infinite, transcendent, omniscient GOD has on HIS mind (
meaning, as long ago was discussed in The Realist
, God must have a Willy if He is to be considered HE).*
They are terrified that what they believe may not be universally true for EVERYONE, only true for themselves.
Or, on the other hand, the Liberals creed that we must let every person and point of view flourish has lost any sense of standard or criteria so sociopathic serial killers are made not born so you can't really hold them responsible. Everyone has a right to his or her own point of view, and as deconstructionists, EVERYONE ONE OF THOSE POINTS OF VIEW IS TRUE AND CORRECT. Except that anyone who disagrees with that is vile and should be silenced forthwith.
In other words, the possibility of a quantum universe in which all things are possible, perhaps even, as William Burroughs put it -- "Nothing is true, everything is permitted," scares the living crap out of all of them until they decide on one side to lay down and forego any standards at all, and on the other side to deny, deny, deny, scourge, assault, and hunt for traitors, turning Jesus into a pumped-up revenge-seeking kick-ass Protestant redneck, 10" uncut .
Consider this: these are the people who come to us to represent them, who make laws, determine allocation of billions and billions of dollars, and yet they piss our money and their time away investigating baseball players because they consider baseball players to be role models for youth, BUT THEY DO NOT CONSIDER THEMSELVES
TO BE ROLE MODELS OR TO HAVE TO LIVE UP TO THE STANDARDS REQUIRED OF PEOPLE IN SUCH POSITIONS.
So they're not going to do it.
Which means we're going to have to do it.
Develop and increase the vision of what we can be -- as individuals and as a society, what we want to be, and choose to have that and not one goddamn bit less, no matter how many second-rate salesmen make us promises.
It is our own promises to ourselves we want to manifest, not some Blue Sky scheme with a devil's clause thrown in in the small print.
Remember this, whenever someone becomes a candidate and asks for your vote -- there is only one unchangeable and absolute law of the universe:In every group, there's always one guy who doesn't get the joke.
That guy runs for public office.
*(Robert Anton Wilson in one of The Realist'
s first issues)