Thursday, October 23, 2008

Political tutorial: Part 2 Liberalism

Here is the tutorial about what it means to be a true liberal. I hope that you have read the Part 1 tutorial about being a conservative since I will reference the same concepts and analogies.

A genuine liberal is content with the faith structure, the government structure and the economic principles of his or her country. Thus in the United States that profile would be a liberal who believes in and loves America, validating that it is a nation of believers (though belief is not required), that it is a republic that is informed by democracy (the United States is not a democracy) and that the capitalism which fuels the economy is a valid and good model for this country. So, actually, a genuine liberal starts out with endorsing the same principles as a conservative regarding being in approval of the goodness of his or her country and its people. If the liberal does not believe in the goodness of the country and its people, then he or she is not a liberal but an alienated revolutionary. I’m not being insulting; I am helping you expand your vocabulary and understanding of people’s motivations, including your own. There is nothing wrong with being a revolutionary in the right place at the right time. For example, the United States was founded when as a colony it rebelled and had a revolution to break England’s rule of the colonies. That is why it is called the American Revolutionary War. Thus a revolution is usually called for when a genuine tyranny is in control, or when a colony has matured to the point where it seeks to break from the country in control. However, a revolutionary mindset is not called for when one seeks to extend rights within an otherwise just country. That is not only wrong but counterproductive.

Let me give the example of the American Civil War, known as the war against slavery. The southerners who believed in the continued ownership of slaves actually considered themselves justified revolutionaries. Why? They thought that the Federal government was taking away from them a “right,” which was the right to continue having slaves. So they thought they were noble, just as were the Revolutionary soldiers who created America by breaking from England, but in their case thinking that by breaking from the USA federation and forming their own states that they were retaining rights. This is why it is important to understand the difference between a revolutionary and a true liberal, and why I have to “back into” a definition of true liberalism by first showing what it is NOT. Liberals and conservatives, even though they did not call themselves that, were the ones to fight and defeat slavery in the United States. It was liberalism that identified and stimulated the intellectual and moral impulse to rid the country of slavery, and it was in alliance with conservatives that this was in fact accomplished. Somehow in the United States from the 1960’s onward the word “revolution” and the distortion of what is really means became a self destructive erroneous model of behavior that has become glorified, at the detriment of the very causes that people think they are espousing. Remember, in order to be intellectually honest you have to look at human historic record to identify revolutions, and assess whether they were beneficial or destructive. The American Revolution against the British was moral and constructive, giving birth to a great nation. However, who would argue that the South revolting against the North in order to protect slavery was a “good thing?” Do those of you who think social change only is achieved through “revolution” think that you would have cheered those revolutionaries, the slave owning Confederates? Likewise there were revolutions that resulted in Communist governments. Somehow modern “revolutionaries” are unable to see the terrible fallout of such unjust revolutions, regardless of the obvious and measurable outcomes (Stalin and his murder of millions in concentration camps, for example. Nothing the czars did was as bad as that, ultimately. Look also at Pol Pot in Cambodia and explain how that was a “good” revolution).

So the past two generations have been particularly brainwashed and “pumped up” by thinking that one must “fight for one’s rights” and “got to revolution.” They never see the difference between being a liberal advocate for rights and being a destructive and ultimately self destructive, “revolutionary.” Believe me, I saw them in my time, as they put on their berets and pose in front of the mirror thinking they look like “Che G,” yet have no idea about how to work “within the system” (a term they distained) in order to achieve what they wanted and even more.

Let’s use the analogy I presented in the Part 1 conservative blog post, where we had met our vegetarian conservative. Our vegetarian conservative valued the delicious and nutritious salad, and was cautious about the addition of new ingredients or the salad dressing, using discernment and good taste when he or she did make those decisions. What is our vegetarian liberal like? Now, here I am going to describe a genuine and true liberal, not a pseudo liberal, as most are today. A genuine liberal shares the same valuing of the salad as does the vegetarian conservative. In fact, the genuine liberal enjoys his or her salad so much that he or she wants to be sure that everyone else who wants or needs one can obtain one that is just as good. Thus, underlying all true liberalism is an active sense of “social justice.” This does not mean that the vegetarian conservative does not also want many people to also have salads. But the vegetarian conservative tends to focus on the kitchen where the salad is produced; making sure that there is enough for everyone who seeks it out. The vegetarian conservative does not tend to look around and identify who is in want or need of the salad. The vegetarian liberal is a restless soul who tends to look around to see who needs or wants the salad, but does not have it.

So how does the true vegetarian liberal feel? The vegetarian liberal loves his or her salad and thinks that it is so wonderful that all should have access to the same quality salad. The vegetarian true liberal does not turn against salad and hate it because it is not available to all. The vegetarian true liberal does not take salad away from someone else and put it in front of the one who lacked it, saying that is “fair.” And the vegetarian true liberal does not insult the producers of the salad, either those who went before us or the ones who are producing the salads now. The vegetarian true liberal is a “nudge,” to use a Yiddish term, where the liberal identifies a social justice need (such as the need for more people to receive their own equal qualities salad) and then nags the vegetarian conservative to find a way to make that done. Liberalism is frosting on the cake of conservatism; they are absolutely not in opposition.

Modern liberalism has developed a very unhealthy and unproductive rage. For some reason in modern times liberalism has lost its modesty and became “revolutionary elitist. “ Liberals used to be very humble souls, grateful for the goodness of what they have, and gently seeking to make the same goodness available to others. It was not for nothing that Hubert Humphrey was called “The Happy Warrior.” True liberals value and love what they have and seek to identify what we used to call the “disenfranchised” in order to bring them into the franchise, because it is good in there. Rather than hating the country or system that produced so much goodness, true liberals seek to bring more into the fold of enjoying the goodness. It is the techniques where the disenfranchised are brought into the fold where true conservatives and true liberals may have their legitimate disagreement, and that is where I had expected this country to evolve to at this point, rather than devolving into total meanness and stupidity of discourse and deed as it has. For example, I’ve pointed out in previous posts that the founders and original beneficiaries of the Civil Rights movement wanted the same thing that everyone else did: freedom, equality, a good home, a good job and a happy family. The elders, the ancestors, of modern Afro Americans loved their country and wanted to be enfranchised. They didn’t hate. These remarkable people didn’t hate even when they had every reason to, when they were oppressed in actual slavery. You can read many stories about slaves who escaped, who then worked at jobs to earn money that they then used to buy the freedom of their families. They did not hate the country and they did not hate the system. They fought and bought their way into being enfranchised. They did not view their children as a “burden,” but a blessing, even in those worst of times. For example, they struggled to get into the armed services, even serving in segregated units, not to have a “job,” but because they believed in their country as flawed as it was in regard to their treatment, and sought enfranchisement, not “revolution.”

Now here is where maniac conservatives have both consciously and unconsciously honed the hatred of many modern “liberals.” I alluded to maniac liberals in my previous Part 1 posting, and now I will allude to maniac conservatives. Maniac conservatives have a smugness and hardness at heart that can be described as follows. A vegetarian maniac conservative would like to wave around in front of the disenfranchised a serving of salad, saying, “Mm, mm this sure is good! If you worked hard you could have one of these too!” And then they would turn their backs and call themselves wonderful defenders of conservatism and capitalism. Such behavior is always outrageous and I well understand liberals who feel incited. Maniac conservatives like to bait the “have nots.” Maniac liberals, then, in response, want to tear down all that is good, like cutting the baby in half, to be “fair” and in retaliation. Unfortunately, rather than having reached a time where true conservatives and true liberals work together, disagreeing only on their methods, the dialogue is based on the rage generated by the self destructive energies of the maniac conservatives and maniac liberals, who are the puppet string pullers behind the scenes.

Another definition of a true liberal is a person who has a firm faith and moral ethos foundation. Without that liberals tend to be rudderless and reactive. That is one of the downfalls of genuine liberalism, their abandonment of traditional faith and moral strictures. Genuine liberals are enfranchised in their faith and moral heritage; they do not “invent a faith” as they trundle through life. Thus “new age” and other occult beliefs have taken root like weeds in the ethos of many liberals, and thus have led them totally astray. This is why they tend to make up out of the air ideas of “new rights” and “new grievances” as they stumble through life, untrue to their own heritage and the wisdom of those who came before. Modern liberals “make it up as they go along.” How have equal rights and civil rights gone, therefore, from being free and being able to support a family to having under age sex, tearing and tossing the baby out of the womb like a used snot rag, and then watching booty shake in your music video? I’m being serious. True liberals do not take their vegetarian salads and show children how to rub the pieces up their orifices while filming themselves on the cell phone. But all modern liberals care about is thinking of a “new right” or a “new outrage” that always seem to share one thing in common, which is sullying and destroying the actual foundational “salad.”

A genuine vegetarian liberal wants to expand the kitchen and expand the factory and expand the access so all who need and want the good high quality salad can obtain it. A false vegetarian liberal thinks of ways to roll the pieces of the salad in the dirt, to “get back at” those who created it in the first place, and to teach those who did not have the salad that “mm, mm, this dirt covered salad that WE invented and provided to you sure is good.” A genuine vegetarian liberal expands access to the salad and promotes peace of mind. A false vegetarian liberal makes sure that the stomach remains churning in “indignation” and rage, even as the person who had been denied the salad finally receives it. When a false liberal hands out a “right” or a “gift” to the disenfranchised, they ought to to hand out the little purple pill at the same time, because rather than promoting peace of mind and prosperity, they promote angst and continuing mental discord.

For that reason I stopped thinking of myself, personally, as a liberal many years ago.

Liberals have forgotten that they are supposed to expand the base that conservatism built, not warp or destroy it so that everyone has less of worth and worthiness in the end.

I hope that you find this helpful.