Been thinking about the differences between the the two political, philosophical, and cultural poles in our holy land these days. Plenty of head-scratchers and navel-gazers have devoted countless hours and neurons to this activity since this nation embarked on its current preamble to civil war.
And, no, I’m not being overly-dramatic when I type those words — civil war. History tells us pretty much every country that has ever existed eventually either gets torn asunder by CW or is taken over by a bigger, more bullying country. Since this nation possesses more than four thousand nuclear weapons in its usable stockpile and boasts by far the most powerful military forces on the planet, it’s unlikely any outside foe would find a way to march into Washington and set up camp.
So, yeah, civil war it will be. When? Search me. It could come later this year or it could hold off for years or decades. That’s the thing about apocalyptic events — they come at their own time and there’s little we can do to hasten or delay them.
Anyway, experts and wags have speculated over the years that conservatives are comfortable following an authoritarian, that they crave a strong, stern father-figure, or that they view the world through fearful eyes, while liberals are more trusting, they believe in the wisdom of the masses, and their preferred daddy-os are more kindly and nurturing. Maybe. Maybe not.
I, though, have noticed one particular difference between liberals and conservatives between these shores. And that difference has meant everything when it comes to organizing voters and winning national elections.
To wit: Conservatives are an extremely forgiving bunch. A person who eschews liberalism and throws her/his lot in with the Right is welcomed with open arms. All is forgiven, all forgotten. Even our current president, who certainly did not lead a conservative, Christian life prior to running for the Oval Office, has been embraced with an baffling vigor by folks who normally condemn philanderers, party boys, serial divorcees, potty mouths, and just about every other thing that has characterized Li’l Duce to this point. All, as I say, has been forgiven. All forgotten.
He’s now one of them, no questions asked.
The folks on my side of the fence though, surprisingly enough, are notoriously intolerant. If a person has ever entertained conservative notions, has ever even thought of pulling the lever for a Republican, or continues to keep conservative social media friends is automatically and forever suspect. Far too many of us are philosophically pure to a fault.
From the global to the local, one must have espoused the party line since birth no matter one’s upbringing or circumstances, no matter how enlightened or educated one has become. A person’s liberalism must be encoded in her/his DNA. There is no redemption. There is no forgiveness.
Hell, scads of my lib sibs condemn even historical figures who grew up and thrived in less aware times, less evolved eras. They could have reflected the prevailing “wisdom” of their times but to my people, because they hadn’t looked decades or centuries into the future to understand how “better” people think, they are therefore evil, not to be read or even contemplated.
The American conservatives of today give you a passing grade if you get 75 on the test. My fellow liberals glance at your test paper and conclude, even if you’ve gotten a 99, that you’ve failed.
That kind of rigidity is not only offensive and annoying, it doesn’t work come election time.
I despise the C-word and think it was entirely inappropriate for Samantha Bee to use it to describe Ivanka Trump. It was a social faux pas.
That said, I hope to hell she doesn’t pull away from it tonight on her show. I hope she rescinds her apology and even doubles down on her original statement. Why? She’s a comedian, for chrissakes! Not an ambassador or a government official.
So she offended a bunch of people by calling Ivanka a C. I hate these after-the-fact bullshit apologies. Like when Roseanne Barr apologized for racially denigrating Valerie Jarrett. Barr apologized to save her sitcom, not because, suddenly, she doesn’t think a certain black human being is an ape.
And I’m sure Samantha Bee suddenly doesn’t think Ivanka’s not a C.
Personally, I’d come up with a better, more imaginative word than a genital slur for Ivanka. And anyone who can’t understand why Barr was fired for her tweet can’t be reasoned with anyway. No matter — the controversy over their respective rhetoric is overshadowing the real news — like Rudy Giuliani’s insistence that the president is above the law or that the administration’s trade policies will screw the hell out of us all or that the president is pushing us into a more dangerous confrontation with Iran or that Li’l Duce has essentially killed off both the New Deal and the Great Society apparatus just for laughs.
Now that shit is really, truly inappropriate.
And, to borrow a characterization from my friend Jeff Isaac, Ivanka’s old man is a prick.