David Rodeback's Blog
Local Politics and Culture, National Politics,
Friday, April 4, 2008
This Morning I Tried to Be a Liberal
. . . Not just any liberal, you understand, and not a thinking liberal like some of my friends, but a liberal like Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and, yes, Barack Obama.
I tried being a liberal this morning. I've been watching the news, reading the newspapers, listening to Hillary, Barack, Nancy, Harry, assorted talking heads, and, when I couldn't avoid him, my own party's candidate, Big McJohn. So I think I know how to do this.
Be advised: The candidates, other party leaders, and the BMA are pushing a flavor of liberalism that is quite different from the liberalism of my thoughtful liberal friends. The latter kind is hard to find; besides, I decided long ago that, if I am going to be thoughtful, I prefer to be a thoughtful conservative. So this morning I tried the former kind. The popular kind. The not thoughtful kind.
Here's how it went. Ahem.
How It Went
My alarm went off much too early, about 5:00 a.m. I use my cell phone as an alarm clock. The phone is by Motorola, and the service is by T-Mobile.
T-Mobile is a big company, besides being a phone company, and it exists to make a profit for stockholders. As a liberal, I am therefore obligated to hate T-Mobile. Every proper angry liberal knows it's evil to make a profit.
Motorola is more complicated. It's an American-based company (good), but it's really multinational, which means they have shipped American jobs overseas (evil). It gets excellent ratings from human rights types who monitor "corporate equality" (good), but it also exists to make a profit (evil). What is a liberal to think?
Here's what tipped the balance. Some of my fellow liberals claim that cell phones cause brain tumors. I even heard on the news the other day that cell phones are as dangerous as cigarettes. Ergo, I should hate Motorola, for helping to ruin the health of several hundred million innocent customers.
It wasn't dawn yet, when I awoke, so I turned on some electric lights. Most of them are incandescent, which every good liberal knows are evil, and soon to be illegal, too, in the massive liberal laboratory called California. Light bulbs of all varieties consume electricity, much of which is generated by burning fossil fuels (very evil) or by building hydroelectric dams, which flood habitats (also evil). So I must hate both the public utility itself (Rocky Mountain Power) and the society which forces me to do these evil things.
The reason I was up early was to do some work, which I might not have to do in order to survive, if I lived in Europe or worked as a civilian for the US Department of Defense. It's this capitalism thing that makes me have to work for a living. I blame the Western world generally, but I especially hate Dick Cheney, Halliburton, and Wal-Mart.
I have some allergies, which can be a problem if not treated, and I was out of little blue pills. So I made an early run to Wal-Mart (pure corporate evil) to get some more, thus becoming a victim of the evil pharmaceutical companies, too, who overcharge us, trash the environment, occasionally kill people with side effects, and sometimes -- most evil of all -- actually make a profit.
Then I noticed that my Honda (a Japanese car, therefore doubly evil) was low on fuel. So I stopped for some gasoline, which is $3.25 per gallon, give or take -- for which I am obligated, as a liberal, to blame (and therefore hate) the evil oil companies, the evil George W. Bush, his evil puppetmaster Dick "The Dark Lord" Cheney, and, of course, Halliburton.
I wouldn't have needed such an early start today, if I had been able to do some work at home last evening. But I spent that time helping one of my children with a homework assignment, which every good Utah liberal knows I wouldn't have had to do if the evil, child-hating Republicans in the Utah Legislature would give the public schools all the money they say they need.
Traffic was rather heavy for my Wal-Mart run. This cost me a few minutes, for which I hate all my neighbors, with their average of about three motor vehicles per household. At least I wasn't delayed this morning as I was the other day, when I had to brush about six inches of global warming (or global cooling, or whatever's in season this week) off my car -- for which I blame and hate every creature that breathes out carbon dioxide, all cows and other mammals who release methane, and everything that uses any kind of combustion.
On my way I saw someone on the sidewalk who might be homeless, for which I hate myself and everyone else with a roof and walls, not to mention all those people who, like me, just drove by without stopping to help. (I was in a hurry.)
I saw a few American flags, and I hated the people or institutions who display them in simple-minded patriotism or for crass commercial gain. I hated the nation the flag symbolizes for failing to live up to its ideals, for taking almost a century to abolish slavery, for sending its military around the world to kill people and break things in the name of freedom and cheap oil, for being mostly filled with white people, and, perhaps above all, for being disliked by all the fashionable countries of the world.
I also saw several commercial jets in the air, on approach to Salt Lake City International Airport. I paused to hate them, too, and the companies who fly them and the passengers sitting in them, for squandering fossil fuels, creating noise pollution, and destroying the ozone layer.
I drove past a couple of churches, which as a hard-core angry liberal I'm forced to hate because they oppress and deceive people, take their money, and teach them to be bigots -- all this while resting comfortably on their tax-exempt status.
Three Hours Was Enough
Just before 8:00 a.m., I was back in my driveway. That's where it happened. I quit trying to be a Hillary/Barack/Harry/Nancy liberal. I couldn't take it any more. I'm not man enough, or woman enough, or whatever.
I simply cannot contain or dispense all the hatred this particular brand of liberalism requires. There is too much to be happy about and grateful for, and there are too many productive things to do with the time and energy I would waste showering the world with my fashionable liberal hatred.
Moreover, I'm altogether too distracted by facts. For example, I cannot escape the knowledge that an oil company's profit from a gallon of gas is only about one-fourth as much as the government takes in taxes. I'm all too aware that carbon dioxide is what trees and grass breathe in, and I like trees and grass. I can't quite bring myself to hate the industry that invented my allergy pills and, with the help of large retail chains, got their cost to me down to about 20 cents a day. And when I see a flag or a church, I tend to think of good people sacrificing for things higher than themselves, not . . . all that other stuff.
Maybe you think I tried the wrong liberalism this morning, and therefore have been grossly unfair here to thinking liberals everywhere. But I warned you about this. I told you at the beginning that I tried the liberalism I've been learning on television and reading in the newspapers, the brand presidential candidates are peddling, not the liberalism of my thinking liberal friends.
I tried it for three whole hours. That was more than enough.
I like my thoughtful liberal friends. I'm content with my own thoughtful conservatism. Now, for three whole hours, I have tried the cheap, angry, hateful brand of liberalism which national Democratic leaders and candidates are hawking. Do you think I should try being an extreme right-wing conservative nut job sometime soon, just to be fair and balanced? I will ponder this.
Copyright 2008 by David Rodeback.