The Cliff Notes of my recent life were put into stark relief yesterday by Chris M, who, in my shorthanded truncation, said I went from a psychotropically-medicated man with a life in shambles to a smiling, bi-coastal hybrid gadfly with a wonderful wife and cute baby. In an effort to make sense out of one’s own life, I’ve adhered to that script in my mind as well – peaks and valleys, sure sure, but the nugget commentary seems like truth.
Which leads me to ask: yes, but why does that make my viewpoint invalid? Just because my life has gotten better in the last four years doesn’t mean I can’t have empathy for those whose lives have been ruined by those currently running the country. The better question is this: why are you conservatives so mean?
Look, here’s an incontrovertible fact: everything Bush proposes in terms of the economy actually helps me. Every time he proffers a deeply unfair tax program or exemption, pretty much every time he opens his mouth, Lucy, Tessa and I benefit financially. And still we quake with rage when we see the Republicans’ idea of a fair budget.
Too sanctimonious for you? Too fucking bad. If there is one thing I’d like to give thanks for, on this holiday, is that my family still possesses the ability to think outside our own goddamn circumstances. I’ve been broke, basically homeless, earning under the poverty level for years and didn’t have health insurance until I was 33. That is no longer true, but I know first-hand the feeling of being one car accident away from utter destitution.
And yet now, because we drive a Prius and own a house, and tend to go back and forth between coasts for work, my words – even those culled from disinterested third parties – are suspect. “Consider the source,” some of you like to say, whenever I bring up anything political.
J Boogie, despite being one of the biggest bores I’ve ever read, still offers a fascinating glimpse into the mind of your typical rabid wingnut. He always tells me to go back to listening to NPR (which is a little like Barney telling Lisa to “go back to Russia” when she tried to serve gazpacho).
Conservatives have spent about 120 years decrying the liberal’s habit of “moral relativism.” Right-wingers, in contrast, like to think of their world in bi-valent terms with absolute evil and clear lines between good and bad.
Yet they don’t trust sources that threaten their polarity. This could be called “truth relativism,” in that something coming from NPR (or me) can’t be taken seriously because, well, consider the source. Like Dennis Miller said, before he went batshit, “right-to-lifers think that life begins the moment you agree with them.” In the fight between relative morals and relative truth, I’ll take relative morals for $2000, Alex.
I fully admit: every time I hear a good argument from a conservative, including those on this blog, my mind changes a little. I’m not threatened by this; I enjoy it. But right-wingers, your ability to not give a shit about other people really freaks me out. Frankly, I don’t know how you do it. That kind of willful control over your own opinions has got to be exhausting.
Here’s to a Thanksgiving holiday full of mead and spiked eggnog, and hopefully a minute of opening your mind to some guy in Cleveland who worked hard all his life and is still spending the holiday eating Pringles with his wife and two kids, living out of his car. He and I would like to toast your “relative truth” with an obscene gesture.
Or not. All of you have a safe and wonderful weekend.