Liberal Pussies Part 1

Posted: September 29, 2010 in Politics

Liberal Pussy. That is the pejorative term for us on the Left. That and Liberal Elitist, but liberal elitist doesn’t sting nearly as much. I’d like to be considered Elite. I don’t even see how that’s a slur, but I’d hate to be considered a pussy.

It is curious to me that the party that was once considered the party for working Americans has gradually shifted to the party of snobbery and weakness? How is that being a liberal makes me less manly than being a conservative? How is that believing the Americans who have the most wealth should be taxed heavier than those with nothing makes me a sissy?

How did the Republican Party Ambush Masculinity? 

Let me start by stating my politics are primarily Progressive.

I am a Democrat only in the fact that I am NOT a Republican. I would love to say I’m neither, but that’s not true. But please understand, I’m not an ideologue. I’m horribly displeased with my party, and hope it is reformed, but frankly put, I’m less scared of my guys than their guys. My guys won’t get kids shot overseas or eavesdrop on all of our phones in the name of Freedom, at least not yet.

But I’m a progressive because I have a fundamental belief that progress is a good thing, and the Democratic Party offers more. I will rarely, if ever, side with the belief that maintaining the status quo is a noble endeavor. I seek to improve things, everything. We are capable and strong, and there is no reason not to make things better. I am fascinated with the idea that society is an ever changing and expanding experiment.

I do not believe in anyway that our best days are behind us, I want to boldly build a better future, and I cannot understand how such a mentality is somehow viewed as less macho than wanting to keep things as they are. Republicans always talk of “going back” to a better America?

What the Fuck does that mean?

I refuse to accept the notion that yesterday was better than today. Today, I have benefited from Lasik eye-surgery. I can see without glasses on, that fact alone makes 2010 better than 1988. At least for me, a man who once looked at the world through 4.75 strength contact lenses. Today I ate frozen vegetables that were delicious, amazing. While I’ll fully admit that they were not as good as those grown fresh from the garden, I didn’t grow up eating vegetables fresh from the garden, and these were much better than those I ate (or rather didn’t eat) from a can as a child.

Now I know those things didn’t come from Liberal thinking or the Democratic Party, I’m just saying that today is pretty awesome, and before you get sentimental about some imagined “Good Ol’ Days,” take a moment to look at what we’ve got. And now imagine what we might have. I am fearlessly headed toward tomorrow. I’m not afraid that we’re losing ourselves by growng, but I am afraid we’re not keeping pace with others. And having to fight with the right to make things better is slowing us down. We’ve become sissies more concerned with buying crap and fitting in than with building something worth having.

We need to muscle up and push harder for more innovation and education. Let’s take money from Wal-Mart and give it to the students who will someday fill its shelves with better items. Let’s snatch back our money from industrial farms and make them pay living wages to folks. So maybe then everybody can get fresh vegetables on their tables. It won’t be easy, we’re going to have to fight for it, and do things we don’t want to.

It takes balls to move forward. Progress is hard, but it’s good. So when Bill O’Reilley sneers the word “Progressive” with a condescending smirk on his face, I want to drag him into the street and beat his ass.

I don’t want to let that scared old man slow us down. 

I don’t how the Right has tricked so many men into thinking that being scared is positive trait, but I’ve got some ideas. Fox News identifies itself as “America’s News Network,” and tries to co-opt the American Ideal as a Republican trait; worse, it tries to sell Republican ideology as the American way.

Sarah Palin continually refers to her constituents as “Real” Americans. Making those of us who disagree with her politically, less American? Our national identity hinges on strength, integrity, pride, and courage, typically traits we identify as masculine ideals. So she’s essentially calling out men to be more patriotic, and therefore more manly. That’s bullshit of course. Americans don’t ban books.

This isn’t a new fad though, and blaming current celebrity/politicians or info-tainers like Limbaugh or Beck gives those “newsmen” and dipshits way to much credit.

This attempt to monopolize the male vote started with Reagan. At least for my generation I can say it did. He sold us the notion that making money was the highest good and nonconformity to that idea was treasonous. People who made more money were somehow achieving “more” of the American Dream. As if dreams could be quantified. Integrity and growth was measured in money, and a person’s worth became literally, what a person was worth.

That made wealthy Americans “good” Americans. Having money made you strong, free, and brave. Conversely, those without it were “bad.” Poor people weren’t just poor, they were Un-American. They were lacking traits that we as a country identified ourselves as; Strong, Free, Brave, Hard working, Noble. These are all great, but abstract notions. Those are vague ideas that everyone wants to be (Every Country has an Independence Day.)

These are also predominantly Masculine traits. (Not exclusively masculine certainly, but specifically masculine. That wouldn’t be the list of adjectives I wished people would first identify my daughter as.) If Reaganomics is our gospel, then poor men aren’t strong or free or brave. They also can’t be hard-working or noble. If you’re a man, and you want to be those things, and you’re not already rich, then maybe you ought to join the Republican Party, even if it fully intends on keeping you as far away from that dream as it can.

The era of materialism that Reagan reigned over has not worn away. No, it still lingers in everything we do. And it keeps men insecure. That movement in national identity influenced those that followed the same way an artistic movement influences the art that comes after it.

It’s most lasting effect is the children who grew up in that era believing somehow that being rich is a sign of being “good,” and conversely, that those who aren’t are “bad.” Plugging into the Capitalist system and seeking to make as much money as you can is your opportunity to be a great American. Believing in the Republican Party, a party that continually seeks to allow the wealthiest Americans to pay less taxes and less taxes (even in times of war) makes you a better American than those poor folks asking for “a hand-out.” If you don’t love the Rich, well then, you don’t love the king, and you’re a terrible man.

We Liberals have to work to prove that we too embrace those ideals listed earlier; strong, free, brave, hard working, and noble. But we want to be true to ourselves, we also need to add adjectives to what it is to be an American.

Most notably, we need to add, “Smart.” America should be Strong, Free, Brave, Hard Working, Noble, AND Smart. We need to quit trivializing our intellect.

And those with great intellect need to quit ignoring their masculinity.

I think most people identify the Democrats as the smarter party. I think that that has something to do with our “Elitist” label. What we have to do is make it clear that being smart is not an alienating factor, that it’s just a positive trait. Moreover, we have to quit falling back on smart like that’s enough to win every argument.

Being smart is awesome, but that’s not always enough, we still need to be dudes. The Right can and will paint us as pussies. And we can’t just walk away from that.

Remember in 2004 when the media portrayed John Kerry as a limp-wristed pansy because he spoke well?

Then they simultaneously painted Bush as some rough and tumble tough guy because he wore blue jeans and couldn’t say “Nuclear?”

I don’t think many American’s believed Bush to be overly intelligent, I don’t.

They might not call Bush a retard, as I have done many times in my life, but they knew he wasn’t the smartest president we’ve had.

I’ve spoken to friends of mine who voted for Bush in 2004. Most all of them, it was there first time voting. (because they were young, not because they were disinterested) When I ask them how, HOW they could vote for such and idiot, such a terrible terrible president they all say pretty much the same thing.

They thought Kerry looked weak. Then they made a nasally voice and pantomimed a girly spastic dance that I would label “Band Kid.”

The Right tricked them, they sold the notion that Bush was a badass because he didn’t read and was gonna whoop a little ass. Smart didn’t matter, not then anyway. Kerry appealed to their logic and tried to explain himself. Tried to illustrate himself as the elder statesmen whose hyper-intelligence would make decisions that would benefit America. He shouldn’t have done that; he shouldn’t have taken the high road. He shouldn’t have just shown he was smarter than Bush (which he is.) No, he should have called Bush a bitch for ducking the war. And he should have popped him in the mouth for implying he was a traitor.

When the Republicans went after his War record, he should have called them out and let it be known he wouldn’t allow for that. He should have been bold and angry; Manly. He should have point blank called Bush out.

“I fought in a War before before I tried to stop it, I didn’t just NOT fly airplanes back home. But if you want to say I’m not a patriot, how about we settle this outside?”

I’m certain the 6’4” Kerry who spent his youth killing Charlie would fuck up the 5’11” cheerleader.

But he didn’t do that, he tried to communicate the same way most liberals do. With reason and facts. We liberals surround ourselves with people who feel and act the same way we do. And we try to live in a world without violence and celebratory idiocy, but we can’t. Not if we really want to fix America. Maybe Kerry clocking Bush wouldn’t look “Presidential” to Kerry, but it would to most of the populace, especially the ones who voted for Bush.

The Republicans don’t win on issues. They don’t. They win on image. And ours’ is broken. We don’t embrace an aspect of ourselves that appeals to most people, and if we want to put ourselves in a position to really affect change, we’re going to have to quite behaving like we’re trying to impress our professors, and start behaving like we’re going to get stuff done.

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Comments
  1. David says:

    I like most of what you had to say and so I am throwing my email address out there to hear what you have to say in the future. I consider myself to be a die hard moderate and have voted across party lines in my 12 year voting history. I would like to challenge a couple things you said. The current administration had the opportunity to amend the patriot act. They allowed it to continue by not addressing it, so you can blame the GOP for putting it in motion, but the Dems id nothing to stop it when given the chance. Second, Democratic presidents in the 20th century were responsible for sending more son’s and daughter’s of America oversees to die than GOP Presidents. That being said, my beef is with the continued power grab going on by the Executive branch of government. GWB collected a huge power inventory in the name of keeping us all safe. B-Rock, has continued to expand the power of the executive branch in the name of fixing America and setting things right. This is the modern trend in government that bothers me. The Legislative branch can’t get shit done, but steak their party flag and fold their arms, so does the executive branch need to gather power to push progress?

    Here’s my idea, give companies like Wal Mart and other major profit businesses massive federal tax breaks. Then tell them that in order to keep these tax breaks they will need to spend a % of their revenues on community projects supporting education and community development. This will lessen the massive administration costs the federal government generates and funnel the money right into the communities where the people spending it live. Just a thought, would be interested to hear your feedback.

    BTW: Sarah Palin’s quite possibly the biggest American douche bag in the last 50 years, wish they would put that on a magazine cover.

    • DJ Dangler says:

      I like your proposal a ton Gennaro. I think reinvesting in the community is an integral part of good business, and I’d love to see more of it. I think it’s also how small successful businesses have maintained success in small communities. People don’t mind spending more when they know the money is staying in their community. (The trophy shop where I live now is too expensive, but it sponsors all of the kids teams in the area. So people support it.) I think it’s difficult to do that though in major urban areas because, simply put, people don’t see the benefit. But, that criticism aside, I think that’s a great idea. I also think that instead of just making Wal-Mart invest the money it takes in, we should make it pay more out to people who are working there directly. Most notably, in higher wages. The stimulus package was silly. A fuck you hand out. People should make more, but should be demanded to work harder. As for Barrack not repealing the Patriot Act. I can’t justify it. I can’t. It sucks. But I don’t blame him as much as I blame Bush for instituting it. It’s not the same crime. I don’t love my party. It’s just the one I hate less. No Political Party is going to run on the platform, GIve Us Less Power! It’s just not going to happen. I hate it that the Republicans try to say that’s their position. Then tap my phone, and lock-up more Americans every year. It’s dishonest and vile. And as for the Dems sending more people to war. I will try not to speak on things I don’t know. I didn’t see WWI or WWII. I didn’t see Korea or Vietnam. I don’t know those wars. I do know the last two GOP Presidents we had decided poor Americans should go fight and die against people I don’t know. I’m going to try and only talk about stuff I know. I am equally concerned about he power grabbing and refusal to establish real change by both parties. I am certain at some point this practice will Break the System. I hope there are enough of us there to pick up the pieces when that happens. thanks for your input. And thanks for keeping me honest. Shine On.

    • the prattman says:

      I, too, like this idea of tax breaks. But wouldn’t poorer, rural areas still not have as much funding as richer (sub)urban areas? Isn’t the corrective to this imbalance government?

  2. David says:

    Prattman,

    I see your angle, but let me clarify with a specific example. I live outside of Flint, MI, if you have never heard of it, you’ll find it on the list of least desirable places to live in America. Flint is the center of the county, where the mall and most of the other retail outlets are. The revenues in my plan are designed for the restoration of America’s small cities. Flint and other cities like are the hubs of poor rural America. I do not believe the federal government has the capability to move funds around effectively. Over centralization has put Middle America in the situation it is currently in. If you feed the rural county hubs, you can do a lot to restoring the entire county, or the limbs will die without the heart pumping blood to them. I believe in a tax structure where all taxes would be paid to municipalities, and then based on demographics and census data, the municipality would send so much to the state, and then the state sends it’s share based on this same data to the federal government. Not to say that there should be no federal programs, but those programs could be funded by federal tax discounts instead of bureaucrats writing checks. The federal government should concentrate on diplomacy, defense, and matters of constitutional law to protect citizens from over reaching state and local laws. I feel local governments could solve many of their own problems if they weren’t always looking for federal funding.

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