Liberal Pussies Part 2

Posted: September 29, 2010 in Politics

So Republicans identify those of us on the Left as Liberal Pussies. They consider us “bleeding hearts” and question our masculinity. And I find this infuriating. I think this slander upsets me more than most folks. Maybe because I’ve worked much of my life not to be perceived as a redneck, and now that I’ve gotten alright at that, I’m being called a pussy. I can’t win for losing.

I’m a big blond guy with a fairly hulking frame and a silly Midwestern grin slapped across my face. I look Republican. 

In college I was attending a rally to protest the Iraq war. I don’t know if it’s the same everywhere, but in the Midwest, war supporters actually came out to the protests to protest the protesters. A bunch of Hippie Kids and girls in Lisa Loeb glasses would be on one side waving signs chanting,

“No Blood For Oil, No Blood For Oil!”

and a bunch of dudes that looked like me were on the other side yelling,

“Blood For Oil, Blood For Oil.”

I wasn’t shocked when the side I wasn’t on assumed I was with them. And I didn’t get offended when they asked me if I wanted to hang out afterwards. But I didn’t, I had chicks in Lisa Loeb glasses to not sleep with later.

In 2004 I interned at the Republican National Convention in NYC for CBS. In this era of hyper-tight security, I pretty much walked in and out. A pudgy blond guy is not a threat to the Republican Party.

But the Right aren’t the the only one to misidentify me, and least they were nice. When I was at college orientation at Purdue I walked into the room to enroll in the Honors Program I’d qualified for, and the women in charge saw my football T-shirt and high school lineman buzz cut, and tried to usher me out the door That’s pretty goddamned offensive.

I suppose it’s just as offensive for me to assume that woman was a liberal for being employed by a college (Especially a college as square as Purdue University.) But for this argument, she was. She saw I was an athlete, and assumed I was also an idiot. The Left treats physicality like it’s something beneath them, like it’s an antiquated value. Like nobody hitting the books has ever hit a heavybag.

I do think the Right perpetuates a degree of anti-intellectualism and caters to a bit of Machismo. And I do believe that that Republican party manipulates under-educated white males, into thinking that Science is a myth they don’t need, because they know enough already.

I also think that the Left dismisses this group of folks, and some of our ideals have shifted, shifted to the point that they neglect a chunk of America I’m not willing to give up on. Not all Rednecks are stupid. Not all Hillbillies are happy with their situations. And if the Left doesn’t learn to accept and respect their value systems more, we’re going to keep losing them to folks who aren’t above exploitation.

The Democratic Party used to be a macho group of folks. Unions used to mean something. It used to be a group of workers unwilling to let a business abuse their workers or treat them unfairly. Now they’re institutions that primarily prevent business from firing lousy employees. I know my limited experience with a Union did nothing for anybody trying to achieve or succeed.

It didn’t get the company to pay for more education. It didn’t get the company to provide childcare or better insurance for employees. All it did was make it difficult for people who were willing to work overtime to do so, and let the lazy fat guy who drove the fork-truck where I worked to not get fired for things she SHOULD have been fired for.

I talk a lot about education and I think that that’s one of the key factors to propelling American into more success. But this institution’s lacking too. Teachers Unions have made it nearly impossible to reward good educators, and have made it entirely impossible to replace inept ones. They handle it like it’s a Labor Union and not a Professional Union. And reward you for showing up, not for being good.

Some of this is indicative of Americans shift from production to service based economies, sure, but it’s also a shift away from embracing hard work or commitment.

We on the left have gotten lazy, and spoiled. So have those on the Right. But they can, they’re winning. The gap between wealthiest and poorest Americans is bigger than ever. The insane salaries of CEOs have essentially made them a new society of Nobles. And we’re fucking serfs.

We’re losing the culture war, and if we want to win it, we’ll have to remember how to get our hands dirty. I am in the middle of the “Work Smart not Hard” movement, and I’m not so sure it’s working at all. We go to college to get a good job, but then what?

We plug into a failing system and perpetuate it.

We are not fighting to improve our America; we’re simply muddling. We are not steering; we’re riding.

I hear liberals bitch about anti-intellectualism, and I believe they’re accurate. It’s not manly to be smart in America. Watch a sports game and you’ll see every dude in the commercial achieve happiness by buying beer. You’ll hear that real men don’t eat vegetables, you’ll see a guy loading something heavy on a truck and a macho voice will tell you real men get sore backs.

It’s upsetting, sure, but I’m also willing to admit that there’s a degree of anti-callused-hands-ism on the Left.

I recently moved to the East Coast, and for the first time I’m surrounded by folks who, for the most part, share my political outlook. And while that’s great, let me say, I’ve never been around a bitchier bunch of dudes in my life.

Gaggles of bearded, failed males in skinny jeans who do nothing but bitch about the rich. It’s exhausting.

They might be slightly smarter than the average guy in the Midwest, but not enough to matter, especially since they apply it to little, other than celebrating how smart they are.

They speak about great liberal ideals like “Power to the People” but then utterly loathe the majority of “the people.” It’s easy to love your fellow man, when the only fellow man you encounter are people who agree with you. I feel like the majority of transplants here are not running to the city, as much as running away from the country. Away from those that make them uncomfortable.

A lot of us Liberal Males can only get along with people who feel the same way we do, because we’re not aggressive or confident enough to stand up for ourselves when we’re challenged. It’s hypocritical for us to call Right Wing hateful when we do our best to never associate with them.

So we don’t interact with males on the Right, and judge everything they like as inferior, or lower class to our hobbies or interests.

What inspired me to write this little essay was having friends of mine bitch that my follow-up to my first article was a write-up on The Ultimate Fighting Championship.

When they said it, there was disdain in their voice. They didn’t approve. How could a smart guy like something so…what?

Male?

They’d have said redneck or hillbilly or Guido, (depending on where they were from) but it would have meant the same thing. Why wasn’t I talking about what they liked. Why was a muddying myself in with what they deem garbage culture?

It is a snobby, and weak attitude, and it’s why we’re losing. We’ve lost touch with dudes. We’re the smart-mouthed kids in the honors classes that don’t just not like woodshop; but wish it wasn’t taught in High School anymore.

As I sit in a Brooklyn Coffee Shop and listen to the bearded failed-male hipsters near me talking about how all religious people are hateful, I wonder how they justify their equal animosity towards 50% of America.

How are these the only guys willing to identify with the Democratic Party? 

Then I think back to when I had to listen to the meatheads I wrestled with talk about gays going to hell, and how much I hated having to explain to them that the “rich” guys we should raise taxes on wasn’t the guy that owned the fireworks shop.

The richest guy they knew.

Then I think how much more I would have hated those guys if I’d have had to ask them for help opening every jar of mayonnaise I ever purchased.

I probably wouldn’t want to talk to those folks either.

I realized the great Red State/Blue State divide is our fault. Not there’s. It’s because those of us who are Liberal in the Midwest or the South leave. We go away, to somewhere where people talk and think like we think we want to. We forget where we’re from. We forget we’re trying to fit in just like the conservatives back home are.

We realize we’re scared and we’re poor, but we forget we’re scared and poor just like them.

Maybe if we started trying to get them to like us for stuff we have in common, instead of just yelling at them for being wrong, or being base, we’d get somewhere. If we start leading by example, they’ll want in. Let’s take Macho back.

Let’s not say this war is unjust, let declare, “I’m not scared of Muslims. I’m not even scared of Terrorists.”

Let’s make Not Fighting for some billionaire look as tough as I believe it is.

Let’s illustrate that it’s not that we’re scared of getting killed. (And now in New York that’s really a much higher possibility than in Indiana.) But that Terrorists aren’t a real threat to America.

They’re not going to take us over.

Seriously, you think they’re going to take and hold Chicago? Fucking try it.

The U.S. Government can barely hold Detroit.

Gay Marriage is tricky, because religion gets involved. But I think we can win this too. We’ve got to sell conservatives on the idea that we’re not “pro-gay” we’re “pro-freedom.” Not caring what people do doesn’t make you gay. It just means you we don’t give a shit.

There are few things manlier than not giving a shit. 

The biggest though, the hardest, is taking back the work force. That’s how we’ll eventually win.

Be it by design or by desperation, eventually Americans will go back to work.

I saw today that Stephen Colbert testified in Congress about people working on migrant worker farms. Part of the “Take Our Jobs Please” movement, which illustrates that Americans AREN’T willing to do those jobs.

I’m saying that we should. And we should demand more money. And eventually, yes, it will mean that a head of lettuce will cost a lot more. But if everybody’s making more money, then we’ll have it to spend.

It’ll cost those at the top a lot of their money they have now. But they’ll make more. But let’s not let them sit on the money they’ve got.

And if that’s class warfare, I don’t care.

That’s a war I’d support.

I have less animosity towards the average Iraqi than I do the average billionaire.

Billionaires talked us into a war with the Iraqis. And most working class men jumped on board. So maybe I can sell them on this one.

Let’s defend the homeland, let’s take it from the Dukes of Enron, or the Archdukes of British Petroleum. We won’t have to take up arms. We’ll just have to use our hands, And our heads.

If we want to quite being painted as pussies, we’re going to need to adopt some aggressive traits. Something a lot of liberals aren’t comfortable with. They don’t like those traits in their social circles. But there’s not a middle class anymore, so guess what? We’re in those circles.

I think it’s about time we educated liberal elites quit acting so soft. And take back our country with work. To do that we need Men to not be apologists; to not shirk their roles as agents of change. To not allow for apathy.

We bad mouth Alpha-male behavior sometimes. We identify it as boorish and prone to mistakes, but we certainly live in a society that rewards it. Our language allows for this fact; the term Alpha-male clearly implies a first-place position. And I’m tired of not being first.

I’m not going to argue that pretty girls should start banging nerds and quit sleeping with jocks to save America. I’m saying lets start making our jocks want to be smart too. I’m not going to argue that America hasn’t catered to the lowest common denominator for a while. I’m saying that shouldn’t be a problem. We’re really good at math.

We can fix this. How did a political party as utterly cowardly as the Republicans hi-jack being a dude? The answer is. We let’em. And if we don’t stand up and take our roles back, well, then we’re a bunch of goddamned pussies.

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Comments
  1. David says:

    New York City is a great example of what the super rich should be doing with their money. How many centers of culture are named after the corporate giants of the last two centuries who commissioned their construction. I feel it has become too trendy for super rich Americans to champion causes oversees instead of building the next Rockefeller Center, or Carnegie Hall.

  2. Steven Garner says:

    DJ,
    I love you man.. but you are so off target on this..

    The reason that conservatives think that most liberals are weak has nothing to do with personalities, it’s about the policies that they support. It’s because they follow their heart, instead of thinking things through (weak in mind). And it’s because they support handouts for the poor at the expense of the rich and middle class. I’m all for charity, but it should not be enforced by people with guns. It should be free will. The craziest thing about liberals is that they don’t have viable solutions to the problems they mean to solve. Worse: their own policies are often self-defeating to their own goals (better standard of living, more equality, etc..)

    Liberals want bigger government because they believe that a bigger government will solve more problems. Unfortunately, bigger governments (as measured as a percentage of the economy/workforce) generally are horribly inefficient and worse: they run the terrible risk of deteriorating into authoritative big-brotherish regimes (take your pick from the many communist government examples in the 20th century). True conservatives (which includes very few republicans these days) want small government because they believe in the power of capitalism: that private profits will drive innovation, a better standard of living, and generate economic growth in ways that government cannot. In short: that a person with the opportunity to make a fortune will work alot harder/more efficient/smarter than someone that is just a cog in the bereaucracy of a government office getting a check every week. Not everyone in the world is driven by goodness and working their hardest for the common benefit. In fact: most are driven by personal gain, which is why a true free-market capitalism motivates people to create profitable innovations that improve our society (lasik that you mentioned above, or jet engines, or computers, or easily-accessable food). It’s the free market that makes these things, not the government. If you fear the status quo, then see how much things slow down when you leave them in the hands of the government. True “progress” comes from the free market.

    And big government needs big income, which of course means big taxes! This, regardless of where it is taken from, just means there will be less money to circulate in the free-market economy for us citizens. The average company (including small businesses) is already taxed at about 40%. That is money that they could be paying to their workers, or invested back into growing their company (more jobs). Of course, this is when when liberals will tell you that the big bosses will just keep that money for themselves, but they are overlooking something! If a business owner lets his profit margin get too bid, he might make him bick bucks at first, but soon someone else will come in and underprice him and take away his business. The free market controls itself. And unions are the free market force that protects individual worker’s rights. They worked pretty well until they got mixed up with… you guessed it… government.

    Liberals somehow think it’s fair that 1/3 of people in this country receive hundreds of billions of dollars in government assistance, but don’t have to pay ANY income taxes. Meanwhile, those who have worked their asses off going to college and learning a technical skill (doctor, scientist, etc) are asked to pay in 30% percentage of their income. It is worth nothing that these are the people who perhaps contibute the most to society’s overall good. Is it not enough that they bring us better medecine, or better transportation, or netflix? Why should they pay a higher percentage than the guy that washes dishes? Progressive tax rates are horribly unfair. The percentage income tax that you pay the government is essentially a measure of the percentage of your time that you owe to the government. A deli clerk working part time and making $12K owes 12% of his time to the government, while a scientist working on the cure for cancer owes 40%? Seems like some Americans are more equal than others. And it’s because the low earners are the majority and they elect people who give them hand-outs. All Americans should all pay the same percentage, from the deli clerk all the way up to Bill Gates. Anything else is unfair..

    Your coments that the government should step in and take money away from those who don’t deserve it and give it to those who need it is just wrong. It’s not the government’s job to redistribute wealth. The government is there to create a safe economic environment for business, then get the hell outta the way. I hope I never live in a society where the government just takes what it wants from whom it wants.

    Capitalism is the cradle of freedom, because as much as you might hate working for a big corporation, you can always give them the finger and go get a different job, or start a business of your own. Try doing that in a total government autocracy, when the guys at the factory door have guns and want you to make tanks and bombs. The dirty little secret about freedom though, is that nobody gives you a handout. You have to earn everything by being clever and working hard, and finding your own niche.

    Some random other thoughts…

    Blaming Reagan for the notion that money makes people good is not correct. That’s been in our cultural for a long time… at least since the Gilded Age. Actually… it goes all the way back to Greece and Rome. Reagan praised economic growth, because yes… profits are a GOOD thing, they create jobs and better life.

    G.W.Bush may have been a republican, but he was anything but a conservative. Government grew massively under his administration, only to be surpassed by the current President.

    True conservatives (libertarians) beleive that federal government should stay out of moral issues (gay rights, recreational drug use, etc…) and let States decide those issues. The republican party is very non-conservative in this fashion, as are the democrats. This, strangely, seems to be largely undisputed political territory. State’s rights are one of the things that made this country great. Sadly, federalism has grown so extensively that they hardly exist anymore.

    • DJ Dangler says:

      Steve, I started a Reply. but it got real long. So I’m making it my next post. For the record, I was telling jokes tonight and I wanted to come back and write about Pro-Wrestling. But instead I wrote Liberal Pussies part three. I’m sorry if it feels like I’m calling you out. But to be fair. I don’t think you wrote such a lengthy response and didn’t want one in return. I hope you’re well Steve. I really do.

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