Letter From A Liberal, Asking For Some Conservative Affection
This post is meant for the Republicans of America, the good people of the right wing. Look, my friends, I want to tell you something up front – I’m a Liberal. It’s true, and it feels good to say it. Now, I’m going to ask you for one simple thing:
See, every election year, I hear people like me getting bashed. While folks on the right proudly identify themselves as “Conservative,” being labeled a “Liberal” seems to be the equivalent of being called the Taliban. People run from it. President Obama has been dodging the Liberal label for years now, as if that word by itself is enough to make your typical American scream like he’s in the middle of Saw Part 2012.
Perhaps I’m being too sensitive, but it seems like everybody hates me. Ann Coulter hates me. Sean Hannity definitely hates me. Newt Gingrich hates me. Mitt Romney might not have hated me when he was the governor of Massachusetts, but he does now. There are even websites like Boycotliberalism.com where “liberal” artists and venues are listed in an attempt to form a boycott against them. It seems unnecessary – I mean, do I really need to know Good Charlotte’s political beliefs to convince me not to buy their records?
So this is my attempt to tell you, my Conservative brothers, a little bit about myself. Maybe you’ll read it and I won’t seem so scary. Because we have some things in common; seriously, we could be friends if we tried. Believe it or not, talking with an actual liberal might not be as bad as you think it will be.
First, let’s tackle a few basics. I don’t want to blow up the country and turn it into Communist Russia. Do I want to increase taxes on the rich? Yes, but not all that much. Do I want to de-criminalize marijuana? Yes, but if you can think of another way to decrease the amount of people arrested and incarcerated, then I’d be open to other suggestions. Do I want to overturn abortion? No, but I also believe in programs and discussions that greatly discourage it. Do I support gay marriage? Yes, but I also support gay divorce, so with some luck, they’ll all break up and you can be happy.
Was that last line mean? You have to be tolerant of my character flaw – as a Liberal, I am inherently sarcastic and tend to sound like I’m talking down to people. It’s like a speech impediment, and I can’t help it. Please, my new Conservative friend, understand that I still respect you, and don’t take my snide comments too seriously.
Now, about war. As a Liberal, I don’t really like it very much. Don’t get me wrong, though. I’m not all doves and flowers. No, I can theoretically support a war with the best of ‘em. I just need more of a rationale for war than you might, and I tend to be more hung up on the whole imperialism thing. Remember Iraq? I didn’t support going in there, but I’ll give you this: years from now, the war in Iraq will likely end up having a positive long term effect on the world. Before things in Iran get too messy, can we agree to learn from the mistakes of Iraq and move on?
So, I’ll stop complaining about WMDs, and you stop saying I don’t support our troops. Deal?
Okay, maybe war isn’t something we can fully see eye to eye on, but we can get there. How about government spending? Because we want the same thing, I swear. We all want less spending and less taxes. You tend to focus on welfare (which accounts for .09 of every tax dollar you spend). I’m more focused on the military budget (.20 of every tax dollar) and the $16 trillion the Federal Reserve loaned out to banks and corporations between 2007 and 2010 (.06 towards interest on our debt, which that money could’ve paid off). How’s this for a compromise: We can have those banks and corporations pay back the loan money by putting a large portion of it towards welfare and the military. Or maybe we can join the two together and put people on welfare in the military. That sounds smart, huh? We can have a whole ‘trade in your food stamps for an M16’ program!
Wait, you’re right. That’s a bad plan. Maybe I went too far trying to get you to like me.
Then there’s religion. Look, I like religion. A war on Christmas? Who wants that? I love Christmas. Who doesn’t like to exchange presents and sing religious songs like “Last Christmas I Gave You My Heart” by George Michael? And I believe, really, that religion is a good thing. I plan to raise my child one day with the church being a part of his/her life. But I also believe in teaching science, and in global warming, and in all the good planned parenthood does. Can’t all these things co-exist? Just because I believe in evolution, does that mean you and I are at ‘war’?
Oh, I don’t know how much progress I’m making. It’s tough. I’m trying at least. And why? Because I’ll say it right now – I love you, Conservative. I love your desire for a better world and your longing for the past. I love how you believe that we shouldn’t tax the rich because you yourself might be rich some day, even though right now you’re working at Kinko’s. I love your optimism. I love the faith you keep in your country. I love the way you dance. Even when your scarier parts come out, like the people who still believe after 4 years that President Obama is a Muslim from Kenya, I can look past it. Liberals have a kooky side too.
Damn. I hope that didn’t sound degrading. The whole point is this: I am not a leper. I am not evil. I am a Liberal. You don’t have to fear me and you don’t have to hate me. Can I get a hug? A handshake at least? Tell me where to start. Because what we have right now, friend, isn’t working out all that great.