Being Liberal

>> Wednesday, October 15, 2014

I'm on Facebook a lot more than I blog any more. Interaction is quicker and more immediate, even if it's not conducive to pontificating as I am wont to do. However, the exchanges can be made into fodder that works here as well.

In this case, the discussion was over a story about the always charming Ted Nugent and his latest mental aberration toward our duly elected Presidentso we could know what's going on and noting that this behavior is illegal.You can read the thread yourself here if you're concerned I'm misrepresenting it.

On this thread, someone piped up "It never stopped any of the left saying the same thing about President Bush." Someone challenged that (as I thought they should since, though I've heard plenty of people say they loathe Bush, Cheney and many of the nutso folks representing Republicans in politics and the media, I'd never heard anyone solicit his assassination as has been done publicly at least twice just the past week - overlooking the calls for overthrow or for the military to refuse to follow commands, but I digress) and wanted a name or situation.

The response boiled down (my paraphrasing) to the "fact" it was obviously true and I knew it ("Sweetie"). Probably a mistake. But that's OK, she's not afraid to go toe to toe with me (though she was warned by someone else ("
Common sense trumps her rockets.") then went off on how much more vile we are than Republicans and how we totally let each other get away with everything. She did admit that she doesn't waste her time with "liberal" media so I presume she limits herself to Fox News (which she didn't deny). Shudder.

My response to this: 

First, let me note, that any of my liberal friends can attest to the fact that if I think they've gone to far or are over the edge, I don't hesitate to let them know. I have stood against popular "liberal" hatefests more than once (rarely held against a single person) and have cautioned against characterizing whole groups as the same. I will say that Republicans and Tea Party people I have come into contact with or see on the television don't give me much to work with.

I can also honestly say, despite hanging with this liberal crowd for more than a decade, that I have never heard anyone speak of Bush or Cheney with this level of hatred .I know some pretty angry liberals, too, but apparently you know people a whole level beyond that. I won't condone such behavior if it happens, but neither will I take responsibility for an assertion that an unnamed someone somewhere is just as bad. I only have control over my own actions.

Personally, rather than focus on on each others' character or perception of same, I'd rather focus on the argument at hand. And that goes back to (if true, still not established) the "both sides do it" defense, also known as "he hit me too" defense well used in kindergartens across the nation. Unfortunately, as grade school children of acumen eventually learn, the argument is fallacious. The notion that more than one injustice excuses one of them is null logic.

It's like saying, oil's okay because coal is so much dirtier, when alternatives that do nothing to harm the carbon problem are at hand. Both must be abandoned, and as soon as possible, for the good of a world full of people, animals and plants.

Or that underpaid soldiers would be paid less than fast food workiers if their pay was moved to $15/hour (which is inherently misleading a comparison since soldiers are provided food and housing (of at least some level) and the rest of us must provide our own), BUT, even if it were an apples to apples comparison, one injustice does not validate another one. The assertion that hard-working people working full time should be able to subsist on their earnings remains.
 Her response (again paraphrased):
1. Oil and coal are because they're easy and cheaper. 2. A soldier is more worthy than fast food workers or even her or I and should be paid accordingly. 3. Republicans aren't anti-women because birth control is cheaper than it used to be and just because Obama says he's for equal pay doesn't mean he'll do it. "If you do a good job then you should get good pay, if the job merits the pay no matter what sex you are." 4 "As for just because you did it, we shouldn't do it, life just doesn't work that way, and after all, you have a lot of bad people in your party, and we have some too. That's life, sad but true." I left 4 untouched because I have no idea what she was trying to say. 

So, I answered. 

1) Wrong on both counts (that it's OK and that it's cheaper) I use 100% wind and it costs me the same. And wind has already shown to be cheaper for electricity generation. But, even if it were more expensive, it would NOT be okay because there are people and animals and ecosystems across the world ALREADY on the precipice of devastation that we can only stop if we check ourselves. You can fight me on this but since you have effectively NO science on your side, you WILL lose.

2) You missed my point. I never said they weren't paid well enough, but that doesn't justify people being paid so little they can't survive That WAS my point. But there's also something inherently snobby in deciding who is worth more than someone else. It is also, in my opinion, downright callous to imply that some work is "worthy" of being paid a living wage. We need people to work in all kinds of ways, some that many people think are beneath them and that kind of attitude, to me, belongs in the dark ages. Fast food work and many other drudge tasks are damn hard work and some people, despite being treated like the gum on someone's shoe, take pride and effort in their work day in and day out. They deserve to be able to feed themselves and live for that work. (Note, also, that historically, upping the minimum wage has always improved the economy and therefore job growth, including in those states that recently instituted it)

3) Not sure how this is even part of the discussion but, since it is relatively inexpensive, why not provide it, given that it's far less expensive for an insurance company than paying for a birth. But the point isn't the economics, it's whether someone ELSE gets to decide what a woman should be able to do with her body, what legal methods she can and can't have access to. Someone else deciding she has to sacrifice the rest of her life for a natural activity someone else did with her. As for the equal pay issue, that IS EXACTLY THE POINT. I am a rocket scientist whose worked in this business 25 years. When I started with this company, I was given very large raises in quick succession because this particular company has and follows a policy of equal pay. I had already worked in this business 15 years and my pay hadn't even doubled. After working for this company it more than doubled in two years to bring it up to industry average. So, that's the problem All companies should do this and most won't until they have no choice.

4) I have no idea what you are trying to even say with this point. What are you talking about?

The people who represent Republicans and Tea Party in politics and media are (a) batshit crazy, (b) dumb as posts and ignorant of government processes, and/or (c) unrepentantly dishonest and make not bones about being bought and paid for. They also make no bones about throwing the entire nation they're supposed to work for under the bus because they hate their president. They BRAG about it. There is not a single item you've mentioned (including the one you brought up on your own) that shows any sign of independent thought or research or data to support it. That is part of the problem.

Because I'm not like that and neither are the liberals I know. I don't listen to a single source or get my data from one place. I don't take everything I hear at face value unless I've already researched it and it jibes with existing data. I'm a liberal because (a) I have compassion for people even if they aren't rich or white or Americans and (b) most of the conservative policies are reminiscent of the dark ages and I know how that turned out. I also know they are doomed to failure because history has shown it time and time again. The liberals I hang with are like that; they don't walk in lockstep or agree on every issue or on the way to solve things. We hold ourselves to higher standards and never forget that we have a duty to the world not to screw it up beyond repair and to our children not to leave them a mess too big to fix or to send them to die in wars that aren't required. We care about people in this country who suffer needlessly and people all over the world who are suffering both due to our actions and our indifference.

And I am grieved and disgusted when someone who shares my views does something reprehensible. But I don't waste my contempt for some unnamed someone that someone else tells me shares my views. Give me a name and some data and I can decide for myself.

You were warned. I'm not smart because I'm a rocket scientist. I'm a rocket scientist (technically a Senior Project Engineer) because I'm smart.

So, if you're ever asking yourself why I'm a liberal, now you know. It's because I'm not completely devoid of compassion and because I'm smart. 

3 comments:

  • Mohawk742
     

    Proud to have provided the platform from which this was launched.

  • Roy
     

    I've been avoiding threads on Facebook like that lately. My blood pressure can't take it. I have a hard enough time not throwing something at the TV when one of these morons spews during the news.

  • Stephanie Barr
     

    Thank you, Mohawk.

    Roy, I will admit it isn't always to keep my cool I kept it here, just someone doesn't get his facts straight and swallows what she's given without hesitation, you are bound to end up looking stupid. Especially if you go toe to toe with someone who knows what they're talking about and why.

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