A Dragonfly in the Ointment

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Dragonfly

Dragonfly
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Marysville, California, USA
Birthday
March 11
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Title? No one said there would be titles!
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No, thanks, I'm a loner
Bio
I'm 45 years old, married for 22 of them, and the mother of 2 teenagers. I'm a software test engineer by profession, and rather geeky. I've spent almost my entire life in Northern CA.

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Salon.com
AUGUST 25, 2009 2:01PM

Why I am a liberal

Rate: 18 Flag

I don’t know how many of you have the columnist Ron Hart in your local paper. If you haven’t, you haven’t missed much, if you do then maybe you saw his column on why liberals are liberals. Here’s a link if you are interested in reading the whole thing (warning: don’t eat first unless you like gagging.) or if you prefer I’ll sum it up for you: Liberals are liberals because we hate success and want to get something for nothing. And he can prove it, because the Mayors of Detroit, New Orleans, Oakland, Buffalo, Miami, Philadelphia, Chicago, Memphis, Newark are all Dems and the cities suck.

No I am not kidding. What’s worse, I don’t think Ron Hart is kidding either. (if he is, he needs to learn how to write satire) He honestly has fallen hook, line and sinker for the old Liberals Just Want To Take Your Money and Give It to Lazy Poor (Minority) Folks line.

Ok, here’s my reply to Mr Hart.

Ronnie, are you kidding me?

I don’t hate success, I myself am fairly successful, I’ve worked hard for since I got out of school and, except for a few weeks on unemployment when I was laid–off, have not taken anything from anybody. The amount of money I got while unemployment was roughly equal to the amount I paid in taxes during a single month. I own my home, on a 30 year fixed mortgage, I own my cars. I have an excellent job with a good company and people consider me a role model.

Why am I am liberal? In a nutshell, because I give shit about my fellow humans, that’s why. I know it’s hard for you to grasp since you really don’t seem to care much about the rest of the human race, because you seem to have divided the world into the “Worthy, and Therefore Rich” and “Unworthy, and Therefore Not Rich”.

Remember that Golden Rule? I’m a liberal because I live it and I believe it. I don’t show up in church on Sunday and pay lip-service to the teachings of Jesus Christ then spend my week screwing over people. Ironic, since I’m pretty much an atheist. I do it because it’s the moral and right thing to do, not because some Cosmic Father Figure is going to spank me in the hereafter if I don’t.

I’m a liberal because I believe health care is a basic human right. I’m liberal because education and a chance to move up in the world is a basic human right. I believe I owe my fellow humans a certain standard of decency and dignity. I’m a liberal because I know that sometimes bad shit happens to good people, for no good reason. I don’t believe life begins at conception and ends at birth.

I’m a liberal because I believe that a society that lets the mentally ill wander the streets and live under a bush is sucky society. I’m a liberal because people deserve a chance, and I, as one of the “haves”, would be failing in my duties as a member of the human race if I didn’t give them that chance.

Are there people out there who don’t deserve that chance, they are poor because they are lazy and /or criminal? Sure, there are, no one is denying that, least of all me. But I’m not willing to throw out the entire apple barrel because of a few bad ones. I’ve actually known a lot of poor and lower-income people, and guess what, they work harder than you and I do, Ronnie.

I’m liberal because I know that unregulated capitalism results in Enrons and mortgage meltdowns and poisoned air and water. I’m a liberal because I know there are evil people who will exploit the weak for a few bucks, and I have a moral imperative to not stand idly by mouth clichés about what the market will bear.

I’m a liberal because I believe what happens in your bedroom between consenting adults is your own business and none of mine. Just don’t do it in the street and scare the houses and we will be fine.

I’m a liberal because I believe that science, real science, belongs in science class, and religion belongs in church, even if it is one of the suburban mega-churches where the pastor drives a Mercedes that’s worth more than all 3 of my family’s cars combined. I’m liberal because I can tell the difference between science and religion. Creationalism is not science.

I’m liberal because I think it’s a travesty that over half of all bankruptcies are caused by the high cost of health care. I think it’s a travesty the people with health insurance still can’t pay all the bills. I have seen firsthand how the successful people are brought down by a bought with cancer, and all of a sudden, they are not successful anymore, but just another scofflaw who’s trying to run out on paying their bills.

Which brings me to another point, I’m a liberal because I know how slippery my hold on success is. One bout with cancer, one bad accident, one lay off and there it goes. I’m a liberal because I recognize this and want the safety net to be around should I need it.

No Ronnie, I don’t hate success, I love success, I’m successful. I’m just willing to share that success.

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Bravo! Bravo!! That was one of the best written articles I've ever read on "Why I am a Liberal". If anyone reading this does not understand what it means to be a liberal after reading this, they never will.
Great Stuff~~Rated
This should be a poster on every school wall and hanging in every courthouse. You are exactly right. These are the reasons I'm a liberal.

Great post!!
That's interesting. I thought all those listed cities sucked because big industry moved all their operations overseas? Oh oh oh, I get it. It was because of Unions... that's why they moved. Silly me.
Thanks, scanner and Stephan. It’s really not hard to understand why people are liberals. I maintain that a liberal is a conservative who lost their job and/or health care. They get it real quick after that.

Devilgrrl, silly one, don’t you know it’s all about the free market? Here’s some Kool-Aide, please drink. ;)
So that's what it means to be a liberal?


Funny, I thought that was the definition of caring, compassionate human being.


Oh, wait .............
Kudos! You hit the nail, and didn't miss once. I'd cancel my subscription or use his page for bird cage liner.

Rated for eloquence.
Dragonfly- From one "almost" atheist to another...AMEN, SISTER!
--rated--
Funny, I thought that was the definition of caring, compassionate human being.

That would be my take on it too, Bill
John, thank you for your kind words! Let's get that liberal militia going!
Thank you Mothership! Nothing like a AMEN from fellow sorta atheist to make me smile!
what really freaks me out is the idea that anyone actually *needs* to have this spelled out for them

but since the need seems to exist, this piece will do nicely - thanks
You damn right.....I AM A LIBERAL! This is, by far, the best discription I have ever seen! I will keep this for talking points for my red state Christian conservative asshole neighbors! EXCELLENT! Absolutely superb! I Loved this!!! (can ya tell I loved this?) !!!!! I would rate a gillion times if I could! THIS will get passed around!
what really freaks me out is the idea that anyone actually *needs* to have this spelled out for them

'Zactly, which is why I wrote it. Glad you liked it!
Wow, fabflamingo, those are some of the nicest words anyone has ever said about my writing. I hope it gets passed around beause it is how I feel and I stand by every word of it. Thank you so much!
beautiful, righteous and true. I think there are many more people who are liberal and progressive by definition when they are young. It takes courage and conviction to remain so when old. I've never forgotten the lessons of eating unlabeled canned goods donated from the church to survive in a single mom family of five. We are successful too, in the top 3.17% of incomes in the country, but being liberal is the antithesis of greed and selfishness--at least it is for me.
liberal is the antithesis of greed and selfishness

I wish I had put this line in there somewhere! Thanks for the comment!
Preach it sister, preach it!
I am posting this someplace prominent in my life so that I can read your wise words often. I will arm myself against the bigotry and small mindedness with the power of your words that reflect my convictions. Thank you.
Thank you Charles, I shall continue to preach it.

Julie, Thank you fr your wonderful comment. I hope I have helped in small way.
Fantastic! And you've managed to capture and convey the reasons for why many of us are liberals. Thanks.
Thanks, Walter. Given the death of Ted Kennedy today, I feel like this is my tribute to him.
Hear, hear!

One point I find myself frequently making is that I'm not some do-gooder out to out-righteous someone else. I believe very strongly that acting with compassion and respect is integral to my ability to respect myself.

Therefore, I deserve to treat others with respect, even and especially when they don't earn it. Anyone can treat the respectable with respect. What allows me to believe I'm a good person is my occasional triumph over what is easy (i.e., rewarding wealth with more wealth, or extending compassion to people who are exactly like I am), and my willingness to engage in that struggle.

I also appreciate how you've pointed out the central delusion in many right-wing fantasies: that good things happen to good people, and bad things happen to bad people. This belief, called the "Just World Belief" in psychological circles, is responsible for so much grief and contempt. One of the things I value most about the progressive movement is the innate understanding that stuff happens, that life cannot be broken down into a series of finite dichotomies (rich/poor, worthy/unworthy, evil/good) if we want to stay in touch with reality.

As Jon Stewart says, "Reality has a liberal bias."
I also appreciate how you've pointed out the central delusion in many right-wing fantasies: that good things happen to good people, and bad things happen to bad people.

This is actually one of the things that drives me nuts about a lot of my conservative friends. They just can't get that fact that sometimes you don't deserve the bad stuff that happens, sometimes life just sucks.
thank you for that post. It gave me clarity and purpose in a time of confusion.

by the way, I hope that one day you gain the clarity and intellectual honesty to decide if you can be "pretty much" atheist, or if you have to put all your balls on the table and decide. If you ever need to talk it through, ping me.
Regardless of what you may hear from a "Conservative" talk radio personality.

Conservatives and Liberals are not that much different. You hear some pretty

rude things from Liberal talk radio personalities also. I am a Tea Party

Conservative. A few comments. Conservatives don't think that money is evil

it is usually the reward for a job well done. If someone does not have money

they aren't evil and no Conservative will say differently. Conservatives and

Liberals understand that most people without money, wish they had more. It's

human nature. Yes, a lot of Conservatives are Religious but a large portion of

those people don't want to force their religion on anyone. It is just the

radicals, whether Christian, Muslim or whatever that give the rest a bad name.

Conservatives don't want to hold anyone down. That would be contrary to their

basic principles. A more financially health country helps everyone, rich and poor alike. The Principles of the Tea Party are simple: "Improve our

Nation through support for fiscal responsibility, Constitutionally limited

government and freemarket economic policies" That's it. And yes some

regulation of that freemarket is needed as long as it isn't stifling. As for

Healthcare, it should be available to everyone and everyone should pay for it.

My experience with government run programs is that they are inefficient and

some politician down the road will steal from the fund created to pay for it.

I have lots more and you may email me if you want about why Conservatives do

what they do. Rrraule@gmail.com