Friday, December 03, 2004

Defending the middle. Finger? Sometimes.

Kudos to those who gave a witness on the ta-ta bar thing. Has anyone else noticed that ever since I brought this up a couple of weeks back, the topic has popped up all over the place (popular media, parental conversations, bar talk, etc…)? Maybe it is just me, or I simply never noticed how often titty bars are discussed in public. Whatever. Thanks for the discourse. That is all I will say on that, for it is a tired subject.

I have a concern that I want to voice. This issue requires much more space than I am willing to dedicate to here, but I feel compelled to throw it out there.

I am concerned about the way those of us who occupy the nation’s political DMZ are being treated. Suddenly, I feel as if the rational middle-ground has been chipped away to the point of minority. The far left, and far right are hogging the entire goddamn scene, and neither are bothering to consider the entire picture. Those of us remaining in the middle become the enemy of both. Very similar to the way that all religious faiths, while happily duking it out between each other, always seem to find a quiet moment together where they can unanimously hate those “vile atheists” for not having the moral wherewithal to choose the least ignorant side of the faith-debate. If atheists were the majority, as the political middle-ground was four years ago on US political scene, this would not be a cause for alarm for atheists. But, atheists have never been the majority and have always lived with harsh ridicule. Now that same lack of temperance is being leveled on those of us who refuse to hate (at least) one side of the political spectrum. I believe this to be utter bullshit, and here’s why.

In the aftermath of a highly opinionated election, there will always be irrational elements who refuse to give up their ridiculous ghosts. These are the same people who get into fist-fights AFTER baseball games. Those of you out there who are still crying about the results of this shitty election (oh the environment will die! Oh, the French will hate us! Oh, we just sound like such a stupid country!), or won’t shut your frothing maw from spewing “man, my boy Bush KILLED those commie liberals sonsabitches! Let’s go shoot at towel-heads and count them tax breaks, YEEEE-HAAAWWW!”… you need to let it go. You need to stop yapping about things which have NOTHING to do with you, your understanding of politics, or your ability to grasp what is actually happening around you. Most of all, you need to shut the fuck up about why some of us are not picking a goddamned side on ANY of the issues based on your crappy half-assed partisan party platform nonsense. Only an ignorant ASS would follow the rhetoric of a political party by the numbers. Politics is a game, and if you aren’t aware of that FACT, and you are “participating”, then you need to be comfortable with being a PAWN, MARK, PROP, HOST, or whatever other unpleasant comparison fits you best.

Meanwhile, there still exists a rational middle-ground where the previous majority used to hang their considerate hats. In the middle, we waffle between parties based on the context of the issues posed to us. Some questions clearly require conservative responses, while others display a need for a more liberal touch. The result is a workable balance which is thoughtfully minded by the middle-majority. We are able to manage this by not buying into any utopian leftist rhetoric or any theologically driven right-wing evangelism. We base our decisions on the information available, and forge our opinions based on our modest beliefs in right and wrong which were molded by our own experiences on this planet. We don’t reach for the stars, and we don’t reach for the heavens. We do our best to moderate all you fucking loon-balls on the fringe without resorting to slitting all your bat-shit nutso throats. This system of middle-moderation worked like a charm (with some minor bumps) for a couple of centuries.

But something went wrong in this past year. The middle bench cleared when the fringes started a brawl on the political playing field. Somehow, the previously even-tempered judgment of the middle got tainted, and it swayed deep left or right. Those of us left to man the middle-ship found ourselves short-handed. On top of that, we are now seen as heretics with no moral fiber, no desire to “do what is right”, or any sense of political responsibility. We are viewed as inferior because we “refuse to take a stand” on the “issues”. Well. I must call bullshit on that opinion. Bullshit. Bullshit. Bullshit. Without us in the middle, you knuckleheads on the edges would have wiped each other out many moons ago. We insulate you from your own ignorance, and when all is said and done, after you’ve burned everything down and complained about it the entire time, we will return to clean up your mess. The lefties will return to their hemp/windchime construction, the righties will head back to their temple of choice, and the middle majority, freshly reunited, will rebuild what you loon-balls so frivolously destroy.

So go ahead and post your anti-Bush stickers. Go ahead and blast your worthless AM radio kook-talk. Wear a Bill Mahr mask, or don a Limbaugh suit. But you must stop all the heckling of those of us who don’t harbor your hatred. If you wipe us out, you wipe out rational consideration. Without rational consideration, this country will continue the downward spiral the fringes have sent us into. Without the return of the moderate middle, there will be no “reconstruction”. There will be no saving of this lamb. America will suffocate itself, wallowing and mired in its own self-loathing. By forcing us all to “pick a side” when neither side is rational, we are pressing the dagger deeper and deeper into our own back.

***Besides, there are much bigger fish to fry in the world, far beyond each other. We are on the verge of a massive economic eclipse by China. The effects of this will make Bush’s regretful Foreign Policy an easily forgotten footnote in the voluminous annals of “When American Decisions Go Bad.” We’ll be knee deep in petty sibling rivalry when one morning we wake up and no one on the planet cares about us anymore. This will happen in your lifetime, just as it happened to England and France in my Grandfather’s lifetime.***

So let me and my middle-of-the-road ways alone. I do not wish to hate anyone, least of all: you.


Anonymous said...

Hey Dick,
Nicey Bloggie as usual! I agree, so many folks are so passionate about their beliefs and let them be known in such a force that I no longer discuss politics with them. It's a shame because no one is "right" and too many are sheep. Ignorance is bliss and I miss it, being informed sucks, but a must. I miss being enlighted by others views and then setting them straight with mine, but the opportunity is scarce. Just because I don't hate Bush (Puffnstuff couldn't have made a better puppet for our government) doesn't mean I'm a fucking idiot. Where are the solutions and community support? Keep up the blog dawg!

aka Laqueshaw

dungsta said...

dam dawg, i had no idea. im one of those "ignorant leftist" you mentioned. i hate bush, i hate religion, i hate all things conservative. i don't however, hate moderates, nor do i care about mutual leftist. i don't think political ideology is worth de-humanizing someone (unless your a rightist). I guess ive just never met a rightist i liked. The reason i hate them has less to do with there political ideology and more to do with their inability to leave me be. Im the most leftist sum-bitch i know but you might never know this cause i think it really says little about me, as a person. This being said, i often buy things that i support. Yet i rarely display these things, because thats infrindging on there physical reality. unfortunately, the right doesn't even want me to be silently left. They want to limit my peoples ability to live reasonably close to me, they want my children to pray in school, they want my tax dollars to go for bombs, they want my intellect to be exploited by there economic paradigm, they even want to stop me from listening to comedians like Bill hicks, jesus they don't want me to laugh cause its not rightist. im not even telling them they have to follow me, or agree with me, or believe in me. i just wanna be me, by myself, without having to fight so hard everyday just to be that which i am. do i hate you(the moderate) because you won't agree to help me fight them(the rightist) unconditionally? no, but should i turn around and help you be yourself (a moderate)? no. political survival is a path we all walk alone, they just tricked us into thinking that a land full of individuals should succumb to the group for the betterment of humanity when in fact the group is really them and not us. im sorry you are lonely in the middle and im sorry you think us leftist hate you because you wont help us beat the right but i think your perspective could use a little reflection,(not cause i think you need to be a leftist, but rather why you think i should or do hate you, maybe im barely making it fighting against god, the church, right wing fundamentalism, and my exhaustion doesn't afford me the opportunity to ponder the shades of gray inbetween.) i believe you have every right to be who you are and what you are, i don't believe that i should hate you because you are a moderate, but if your a rightist posing as a moderate then we have a problem (not saying your a rightist). regardless of how you position yourself don't expect me to help you be yourself if your gonna make me be myself without the same help....thats all im saying.

P.S. remember to vote republican for the next 50 years!!!

Truecraig said...

Jane - much obliged for your support. Yes, Bush appears to be a complete and ridiculous caricature of what it is to be a good ol' boy puppet politician. A rather unfortunate soul, I feel sure. His election seems to have spread that misfortune upon the rest of us.

Dungsta - if you aren't in my kool-aid concerning my lack of desire to wear a donkey or elephant suit, then I have no issue with you. I take issue with the rabid "pundits" on either side of the debate. The finger pointers, the complainers, the boasters, the dividers, the whining crybaby fuck-nuts who think the inability of their own party is somehow magically MY fault, and the yee-haw neo-conservatives of Jesusland who believe that their boy's presidency somehow means that their views are the only legitimate ones now available. Those are the camps I am bemoaning. Those are the monkeys I am voicing concern about.

If you have no issue with me maintaining my political agnosticism, then I have no problem with you being a raving, frothing-mad liberal/conservative. In fact, I think it is fantastic that you have such passion in life. Just like I view religion: live how you see fit, but don't try to force it on me. That way, no one will lose any teeth.

Sean said...

Check out this article, in which a journalist discusses "tolerating the intolerant." The comments are also a good read, with respect to your excluded middle ground issues.

Truecraig said...

Banksean's recommended article is mind-numbingly great. It also brings out a fantastic debate. It certainly fleshes out what I tin-canned on this blog-thing here.

Unfortunately, that piece is written in a place far brighter and much higher than mine. I am not pretending to be as politically astute as his article assumes the reader to be. He speaks of consideration, tolerance, and empathy... which are all great personality traits (or "skills", depending on your profession), but nothing I believe that deserves applause (aren't these qualities a "given" in civil society? What year is this?). Also, I am not a journalist, so I do not have to abide by such constraints. I can get arrogant if I want. I can be pissed off, hateful, judgmental, and an all-around ass and no one is the worse (beyond myself) for it. I am beholden to no one. Good thing too. Because I would probably fuck that all up.

At the moment, I feel as if I do understand the heart of the issues, and the perspectives of the fringes clawing at opposite ends. I wonder if that understanding is reciprocated. Or if the middle is ever considered at all (beyond a "recruitment stage"). My fear is that the fringes have no concept of how we in the middle actually end up mediating these debates. And how the pillaging of the rational center of the voting public creates a void of inaction, where the fringes are too busy rallying and fortifying their partisan positions to actually DO anything constructive (pass legislation, build a real platform, defend the spirit of a constitutional democracy/republic hybrid, etc...).

And they will march, complain, brag, point fingers, and stomp around all the while, waiting for their "plans" to be put into play... but there will be no one left who is willing to do the real work. Then where will our country be? Nursing our back daggers? I bet we'll be arguing the definition of "Tolerance" to the grave.

dungsta said...

i respect your opinion and more importantly your right to have one but i find it increasingly difficult to follow your stream of thinking due to your lack of apathy, hate and general disgust...concepts such as "American", and "empathy", etc don't correlate within my leftist mind anymore...its like trying to have a conversation with me about unicorns or santa not saying you're wrong but i guess to co-opt your "moderate" vocabulary your are in fact "fleshing out" the true leftist in me...thanks, craig cause anyday i find out im a little more left is like a sunny day in seattle. xxoo

VOTE REPUBLICAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Truecraig said...

Thanks for respecting my opinion Dungmonger. However, I do not lack in apathy, hate, or general disgust. In fact, my cupeth regularly overfloweth from the stuff. I have plenty of them all. I just try to temper them in order to remain coherent. Otherwise I would explode with hab-babble. When did "American" and "empathy" leave the "leftist" vocabulary? Aren't those two basic tenets of the various "leftist" organizations? Are you sure you aren't an anarchist? Maybe even some classical nihilism sprinkled in there for kicks?

Man, I wish I were a blanket Republican. Things would appear so much better if I were.

dungsta said...

well then i guess i didn't understand your rubrick. My Rubrick goes like this
left of center (democrat)
left (anarchist, radicals, zealots {i pick this one myself}
Center (moderates)
right of center (republicans)
right (bush family, pat robertson, the pope, pro-lifers)

regardless of your political ideals i think its every person's duty as an american to vote Republican (for the next fifty years). And yes i advocate blanket voting. And no i don't agree with anything they believe in. Though i think Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton were the best presidents in the recent past (not based on actual factual foundation but rather the "american" version of them being good presidents)i do not believe the democrats have anything better to offer. Plainly, and most easily stated, i believe in fried chicken. So much so, i believe that we should eat the skin and throw away the meat, like pork rinds. before you understand a political system and the way the system affects its constituants you need to dig further into the chicken. For example, most people neglect the fried parts that are found where the sternum is cracked to make two breasts out of one. this area, because it forms a lip, tends to trap fat run off and excess skin...for these reasons the american polital sytem is in total and utter conflict with innate human nature.

need i say more....(be careful with this one)

Truecraig said...

Dungmeister: I knew you were a Nihilist. I just didn't admit it to myself. Until now. More chicken please, thank you for the parades, and keep them damn babies out tha street.

I'm gonna get me a Neil Frank haircut, totally flat, on the top... poof.

dungsta said...

for the record im not a nihlist.explination does me no good, so i gave up on explaning myself. if you take what i say and what i mean fold it over at the corners you have an example of what i think, rather than an explication of what i think. i communicate by example. so in this psychotic jarble of a post i wrote about the fried chicken i was meaning to say that political systems and thier followers are arbitrarilly linked. There is not a republican or a democrat on the face of this earth that really believes in his or her "party". What do i mean by this??? if they really believed in their party it would become a religion. if they really believed in america then freedom would not exist. if they really believed in the president then he would be like JFK, RFK, MLK, ETC. so human nature has taught the political animal to disassociate from that which is true and righteous. Hence, the political paradigm that you've brought up doesn't exist, but not because i think "nothing" exists but rather because human nature will not allow it to exist. Hence we have the 2004 election process as a glaring example of this.