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.