It’s happened to all of us. You are sitting at home covered in cheese-flavored snack dust, using that one clean part of your finger to scroll though endless channels on TV. You pass by syndicated shows from the 80′s, attention-whore reality shows, and twenty bazillion cooking channels. But somehow that nacho-flavored day glow orange on your fingers seems to be all the more appealing.
Then it happens. You stumble across some innocuous headline on what the station has deemed to be “news”.
‘OBAMACARE TAX WILL EAT YOUR BABIES!’
‘ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS KIDNAP GRANDPARENTS AND FORCE THEM TO DO LAP DANCES FOR CARTEL!’
‘NEW DRUG CAUSES TODDLERS TO LAMBADA IN CHURCH!”
You are hooked. Who can resist the allure of toddlers doing the forbidden dance in front of a gasping group of parishioners?
The allure of the cheese dust is gone and you are on a mission to find out more information on how to stop the depravity that your eyes just soaked in. So, inevitably the question comes down to which side of that party-line should you jump over? Am I a Liberal Democrat? Am I a Conservative Republican? Whatever happened to the Bullmoose Party?
So there you are, trying to rekindle memories of that history book in Middle School to make sure that you are on the correct side of the universe. You wouldn’t want to land on the Pro-Grandma-defilement side. No longer are things simply chocolate or vanilla… they come in mixed flavors with different types of nuts. In an era of hyphenated last names of children, how can you expect anything less?
Liberal and Conservative seem to be the most popular political marriages to parties in the 21st century. People like their politics like their Starbucks coffee: Wordy. You could be a Liberal-Moderate-neo-Conservative-RINO who tattooed Ron Paul on his ass while wearing an ironic Thomas Paine costume draped in teabags. Anyone else who believes something other than you do is obviously just being a self-serving hypocrite. But what exactly do these words mean? The word ‘Liberal’, if you believe Fox “News” (I’ll never get tired of the quotes around that… Silly Tabloids doesn’t sell as well) is a description of Nazi Germany mixed with Stalinist manifestos. The word ‘Conservative’ according to blogs like Mother Jones seems to describe lemmings toting bibles who are kamikaze-attacking poor people and women while a group of wealthy bankers sit on a throne above them. Some days, reality does seem to lean towards the Left there.
Unlike many people, my first inclination was to hit the dictionary, then the jaunt through Wikipedia, and then to the political blogs. Quickly I found that this was obviously the wrong way to do this. When you go around trying to make logic to semantics then you are left holding a photo of a pig with a contradictory sign on a fence that says ‘Pigs’ but contains a pen full of heroin junkies. You might have a serious craving for that other white meat, but reality isn’t panning out so well.
Sometime around the early 20th century, historians must have decided, “Screw all these labels!” Libertarians were about the last major definition change as they had progressed to something new and different in their views, but instead of giving themselves a new name (because seriously, screw those dictionary people) they just renamed the old movement “Classic”.
Now, Liberal and Conservative didn’t need that sort of revamping on terminology because they weren’t really in heavy use to define politics until the last few centuries. However, if you really want to go tit for tat… you could make a strong case that during the Revolutionary War we had representation of Liberal and Conservative beliefs in the opposing Tory and Whig parties. You might remember your old school days and desperately not wanting to like those pansy Whigs due to the idea of the powdered wig thing at the time, but unfortunately it was the Whigs who had the balls to stand up to the Brits and get the whole USA ball rolling towards its modern setting. The Tories were all about not rocking the boat, they were cool with England and tried to resist any change that those damn Whigs were trying to press on society. Tories viewed the progressive Whigs as crybaby a-holes who were going to screw it up for everyone. Who would want to lose jobs because of their rude neighbor?
Am I concluding that modern Conservatives are assholes? Am I calling modern Liberals Patriots? Of course not. So what does that mean? Well, maybe it means that most of this political bullshit is just that… a big steaming pedantic pile of bovine excrement shoveled there by zealous pundits in order to keep the majority of us arguing about the nuances of semantic rhetoric. We need Conservative and Liberal ideology in order to progress as a nation. What we don’t need are greedy assholes dressed in those labels.
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