An answer to Khoren's Post on my FB wall RE Jeremy's essay entitled, 'Dear Liberal…Here's Why I'm So Hostile'
For as long as I can remember, my cousin Casey has used the word 'liberal' as an epithet. Meaning that if the word escapes his lips, what follows will be a hostile characterization of what he sees as an umbrella of people and their crimes against humanity and freedom. Lately, my friend, Khoren - yes the same 'bar none' smarty-pants from my previous post - has taken to this same practice. Khoren is immeasurably wise and discerning in his assertions and we agree on much. A few days ago, after he posted another link on his Facebook wall and prefaced it with something like 'To All My Liberal Friends' ... I posted this comment:
Khoren, I wish you wouldn't use the word 'liberal' as an epithet. Though a party or group may have co-opted it and though you may be angry at what you see happening under that umbrella, I happen to like many of the ideas of liberalism and my guess is, you do too. And using the word as a direct or implied epithet is a nod granting it as a less than great word and idea to a less than great group and the ensuing damage happening around us. I like the word's use in James. "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not…" There's some true liberalism right there. It's an honorable word.
His reply was:
I don't mind it as an adverb or as an adjective (most of the time). But I can't think of a positive indicator when used as a noun.
And later he posted:
By the way Jason, Samara agrees with you and thinks I'm a tad over the top. I always appreciate your posts.
Samara is Khoren's wife. I should also point out that I adore Khoren AND Casey my cousin. Further, when we disagree, Khoren and Cousin are wrong and I am not.
Fast Forward to today while I'm sitting in class at the beginning of Sunday School. I read scriptures, etc. from an app on my iPhone and while waiting for class to start, I popped open my facebook page. There, in glaring lights on top of my page was a "YES!!!" And then a "Jason Merrell and all friends, please read and respond" followed by a link to the essay I refer to in the title of this post. I burst out laughing and blurted, "Khoren you are such a jerk!" After which I had to explain to others my outburst of loud laughter and evil speaking.
Here's the photo accompanying the essay:
Okay, so maybe that's not EXACTLY the photo from the essay. I've enhanced it a bit for my own entertainment and pleasure. I'm sure it is how many 'liberals' and 'conservatives' feel towards and see each other. To my mind, using the word 'liberal' as an epithet is to take this picture at its word.
Here is my response to the essay whose author is Jeremy. If you'd like to read the orginal yourself, you can do so here. I really don't have an in-depth response, just some bullet points. Please heed my wisdom because I am right and you are not.
- I'm annoyed that Jeremy insists on using long and frilly twenty-five-cent words when a shorter, five-cent-word would make me so much happier. For example, do you really need to say 'argumentation' when a simple 'argument' would fit the bill, Jeremy? I think not. Your chief goal in writing is to please me greatly. You have failed on this point alone.
- Jeremy, please learn the difference between 'further' and 'farther' because I want to punch you in the face. Here's an easy way to do so: When you think of 'further' think of mathematical addition - ideas like 'moreover' or 'more' or 'in addition.' When you think of 'farther' think of physical distance. This includes meta-physical distance such as one idea being oh-so-much farther apart from the other than maybe it should be. Or there's the actual physical distance example of, "You should be sure you are farther away from me than my drone attack console when you have greatly displeased me, Jeremy. Oh wait, that doesn't matter. Run as 'farther' as you like, I will still squash you, bug! Moooh Oooh Oooh Ooh Aaaah Aaaah Aaahhh."
- Please never say 'political ilk' again. Ever. I'm not kidding.
- When you tick off that laundry list of people you're screaming at, you say one of them is if 'you trust your government more than your fellow American' and when you say this, I am excessively annoyed and I'm looking for my drone console. In some ways I agree with you, but who exactly do you think makes up our government? Venusians? The people from your pod? No No No, Jeremy. They ARE fellow Americans. Or at least they should be. Perhaps this is the problem - government peeps distancing and elevating themselves way above and beyond the rest of their fellow American peeps.
- Bringing Reagan into this annoys me mightily, Jeremy, I am searching for a club with which to thump your skull. You quote him saying, "government is not the solution to our problems; government IS the problem." Okay, Ron (and you too Jeremy), but I wonder how self-reflective you were about your own contribution to this 'problem' you've just enumerated. Iran-Contra, anyone? Ignoring AIDS, anyone? I have plenty of respect for Reagan (but none for you, Jeremy) and I also realize that anyone who professes anything is going to be a defacto hypocrite to one degree or another. It's just the way it goes when you're human. But I'm going back to my 'government elevating/separating itself away and above other citizens' idea here. President Reagan definitely played this game. (But HE didn't have a drone attack console and I DO.)
- You make a list of FDR's New Deal 'Bill of Rights' and then give us the actual Bill of Rights. And you say the insidious difference is that the actual Bill of Rights does not place demands on your time, your talents, or your treasure for the sake of another. Um... Yes. Yes, Jeremy, the Bill of Rights does place demands on all three of those things. We could start with the surface fact that we pay judges from the lowest all the way up to the supreme court. Or we could say something snarky about 'maybe the market can, you know, regulate itself? May the best man win?' When you and I, in practicing our free speech, don't agree and we both feel so strongly about it and have no restraint and start punching the crap out of each other... what's to do then? The Bill of Rights demands faith from you and me. Faith that if you buy a gun, you're not going to use it to shoot your neighbor because I alone get to do that. Or, let's go back to your 'I'm not a racist' remark, which I believe you when you say. I'm actually quite bored with people screaming racist to defend President Obama. Really? Because he's black I'm a racist if I hate it when he gets drunk and makes poopies on my lawn, crawls into his jet and flies off and then gets someone else from far far away to blow up my house from one of those sweet sweet drone consoles because he's embarrassed he made poopies on my lawn? I'm sorry Barry. I know I promised never to tell but then you went and blew up my house and that really pissed me off so now I'm telling everyone. But no, it doesn't make me a racist. Just for fun though, let's say you did grow up in a household where you were taught that black people are less than what you are. The Bill of Rights requires restraint from you. It also might cost you some money in education bills and maybe even therapy to figure out the value of all people. That's treasure, time, and certainly talents right there. What I'm trying to say, Jeremy, is that the Bill of Rights is about inalienable rights for all citizens - citizens that are human and full of idiosyncrasies and idiocies and it requires much from you and your neighbor to help you two get along. Mature judgment and discernment very often requires education of one kind or another. But we're not just talking going to college here. The Bill of Rights DOES require your time, talents, and treasure for your sake AND for your neighbor's sake. So, yes, yes yes, it does require all three from you for ME. Which pleases me greatly because, you know, EVERYONE should give me EVERYTHING.
- Speaking of which, your essay buys into the premise that greed and money are the chief motivating factors in people. That without competition and the prospect of advancement in this way, there is nothing to motivate us. Government stands outside of these ideas, so what ever are we to do? I agree in part. Yes, money, greed, advancement do motivate. But there are other things as well. An idea is a huge motivator. The need to create is another. IN fact it is one of the most basic and powerful motivators in the universe and it also ranges from sea to shining sea in ways it is realized: from pornography, orphan babies, drug addictions and murder to a concerto in F-Sharp Minor, Catcher In The Rye, Billy Collins' The Lanyard, or a family of four driving to their favorite picnic spot. What I'm sayin' is that money is not the chief motivator in life. I'm saying that my idea of the American dream is also one that is ethical as well as financial. Which goes back to my assertion that yes indeed the Bill of Rights costs money. Give me ALL of you money, Jeremy. Put it in a bag. Right now. Thank you.
- Mostly though, I'm saying that I agree with much of what YOU have to say, Jeremy. I too feel rising hostility, especially when politics and defending your politics becomes more important than the actual people or the actual problems the people holding high office are put there to deal with. I believe that government must be available for criticism and balance and when it moves into territory where it is above reproach, then we've gone way off the reservation. We are quickly moving into that territory.
- I also believe in charitable giving and in one person freely giving of his time, talents, and treasure to assist another. But I ALSO believe it is necessary that some 'go-to' resources be available for people. Having said that, I don't have a huge amount of faith in the government we see unfolding before our eyes, transforming as it is into a massive bureaucracy and getting farther and farther away from any real responsibility to its citizenry. That, my friend, is the real problem... as I see it.
So that's it, really. If I think of anything else, I'll be sure to let you know.
MERYL You're an idiot. ED Yes.
MERYL You suck at doing me. ED Yes.
MERYL Next time you want to try. Don't. ED Okay.
MERYL Make poopies? ED Yes.
MERYL Never speak to me again. ED Okay.