Friday, December 07, 2007

7 Facts About the Dangerous Moonbat

So today Omelas got tagged with a little chain-blog-comment. Well, it's the internet. You know it had to happen. Fitness for the Occasion. I'll drop the rules of the game next, but first I'll explain how I'm hijacking it. Part of what's happened to the word "liberal" is that we liberals don't define the story of why liberals choose to be so. Instead, the conservatives define it on a range of misguided, to thievery, to debauchery, always lacking of any fundamental values. If someone asked you what political goals you pursed, you could rattle off: reproductive rights, public education, free press, fair wages, human rights, environmental conservation. Almost a year ago, I was involved in a conversation with several liberal and conservative friends of mine, when we tried to work out definitions of the motivations of both political philosophies. What did the words "big government" mean? What is government for? What did we believe citizens were responsible for and capable of doing? When you strip out actual legislative differences, are we so distant from each other? Some conservatives love to just say, "we are fulfilling the plan of God." Here's how your moonbat defines "liberal:"

"I believe as a liberal that we can build a society and establish a government that encourages the best in people while hedging against the worst. I believe that just as we inherited from the common past, we become obligated to invest in the common future. I believe that just as we strive to be good people, we strive as a people to be a good nation. I believe that we as humans have the basic right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and the guarantee of this is the proper pursuit of the governments formed by the people. I believe in a commitment towards society will produce the foundation and security upon which individual citizens may then build a good life."

So I'm sharing seven facts about the measure of me as a liberal:

1. I used to hate Starbucks. When conservatives started hating Starbucks and equating it with being yucky liberals to drink there, my eyes were suddenly opened to the virtues of Starbucks. I now love Starbucks.

2. I honestly think if you don't recycle you aren't good enough to be a liberal.

3. Conservatives are onto something when they try to ban books that introduce atheism, people having sex outside of marriage, and liberal values, or talk about other cultures. They are right, exposure will diminish their arguments that their opinions are best. However, I feel no pity for them and they will never win the battle of ideas. I am all for using book donations anywhere to increase the number of liberals. I remember reading all those Morgan the Unicorn stories. I no longer believe in unicorns, but I still believe there is no better good than kindness.

4. A man in a uniform turns me on. Oh, soldier boy!!

5. I remember the day I could no longer squash bugs and spiders. I was the only child my mother had who was unafraid. Even my brother was afraid. My sister brought me into the basement to squash a spider on the door going out into the backyard. He face was red with disgust. The huge wolf spider crouched down when I approached it. But it sat there, awaiting it's impending doom, trapped in the hope that the door would open instead and it could go back outside. Not human hope. I don't think they have human emotions. But spider hope, it's own version of faith in how the universe works and would deliver it from this strange exile. We looked at each other for a long time, and I opened the door instead.

6. I measure my life largely against my sister. When we all went to my mother's relatives in Massachusetts for Thanksgiving, I was sulking because I was sure she'd be in a skirt, and therefor she would be the better daughter. When my mother pointed out that she had not arrived with a skirt, I was still not satisfied. All of it is a deep cover for the fact that she has children and I do not. There are books and books of photographs of her babies all over the place, and I will never give anything to my family that produces as much delight as those babies. I want to have a baby. Psychologists aren't kidding when they talk about sibling rivalry.

7. I was raped seven years ago at a college party. Not the kind, at least, with a danger of pregnancy. I'd had a lot of coconut rum and went to crash on the bed of a friend. I woke up to find her boyfriend rutting top of me. She woke up to find me kicking him. She rolled over and started punching me in the head. I pretended to fall unconscious and she stopped. Her boyfriend remarked that he guessed that I didn't like what he was doing. She replied it was still not acceptable for me to kick him. They fell asleep. I crept out. The next day he told everyone I was a good time. She pretended like I didn't exist. I never told anyone the truth. And I'm a feminist. I couldn't trust people enough to go to class, to even go to the mess hall and eat. I flunked out. I drive new friends away before they can plot against me. Even to this day I experience vivid memory flashes from that night every time I go into a stranger's home.

I believe what we experience in our lives makes us moral actors. Who knows how many of the things that happen to us slowly build up to make us the liberal that we are today. None of what I have shared can be neatly dissected into little explanations of how they cause me to be a liberal. But in them is something important. Hospitality, kindness to people in pain, understanding the universe, and even a love of babies. Some injustice, yes. And some things odd or out of place. But human. And liberal.

Blogs I've tagged: Ketchup is a Vegetable and Stealth Badger.
They get the love because they are my only semi-regular comment-girlies.

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