Saturday, September 25, 2010

How I Became A Liberal Communist Tree Hugger

Actually, I haven't "become" anything but I've been called all of the above. I suppose that what those words actually mean is a matter of interpretation . . . isn't it? Perhaps the best way to analyze these words is to consider them as utterances, in the Bakhtinian sense, as words or phrases, written or spoken, that have originated within a particular social context. In this case, a sociopolitical context, or, as Bakhtin would call it: a sociopolitical speech genre. These are powerful, socially and politically created words (and situations!) that we've inherited from those who've preceded us; words that are intended to be persuasive. (Political speech, especially when it's a combination of words and images, is always propagandistic.)

Sociopolitical speech is almost, by definition, polarized. There are two sides to every debate and every story . . . polar extremes are to be expected. Even violent ones.

War is violent, by definition.

The warmongering and the fearmongering continue, unabated, in America . . . the Muslim fanatics are (supposedly) out to get us, you know.

I was accused of having been brainwashed recently, which is odd . . . considering that I haven't watched television news in many years. If I were to sit in front of the television set every night and watch, oh, say, Fox News perhaps, then one might say, accurately, that I may be allowing myself to become influenced by the media, or brainwashed, by Fox News. But considering that I never watch television, how can one say I'm being brainwashed? I do watch Alex Jones occasionally, but Alex has been around for years . . . and so have I.

I'm quite capable of discerning truth from error concerning Alex Jones. I would say that Jones is 98% correct, and it's encouraging just to know that he's out there . . . even if his broadcast is only three hours a day, five days a week, and two hours on Sunday. Compared to Fox News' 24/7/365 influence, Jones is a piker when it comes to being able to influence anyone; let alone brainwash someone. Brainwashing would require that someone have 24/7/365 access to every home in America . . . sort of like Fox News has . . .

Hmmm . . .

I'm hardly a Liberal, as anyone who has ever taken the time to read my writings knows. I'm a Libertarian with Christian moral convictions. And there's a BIG difference.

I'm also a Constitutionalist, with a strict interpretation; meaning that I believe the US federal government should be restricted to doing only that which is specifically outlined for it to do in the US Constitution, which is, after all, the whole point of the US Constitution to begin with; including, especially, the US Congress alone having the authority to wage war.

Hmmm . . .

And I'M brainwashed?

I'm no fan of the federal government, I can assure you. And I think a Liberal is, by definition, a fan of the feds. I am not a fan of the feds at all.

I've had my run-ins with the feds over the years, and I don't think they're a big fan of me either. I can't imagine they think of me as a Liberal. Heck, if you count my last run-in with the feds in DC, I've been arrested and locked up by them a grand total of six times now: three times by the US military, twice by the FBI, and once by the US Park Police.

Crazy . . . can you imagine, too, how many times I've been stopped and asked by the police to show my ID, so they could run me for warrants . . . I've lost count . . .

And I'm not a bad guy either, that's the thing. I just have that bad guy mystique . . .

Anyways, a Constitutionalist Christian Libertarian like me is far from being a Liberal or a Communist . . . and although I do love trees, I'm not a tree hugger. I used to work for a very large paper company and we had a saying: paper is a renewable resource. But I am against cutting old growth trees . . . . I think it's criminal for someone to do that.

When it comes to economics, I'm more a fan of Adam Smith than I am of Karl Marx, so I certainly can't be a Communist. I'm for Ending the Fed too, which is not exactly the political stance on the Federal Reserve that a good commie would take. Is it?

But I suppose that, since I am against the war(s), the Global War on Terror, the rise of the US police state, the failed War on Drugs, and suspect that rogue elements of our own government (and others) were behind the terror attacks of 9/11, this DOES make me a Liberal Communist, in the Glennbeckian sense of these terms.

On the other hand, there are good reasons for Beck and others considering me to be a Liberal and a Communist. I believe that being a Christian is a communal activity, not a personal affair. So yes, I believe in social justice, relieving the plight of the poor, having compassion on those who are less fortunate, working to build a more just society for all people, including those not-yet-born. I recently spent a week at the DC Catholic Worker House and God knows the Catholic Workers are considered Communist, even through the founder of the Catholic Worker Movement, Dorothy Day, had the same sociopolitical ideology that I have: social justice is the work of God's people, the Church, and not of the government.

All of which makes me an odd bird, politically speaking, I know. I mean, just what political category do I fit into anyway? The Liberals are mostly proaborts and the Conservatives are mostly warhawks (some of them chicken-hawks), so where does that leave me? I'm pro-life and I'm anti-war; two issues which need to become related in the minds of many people. I mean, have a heart people!

As I've said before, I don't know about you, but I've seen carnage—meaning: the bodies of human beings that have been torn into chunks of flesh, or meat, and it's always broken my heart to see this. Not right away, of course, but afterward. A person that someone loved torn into bloody pieces of meat. Killing someone requires justification; like self-defense. Preemptive killing is murder, and is considered such by the states and the federal government except, it seems, when it comes to our military adventures (in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan) and abortion. For us Americans, it's okay for us to tear people to shreds anytime we feel the need to do so, isn't it? I mean, what is justice? And who really cares about that anyway . . . ?

Do you?

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