I get a little tired of friends, family, and especially online acquaintances calling me a liberal and meaning it as a severe antonym of a compliment. They are basically conservative by nature and they are trying to hurt my feelings by calling me liberal. (Or “libtard” or “libturd” or “liberaloon”) They don’t like my fact-based arguments and strike out at me from the deepest depths of their deeply-held-and-so-long-stored-in-the-same-barrel-that-it-fermented set of conservative beliefs. Often they pull potentially intoxicating talking points out of the well of watching Fox News and expect me to drink it… even though I know it has intentionally been laced with poison.
I am not offended by the Confederate flag. It was a part of the Civil War that fascinates me and still stands for the brave regiments of Pickett’s Charge at the Battle of Gettysburg who marched into a hail of cannonball-laced death to prove once and for all that an entire way of life can be destroyed on the battlefield. It was a terrible tragedy and those men paid the ultimate price for being on the wrong side of that argument. I believe we should honor them and reconcile ourselves with what remains of them. They are indeed still out there. But we do not have to honor the thing they were fighting for and ended up losing. Slavery is inherently unjust and evil. And the racism that is its aftertaste is just as despicable. It is understandable that in that long gone culture it was normal to view black skin as the sign of an inferior creature. They treated slaves as working farm animals, like oxen or donkeys. It is the way they thought of those… actually people… whom they failed to accept as fellow human beings.
I am not offended by the Confederate flag. But I am upset at the most common uses of it. Klansmen use it as a symbol of their race-hatred. They fly it at their protest marches along with the Nazi swastika. The flag at the South Carolina capitol building went up during the equal rights struggles of the 50’s and 60’s as a defiance of the entire movement. I am not offended by the flag, but I do not like when it is used as a symbol of redneck America believing they’re better than blacks and Hispanics because their skin is white, and that their conservative white values are superior to the values of Jews, liberals, and intellectuals. I don’t like being told that their heart-felt hate trumps my nerd-boy thinking-too-much. I don’t like the way they believe they win the argument by shouting at me in a louder voice than I am capable of shouting back. (Watch Bill O’Reilly on Fox News and see if he doesn’t do exactly that.) I don’t like the way they don’t listen to me in the same way that I try hard to listen to them.
People I care about and even love in Iowa are posting things on Facebook about liberals attacking the Confederate flag, and how terrible it is that liberals are trying to take away “our heritage”. But wait a minute… At the Battle of Shiloh in Missouri, the 5th Iowa Infantry Regiment and the Iowa 13th were embroiled in the Hornets’ Nest, the intense fight all along the “sunken road” that ultimately tipped the horrible battle in favor of the Union. Iowans were shooting at the Confederate flag. Many of them were killed by it. How can that flag possibly be “our heritage“?
I believe the rebel flag is not an appropriate symbol to be used in government buildings or 4th of July parades. It is a symbol of more than one thing… and some of those things are terrible things. I am not advocating making the flag illegal in the U.S. But, consider, the Nazi flag is illegal in Germany. It is the flag of a defeated rebellion against our government, fought for the purpose of defending the institution of slavery. Why are my conservative Iowegian friends supporting such a flag?
And I refuse to be insulted by being called a liberal. Conservative doesn’t mean “good” while liberal means “bad”. Conservative means wanting to preserve the good things about the past and not change them without good reason. Liberal means wanting to change things for the better. I used to be a conservative. I am only comfortable being a liberal now because conservative powers are trying to protect things that have to change because they are hurting us. I love all people in general… and I don’t want to see them hurt by their government or their society. So, if you feel the need to argue in the comments… or if you feel you have to call me a libturd… feel free to do so. But please don’t call me a libturd in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS!!!