I was enumerating yesterday all the bad things that make my life exactly the way I expect it to be as a total pessimist. Of course, I left out that I am fully expecting Donald Trump to be the next president of this country. Yes, I expect the worst to happen. Hillary Clinton will not beat Trump either because of her toxic unfavorability or because the email thing will bring down an indictment to nullify her eligibility to be president. And all my conservative friends who love Trump will continue to dance happy dances and sing about me being a hopeless “lib-tard” who doesn’t really know anything about anything as Trump continues to rob them and make their lives more miserable with the help of the government he will control from the inside.
Yes, one of the biggest downers about being too smart for your own good is, you see past the lies everyone tells themselves, and perceive the darkest of the truths that lurk behind them.
In the meme to the right, I am characterized as a self-centered numb-noggin who thinks his opinion is more important than the realities of this person’s life. It makes me sad that my childhood friend believes this is true about my political beliefs. But I am not claiming to be oppressed. Well, maybe by Trump once he does away with the healthcare law that guarantees insurance companies will cover me despite six pre-existing conditions. This is a straw man argument that sets up liberals as unreasonable norks that want the law to dictate that everything should be the way liberals want them to be. That is not the way I see being a liberal.
I choose rather to look at what people are saying on all sides and make decisions based on my hopefully broad and enlightened mind. I would never advise someone to have an abortion. But I do care what happens to children once they are born. Are we limiting their suffering when they are not wanted by anyone? When they are born into poverty? When they drink lead-contaminated water and are subjected to brain damage and death because the conservative government decided saving money was worth the risk? I believe all people are deserving of respect and all people have value. I have gay friends and former students. Their existence in this world enriches it, and I am not ashamed to know them. I would never ask one of my conservative friends to marry another man… or marry anybody. I have a wife who is from a foreign country and her road to citizenship is still not traversed. Could we be making that road harder than it needs to be?
I am a liberal. But I would not call myself a tax-and-spend liberal. I would rather see the money we already pay in taxes go for better public schools, better roads and bridges and public works, less expensive, or even FREE college education for my struggling children, rather than tax breaks and corporate wellfare for GE, Pfizer, and Exxon. Is it too much to ask that our taxes be spent on us rather than enhancing corporate profit margins? And couldn’t millionaires and billionaires afford to pay the same percentage of taxes that I do? Maybe even more because they have more? Why does believing these things make me evil? Or stupid? Or any of the other things that my conservative friends tell me that I am because I am a liberal? I would rather reason things out than simply insult others, something the other side of this argument doesn’t make a habit of doing.
I have no problem saying, “Black lives matter.” They do matter. And they have not been treated fairly. Not Trayvon Martin. Not Michael Brown. Especially not Tamir Rice, the twelve year old shot to death for having a toy gun. These are children who are not to blame for their own deaths. So I am not burdened to add “…All lives matter” because it goes without saying. White and Asian lives have not been snuffed out in Walmart’s toy section for handling an air rifle. I guess I must be a reverse-racist for saying this like I have been told on Facebook.
I am a liberal. So shoot me. Er… rather, don’t shoot me. But be patient with my fact-heavy and logic-heavy arguments. If you are a Christian, then weigh my arguments against what you know in your heart Jesus actually would do. I know scripture. I have read the entire Bible more than once. I am confident my wanting government to do what helps the greatest number and harms no one will stand the test. And I am preparing to deal with a President Donald Trump who probably won’t see it that way.