A funny thing happened on my way through the emails, yesterday. I had delivered a scathing assessment of Glenn Beck with admonishment to his ga-ga worshippers. One respondent threw me a blanket accusation of being a hate-filled liberal. Liberals, he says, typically flaunt their intellect to demean poor or righteously rich, conservative Tea Party folks as if they were dull and ill-informed. Tea baggers are not ill-informed, they notice facts very selectively. It’s part of having narrow views. Some things we need for them to see just can’t get looked at by them. It’s worse than having a blind left eye.
He claims he’s a conservative. He thinks liberals hate conservatives. Liberals are self-styled intellectuals, phony as hell. He feels they hate honest conservatives. He gets hurt by their unfair attacks and arguments over what, to him, is perfectly clear. I should have told him that, for him, “liberal” is a bad word like “socialism” because he doesn’t understand the meanings of “illiberal “ or “anti-social” and their effects. For him, generosity is charitable and he’s not inclined to give or receive “charity” in any form. (Oh, he may give something at the office every year.) Of course, he expects everyone to exercise tactful silence about his peculiar limitations. Taxation is robbery, right?
Even Ben Franklin would have lifted an eyebrow over this guy’s hard-core, billiard ball-like, “Individualist” view of personal and civic life. Jefferson would have winced away from his anti-mental, simplistic, maxim-based and unquestioning shortness of thought. For instance, he says on raising kids, “It doesn’t take a village, it takes a good parent.” Not mentioning maybe both parents and relatives could be involved, he won’t see it can take both a family and a nurturing community with supervised playgrounds and activities. Why no place for concerned friends and neighbors? Each gives balance and makes up for shortcomings of the others. Oh, well. Two-valued, one-step logic. Stopped brain-work. Inability to take the next step back and review options that open a way out of the frame he’s let himself stay painted into, on many subjects.
He’s a man alone in his castle sending a few thin signals to other castles. Never mind the serfs struggling to supply his noble needs from broad fields or the artisans making shoes and dishes in town. He buys their product with what they pay him for his protective services, though their work will all be obsolete by next year due to automation. They can starve while computerized factories get built overseas. Castle-minded folks never really saw others out there, anyway, but if there were any, they should have planned their lives better so as to end up inside a castle full of tough fighters with nobody left outside to feed them. Food can be flown in from India.
He’s not good with fresh metaphor. This will bounce off as totally irrelevant to him. Even if he were able to apply its lessons, he wouldn’t try.