TEN THINGS I LOVE ABOUT BEING A LIBERAL
[Same caveats. But fair is fair.]
1. The parties. I have never
found myself saying "Hi, I'm Stephen, damned glad to meet you" at a party full of liberals. I've also never found myself jamming at one in the morning at a party full of conservatives.
2. The food. You won't find jello carrot salad at a liberal fundraiser.
3. The languages. There's something very empowering about carrying on a conversation at a party in Polish, German, Spanish and English all at the same time. At gatherings where conservatives congregate, I'm lucky to find people who can string more than four words together in grammatical English.
4. The arguments. Conservatives spend a lot of time saying, "Oh, yes, I agree!" Liberals, on the other hand, tend to start statements with "Well, that's true, but
..." followed by a ten minute diatribe on why you are completely wrong, even if they really agree with you. Then it's your turn, not to mention when someone else jumps in, whether invited or not.
5. Outrageousness. Conservatives are uniform, plain, bland. It is not without good cause that my wife (far more liberal than I) refers to her plain cotton bras as "Republican bras." Liberals are colorful, multicolored (literally and figuratively), bright-hued, sparkly, and lively. And just plain outrageous, willing to do almost anything to get a "wow" out of someone. Preferably a conservative.
6. Birkenstocks. My feet finally sealed my political convictions when I gave up military oxfords for birks.
7. The guilt. (I know I listed this as something I hate, but what the hell...) Since I left the Catholic Church I felt remarkably guilt-free. Now that I am a liberal, I feel responsible for everything from slavery to the death of algae in the Antarctic ice cap. Every time I feel like my guilt is beginning to dissipate, I listen to NPR and it comes back. It keeps me humble.
8. The music. Tom Lehrer's "Folk Song Army" is as valid today as it was thirty-five years ago:
We are the folk song army
Every one of us cares,
We all hate poverty, war, and injustice,
Unlike the rest of you squares!
Still, it beats the hell out of "I'm Proud To Be An American."
9. More interesting scandals. You gotta admit that, although as constitutional issues Iran/Contra and Watergate were abominations, the Big Dawg getting a blowjob in the corridor behind the Oval Office was a lot more fun to read about than delivering a cake to the Ayatollah. Liberals play fast and lose with traditional mores. Conservatives play fast and lose with established legal concepts.
10. Somehow or other, despite everything going against us, we still have this silly idea that we can make things better. When the entire State of Nebraska votes Republican, that's when the liberals crowd into the state Democratic headquarters, bang heads together and say "What the hell are you thinking?" We're at our best when the odds are the shortest. And we keep plugging along. Conservatives win because they have the laws of political inertia on their side. Liberals win because we have more energy, more enthusiasm, and more faith.