Takedown: Divided We Stand

This week, two separate crapdates have made their way in front of my eyes, but they are essentially the same. I’ll start with the shorter one:

Divorce
I don't think that conservatives are going to run around shooting liberals, but... this would be a step in that direction. More seriously, though, what kind of dialogue can be had when this is how different sides view each other?

This reminds me of an Internet argument that I was having (because I am a sucker for Internet arguments), and at one point the person I was arguing with said “I support birth control, in fact, it should be mandatory for liberals.” I know that I’m a humorless feminist/liberal/bitch, but I don’t think that’s funny. People have been sterilized in the past based on their race, and religion, and mental capacity, and while the person was attempting a joke, it’s just not funny to make light of those kind of things. It isn’t.

I feel similarly about the picture above. It doesn’t feel like a joke to imagine a group of people out of existence. Besides that, the reasoning is just wrong. “The essential difference between liberals and conservatives” is not that conservatives are independent and liberals are leeches. The essential difference between liberals and conservatives is in their political beliefs.

And what is it getting at? That only conservatives serve in the military and only conservatives have money? Is that it? Because the number of Republicans in the military has fallen drastically over the past several years, from about 60% to 41%. And while the richest of the rich vote Republican (and pay a lower income tax), states with higher average income vote Democrat; it’s not like liberals are a bunch of unemployed slackers. So like all really ridiculous crapdates, it is offensive and wrong.

This idea of splitting up, of conservatives living a liberal-less life, is not constrained to one particular graphic. It is apparently gaining steam, which is crappy, because the only way we can get around government gridlock is to find common ground. I’m not saying I love compromising with people who have wildly different beliefs than I do, but I am saying that such a compromise is virtually impossible if each side is so closed-minded as to wish the other out of existence.

Which brings me to crapdate #2. I’m going to embed my own comments within it. [Copyeditor’s note: just assume a [sic] after every word that’s quoted from the crapdate. It’s easier that way. -PoM]

DIVORCE AGREEMENT:
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Dear American liberals, leftists, social progressives, socialists, regressive, Marxists, and Obama supporters, etal.:

The point of this line is to point out that liberals and regressives and Marxists are all the same, which is a tired joke. Seriously, I like my memes to be more clever. Also, it’s et al., not etal.

We have stuck together since the late 1950s for the sake of the kids, but the whole of this latest election process has made me realize that I want a divorce. I know we tolerated each other for many years for the sake of future generations, but sadly, this relationship has clearly run its course.

Our two ideological sides of America cannot and will not ever agree on what is right for us all, so let’s just end it on friendly terms. We can smile and chalk it up to irreconcilable differences and go our own way.

I’m not going to lie, this made me smile a bit. I like a good analogy. I don’t like the whole “you are dead weight and we want a liberal-free existence” line of thinking, but I like this opening.

Here is a model separation agreement:

1. Our two groups can equitably divide up the country by land mass, each taking a similar portion. That will be the difficult part, but I am sure our two sides can come to a friendly agreement. After that, it should be relatively easy. Our respective representatives can effortlessly divide other assets since both sides had such distinct and disparate tastes.

I mean, okay.

2. We don’t like redistributive taxes, so you can keep them.

I’m still feeling okay about this. The graphic above was focusing on the differences between the two groups as “we are independent and you are leeches,” so I can’t complain about this. Liberals tend to think that those who have benefited more from the system have the ability to pay more back into the system. Sure.

3. You are welcome to the liberal judges and the ACLU.

Yes!

4. Since you hate guns and war, we’ll take our firearms, the cops, the NRA, and the military.

I have a friend who is as liberal as they come who is also a card-carrying NRA member. As I pointed out above, a large percentage of the military isn’t actually Republican. But sure – limited military and fewer guns is fine.

5. We’ll take the nasty, smelly oil industry and you can go with wind, solar, and bio-diesel.

Yes!

6. You can keep Oprah, Michael Moore, and Rosie O’Donnell. You are, however, responsible for finding a bio-diesel vehicle big enough to move all three of them.

Oh. Ohhh. The fat joke: the lazy person’s attempt to inject humor into a text without putting in any effort. This is heading down a bad road.

7. We’ll keep capitalism, greedy corporations, pharmaceutical companies, Wal-Mart, and Wall Street.

Given that Wall Street and greedy corporations caused the entire world economy to collapse, well. Are you sure you want them?

8. You can have your beloved lifelong welfare dwellers, food stamps, homeless homeboys, hippies, druggies, and illegal aliens.

How about this: Jesus said to love thy neighbor. Even the ones who are poor.

9. We’ll keep the hot Alaskan hockey moms, greedy CEO’s and rednecks.

Wait, are you offering to take Sarah Palin? YESSSSSSS.

10. We’ll keep the Bibles and give you NBC, ABC, CBS and Hollywood …

Okay.

11. You can make nice with Iran and Palestine and we’ll retain the right to invade and hammer places that threaten us.

Because that worked so well in Iraq and Afghanistan.

12. You can have the peace-niks and war protesters. When our allies or our way of life are under assault, we’ll help provide them security.

Because that worked so well in Iraq and Afghanistan.

13. We’ll keep our Judeo-Christian values.

Except for the part about loving thy neighbor or turning the other cheek or, it turns out, most of the Judeo-Christian values that don’t line up with your already stated purposes.

14. You are welcome to Islam, Scientology, Humanism, political correctness, and Shirley McLain. You can also have the U.N., but we will no longer be paying the bill.

Yes!

15. We’ll keep the SUV’s, pickup trucks, and oversized luxury cars. You can take every Chevy Volt you can find.

Yes!

16. You can give everyone healthcare if you can find any practicing doctors.

This is lucky, because doctors are moving away from conservatism. Score!

17. We’ll continue to believe healthcare is an earned luxury and not a right.

Wait. Wait. WHAAAAAT? Health care is an earned luxury? Health care is a luxury?? That you earn by… being rich? According to the GOP platform on health care from 2008, “We will protect citizens against any and all risky restructuring efforts that would complicate or ration health care.” This doesn’t sound like health care is a luxury at all. This point seems to be a knee-jerk reaction to the belief that all people have the right to health care, and so the response must be “NO! IT IS A LUXURY!” which is just absurd. The only Republican that I can find who has said that health care is a luxury is Rick Santorum, and he was lambasted for it.

Besides, it’s just wrong. A luxury good, in common usage, is one which is not a necessity, and one which only the affluent can afford. Ask any person who is having a heart attack if health care is a necessity. In economics, it becomes even more clear that health care is not a luxury: a luxury good is one for which demand changes depending on income. If I lose my job, I will get rid of my cell phone and make do. If I lose my job and I have a heart attack, I won’t make do without a hospital.

What the crapdate is really trying to say is “I’m healthy and I don’t want to have to worry about not healthy people.” Judeo-Christian values, indeed.

18. We’ll keep “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” and “The National Anthem.”

I mean, okay.

19. I’m sure you’ll be happy to substitute “Imagine”, “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing”, “Kum Ba Ya,” or “We Are the World.”

Sure.

20. We’ll practice trickle down economics and you can continue to give trickle up poverty your best shot.

I’ve been trying to find any indication that trickle down economics has ever worked. Proponents of it point to Reagan’s successes, but looked at in the big picture, that seems to be just general fluctuation. I don’t say this because I am a liberal who is mad about a status update: I say this because I want to be informed. I found lots of opinion pieces waxing poetic about it, but many more research-based articles analyzing it and saying it just doesn’t work. An example: “It is true that growth increased drastically after the 1982 tax cut, reaching as high as 7.3% in 1984. However, as the Reagan-Bush, Sr. administrations went on and taxes for the rich were slashed even further, growth fell to negative levels during 1991, at the heart of the last recession. And, two of the three years with the highest growth were during the 1950s, when the top tax rate was 91%. Overall, there seems to be no close relationship between the top tax rate and the GDP growth rate, and statistical analysis backs this up: the correlation coefficient between the two variables is 0.03, meaning that there is essentially no connection.”

So, uh. Sure. Keep practicing.

21. Since it often so offends you, we’ll keep our history, our name and our constitution and our flag.

Nobody owns history. Nobody. And if you want to “keep” it, you should probably keep what came before, with the Native American culture. As far as symbols go? I mean, they’re just symbols. The flag is important, but not because of the colors or the shape – it is important because of what it stands for. Symbols really aren’t important in and of themselves.

For somebody who loves America so much, the fact that this whole crapdate is about ripping it to shreds over political disagreements is unsettling.

22. Would you agree to this? If so, please pass it along to other like-minded liberal and conservative patriots and if you do not agree, just hit delete. In the spirit of friendly parting, I’ll bet you answer which one of us will need whose help in 15 years.

I… don’t understand. “I’ll bet you answer which one of us will need whose help in 15 years”? And… this is a point of the agreement?

Sincerely,
John J. Wall
Law Student and an American

I tried to look him up and failed. Does anybody know John J. Wall?

P.S.: Also, please take Ted Turner, Sean Penn, Martin Sheen, Barbara Streisand, and Jane Fonda with you.

Okay.

P.S.S..: And you won’t have to “Press 1 for English” when you call our country.

For somebody who values hard work, it’s amazing how pressing a button is just too much to handle. I’m sure Jesus and all of those who hold the Judeo-Christian values that are espoused would be really, really angry at the thought that there are people in the world who speak other languages. Like Hebrew.

I keep coming back to this, again and again, but I can’t seem to let it go. If Republicans want to keep Judeo-Christian values, if it is the party of Jesus, why does it stray so far from the teachings of Christ? What makes it okay to say “I AM CHRISTIAN” and yet despise immigrants, be unwilling to reach out to the poor, and restrict rights to those who sin differently? If we re-write this and put the point about Judeo-Christian values first, the entire letter is even more ridiculous. Actually, at that point, it would read like satire.

So, 22 points condensed down into a few lines: what he really wants is a land rife with inequality, militaristic in nature, reliant on religious doctrine, oil-worshipping, with no respect for the environment, no support system for those in need, nobody to defend the civil liberties of minority groups, no tolerance of other religions, health care for only the wealthy, and patriotism that cannot be questioned. Oh, that place already exists. It’s called Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.

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Susan

I am old and wise. Perhaps more old than wise, but once you're old, you don't give a shit about details anymore.

22 thoughts on “Takedown: Divided We Stand”

  1. I was happily nodding along (You go Glenn Coco, with your oil stained filthy rich self!) until the health point. I’m not going to repeat myself entirely from the International Women’s Rights post, but there are lines that say that Everyone (that is every person) deserves treatments to be as healthy as possible. Not only the millionaires, not only the white people, but Everything with two arms, two legs, a brain, a beating heart and that element that you call being a human being.

    And dear bullshit bunnies: believe you me, your life will be definitely less fun if you don’t have those horrible liberals and different minds around you to bitch about. Who’s going to be a minority when all of you is the majority? Who to blame when everyone in your country is homogeneous? Surely you’re not blaming yourself! I’m shaking my head and pursing my lips here over such shortmindedness.

  2. I love your takedown.

    Psst–remember that comment I made when I was in a mood last week?  I added it to the blog.

    “You might want to double check the spelling in Shirley Maclaine’s name in number 14. Misspelling someone’s last name, particularly when they are a public figure and you can easily find the correct spelling, shows some laziness on the writer’s part. Maybe the editor’s, too.
    Remember, folks, Google is your friend! You just need to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and make the effort to use it!”

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