The standard in blogging, as I understand it, is no long articles. One of the ways I determine good writing is when I do encounter a long article, it leaves me longing for more. This is one such case. Enjoy:
It's pretty funny.
Rush Limbaugh refers to liberals as "long-haired, dope-smoking, FM Radio good time Rock n' Rollers."
From about 1976 til the late '80's I had shoulder length hair, worked as a morning DJ on FM Album rock stations from Texas to Florida and throughout the South. I had a pretty good time, doing morning comedy on-air and playing competitive tennis every afternoon. I make no comments regarding inhalation of substances controlled or otherwise.
But somewhere along the way, my labels changed. I was once considered liberal. Now, turns out I'm reportedly arch conservative - at least that's what they call me. But I don't remember ever changing. I don't remember going somewhere and changing my affiliation. I don't remember any of that.
I remember Vietnam.
I remember being a sophomore in high school, and finding out guys I'd been in art class the previous year had been drafted and killed in Vietnam. I remember my scout troop leaders who'd gone on to West Point and Annapolis came back from tours saying 'Johnson wouldn't let us win the war.' I learned what FUBAR meant. I remember seeing these officers, guys I'd admired for dedication to God and Country since I was 12 years old telling me, "Whatever you do, don't go - go to Canada if you have to."
We trusted our friends, especially since the picture of the war was vastly different than what the 'establishment media' was telling us. We didn't trust anyone. We refered to the government as 'the man' or 'the establishment'.
We got angry. We went to every protest we could find. Our friends were dying. And not for some cause that meant anything.
By the time I came of age, most of the heavy lifting had been done. Kennedy and Johnson's war gave us Nixon, promising withdrawal with honor - or some such crap. I do remember years later, Jimmy Carter would talk about reinstating the draft. That afternoon, I sold my share in the construction company I owned and enrolled in the first college that would admit me - without waiting to find out if Carter could actually bring the draft back - or if there would still be a college deferrment. Another year, my draft number was #128 - but they quit drafting at #121.
I know they didn't have a litmus test of beliefs to get into the anti-war protests. But I do know we were mostly in agreement in the following:
Never trust The Man - the government - the media - the power structure
Liberty, as in Give us Liberty or Give us Death - sounded good, why die in Vietnam for nothing when you could die locally for a 'cause'.
Freedom - Like Ritchie Havens sang at Woodstock - Freedom...from war, Free love, free thought, free lifestyles.
Free People - quit repressing women, blacks, Mexicans, gooks - sorry to be crude, but labelling people with derogatory labels like "gook" made them easier to kill - and we knew cool black dudes, a mexican guy we liked - it was all about individuals.
Earlier this week, I was reading one of the few liberals I admire, Camille Paglia - she had a great column on what happened to the idealism of the '60's being replaced by the complacent servility of statist goals over the rights and freedoms of the individual.
She says it much better than I ever could.
So what changed?
Don't Trust the Man became Totally Rely on the Man - for healthcare, taxation to control our baser instincts, retirement, security, almost everything....
Liberty became conformity - in thought, deed, speech and action - in agreement with all 'right thinking' people. Lord knows none of those people would actually think for themselves.
Freedom - became servility, letting our betters tell us which light bulbs to use, which toilets to flush, which cars to drive, - And freedom of thought? Only if you freely agree with the politically correct side - because if you don't freedom of debate is gone, the only people who disagree are bigoted, racist, homophobes who deal in 'hate speech' and don't deserve a fair hearing, only charachter assasination. Also facts suck.
Free people became aggreived groups who's ills can only be addressed by approved racism, proper bigotry and the pitting one group against another is SOP. Two wrongs don't make a right, but a few million wrongs may eventually create a level playing field. But don't count on it during your kid's lifetime. You notice how they all say 'diversity is our greatest strength' but no one ever cites a single case of that diversity doing anything strong? Celebrating our differences is more important than E Pluribus Unum.
So I wondered, where did it all come from? How did the idealism of the 60's become so turned around?
And it came to me, if you (as I do) believe in God, and the corollary that the Bible is the word of God, then the bummer part of that is, you also have to believe in Satan - because, like it or not, that's in there too.
And if there is a Satan, and he is in charge of this earthly realm, and he is really crafty, sneaky, turning our weaknesses to decieve us - if there is such a demon - he could probably take something like the freedom, love, independence and individuality of the '60's and turn it into the socialism, authoritarianism, approved racism, hate and groupthink of the 2000s.
Cue Dana Carvey (as The Church Lady) So exactly who is it messing with your little political world? Could it be, Oh, I don't know, SAAAATTAAAANNN!?!?!?
Don't know for sure, but I do know changing the liberty of liberals in the 60's to the conformity of leftists today, might well be a trick worthy of something otherworldly, demonic, even satanic.....
Or could just be an odd coincidence.