That’s The Stupidest Thing I’ve Heard In a Long Time
- even in the bastion of Neocon central, i.e. South Central Palinville, Alaska.
Saw this in Wasilla yesterday:
* Note: Clicking on the picture will take you to Jarbina.com where you can purchase a T-shirt with this phrase for $17.50. (Also note: the T-shirts are tight and form fitting, so if you’re built like the typical Neocon they’re going to make you look queer as Ted Haggard in a wet t-shirt man-boob contest. You should probably order a baggy XXXL. Think of the children. Just sayin’)
The bumper-sticker was affixed to the approved neoconmobile, a Ford pickup, complete with rust, a pit bull mix with spiked collar, beer cans, and gun rack – though the weapon in the rack appeared to be a Daisy BB rifle (Seriously, WTF is this? Alaskan Redneck Lite?). The bumper-sticker was prominently placed next to the requisite “Abortion is Murder,” “Marriage = 1 Man + 1 15-year old Cousin” (Ok, it might have said “1 Woman” there was dirt on it and I couldn’t quite make it out), “NObama," “McCain/Palin” and, as required by law in Wasilla, Alaska, the mandatory National Rifle Association sticker. The only thing missing was Jesus and a pregnant under-age local politician’s daughter.
Liberalism is a mental illness.
This phrase, of course, comes from the title of a book by ultra conservative font of verbal vomitus and host of radio talk show The Savage Nation, Michael Weiner, AKA Michael Savage (apparently conservative test audiences began hyperventilating uncontrollably and secretly visiting Castro Street bath houses when first exposed to The Weiner Nation, hence the nom de guerre). A self proclaimed combination of Plato, Henry Miller, Jack Kerouc, Moses, Jesus (yes, Jesus), and, um, Frankenstein, Weiner is nothing if not humble. The book ended up on the NYTimes Best Seller list, in the top ten no less, which just goes to show you that conservatives will buy books other than the bible and Guns & Ammo, as long as they are bound in vellum made from the warty skin of Charlton Heston’s massive scrotum and printed in bitter black inky tears collected from members of the Michigan Militia.
The book, Liberalism is a Mental Illness, doesn’t explain or provide proof or references from actual mental health experts on why liberals are certifiably nuts, Savage manages to aptly dodge that little burden of proof. Mostly the book is 272 pages of frothy spittle about why gays, the ACLU, feminists, immigrants, lawyers, liberals, the courts, and most especially the Goddamned Muslims should be imprisoned or worse. Sort of like a “bathroom reader”, Liberalism is a “bunker reader,” i.e. something neocons can toss off to in the root cellar by the flickering yellow light of their generators while clutching their AR-15’s in one hand and themselves in the other.
But it makes a catchy phrase, doesn’t it?
Liberalism is a mental illness.
Let’s review shall we?
Generally, liberalism divides basically into two categories, Cultural and Social.
In the US, Cultural Liberalism is a view of society that stresses the freedom of the individual. Generally people that are culturally liberal believe that:
- All religions, including none, should be tolerated, i.e. religious belief is a personal issue – providing that said religion does not infringe on personnel freedom (Liberals might “suffer a witch to live” for example, but not if she sacrifices neighborhood children on a pyre to the Earth Mother. However, liberals aren’t going to let Christians burn witches at the stake or press them into piecrust under large stones either).
- While all religions, including none, should be tolerated, religion itself has no business in government. Period. Religion is between individuals and their God, gods, or other such mojo. Government is an agreement between people, God has nothing to do with it – just the same as with legal contracts which are enforced by law, not the Divine. What’s the phrase? In God we trust, all others pay cash.
- They believe strongly in freedom of expression, and are opposed to censorship. For example, those of us in uniform used to say, “I don’t agree with what you said, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.” That, exactly that.
- They believe that family and marriage and sexual orientation should be left up to individuals and that no lifestyle is inherently better than another, again providing that said lifestyle does not harm individuals or involuntarily restrict personal freedom as defined by the affected individual him or herself.
(Holy crap! That sounds a lot like the, gasp, Constitution!)
Social Liberalism is a view of government that believes strongly in personal freedom, but acknowledges the reality that the majority of citizens cannot fully benefit from an advanced and crowded and expensive society without at least some assistance. That assistance being things like, oh, education, law enforcement, public services and safety, enforcement of human rights, welfare - no not Welfare, but rather that which could include medical, unemployment, retirement, and emergency services of some kind, not always and not all the time and not for “free” and not without restrictions, but there when you need it because if the strong do not help the weak what’s the point of society in the first place?
As a group, liberals tend to believe that:
- peace is better than conflict and that diplomacy is preferred over saber rattling and that national pride is not a reason for going to war.
- we are stewards of the Earth, not its owners, and that wantonly destroying the life-support system without replenishment is a bad idea, especially since it’s the only one we have.
- we have a moral obligation to take care of the less fortunate members of our community, society, and world – even if it means that we have to tax people to do it. Liberals tend to believe strongly that it is immoral for children of the richest nation in the world to starve to death or die from neglect or lack of care. And yes, many liberals believe that it might have been better if some of these kids hadn’t been born, or at least that their mothers should be the ones to make that choice.
- and that, here in America at least, we are capitalists, but like anything else capitalism must be regulated so that a tiny minority doesn’t end up with everything, including goods and power and money and services and education, to the determent of the majority (not that that’s ever happened, mind you. Lately), i.e. we are a civilization, not a mob.
There’s more, of course. Much more. Infinitely more, in infinite variation. But that’ll do in broad outline. And I’m obviously simplifying things drastically. It’s not that cut and dried, it never is. Liberals hardly share a unified vision and social compact, and in point of fact if there’s any group that liberals vehemently disagree with more than conservatives, it’s other liberals – such is the nature of individualism and personal freedom. Exhort people to think freely and differently, and they will.
Now, certainly, some extreme far left Liberals seem to hate the human race and would kill us all to save the bunnies. They are provably a tiny minority. These people are probably insane to some degree of obsessive maladaption.
Some far left Liberals are socialists and/or Marxists – even if they don’t realize it. Some of them believe that all wealth should belong to the state and the state should care for every citizen in equal measure from cradle to grave in some kind of idealized hippy utopian wet-dream. They don’t know or don’t care that wealth can be created, or seem to understand that wealth is not intrinsically evil in and of itself, nor is there anything noble or enlightening about poverty. They seem to think that eliminating wealth will somehow eliminate poverty, when just the opposite is demonstratively true – and in fact history shows repeatedly that when individual wealth is universally redistributed the result is not a universal middle class but rather universal poverty without the concentrated wealth to do anything more than maintain the slowly decaying status quo. These people ignore the lessons of history, specifically that socialism carried to extremes leads directly and inevitably and inexorably and without fail to tyranny and a complete loss of that individual freedom they value so much. These too are a minority. I don’t know that these people are insane per se, but a number of them are clearly deluded and engaged in self deception.
Some less far left Liberals seem to think that if we all just held hands and sang Kumbaya and gave Osama a pony all men would magically become brothers through the miraculous power of rock and roll and we’d all live in an endless Age of Aquarius like a worldwide Burning Man Festival. These people do not understand that no country would survive more than a day past the demise of its military. And they simply cannot seem to grasp that most people are bastard flavored bastards with bastard filling and little bastard sprinkles on top and without the constraints of society they would rapidly shed the thin veneer of civilization and slit your throat for the change in your pocket (What? You don’t believe me? Go visit any country in the current Horn of Africa, or the Congo, or Haiti of five years ago, or Cambodia of 30 years ago, or right here in America in the Watts Riots or Southern lynchings or the witch trials and get back to me. Go on, I’ll wait). These Liberals are also in the minority, some are clearly in need of help, most are just supremely ignorant – and a number are simply stoned and have been since the 60’s.
But the vast, vast majority of liberals are not afflicted with mental illness and I find it more than a little disingenuous and more than a little hypocritical, and more than a little mentally ill, that ultra-conservatives would label liberalism, all liberalism, as a mental defect.
Is desiring peace over war, diplomacy over conflict, life over death, a mental illness?
Or is the belief that killing people will solve your problems a sign of mental health? Shooting doctors to save children, using murder because you didn’t get your way in court, is that rational? Is beating a gay man to death because you believe a supposedly loving Son of God who spoke passionately of peace, love, and tolerance wants you to commit murder, is that sane? How about declaring war on false pretexts, knowing that the pretext is false? How about persisting in the rightness and righteousness of that war, despite having it abjectly demonstrated to you that the justification for it was a lie? How about the complete and total inability to admit error based on blind patriotism or the inability accept criticism or to perform critical and objective self analysis? Last time I checked denial and delusions of grandeur and the willingness to do violence without regard for the law were sure signs of mental illness.
Is the desire to understand others a mental illness?
Or is xenophobia a trait of the mentally stable? How about constant hatred, fear, and paranoia? Hatred of those that are different from you, fear of the unknown, paranoia that everyone is out to get you? How about basing your entire worldview on that hatred, fear, and paranoia? And persisting in that worldview even when it is shown to be abjectly false and utterly wrong – say like the belief that gay marriage somehow harms traditional marriages, despite all evidence to the contrary and in fact cannot be shown to have harmed children or destroyed American values (whatever those are) or in any way whatsoever to have impacted even one traditional marriage in the slightest fashion. And when confronted with this simple fact, actually concoct fictitious anecdotes and fabricated justifications solely in order to persist in this irrational hatred? The mental wards are full of dangerous nuts like this. What about blaming and hating and calling for the extermination of the people of a particular religion, because certain members of their belief system did you harm? Is genocide a sign of sanity? When Hitler and Stalin and Amin and Milosevic did it, we said they were crazy, but when conservatives such as Limbaugh and Coulter and the savage Weiner call for the extermination of Muslims that’s a sign of sanity? Why then not call for the extermination of Christians after Timothy McVeigh committed a heinous act of terrorism against Americans? No, that would be crazy, wouldn’t it?
Is the desire to know the world a mental illness? Is a thirst for understanding a mental illness? What about a belief in those things you can see, feel, and touch? The quest for knowledge? Is that a mental illness?
Or is mental health a belief, without a single shred of evidence, in angels and demons and fairies and invisible beings who live in the sky? Is mental health a denial of hundreds of years of scientific advancement - backed up and reinforced by multiple disciplines and error checking mechanisms – in order to maintain a persistent belief that the Earth is 6,000 years old because a book written by stone-aged sheep herders and translated and edited dozens of times is deemed to be the literal word of God and utterly infallible and utterly without human error and true in every regard despite numerous and glaringly obvious contractions and demonstrably false statements – such as the Earth is flat or that a man could live inside a whale or that two of every kind of animal lived within walking distance of Noah’s house. That is, of course, what sane people do, isn’t it?
Is the desire for personal freedom a form of mental illness? Were our ancestors, those men and women who fought against tyranny, who forged this country, who spoke passionately of law and liberty and justice for all, who wrote the Constitution – were they mad?
Or does the rational mind believe that doing evil is acceptable, as long as you mean well? Is torturing another human being something that sane people do? Is torture something that sane people want their government, or their military, or their nation to do? Are sane people proud when their government tortures humans beings, creates secret prisons, and disappears people? Truly, is that what sane people think? How about the failure to see the contradiction in claiming to be for smaller government, and yet being responsible for the single largest increase in government growth since the founding of the country including a massive new internal secret security apparatus? How about claiming to be fiscally responsible while driving up the single largest debt in history in order to prosecute a war started on false pretext – and then blaming the debt on somebody else? Is that sane? Are denial and shifting the blame and rationalization the marks of sanity?
Is a desire to protect the environment we all live in a form of mentally illness? Is making sure that our children - those same children certain conservatives are willing to kill for - have a world to grow up in a mental illness?
Or is wanton and rapacious consumption of resources without regard for the consequences the viewpoint of a rational and mature civilization? Do rational people go about systematically destroying their food supply and contaminating their drinking water? Do they? Do sane people regard demonstratively limited resources as bottomless and infinite and endless, and do nothing to plan for the future except party like it’s 1999? If an astronaut died because he deliberately fouled his suit, poisoned his air, and shit in his food supply would we say he was sane? But doing the same thing on a global scale is, right?
Is a desire to help others a sign of mental illness? Is it? Is compassion and a sense of justice mental illness?
Or is rationalizing poverty as the just station of the poor and thereby beyond our responsibility the sign of the perfectly functioning mind? Is killing to ensure children are born, and then claiming that you have no further responsibility for them rational? Is waving the flag and marching in parades and beating the ever living shit out of people for not being patriotic enough to suit you, but seeing nothing wrong with letting tens of thousands of Americas go without decent jobs or a living wage or adequate food or shelter or medical coverage or education sane? Is it?
Is a desire to see all citizens equal before society a hallmark of mental illness?
Or Is a fanatical belief that you are superior because of your race or sex or religion or income or station or car or home or looks or job or inheritance or the state you were born in or luck or overblown sense of entitlement make you sane? Does it? Is a sense of smug superiority a trait of sanity? Is a belief that your own shit doesn’t stink, that you can’t make mistakes, that you are marked for destiny, that you are God’s chosen one, and a belief that all others are inferior and consequently get what they deserve because of it – is a God Complex sanity? How about if you believe that you are “Plato, Henry Miller, Jack Kerouc, Moses, Jesus, and Frankenstein” all rolled into one – but you’re too afraid to use your own name when you make that claim? Is that sanity?
If Liberalism is a mental illness, then Neo-Conservatism is the bugshit, barking at the moon, lead paint swilling, self mutilating, piss drinking, dirt eating, kidnapped by space aliens, playing with invisible friends, gibbering in the land of de Nile, born again shut in the closet and covered in your own shit, screaming wackaloon of mental disorders.
Liberalism is a mental illness, my ass.
In fact, just the opposite is true: attempting to resolve conflict without resorting to violence, promoting tolerance within broad and reasonable limits, seeking equality for all, protecting the world we live in so that we can go on living in it, and taking care of the weak and the less fortunate are the hallmarks of the mature and the rational and the healthy and the sane mind.
And in point of fact, these very things are the founding principles of nearly every mainstream religion, but most especially Christianity – Jesus was the ultimate Liberal. If you claim to be a Christian and you’re a NeoCon then you are a Goddamned hypocrite.
These are the founding principles of every major conservative service organization, from the Masons, to the Elk’s Lodge, to the Boy Scouts of America.
And these are the founding principles of the United States itself.
Liberalism is what sanity looks like.
No wonder Neocons don’t understand it.