Neo-Liberal Revolution

Monday, July 31, 2006

What if Mel Gibson isn't Anti-Semite?

What if he's just a liberal?

I honestly don't pay much attention to celebrities. Someone has to be really and truely obnoxious before I fail to forget whatever remark or antic I found so annoying when it happened.

Is Mel Gibson a self-identified liberal?

If he is, he may not be anti-Semitic at all, despite his alcohol induced rant about the Jews.

You see, liberals are the good guys when it comes to tolerance and ethnic sensitivity. What this means is that they are often not at all *careful* about their language. Why should they be?

In order for a conservative to slip into an anti-Jew rant they'd either need to be *heavily* anti-semitic or else far more drunk than a 0.12 alcohol level. Someone who isn't used to watching what they say... well, it doesn't take much. Not too much alcohol and not too much anti-semitism.

I grew up being told (by television and my culture) that I could be, and almost certainly was, racist without realizing that I was racist. The only reason that I wasn't also sexist was because I wasn't a man.

I've talked to blacks who said that their experience was that the South was less racist than the North. I've talked to gays who said that Red state neighbors were more tolerant of them as people than Blue state neighbors. I've worked for a liberated woman who saw nothing at all untoward with going through a pile of job applications and throwing away all of the ones with male names on them.

It's about self-examination. If it's not happening, if someone is too confident that they aren't one of *those* people, then racism, sexism, any sorts of prejudice can grow. People don't watch their language and they don't examine their own motivation when they *know* they are one of the good guys.

I don't doubt that Mel meant what he said... that wars are started by Jews. What we can't know is if he's just upset about what is happening in Lebanon or if he's actually anti-semitic.

What I do know is that anti-semitism is not a liberal virtue. Nor is racism, even the soft sort based on low expectations. Nor is sexism that favors women. And neither is pacifism in the face of human suffering. Things have become so twisted that sticking up for the oppressed has come to mean allowing *anything* if it's committed by the underdog... and blaming the war on Israel.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Patriotism and Hypocrisy - Hand and Glove

Heh. Is that subject title provocative enough for you?

Yes, this is my 4th of July post. I'm going to lay it on the line here: A whole bunch of people should take this opportunity to get their heads out of their rears. They should, they probably won't, but I have to believe that they will.


Patriotism is about ideals and myths. It's about hopes, dreams, and starry eyed longings.

Patriotism is about what we STAND FOR, it's not about what we ARE. It's about liberty and justice for all... even if it's never ever been that way. And unless and until people internalize that vision of liberty and justice for all, of freedom, of equality for all people... it not only won't happen. It CAN'T happen. The ideal always precedes the reality. Always.

When the pilgrims established the colonies for religious freedom, those colonies had none. But they had the ideal. That ideal made it possible to gain true religious freedom and tolerance. We still hold to that ideal and it's what allows us to work for justice.

When our country made a grand proclamation that all men are equal, there was no equality. But there was the ideal. That ideal made it possible to end slavery and get votes for women and minorities.

Rule of law didn't exist when even a win in the Supreme Court failed to stop the theft of land from Native Americans. But the ideal was there. The ideal was not abandoned because reality was lacking.

When Hitler was sending Jews to gas chambers, both the US and England were at the forefront of the eugenics movement. Argument could be made that Hitler was only taking what was preached by us to it's logical conclusion. Should our guilt require that we do nothing?

Among sinners we are foremost. Well, not really. When Paul said he was the biggest sinner he wasn't comparing himself to others and seriously saying that he sinned more. Nor is the US the worst sinner in the world, far from it. That's not the point. The point is that any imperfection is total and we should remember and remain humble.

Humble, but not trapped into a vegetative state of enforced inactivity. Not using that imperfection as an excuse to abandon the ideal that wasn't reached. The ideal, justice and freedom and equality... perfect justice and freedom and equality... is not reachable by flawed human beings, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try.

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

We're not pledging allegiance to what is, we're pledging allegiance to what should be.

We are, in fact, claiming something about ourselves that isn't perfectly true. Which means we are hypocrits.

That's a good thing.

Linked on Wizbang... read Lorie Byrd's post about patriotism.

Correction: And to the republic for which it stands... I knew I was missing part of that. I can't believe that no one left a note calling me on that one. (sounds of crickets chirping)