Mythical Beast: The Tyrannical Governosaurus Rex
A few beasties of this disappearing species still exist in certain dark corners of Flat Earth. However the last Tyrannical Governosaurus Rex to rule over the territories now known as the United States of America was King George III of Great Britain. Since that time, the citizens of the United States have elected politicians called Presidents and Congresspersons to fetch and carry for the rich folk. There have not been any more Tyrannical Governosaurus Rexes roaming around, breathing fire, and carrying off livestock and virgins.
Despite that fact, any time that a “liberal” President gets elected somehow, the right wing Paleo-Conservatives become hypertensive, hysterical, and apoplectic. The conservatives, who are mostly frustrated authoritarians themselves, run around in circles screaming:
“Tyranny! Tyranny! Save us, Sweet Jesus!”
to get you
I’m gonna tax, and spend…
and tax some more, and spend some more…
You righties better run and hide….
Liberals, progressives, and others on the left are very freedom-loving, civil rights-loving, and human rights-loving people. In addition to loving these principles, though, we also love the people they apply to; and we try to apply the principles in an even-handed way–not just to ourselves and friends, but to all the out-groups and “others” as well. Selective application, as conservatives are wont to do, is hypocrisy.
Our desire to alleviate human suffering is not a secret wish for power. The great majority of us share the same hopes and dreams that people like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin had. We hate tyranny, too. We don’t want to to impose any grand Utopian scheme from the top down or put everyone in forced labor camps. That seems more like what the monopoly capitalists have in mind.
Last time I checked, liberals, progressives, and other assorted lefities in the Western world are much closer to the beliefs of people like Henry David Thoreau, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr. than to Joseph Stalin or Chairman Mao. The totalitarian, top-down, command and control regimes of some “leftist” governments are NOT what Western (much less American) liberals have in mind or would ever put up with. The fact that some of those regimes have terms like “The People’s” or “Socialist” in their names is a matter of propaganda, not true representation. But righties cleverly leverage the propaganda of others to further distort and obfuscate both language and truth. Some of the worst regimes call themselves “republics”, too. The Nazis were a far-right political group but they called themselves “National Socialists” and”Social Democrats”. We can’t control the words that despots and demagogues use or how they use them, unless we want to live under some kind of Orwellian Word Police. (Speaking of word police, in case you haven’t noticed, the righties are the ones who are famous for “registering” and “trade-marking” half the words in the English Language.)
It is the right-wing meanies who hate (often without even knowing it, I suspect) America’s true ideals and the empowerment of ordinary people–people whose differences may be vaguely discomforting or even threatening. Here’s a riff on the Pledge of Allegiance by Karen Dolan (posted by Emily Schwartz Greco at the Institute for Policy Studies).
GOP Pledge To America
I Pledge Alliance to the Rich
And the United States of Wall Street
And to the Plutocracy for which it stands
One Nation, under Greed
With Wealth Reserved for the Few
It is the liberals and progressives, and only they, who are responsible for most of the social and economic progress in the past 100 years or so. The East India Companies, Robber Barons, and autocratic industrial tycoons (talk about your elitists) may have had a place in their day, but the abolition of slavery and child labor, the enfranchisement of women and minorities, the establishment of the 40-hour work week and safe workplaces, the largest federal budget surpluses, and many other advances of society into the modern age have been accomplished by liberals and progressives against the kicking and screaming of die-hard, conservative elitists.
Conservatives are like the five year old that can’t be told what is good for him.
- “Cry Tyranny?” (PRA 2010)
- Progressive Framing (PRA 2010)
- “What is progressivism?” (PRA 2010)
- George Orwell, Influence on language and writing (Wikipedia)
- Politics and the English Language (1946) George Orwell
- The Progressive Takeover of America – Glenn Beck – FOXNews.com