This month, Charlie and I took a vacation cruising from
Barcelona to Dover, England, and then on to . We usually ate our meals alone, but one morning we were seated with two other couples for breakfast. The conversation invariably turned to the couples’ previous cruises and places of interest they had visited in the past. I have found that cruises, while lovely and relaxing, are not conducive to lively conversation. Couples are almost always of retirement age, and the conversations are usually confined to three topics: previous cruises, shopping, and a person’s health—all topics, I must say, bore me to tears. During the course of that morning’s conversation, however, the man to my left indicated he was a retired high school American history teacher. Sensing a chance to talk about something other than the usual three topics, I said that I was reading Don Rumsfeld’s book, which I opined was an interesting look back at the last fifty years of American history. The man said, “That’s his version.” Fair enough. I agreed with him. Several minutes later, however, the man said, “I was thinking the other day that Don Rumsfeld was a lot like Robert MacNamara.” I asked why, he said they both “lied”. I asked him what Rumsfeld lied about, and he did not answer. He just said that 4000 people died because of Rumsfeld’s lies, and got up and left the table. . London
I grew up in a working class family, but I learned as a child that it is the height of rudeness to slander someone a dinner companion has just indicated she admires. However, this happens all the time---at dinner parties, legal seminars, court chambers. I have heard dozens of lawyers, judges, law professors, and seminar speakers take cheap shots at conservatives and Republicans even when politics is not the topic of conversation. Of course, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Sarah Palin are favorite subjects of cheap shots. During a case managers’ conference at court, the opposing attorney, knowing I admire President Bush, said that George W. Bush was the “worst president in American history.” ---and we were discussing child support. A judge who is now elevated to the federal bench joked about Harriet Miers in chambers—and we were talking about scheduling a family court matter. A lawyer made a disgusting remark about the
military at a Christmas dinner party—and we were all engaged in small talk. A non lawyer speaker talking about school issues made a snide remark about President Bush not following the constitution. Another non lawyer seminar speaker discussing knowing your audience made a joke about how stupid President Bush was. U.S.
I thought the cheap shots that I have heard over the last decade were because 90% of the professional class in
, we went on a bus tour. It was lovely, and the tour guide was informative. However, we came to an outdoor clock, which the guide called the “two faced” clock. Then he said it was like “Bush and Blair”. The guide was talking to a group of strangers. Bush and Blair have been out of office for over 2 ½ years. The guide could have said the clock was like Prime Minister Cameron and President Barack Obama, but instead he chose two former politicians to slander. London
There is not a similar pattern with conservatives. Conservatives and Republicans do not take cheap shots at liberals or Democrats at social functions where there is mixed company.
Why the rudeness? Liberals are nice people, generous friends and loving companions. They are no different than conservatives. Yet when it comes to opinions about politics and culture, they are rude.
Here is my theory: Liberalism has become the cultural and political religion of the Establishment. People tend to enjoy feeling superior to others and feeling part of a group. Liberalism fits those needs to a “T”. And when others in your group enjoy the same generous, tolerant, scientific, intellectual views, then you feel exceedingly comfortable. –even smug.
On the other hand, when that comfort is threatened, then anger, even rage, sets in. Liberal’s rage against George W. Bush borders on the psychotic. Liberals say they hate President George W. Bush because he “lied” about WMD. Of course, that is not true. If Pres. Bush lied, then so did all the Democrats who saw the same intelligence the President saw. Liberals say Bush “tortured” terrorists. Again, not true. But if enhanced interrogation techniques such as sleep deprivation and waterboarding, neither of which inflicted any long term psychological or physical harm to the detainees, is the cause for such hatred, then what about the ultimate torture: killing men, women and children, by drone strikes—without any due process? What about shooting in the head an unarmed man in his bedroom in front of his wife and children? I am sure Osama Bin Laden and his family, if given the choice, would have preferred waterboarding. Yet liberals give President Obama a pass on such cruelty while continuing to call President Bush a war criminal.
The rage against President Bush is because the President is a traitor to the Establishment. He didn’t like Yale or Harvard. He instead is nostalgic for---horrors—
. Midland Texas
And Sarah Palin sticks her thumb in the eye of the Establishment--hence the unprecedented savaging of Palin and her family. Yesterday, at the Rolling Thunder rally in Washington D.C. Palin said she loved the smell of motorcycle exhaust. That will set the folks in the Manhattan and D.C. cocktail circuits tittering. (Hint to my liberal friends: Sarah says such things to get the Establishment tittering.)
So here is a request to Liberals: since you are tolerant, generous and intellectual, it is beneath you to take cheap shots in polite company. Please confine your remarks to non political issues; or, if you want to discuss politics, then do it in an appropriate setting where there is an opportunity for give and take.