Yesterday, I spied on Facebook an obnoxious bit of anti-conservative hostility that I hoped was an aberration. It wasn’t. I resolved to post an emphatic rebuke the next time one of my friends posted it, and the opportunity arrived quickly. Here is the original screed:
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF JOE CONSERVATIVE
Joe gets up at 6AM and fills his coffeepot with water to prepare his morning coffee. The water is clean and good because some tree-hugging liberal fought for minimum water-quality standards.With his first swallow of coffee, he takes his daily medication. His medications are safe to take because some stupid commie liberal fought to insure their safety and that they work as advertised. All but $10 of his medications are paid for by his employer’s medical plan because some liberal union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance – now Joe gets it too.
He prepares his morning breakfast of bacon and eggs. Joe’s bacon is safe to eat because some girly-man liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry. In the morning shower, Joe reaches for his shampoo. His bottle is properly labeled with each ingredient and its amount in the total contents because some crybaby liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and how much it contained.
Joe dresses, walks outside, and takes a deep breath. The air he breathes is clean because some environmentalist wacko liberal fought for laws to stop industries from polluting our air.
He walks to the subway station for his government-subsidized ride to work. It saves him considerable money in parking and transportation fees because some fancy-pants liberal fought for affordable public transportation, which gives everyone the opportunity to be a contributor. Joe begins his work day. He has a good job with excellent pay, medical benefits, retirement, paid holidays, and vacation because some lazy liberal union members fought and died for these working standards. Joe’s employer pays these standards because Joe’s employer doesn’t want his employees to call the union. If Joe is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed, he’ll get a worker compensation or unemployment check because some stupid liberal didn’t think he should lose his home because of his temporary misfortune.
It’s noontime and Joe needs to make a bank deposit so he can pay some bills. Joe’s deposit is federally insured by the FDIC because some godless liberal wanted to protect Joe’s money from unscrupulous bankers who ruined the banking system before the Great Depression and AGAIN under Republican Rule in The 2000’s Joe has to pay his Fannie Mae-underwritten mortgage and his below-market federal student loan because some elitist liberal decided that Joe and the government would be better off if he was educated and earned more money over his lifetime.
Joe is home from work. He plans to visit his father this evening at his farm home in the country. He gets in his car for the drive. His car is among the safest in the world because some America-hating liberal fought for car safety standards. He arrives to his boyhood home. His was the third generation to live in the house financed by Farmers’ Home Administration because bankers didn’t want to make rural loans. The house didn’t have electricity until some big-government liberal stuck his nose where it didn’t belong and demanded rural electrification.
He is happy to see his father, who is now retired. His father lives on Social Security (an Earned Income Credit btw NOT an entitlement!) and a union pension because some wine-drinking, cheese-eating liberal made sure he could take care of himself so Joe wouldn’t have to.
Joe gets back in his car for the ride home, and turns on a radio talk show. The radio host keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good. He doesn’t mention that the beloved Republicans have fought against every protection and benefit Joe enjoys throughout his day.
Joe agrees: “We don’t need those big-government liberals ruining our lives! After all, I’m a self-made man who believes everyone should take care of themselves, just like I have!”
COPY and PASTE if you wish to share.
This was, of course, followed by the usual chorus of seals barking and clapping, which many likes and loves.
Now, I could have, had I chosen to waste an incredible amount of time de-bunking a load of lazy, unresearched garbage that anyone not already so biased and smugly satisfied with their inadequate education in history and logic would immediately recognize as such, written a definitive and thorough flaming of this monstrosity. But I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep, and the rantings of some pimply OccupyDemocrats hack just isn’t worth it. Thus I spent about ten minutes on refreshing myself regarding some details of what I already knew, and another eight or so composing this, which I have now used to reply to three Facebook Friends. I have also posted it on my own page.
I now post it here for Ethics Alarms readers who may encounter “Joe.” As I said, I could do much, much better, and be much, much more emphatic, but this particular gnat requires only a slap or two…
…not a bazooka. But feel free to adapt and enhance what follows yourself yourself, and post it as needed:
I vowed to respond to this crap—sorry— the first time I saw it posted by a FB friend. I’m sorry it was you, my friend, though in your case I know you are smart enough to know how unfair and stupid it is. This is pure bigotry, of course, as well as toxic partyism.
Take the first example: water safety. When the Clean Water Act overhaul in 1972 was vetoed, the Senate voted by 52-12 to override, with 36 Senators not voting. Of the 52 Senators who voted to override, 39 were Democrats, 17 were Republicans, with one (Buckley-NY) independent “Conservative.” Democrats accounted for 4 of the 12 “nay” votes. The House voted by a staggering 247-23 to override, with one Representative answering “present” and 160 Representatives not voting. Of the 247 Representatives who voted to override President Nixon’s veto, 96 were Republicans and 151 were Democrats. Democrats accounted for 10 of the 23 “nay” votes.
Conservatives and Republicans were very much involved in rural electrification. A Republican President that liberals reviled, Richard Nixon, established the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and also signed into law the Clean Air Act and National Environmental Policy Act. They were all bi-partisan efforts. So was Social Security, long before, passed in the Senate by a vote of 77 yeas, 6 nays, and 12 not voting.The student loan program was also bipartisan, and was seeded when GOP (conservative) President George H. W. Bush authorized a pilot version of the Direct Loan program, by signing into law the 1992 Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act of 1965. A conservative President, Taft, established the Labor department...etc. etc.
Every item here is simplified, distorted, and misrepresented. (The characterization of the reasons for the 2008 financial meltdown is especially fanciful.) This Facebook meme just reinforces ignorance and arrogance. But more offensive yet, it employs the methods and language of bigotry.
Indeed, it IS bigotry. Conservatives have kept liberals from inflicting terrible ideas and overreach many times, often not well enough. That balance is how the system is supposed to work. Yet this “them” vs “us” rhetoric is ugly and calculated to engender hate. It would be easy, for example, to compose a parallel screed entitled “A Day In The Life Of A Black Lives Matter Protester” using the same cheap tactics. This kind of tribal hate-mongering is beneath you, and should not be COPIED and PASTED, nor SHARED. It is like sharing typhoid, or dementia.
It should be avoided by anyone who wants civil discourse and a functioning democracy; as well as anyone who respects their fellow citizens and has the humility to accept that he or she does not have all the answers,
All Americans, liberal, conservative, Democrat or Republican, should want that.