when my people are in control vs. when your people are in control

A RECENT QUORA posed the ques­tion, “Why is there such an­i­mosity be­tween lib­erals and con­ser­v­a­tives in the United States?” A Tom Wetzel of­fered an in­tel­li­gent com­ment that opened with this state­ment: “It’s ironic in a cer­tain way. Both De­moc­rats and Re­pub­li­cans es­pouse forms of lib­eral ide­ology that are in­tensely pro-capitalist.”

This is, of course, true, al­though few in ei­ther party ei­ther re­alize it or give it much thought when they do. There fol­lows a host of other com­ments, most of them thoughtful and ar­tic­u­late. So I can con­ge­nially steer you in the di­rec­tion of that thread if you are interested.

 

It is a tes­ta­ment to the con­di­tion of our democ­racy that our own pres­i­dent uses words in­fa­mously spoken by Josef Stalin to de­scribe his enemies.

 

I have a more per­sonal take on the ques­tion: Some time ago, a young mar­ried couple took over man­age­ment of the apart­ments in which I lived. They were both very “con­ser­v­a­tive” (in the re­ac­tionary sense of the term), of some Protes­tant or­tho­doxy that made them think that Catholics weren’t Chris­tians, and ac­tive proselytizers.

As it’s rather easy (and ac­cu­rate) to as­sume that I am left-of-liberal, the young man did so and broached a con­ver­sa­tion with me. He sin­cerely wanted to know why I was “a librull.”

I thought for a mo­ment then told him this: “It’s simple—when my people are in com­plete con­trol of things, you can do what­ever you want. When your people are in com­plete con­trol of things, I have do what­ever you want.”

 

When my people: cartoon of Donald Trump as Hitler by Mauricio Parra.

FEATURED IMAGE: Car­toon by Mauricio Parra of what may be bub­bling under the sur­face with about 60,000,000 of my fellow Amer­i­cans. As soon-to-be-former Rep*blican Sen­ator Jeff Flake stated:

“It is a tes­ta­ment to the con­di­tion of our democ­racy that our own pres­i­dent uses words in­fa­mously spoken by Josef Stalin to de­scribe his en­e­mies. It bears noting that so fraught with malice was the phrase enemy of the people, that even Nikita Khrushchev for­bade its use, telling the So­viet Com­mu­nist Party that the phrase had been in­tro­duced by Stalin for the pur­pose of an­ni­hi­lating such in­di­vid­uals who dis­agreed with the supreme leader..”

 

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