Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Not your average liberal
My journey into the world of political activism during the past 12 months has been a little strange, to say the least. I have reflected on this quite often lately, and am acutely aware of the fact that I am not what some consider a "typical" liberal.
There are the emotional hazards that come with my profession: I have a dark sense of humor, much darker than many of you realize or would consider healthy. So dark at times that I will choose to elaborate no further, lest I drive off the two or so people that are actually reading this blog. I hang out with a fantastic group of guys on my SWAT team, but we sometimes have conversations that revolve around bullet placement and hostage rescue tactics, and other topics which are not appropriate for a family blog. I swear way too much, sleep way too little, and have seen 15 years of the horrors human existence can offer. In short, my outlook on life isn't always "normal."
However, I am coming to realize that the Progressive movement in this country needs more people like me and my Cops for Labor friends. We aren't afraid of a fight, and we aren't afraid to call BS when we see it. We realize that there are fundamental choices between right and wrong in this world, and sometimes life is as simple as just doing the right thing. We face physical danger every time we go to work, and as such, are not easily bought with money or bullied with power.
Governor Walker discovered this when he tried to buy us with an exemption from his union busting legislation. Apparently he didn't realize the complexities of trying to bribe people who wear body armor and carry a gun to work. An unnamed source told me the administration privately was most unhappy with our response.
I believe the Progressive movement has just been too nice historically. Liberals are often too willing to compromise. We feel an almost compulsive need to see the other side's point of view all of the time, and modify our positions to accommodate that point of view. We don't like confrontation, and we truly don't like people to be mad at us.
Pardon my French, but f*%k that. We need fighters. Not in a physical sense, lest I be accused by my attempted censors of advocating violence. To be clear, this movement would promptly lose my service if it resorted to violence.
However, we need fighters like my good friend David. David has a lot of compassion for people, but he also has the warrior's spirit. If you severed David's arm, he would beat you to death with it. No, really, I mean it. David also happens to be a real-life convert: a political conservative turned die-hard Progressive. He now sports a giant solidarity fist tattoo on one of those arms (still attached, thankfully). Let's just say I am happy he is on my side.
It's critically important for our movement to understand that a warrior's spirit is not contradictory to the ideals of kindness and compassion. I serve in a profession where I might be called upon to lay down my life in the performance of my duties. When boiled down to its fundamental element, I am willing to do this because of the love I have for my coworkers and the citizens I serve. Without that love, courage would be hollow.
We also need to understand that it is not morally required, or even defensible, to compromise with an immoral position. The greed of the special interests that now own our nation is so toxic that it cannot be reasoned or bargained with, nor should we try. It is why we desperately need to drive the money out of our political system. I will speak much more on that topic in the days and weeks to come.
The consequence of incessant compromise is that the political conversation in this country has been pushed so far to the right that positions that were once considered extreme are now considered moderate, and positions which were considered moderate are now labeled as Socialist or Communist. It is time to stop capitulating to the sociopaths that control most of the wealth in this country and their puppets like Grover Norquist, who views our government as something he would like to drag into the bathtub and drown. His words, not mine, and a disturbing image even for someone as jaded as I am.
I believe Mr. Norquist's view of our government is treasonous. It is what almost destabilized our fragile economy during the recent debt ceiling debate. It threatens our national security by allowing our military technology to be brought overseas by multinational corporations without a peep of protest from our government. It puts war profiteering and no-bid contracts above the lives of our brave soldiers. It fundamentally threatens the ability of average people to earn a living wage and prosper in this great nation.
It's time to recognize that these people are playing for keeps. Let me borrow from Mr. Norquist's homicidal analogy for a moment: If someone is in the process of dragging you to the bathtub so they can drown you, it is absurd to kindly request that they stop, if they wouldn't mind and if it isn't too much trouble. That kind of response would not be conducive to long term survival. A shockingly small number of people are extracting the vitality out of our nation and the money out of our bank accounts. It's time to act like warriors and drive them, by pen and ballot, out of our political system.
So to those few who currently control our country: We are here. We know what you are doing. And we are pissed.
As a postscript for the day, I have a quote for my trolls from the right. Thanks for the props, guys!
I believe in censorship. I made a fortune out of it. ~Mae West