I’m Not Stupid, I’m Just Not You!

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OK, let’s see how many of my FB friends drop me after this.

I call bullshit on this. In case you don’t want to sit through the words and words of bullshit yourself, I’ll sum it up for you: Libertarians are right about everything and everyone else is wrong, stupid, and uneducated, and the fact you’re not already a Libertarian proves it.

Here’s a quote from Monsieur le Douche (Christopher Cantwell):

“Most people involved in these things aren’t actually interested in finding any sort of objective truth. As far as we’re concerned, the fact that they aren’t already libertarians is evidence enough of this… Having an ideology tends to imply some study of the subject at hand. If you have studied government, and determined that it has any potential to do anything positive, this implies you are really not very good at processing information. The failures of the State are so numerous and ridiculously obvious, that we find it difficult to believe any rational person could justify its existence. Your informed adherence to this absurdity tells us that you are pretty much beyond all hope of rescue.”

I got news for you: Libertarians are no more educated, smarter, or less pompous and narcissistic than any other political party—and yes, that includes Democrats, Republicans, Green Party, Communist Party, Socialist Party, and Tea Party (OK, maybe smarter than the Tea Party).

The problem I hear with Libertarian leanings (and yes, you are largely unified in most of your opinions—stop pretending you aren’t) is that “free market capitalism/non-taxation/legalizing whatever/no gun control/etc. is the best idea ever…if it worked the way it’s supposed to.” That’s what you’re not seeing—it doesn’t fucking work. NO political theory works 100% “the way it’s supposed to”, that’s why Capitalism is an ideology, Socialism is a philosophy, Communism is a theory. Do you see the commonality with all those italicized words? They all mean the same thing: myths.

Hey, here’s a clue: the reason none of them work is simpler than “the goddamn government is robbing me”. It’s because there’s 7 billion people in the world. The Earth has outgrown its carrying capacity and when you overpopulate anything, chaos ensues. People fight. They take advantage of one another. They exchange bribes. They organize gangs. Humans are basically shitheads to each other and will continue to be so for the rest of our existence. So you need laws to keep the bastards in line. You need people to enforce those laws. You need a government to write those laws. And you need to pay those people.

Here’s a confession.

I lean liberal because I feel a majority—I said majority, not all—of the ideas that are presented in a liberal point-of-view align with my own opinions. I am largely altruistic (hard that may be to believe). I feel that a philosophy should generally benefit humanity as a whole, not a select few. I thank my folks for that who made sure I learned that at a very, very, very young age, and I am extremely grateful for that experience. It had a profound effect on my personal philosophy for my entire life. Things look a lot different to a 5 year old living among people who would be thankful to have dirt, and yet were the first to share anything they were lucky to get with a privileged little white girl in pigtails they didn’t even know. Trust me, those of you who feel you are being robbed by the government and stripped of your rights, you have never, ever, ever experienced oppression on that kind of scale. If you had, I guarantee you would not have the freedom to complain about it. (Actually, I didn’t really either. I was five…my parents didn’t want me traumatized forever. Thanks for that, too, Mom and Dad.)

But I sure as hell took time to learn about it later. I asked questions to the people who did experience it what happened, what it was like, who was involved and why (again, my parents). Later on in my surly teenage years, my mom and dad made me—yes, made me—volunteer my time to others who needed help. I didn’t want to because I was a selfish, mopey teenager that wanted to remain selfish and mopey and do absolutely nothing with my summer breaks, but I did it anyway and I was a part of some really amazing things. My parents forced me to give something of mine away—my time—to someone else who needed it and it made me a better person. Imagine that. I call it my Humanity Tax.

So yes, I’m a liberal. I don’t deny it one bit. I voted for Obama. Twice. I’m an official member of the Democratic Party. I know. You’re totally surprised.

But how does that make me ignorant and uneducated and make you better than me? Because I don’t like guns and feel they provoke violence, so I support stronger gun control this means I hate the Constitution? Because I didn’t (and still don’t) support the legalization of marijuana in Colorado and think it makes our state look like a fucking joke, my priorities are misaligned? That I don’t believe taxes are “stealing” from me, or that they’re even a “necessary evil”, that they are, in fact, just necessary, that automatically makes me brainless? I guess there’s absolutely no way I could have possibly come to these conclusions on my own. That I’m just a fucking hypocrite and a mouthpiece of my Party if I claim otherwise.

How’s this for a generalization? I’ve noticed that most people who identify as Libertarian are self-absorbed isolationists afraid to step out of their comfort zones and take a chance on something, and are generally quick to blame anyone and anything else for their state in life but themselves. They grich and bitch about the Way Things Are versus the Way Things Should Be and hug their guns to their chests because they’re too paranoid and angry to do anything else. They only believe what they do because they had the attention span and no life to read Ayn Rand, so they now automatically think they’re intellectually enlightened and superior to the “subhuman masses.”

Notice I didn’t say “stupid”.

If you think your average Democrat or Republican enjoys the ridiculous mud-slinging that happens at the top of the political chain, then you are just as misinformed as the ones you criticize. If you also think your average Democrat or Republican supports every idea their party comes up with, then go fuck a meat grinder. People aren’t made in a mold.

However, opinions and beliefs aren’t formed in a vacuum either, including yours. We all arrived at our convictions through reasoning, experience, and social conditioning. We are the Ultimate Experience.

So stop being an elitist jackass. This is beyond political leaning and preference. This is basic human decency. Everyone feels their opinion is the right one and everyone else’s is wrong. The beauty of it all is that we really have no idea. There’s no superior moral referee—or if there is, He/She/It is being awfully quiet about it. So even if someone’s opinion goes against every grain in your being, have a little respect that they have an opinion.

People aren’t stupid or beneath you for what they believe. They’re stupid and beneath you if they have to stoop low enough to belittle others for their beliefs to make themselves feel smarter. Do you not realize how petty and churlish you look when you do that? Every opinion you spew forth from there on might as well be gibberish, because you’ve suddenly lost all credibility to espouse any kind of opinion or defend your stance to any capacity that doesn’t devolve into sounding like a goddamn three year old.

Fine. Fine. I’ll make this easy, all right? You can tell me I’m wrong, you can argue that the ideas I support are immoral, that my political leanings are dangerous, that the guy I voted for is Satan, that my values and economic priorities are totally fucked.

But do not call me stupid for it.

About TLS

Motivated by mild insanity, artificial self-hatred, and confused curiosity.
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7 Responses to I’m Not Stupid, I’m Just Not You!

  1. Brian Nitz says:

    When I look back at my 20-something self I see someone who didn’t listen enough and spent far too much time tearing holes in other people’s ideas than in creating ideas and patching holes. And when my 60 something self looks back, he’ll think the same of me now. I am glad you found that shred of patience and tolerance and grew it into something stronger within yourself. I’ve grown to really wish my liberal friends to be right about the role of government in serving the common good and I wish my conservative friends were right that when individuals do what is best for themselves, they automatically do what is best for everyone.

    I may be more liberal than you on a few issues now but let’s hope we still disagree on enough stuff to make sure that tolerance thing still works.

  2. I read Cantwell’s piece and found it utterly delicious. The best part was his belief in intelligence by proxy. “Hey look! All these people are smart, so I’m smart too!” Hilarious! What’s even better is the Triple Nine Society’s own webpage lists “respect for diverse philosophies” as one of its guiding principals (And even more darling still is TNS’s adherence the the long-ago disproved notion that the Stanford-Binet measures anything other than how white, male and upper-middle class you are. That’s priceless. And yes, I meet TNS’s entry score criteria on the S-B, as (surprise) I have a huge advantage being white, male and upper-middle class. It means dick.)

    And get a load of this gem, touting the moral superiority of libertarians: After decrying everyone else’s immorality, Can’t-think-well trots out this line of gibberish. “As long as we don’t rob, assault, kidnap, and murder, we’re perfectly within our moral code.” You know what? That does make you morally superior! How did I not notice that every non-libertarian on the planet does all that stuff? Just the other day, Pope Francis was up there eulogizing on the benefits of murder. In truth, Can’t-think-well’s argument is a perfect example of false dichotomy. It is the opposite of how thoughtful people construct logical arguments. (See how easy it is to troll? Hell, I’m already better at it than Can’t-think-well is, and I just started.)

    There’s more–plenty more–but to continue is to miss the important point. The sad truth is, politics in America has become religion. Questions are not tolerated. Free-thinking is shunned. Non-believers must be ridiculed. How ironic that Can’t-think-well proclaims himself an atheist, while at the same time aping the very thinking style he is (one would assume) opposed to.

    Of course, maybe that’s giving him too much credit. His webpage proudly boasts that even he thinks he’s an asshole. I suggest we take him at his word.

  3. Sorry, as it turns out, you actually are stupid. #ThatIsAll

    • TLS says:

      Wow, thanks for stopping by!

      • Brian Nitz says:

        I suppose I have Libertarian leanings because I believe the size of government most (Socialist) European countries have is about right, big enough that even the poorest Europeans enjoy public education and public healthcare systems equal to or better than anything in the US. But not so big as to have a corporate-serving bureaucracy and military-industrial complex running the show from Brussels. Given the nationalist kickback on ECB monetary policy, I’m sure Europeans from Scotland to Moldova would form their own far-right Tea Party if Brussels tried to grab the kind of power that Washington DC has.

        But look around socialist Europe or liberal leaning states such as Oregon and you’ll see that when enough people believe in pay-it-forward and the greater good, something happens that is better than what we’ve been led to believe would happen. Yes some people do take advantage of the kindness of neighbors. And there are times when a group of people left to their own devices is more destructive than individuals left to their own devices. But generally a mass of self-serving individuals will never have the diversity of ideas or efficiency that comes from a _team_ devoted to serving the greater good. (aka a government.)

        Before Libertarians, Democrats and Republicans shoot holes in ideologies they only partially understand, they should find and fill the holes where their own philosophy falls. Libertarians should understand that laissez faire leads to the tragedy of the commons. And they should also understand that the invisible hand of the market doesn’t give a &$(#^ about slavery, child labor or destruction of shared public resources such as land, water and air.

        When I visited friends at opposite left-right political extremes and brought them together for a thanksgiving meal and then met people beyond these extremes at both ends I decided that before I make a wildly negative comment about stereotypical “environmentalist whackos”, “Democrats”, “Libertarians”, “tea party”… I would think of someone I respect who subscribes to that philosophy and see if my stereotype applies to them. It usually doesn’t which means there is a flaw in my understanding of these political labels. This makes sense because I find that these labels don’t work particularly well for any complex belief.

        I’m convinced that some day we’ll find a way to mathematically calculate the optimal government size for roads, education, common defense, garbage collection. And maybe I will be capitalist with respect for defense, socialist with respect to education and libertarian with respect to garbage collection.

        • TLS says:

          Brian, you were the first friend I ever had that I was comfortable not agreeing with. That may sound strange, but prior to you–and I met you when I was pretty darn young–but teenagers haven’t quite grasped the idea that yelling doctrines at your friends does not endear them to your cause.

          Being friends with you taught me a LOT about tolerance. Not because I had to tolerate you, by any means, but because I watched how you did exactly what you said up there you did–you asked questions, you listened, you asked others what they thought, and patiently waited to express your opinion. And if it didn’t jive with mine, that was still OK.

          As I grew up, I found this was how most of my friends and I roll with one another. And absolutely NONE of my friends belittle me or call me stupid or they wouldn’t be my friends, even the ones I don’t agree with 100%. Thanks, Brian, for showing me how friends treat one another.

          Man, I miss you.

    • BtA says:

      ROTFLMAO – what a brilliant display of verbal puissance! I am utterly convinced. #caseinpoint

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