I’ve come a long road since my formulation as a wee hippy-wannabe tweener. Like most tree-hugging liberals, my main purpose in life has always been to save the world. Tranquility, equality, prosperity, equity, dignity, all those “itty” things that would create a common good. I even danced with the idea of vegetarianism. Basic biology and my need to keep my sugar leveled out and replenish my iron trumped that.
Even through the angsty teen years and the wildness of my twenties, I held strong to those ideals, working to be sure that I never became that which I opposed. I was every bit “be the change you want to make” and a non-violent flower child. I took in stray people, handed out money like it was an endless fountain, and helped anyone I could.
Entering adulthood, I learned to forgive. A LOT. Pasts, parents, myself, and the frailties of those around me who other people broke. To the point, I might add, that I am almost a magnet for the broken, most survivors like me, others serious whack jobs.
I still try and do one random act of kindness a day. I never tell the story when I do. Today, it bummed me out, every day presents at least one… and an old man was struggling to get his empty garbage can up his steep, long driveway. I couldn’t stop, there are appointments that can’t wait. Non-random kindness was more important this time. Still I feel bad for not stopping the car and taking the 30 seconds to do it.
But through all this, running parallel but equal was a fierce survival instinct. A pragmatism born of the abuse, I suppose. Or maybe it would have been my nature in a perfect world. I know what people are capable of with the heightened awareness of the hunted. I want a higher angel world, but there was not a moment in that history that I wasn’t aware of monsters.
So, for those on the Left, is the capacity for violence, the justification for violence, or the preparation for violence automatically make you what you despise?
What about my guns? What about freedom fighters? What about revolutionaries? What about protecting those you love from those who would kill them without a thought?
If you would have told my younger self I was capable of putting one of my own animals out of its misery because a perfect storm of conditions precluded any other solution that would not cause more damage to the whole of my family, I would have told you you were on the moon. A moon around another planet in another galaxy. I was not raised some farm girl. I cried when neighbors brought home deer. I hated mouse traps when I did move to the country. They still make me choke up. I can’t even watch – whats that dog movie – Marley and Me. I sob.
I remember the first time someone lent my Dad a gun, I have no idea of he knew how to use one or not. I was little and a psycho was stalking my brother. I remember when my boyfriend brought a gun into my house when he moved in with me. Hated the idea. I remember how that gun saved my life against a home invader that tried to rape and kill me. But both situations are aberrations of the American experience. Twenty years have passed and it sits idle, unused, and likely always will. Most Americans own at least one gun. Most Americans have never needed to use it.
But what of the bigger picture? I remember always feeling bad for the Indians in John Wayne movies, and thinking he was a jerk as a kid. I remember Vietnam. I remember my teenage best friends parents sending money to the IRA to get England out of Ireland. I think of the movies like “V for Vendetta” and “Avatar” with the echoes of “Dances With Wolves.” I think of Palestine. I think of Chile and Cuba, and all the places people tried to do for their people and the US tried successfully, or unsuccessfully to make them subjects of our Empire.
I mean Ghandi won without violence. Sure, thousands of them were slaughtered in the process, and India is still a shithole, that has become our property by Business Empire, but he won, didn’t he? But India has guns now. Lotsa them. Ask Pakistan. So, personal non-violence good, state violence better? It gets confusing to take a stand as a Lefty.
One of the most perplexing is that Israel is the darling of the Left, yet its violence is defense and Palestinian violence is terrorism. I mean, lets face it, any violence done by either side right now is mostly due to extremists. Or is it? Do the oppressed have a right to fight, and is the history so tainted by being written by the winner, we never see it that way?
We hate violence.
We don’t want to be like the Right. The Right uses veiled (and not so veiled) threats of violence all the time to bully the Nation into doing their bidding. We’re the sane, the Peace Party, the Progressives right? We should be anti-gun, anti-strong language, anti-hurt feelings, and not be like them….
See, this is where I break camp.
We are as under attack right now as if the Barbarians in a Capitol One Commercial are riding enmass with the Huns to slaughter and enslave us, and the Right are their Steppe Ponies.
I don’t want violence. I want to go back to believing there is a hundredth monkey.
But as I have walked my life doing the peaceful thing writ large, the hounds of hell are no longer baying in the distance, they are on our property, circling our castles, chewing the casing off the window to get in. And I don’t think they are coming to play cards.
I know what I can do to save my life personally. I wonder why the Left, the oppressed, the peace-seeking people has not realized that we are in immediate danger, dire danger.
I have no idea what to do. I never start fights.
Soft words, and silly platitudes have allowed them to round us up like prey. The more you act like prey, the more likely you go down… the Left acts like prey. I want to take them all for a walk down Cass Avenue at 3 am on the way back to their cars from The Post Bar and give them a lesson in how to not be prey.
So, we are against all the money, the guns, the noise. Their warning growl works simply because we know they will bite. Ours does not, because they know we won’t. Being mean is not liberal.
Is it illiberal to break free of slavery? Is it illiberal to save your neighbor?
I would say, I hope you and I never have to bring our guns out of their hidey holes. Never, ever touch one unless you fully intend to use it. Never use it unless you have to…. baut never think twice if you do.
Sometimes the only act of good, true kindness, true sacrifice is in doing the unthinkable. Being violent. Killing monsters. Saving millions from uglier deaths.
I’m tired. I’m rambling.
This is not a call to violence. It is a call to find it in our souls to fight in kind, while maintaining our kindness. It is a call to recognize the duality of our very natures, and unlike those who utilize only their worst, harness our worst tightly and use it only for our better angels, the best of our natures.