America is a country of extremes. The flat expanse of the Great Plains gives way to the purple mountains’ majesty of the Rockies. Farmers, hedge fund managers, teachers, and factory workers all cheer for the same team of millionaires giving each other concussions. We’ve got the bet-it-all-on-black insanity of Las Vegas, and the hey-isn’t-that-that-one-guy-who-was-kinda-famous-in-1982 insanity of Branson, Missouri.
When it comes to politics, we’re no less extreme. And when it comes to lazy transitions, “when it comes to” is my favorite.
The polarization between people who support Donald Trump and sane people is palpable in our country. As a particular brand of sane person—namely, a liberal with a public school education, a moderate amount of common sense, and a blog—I get asked the same questions a lot. With that in mind, I’d like to share the top six frequently asked questions I receive.¹
1.Why do y’all hate America?
That question is based on a common misconception. We love America. We just think that the best way to demonstrate our love is to challenge our country to be better than it is.
We love the Constitution, the checks and balances, the bravery, the fierce independence, and the “shining city on the hill” that we are when we’re at our best. We can’t get enough democracy. We also can’t get enough pepperoni pizza, football, 24-hour cable news, explosions, NASCAR crashes, puppies, and going to Costco and buying crap in bulk that we don’t actually need. Liberal as we are, we’re real Americans, through and through.
However, as a liberal, we dislike the fact that our country is chock full of people who’ll blindly cheer for anyone who invokes “the troops,” “9-11,” or “Toby Keith.” We hate the Southern Strategy and what it has done to our nation, and the fact that most people don’t even know what the Southern Strategy is. We loathe the fact that our country is so damned anti-intellectual that many people would like to beat me up just for using the word, “loathe.”
When you roll all of that up, we hate that half of our country is so easily manipulated that they vote against their own self-interest every chance they get. And we hate that the easiest way to manipulate that other half is by appealing to their anger and fear of their fellow human.
And really, we hate all of this, because we love our country and its people—even the ones who think differently than we do—and it breaks our hearts to see us make our own lives worse at every turn. Knock that shit off, America!
2. Why do y’all hate the troops?
We don’t, although we do hate that we revere the military as if we were ancient Spartans. America is not Sparta, guys. Watching UFC while stuffing your face with Bagel Bites and chugging IPA is not Spartan preparation. Sorry bros, the Persians are going to kick your collective ass if that’s your training regimen. If we’re going to pretend we’re Spartans, I need to see more mothers throwing more weak infants off of more cliffs, more 7-year-olds fending for themselves in the wilderness to prove their worth, and more King Leonidas kicking Persian emissaries into giant holes.
Otherwise, STFU, all of you.
We hate that our leaders get us involved in conflicts that we have no business in, while turning a blind eye to humanitarian disasters where our military could actually make a huge positive impact. We hate that we do a terrible job of taking care of our veterans—especially their mental health—when they return from war.
To phrase it differently: We love our troops so much, that we want to make sure they only fight when there’s literally no other choice. We love wounded vets so much that we want there to be a lot less of them. We want our country to stop with the phony “support the troops” patriotism. We want chickenhawks like Donald Trump and Toby Keith to quit talking a big game when they’re gambling with other people’s lives.
We love the troops. We hate the way our country uses our troops a lot of the time. Huge difference.
3. Why do y’all transact in baby parts?
This is tricky. We don’t transact in baby parts, namely because they aren’t worth much on the open market. If your real question is, “why do you support a woman’s right to choose, and why do you support stem cell research,” I’ll answer.
We support a woman’s right to choose because it’s not our place to tell another person what they should do with their body or when they should start a family. Want to blow a pro-lifer’s mind? Tell them that God, who gave everyone free will, is by definition pro-choice. KABOOM!
And personally, I support stem cell research (a) because continuing my lifestyle is contingent on having newly made organs at some point, and (b) because there are millions of potential scientific breakthroughs on the other side of good research. There’s no honest reason to hold science back here.
But to be fair, if you’re asking this question, you get most of your news from Alex Jones. And if you get most of your news from Alex Jones, you’re probably not reading my blog. You should, but you’re not. THE GOBLINS AND DEMONS ARE GONNA GET YA – LOOK OUT!
4. How much is George Soros paying you?
Personally, not enough. If you see him, please have him reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can discuss my compensation for being a liberal pot-stirrer.
5. How many American flags have you burned today?
Me? Zero. I assume your question is really “why do liberals think is it okay to burn the American flag?”
Look, burning the flag is a total dick move. Most of us are on the same page there. So is burning a Quran, a cross, or just about anything else that people value as a symbol.² It is sort of like name-calling. If you’re calling people names, you’ve already lost the argument on the merits. And if the only way to make your point is to burn a flag, you are a lousy arguer.
That being said, it’s all protected free speech. The Supreme Court has said so in Texas v. Johnson (1989). Justices Scalia, Brennan, and Blackmun—all nominated by Republicans—formed the majority, along with Justice Thurgood Marshall, and in concurrence with Justice Kennedy, also nominated by a Republican.
Ruling in favor of the person who burned the flag, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals wrote:
“Recognizing that the right to differ is the centerpiece of our First Amendment freedoms, a government cannot mandate by fiat a feeling of unity in its citizens. Therefore that very same government cannot carve out a symbol of unity and prescribe a set of approved messages to be associated with that symbol.”
The United States Supreme Court upheld the Texas criminal high court ruling, writing, “The way to preserve the flag’s special role is not to punish those who feel differently about these matters. It is to persuade them that they are wrong.”
That is to say, LAWYERED. *glances lovingly at the law degree gathering dust in the corner.
6. What is your fuckin’ problem?
I get asked this one a lot. From your perspective, if you’re asking me this, it’s that I’m way, way, WAY smarter than you, and your girlfriend is seriously considering leaving you for an uber-sarcastic liberal blogger who she’s never met. You should re-evaluate the way you’re taking her for granted, that’s all I’m saying, Buford.
For the rest of you? My main problem is that there aren’t enough hours in the day to write about all of the wacky stuff that’s happening in our world. I guess I could wish that wacky stuff would stop happening, but what fun would that be?
Side note: make sure you have a plan for nuclear Armageddon, you don’t want to be running around at the last minute looking for a place to hide when Uncle Donny finally pisses Kimmie off for the last time.
So that’s it for now. If you’re a “conservative” (read: radical who wants to undo every advancement our society has ever made because you’re still angry they canceled Hee-Haw), I hope you understand the mindset of your liberal brethren. If you’re a liberal, I hope this gives you some good ammo next time you’re attacked by Buford for being you.
And if you’re Toby Keith, seriously, fuck you.
1. I don’t really receive many questions. I made 90% of this up for the purposes of entertainment. The remaining 10%, I made up just to be an ass.
2. Not included: Nazi flags. Burn those anytime you please.