"I used to be really liberal, but then I grew up and saw how the world really worked."
There's this guy I know who said that, and it's been kicking around in my head for awhile.
How the world really worked.
So now he hates the immigrants, and thinks them nasty liberals are the downfall of the government, and doesn't want to sound racist, but blacks just want a free ride, and so on...
And I wonder...
Wow, so you were a liberal once?
They say that if you scratch a cynic you find a wounded idealist. But what is the disconnect here?
The big difference to me between the two camps seems to be compassion. The liberal believes that the herd can only move as fast as the slowest members, while conservatives seem to take the attitude that the whole herd moves faster if you ignore the slow ones and MOVE.
So at some point, somebody lost their compassion.
Look, here's the thing: feeling compassion for your fellow humans is hard.
It's hard to take care of the weaker animals in the herd. It doesn't always give you a direct benefit. But it's the RIGHT THING TO DO.
If it was easy to do the right thing, everyone would be good guys. Life would be an old fashioned cowboy movie, and we'd all be wearing white hats. But it isn't easy. If you do the right thing, you don't always get rewarded. Sometimes you get kicked in the teeth, even by the very people you're trying to help. Some of those people are assholes. Ouch. Poor baby. You didn't get the result you wanted, so now you're selfish, bitter and cynical. Wahhhh. Mean old world.
To repeat a metaphor I've used before, the boat is continually sinking, and all you have is a small bucket, and no matter how much you keep bailing, the boat never stops sinking. So do you stop bailing, and just sink?
You bail faster, and you get REALLY convincing about getting everyone around you to help you bail. You come up with innovative new ways to bail. And you bring up the next generation to be bailers, because it's never going to end. There's no happily ever after. Good never triumphs over evil. So what do you do? Give up? Get yours right now, and let the chips fall where they may?
Sorry, that's not acceptable to me. Maybe that makes me naive. So be it. I'm naive then. A wide eyed idealistic 41 year old who just doesn't know how the world really works.
Or maybe I know exactly how the world works, but I can't stop dreaming of how it could be better.