Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Nothing To Be Ashamed Of.






So there I was, driving home with a load of groceries while listening to Rush Limbaugh. Now,just to reiterate (in case you haven't read my previous article about him) that although I do listen to him on occasion, I'm not a ditto head. There are several issues where he and I part company. But when it comes to issues like less government interference in our lives and less taxes, then that's where we are in complete agreement.

But what really stuck in my craw was when a female caller was telling him how ashamed she was because of her liberal political beliefs when she was younger. This woman went on to say that liberalism was "an evil"(or did she say "a sickness") and that's when my eyes rolled back into my head in exasperation.Which by the way is not the smartest thing to to while driving down a busy roadway(just wanted to throw that in there). I mean, she was practically begging Rush to forgive her for what she felt were the sins of her youth.

She chastised herself for being part of the late sixties/early seventies radical movement which advocated tearing down the old establishment and building a new form of leadership. Well hell, most of us in that particular age group witnessed the killing of political radicals and the brutalization of war protesters on TV every night and in the newspapers. We thought the older generation was out of touch(and let's face it,they really were),so it became instilled in our conciseness that a major change was in order. So we protested and became radicals intent on changing our society.

Was our generation simply a gaggle of self deluded, drug induced,long haired liberals? Not at all. And although there were those whom experimented with substances, a lot of us were merely young and idealistic. After all, it was clear to us that the so called adults were botching things up. Yet when our generation spoke up,we were told to keep quiet and fall in line with the status quo. We saw the older generation being happily complacent as long as their bellies were full and their material possessions were plentiful as they damned and blasted the drugged out hippie culture while freely imbibing alcoholic beverages from their well stocked liquor cabinets.

Seeing this hypocrisy, the radicals protested in order to be heard. We wanted our voices, our opinions to be listened to and taken seriously. In our youthful zeal, we felt that the old power structure needed to be dismantled so the cry of " Burn, Baby Burn" was chanted. As soon as our generation grew up, we learned this was a woefully impractical and destructive solution. But in our youth this seemed to be the only viable solution. We wanted wanted change and we wanted it immediately. The impetuousness of the younger generation.

I,however,have to take a minute and confess something to you; I wasn't an bonafide radical. I sat in the bleachers as the true radical protesters took to the streets and cheered them on. I never participated in a protest, carried a sign or put myself in the way of the police in order to get arrested. I was there on the sidelines giving the power sign and dressing the part. Oh,I talked the talk alright,but never walked the walk. I was a radical in name only,passionately espousing my political views from the safety of my home and the places where I hung out at.

And although I have gained more knowledge in the thirty some years since those days of revolution as well social evolution, I feel no shame, no remorse or self recrimination for my liberal, activist leanings. I was who I was during that period of time. As I learned more about politics and the world in general, my opinions changed. After all,if I think and feel the same way at 52 as I did at 18, then I haven't accrued very much in the way of knowledge during my lifetime; I haven't evolved as a person.

As I mentioned before ,the woman who was berating herself on Limbaughs show for her days as a former liberal said at one point during her on -the- air mea culpa that she considered liberalism either "a sickness" or " an evil"(To be honest,I can't remember which). Now lady, if you want to wear your finest hair shirt when looking back on your past, well then, party hearty. But liberalism is neither " a sickness" nor "an evil" but another point of view. If you or your self appointed,self anointed leader of the conservatives have zero tolerance for any other political views except your own then you are just as judgemental as the Democrats that look at the Republican party in the same negative vein.

As far as I'm concerned, I have never or will I ever look back on my idealistic, liberal days with self loathing or any sort of self recrimination.So Rush Limbaugh, if you expect me to become contrite and plead for your unwanted and unneeded forgiveness for the convictions I held in the past, don't hold your breath. It ain't gonna happen.

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