Y’all, my britches are still burnt over the whole pitbull discussion. Today, in my big, giant important meeting, someone made an off-handed comment about how the neo-conservatives really believe that they are promoting a kind of benevolent imperialism.
I hadn’t heard neo-conservatism defined like that before–as benevolent imperialists–but I heard it and it made a lot of sense to me… heh, folks, bear with me. The DayQuil is kicking in and I’m reduced to simplistic… um… simple-isms… I mean, it made sense of the neo-conservative worldview for me in a way I find useful.
And I think the thing with the pit bull discussion that just grated on me was that I felt like I was being benevolently empired (shit, there’s a real word that would fit there, I’m just not going to come up with it tonight). Both the Uncle and I were trying to have a reasonable discussion with someone determined to affect public policy and, at least, I felt like the person we were trying to have the discussion with is so certain that he’s right about the dogs and right about what to do about them that it’s fine for him to exploit the public’s fears in order to get his way.
I still feel kind of bad about reducing it to a class thing. I guess I should say up-front that I have a kind of soft bigotry against rich people. I’m better about it than I was in my younger days, but shoot, back me into a corner and it just springs out in full force. But it was unfair of me to do it and it kind of revealed something unflattering about me that I guess I’d rather y’all didn’t know.
Anyway, I was telling the Uncle that I kind of believe in benevolent corruption. I mean my experience with the Democratic party and unions and other old-school liberal entities is of that kind of Midwestern corrupt machine. But the thing is that it was kind of like the mob. If you were in, you were in. If you needed food on your table and you had the right connections, someone was going to get you a way to get food on your table, even if it meant that you ate something that “fell off a truck.”
I believe in robbing from the rich to give to the poor. I just do. Intellectually, I know that’s a bullshit thing to believe but in my heart, I still think it’s the right thing.
That’s the funny thing about life, though. You will be forced to eat shit every once in a while. And the shit I’m being forced to eat lately resembles the repercussions of my simple Robin Hood worldview.
Because, see, what I’d like to believe in is a Democratic party that says, “Hey, B., we’ll take care of you. Don’t worry.” meaning that, if something goes wrong–like say my city is hit by a hurricane and I can’t evacuate–I’ll be rescued. Fuck whose job it is–city, state, or fed–it doesn’t matter. Someone is going to step up, throw some weight around and get me some fucking help.
But with this guy and the whole pitbull mess, it makes me very afraid that the Democratic party is all about “Hey, B., we’ll take care of you. Don’t worry. We know what’s best for you.” which means that I have to suffer through, “eat this, don’t eat that, drink this, don’t drink that, own this pet, not that pet. Etc.”
It’s not about saving my ass when I get into trouble, real, verifiable, objective trouble. But it’s about controlling my life so there never is any trouble.
I think that guy thinks that’s a noble and acceptable goal.
That terrifies me.
Not as much as the conservative “we must monitor your every move so that we can make sure you never get away without being punished for your wrong-doings both morally and legally” but it’s still scary.