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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

F is for Free Thinkers

I apologize. I had to change my F for today at the last minute. I was working on a lovely diatribe against the Fox 'news' channel, but I felt compelled to write something that I found pertinent today. I promise a lovely rant on Fox next month.

Today, as with any other day, I was bombarded by those fanatics in the Tea Party who are forever trolling on Twitter and ready to pounce with a ridiculous meme to put the rest of us in our place and define their preeminence over whatever issue they are on fire about at any given moment.

First today I was offered an opinion that, because I am a Liberal, I hate Chris Kyle, the soldier profiled in the recent movie American Sniper. As much as I genuinely love for people to consider my opinions, I would always much rather those opinions actually be defined by my points of view. I replied by sending a link to the blog entry I wrote in January here where I went into detail about my support for not only the troops, but Chris Kyle, himself. I then went on to tell those fanatics that one of the many beautiful aspects of being a Liberal is the fact that I get to think for myself.  One of the necessary messages from the right about those of us on the left is that we hate soldiers. You will find there are many Liberals who support our troops. We hate war. We hate administrations who have no capacity or desire for diplomacy. But we do not all hate the troops. The distinction, however, is lost on them and their moral superiority would be quickly dashed if you reminded them that the food stamps they are rallying to cut are used by many military families and vets. Of course, you could always remind them that their elected leaders were the ones who block bills supporting the veterans. Repeatedly.

There is little that surprises me more when debating with someone in the Tea Party than when they post this meme to prove that they are not a racist. I always ask them to question the history of their party and explain to me why they think Dr. King was a Republican. And I ask them how they could possibly think that the man who wrote the Emancipation Proclamation could have been a Republican. It doesn't ever seem strange to them. It is as if they had never had a moments curiosity about it. Countless times I have had a discussion ended with the word "liar" and been blocked when I tell them that the party's switched over time and that it was Civil Rights, specifically, that completed it.

The gentleman I was discussing this image of Dr. King with also demanded that the left were racists. He had many other memes in his profile, as well, which were absolutely offensive. I was going to put one in this piece, but I couldn't bring myself to do it. Just know that during Ferguson he really enjoyed a depiction of the only place not being looted as a KFC and there was a rather upsetting depiction of a black child being compared to an ape in a tree.

Later this evening another fanatic who was ranting about the pizzeria in Indiana who stated they would not cater a gay wedding offered me some very clever information. He sent me a link to an online magazine whose name I will not offer because they are absolute garbage and I won't promote their nonsense. They are known for perpetuating hoaxes and hate and I refuse to have any part in that. The story, however, was about a young woman who donated to the fundraiser for the pizzeria who say they were forced to close their doors due to threats of violence from the gay community. Its always funny to me when, in their eyes, an entire community is accountable for the actions of a handful.

The story about the young woman explained that she donated and put a comment identifying herself as a gay small business owner and said that she and many other people in the LGBT community were horrified to see that the business was getting death threats. She wanted to support their rights to operate their business and believe whatever they wanted to. It said that she also called in to a radio show to explain her reasoning. I Googled the piece to see if it was a hoax or if I could not find the story from a remotely credible source, and I could not. I do, however, concede that it may be true.

The thing that these fanatics on the far right fail to understand is that they are defining their own ignorance and hypocrisy when they use the above referenced stories to perpetuate their beliefs. They're so proud of themselves when they have something to offer validity to their stance on an issue by a person who would otherwise meet their disdain that they do not stop to realize why they think it would offend us. They have such a narrow view that they expect the rest of us to, as well. Those on the left, who are allowed to think for themselves and believe others are, too, don't need to have every person in our party believe the same thing. Because we are confident and open-minded, we acknowledge that all people in a single ethnic group, religion, gender, etc do not have to subscribe to the same ideals, even if we support and embrace the group that may find them outsiders in another party.

They congratulate themselves for having found support for their ideologies by those they had determined to hate. I think we should all congratulate them, too. They are finally starting to embrace people who would have previously been maligned. So, because I am a liberal who wants to believe the best in everyone, I will take this as a positive sign that they are finally coming around to a more tolerant way of thinking.


  1. Great post, Angie. I don't agree wholesale, but as a free thinker I'm not compelled to. I do wonder about the paragraph where you question the political stance of Martin Luther King jr. He never openly declared his party like Frederick Douglas did, but I'm honestly curious why you assume he wasn't a Republican? I could be mistaken, but it seems that you're saying Abraham Lincoln was also not a Republican...

    1. This isfrom Dr. Kings Autobiography:
      The Republican Party geared its appeal and program to racism, reaction, and extremism. All people of goodwill viewed with alarm and concern the frenzied wedding at the Cow Palace of the KKK with the radical right. The “best man” at this ceremony was a senator whose voting record, philosophy, and program were anathema to all the hard-won achievements of the past decade.

      Senator Goldwater had neither the concern nor the comprehension necessary to grapple with this problem of poverty in the fashion that the historical moment dictated. On the urgent issue of civil rights, Senator Goldwater represented a philosophy that was morally indefensible and socially suicidal. While not himself a racist, Mr. Goldwater articulated a philosophy which gave aid and comfort to the racist. His candidacy and philosophy would serve as an umbrella under which extremists of all stripes would stand. In the light of these facts and because of my love for America, I had no alternative but to urge every Negro and white person of goodwill to vote against Mr. Goldwater and to withdraw support from any Republican candidate that did not publicly disassociate himself from Senator Goldwater and his philosophy.

  2. I didn't say anyone wasn't a Republican. I said they switched sides. Lincoln would certainly not be freeing any slaves today if he were in the Republican party. That party is demanding we have fewer rights, not more. And discrimination seems to be the one right they value above all others. Im pretty sure Lincoln would not identify with that party at all.

  3. hoo boy nothing can get me more riled than by the disinformation that is spewed by so many. I'm a South African living in SA and believe me, while I believe in being informed, the news is mostly negative and terrible. Although much good is being done, by NGO's etc

    Snopes is good for checking out whether posts on FB (and I guess other forums) is reliable.

  4. Ah shame about the complainers, just dropping in from the A to Z to offer support and give your blog a shout out from my letter G today

  5. I enjoyed this--we seem to largely share politics, but I grew up in Idaho, so have friends and family from way back when who spew a lot of silliness from time to time and I can definitely get riled up. Conservatives have a vested interest in NOT allowing free thinking, as the more fearful people are of "other" the easier it is to control them. The liberal free thinking is why it can frequently be a lot harder to get us all on the same page--we are reacting to life's complexities, not Fox soundbites.

  6. Republicans and Democrats never switched sides. That's a common and intentional fallacy constructed by those who have no other defense of their party's history of supporting slavery. The Right has consistently been geared toward freedom, and the Left toward control.

    1. Yes. We know that is what you have been conditioned to believe. Please leave me alone. You're becoming creepy.

  7. well, I cant say anything about the whole Chris Kyle, simply becuase I dont know where "liberals" stand on this. however, once as I got to the whole "republicans are racist" bull shit, thats where I had to stop reading.

    I should probably say, before continuing, that Im not a republican, but a libertarian. I simply hate lies is all.
    now, I cant find out as to what party Mr. King was on, but some think he may have been Independent.

    As far as the republicans being racist, however, this is wrong, at least in origins. now, like I said, I hate both jack asses and elephants, so,please, no hate mongering when I prove your fallacies about the so-called "other side"

    "Trying times spawn new forces. The Missouri Compromise of 1820 divided the country at the 36° 30' parallel between the pro-slavery, agrarian South and anti-slavery, industrial North, creating an uneasy peace which lasted for three decades. This peace was shattered in 1854 by the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Settlers would decide if their state would be free or slave. Northern leaders such as Horace Greeley, Salmon Chase and Charles Sumner could not sit back and watch the flood of pro-slavery settlers cross the parallel. A new party was needed.

    Salmon Chase
    Salmon ChaseWhere was the party born? Following the publication of the "Appeal of Independent Democrats" in major newspapers, spontaneous demonstrations occurred. In early 1854, the first proto-Republican Party meeting took place in Ripon, Wisconsin. On July 6, 1854 on the outskirts of Jackson, Michigan upwards of 10,000 people turned out for a mass meeting "Under the Oaks." This led to the first organizing convention in Pittsburgh on February 22, 1856.
    The gavel fell to open the Party's first nominating convention, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on June 17, 1856, announcing the birth of the Republican Party as a unified political force."

    Another misinfo is that the KKK were Republicans. WRONG!

    "Founded in 1866, the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) extended into almost every southern state by 1870 and became a vehicle for white southern resistance to the Republican Party’s Reconstruction-era policies aimed at establishing political and economic equality for blacks. Its members waged an underground campaign of intimidation and violence directed at white and black Republican leaders. Though Congress passed legislation designed to curb Klan terrorism, the organization saw its primary goal–the reestablishment of white supremacy–fulfilled through Democratic victories in state legislatures across the South in the 1870s. After a period of decline, white Protestant nativist groups revived the Klan in the early 20th century, burning crosses and staging rallies, parades and marches denouncing immigrants, Catholics, Jews, blacks and organized labor. The civil rights movement of the 1960s also saw a surge of Ku Klux Klan activity, including bombings of black schools and churches and violence against black and white activists in the South."

    Now, of course, gonna get fools. I get it, your claim to be "liberal" when you dont actually take the time to learn History! and, Im talking about unbiased sources! which, this site seems very much to be.

    1. This post was left by "Anonymous" (Surprise!) at 12:09 this morning and I accidentally deleted it when trying to open it to reply. This is my reply:

      Your willingness to acknowledge your own political ideologies while dismissing my own is quite telling. Calling yourself a Libertarian is meaningless. You are still a Republican. I can be called a Progressive, but it still means I lean left. Whatever you decide to call yourself, you lean right. And the agenda of the right is racist. I am not saying that everyone who identifies as a Republican is a racist. The platform, however still is. The cute thing about Libertarianism is that it is farther right than what we have always identified Republican. The entire premise is "ME ME ME" which is a lovely departure from the old ideologies because now you don't have to actually have reasons to condemn yourself to find an answer to 'why' you don't support social programs. Of course, I have found repeatedly for the last several months that those who identify as Libertarians opened the year proudly saying they were in the Tea Party. That has gone out of fashion so they now go back to the Libertarian identification the party was supposed to have had in the first place (you know, before you all got so confused by allowing the Evangelicals to redefine your entire belief system LOL). So you can play semantics with your own belief system if it makes you feel better about yourself. I am fine with whatever makes you feel good. LOL.

      Your knowledge of history is quite sad. And, apparently, it mirrors your capacity of reading comprehension. Not only did I clearly remind my readers that the right constantly refer to distant history to contradict the left on its insistence for equality, but I put the quote of Dr King's autobiography to allow you to see his own dismissal of the Republican brand and then went on to inform those who read this post and can understand its words that the Civil Rights movement (the one Dr King was such a substantial player in) was the reason the two sides switched in the first place. You LITERALLY proved my point in you profoundly ignorant reply. When you refuse to admit that the parties switched in the 50s-60s it makes it a lot easier to appreciate your own history and do things like attribute the KKK to the left and Lincoln to the right.

      As much time as those on the right spend trying to justify themselves as not being racist by going back 150 years or even 65 years to prove their contentions is telling to those of us who actually are intelligent and actually do know history. If your platform, politicians and actions weren't racist TODAY, no justifications of distant history would have to be used to support.

      An ignorant person simply has no capacity to upset me when they call me names meant to demean my own intellect because it is out of desperation and their very own ignorance. Best of luck to you in further attempts to fulfill the need to define yourself in a respectful party. Maybe start one with no history. Libertarians have already been pretty well ruined so that is probably your best shot. The fact that those farthest right have to change their own title repeatedly should offer you time of reflection. I really am embarrassed for you all. Your movement is a train wreck and your own inability to understand (or unwillingness to believe) history won't serve you well in the future if you ever try to offer poignant dialogue with anyone.