no apology

This is totally off-topic. It's also a rant, which I don't usually do here. I usually write my essay-rants only for myself, just for release. But that's what happens when you have a blog. You get a soapbox, and suddenly you have to announce yourself to whoever comes along.


American liberals are always apologizing. Somewhere along the way (1980?) as the US became increasingly conservative, as liberals allowed conservatives to set the terms of the debate, and so, found themselves increasingly on the defensive - and indeed as the very word liberal became an expletive (anybody remember Michael Dukakis?) - liberals began to preface every opinion with a concession to the other side, and the telltale but. Of all liberal viewpoints, feminism probably took the hardest hit, but no opinion was immune.

"I'm against abortion, but I think women should have a choice..."

"Of course what Clinton did is disgusting, but I don't think it's our business..."

"I'm against welfare, but we have to have a safety net..."

"Sometimes the death penalty is necessary, but it's applied with racism..." (This is not heard much these days, now that it's again socially acceptable to be anti- capital punishment, but it was very popular in the 1980s.)

And my personal favorite

"I'm not a feminist, but..." Usually spoken by a young woman whose life has benefited enormously from feminism and who expects to be treated as an equal citizen.

Predictably, these days it's become fashionable to say "I support our troops, but not the war."

The hawk reaction to this statement illustrates how self-defeating this apologetic way of thinking is: it only enrages them. (If you don't believe me, do some googling.) Hawks claim that if you are against the war, you are against the troops, period. Throwing the yellow-ribbon crowd a four-word bone with a but attached will not placate them. And it won't open any eyes to the shame and hypocrisy of the US occupation of Iraq.

About the time I stopped standing for the national anthem, I realized I was through apologizing. Maybe that's when I stopped calling myself a liberal.

I don't support the war. I see the troops as victims. They are treated like shit and forced to do violence for no justifiable reason. Their presence in Iraq is an abuse of trust: they enlist to defend their country (and get an education), and are used as cannon fodder and tools of oppression. I feel great pain for them and for their families. But I neither support nor don't support them. The idea is irrelevant to me.

And while I'm at it:

I'm not against abortion. Abortion is as old as civilization and as necessary as any other medical procedure. It is often a necessary part of a woman's reproductive life, especially if she lives in a country without equal access to affordable health care such as the US. Women need abortions for a wide variety of reasons, and they should be able to have them. Period.

I'm against the death penalty. Always, for anyone, for all reasons. I am a survivor of a very violent crime, so don't talk to me about justice. I don't give a shit about the bible, so don't tell me an eye-for-an-eye. The government has no right to kill citizens. Period.

I am a feminist. You betcha bottom line I am. You might be one, too. But to find out, you gotta know what the word means.


Rant over.

We now return to you to your regularly scheduled we move to canada, and the friendly, congenial host you have come to expect.


d. said...

Nice work. And thank you, it reflects what many of us feel.


laura k said...

Thanks, d. I expected some nasty comments, so it's especially nice to be thanked. I'm enjoying your blog, btw.

Flemish American said...

I admire the way you worded it, and your right, many people who feel the way you do disguise their standpoint with an apology. However, you might consider why they do it.

I am a Christian and believe in the moral standpoints of the Right. I will, however, not live up to the ignorant behavior of many of my Right-wing cousins. I respect your opinions and see by what you write that you truly believe in them.

However, I will say that the reason many "Liberals" start or end a sentence with a justification is because they don't always believe what they are saying themselves. It has become fadish to stand for many social issues (Abortion, Gay Rights, Feministic views) despite our inner-belief against them and this results, especially on the Left, a paradox of standing for what you truly believe against what you feel you have to believe.

The Right has their own dilema with this right now as the War in Iraq splits many of us on what we truly believe. While the idea that Sadam Hussein and dictators like him need to be reigned-in sits well with us, many of us have to face the fact that Bush could have handled the situation a lot better. As I am American living overseas, this has had an effect on my relationships with people over here.

I hope your move makes you happy and I wish you luck. However, I bet even Michael Moore would still stand for the National Anthem. It seems you are missing the whole point if you have crossed the line of not respecting the heritage of our country and trying to do your part to make it better, at least in your eyes.

laura k said...

Michael Moore can and should do as he pleases, and I will do as I please. What has he got to do with me?

I don't believe in nationalism and don't respect what the US stands for (what it actually stands for, not what it purports to stand for), so I choose to sit. It's a form of silent protest.

I have spent most of my life working to better the US. Now I will lend my efforts to Canada, which is already so much farther along.

Your understanding of why liberals (no quotes necessary) apologize is simple self-delusion. They apologize because they are afraid of being outside the mainstream. They are trying to be liked.

If you think people who believe in equal rights (what you call "gay rights") and access to abortion are going against their true beliefs, you are living in a dream world. It's also highly insulting.

"Feministic" is not a word.

Please be sure not to use this blog as your personal sounding board the way you have done on Not The Country Club. If you do, your comments will be removed.

laura k said...

Flemish: I have no desire whatsoever to "engage you in a positive way". This blog is simply not a forum for views I find abhorrent.

"Even Al"? That's Al's business. As for my "ludicrous" comment about your personal sounding board: this is my personal sounding board. Save your blather for your own blog.

allan said...

Google some of the right-wing idiots during Clinton's military actions during the late 1990s. Quote after quote after quote of them saying they support the troops but the war is 101% wrong.

Just the kind of shit they get all steamed about now when the left does it. F*$# them all.

Trent Lott: You can support the troops without supporting the president."

Arlen Specter: "US troops will be deployed in Bosnia no matter what the Congress does. Congress should support the troops without endorsing the president's policy."

George Gekas, R-Pennsylvania: "I deplore the action of the president, but it is his decision and I will abide by that decision and support it, but, know well that it is a tragedy about to unfold."

Hank Brown, R-CO: "We should not send young men and women to their death without being fully resolved that what they might die for is worth the price. I don't believe that the mission that's been outlined is worth that price."

Wally Herger, R-CA: "Why should you ask blood be spilled for a cause that is not in the interest of the American people."

Pat Buchanan: "Well, I don't support the policy so much as I support the troops."

CNN reporter: "Senator Gramm intends to vote to cut off the funds for U.S. troops as well as for an amendment which will support the troops but not the mission ...

"Just because President Clinton has made a decision and the troops are already landing, Mr. Lott said, "I'm not going to endorse a wrong decision after the fact." ...

"Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, who angered many Republicans by backing the peace enforcement mission, made it clear that last night's vote was a show of support for American troops, not for Clinton.

"It would be wrong," he said, "to make our young men and women bear the brunt of a decision not made by them. We don't support the president's decision. We do support the troops."

laura k said...

Oops, I just realized that while I was deleting more comments from Flemish, I accidentally deleted my own comment in which I thanked him for his good wishes. So Flemish, if you are still reading: thank you.

allan said...

Turns out the first quote from Lott may not be accurate. It apparently does not turn up on a Nexus search.

They are all still a pile of hypocritical shitbags.

laura k said...

Well said.

Kyle Smith said...

Thank you for your up front and in-your-face statement of your stand on the issues you mentioned. I disagree with you wholeheartedly on a few of them, but I wish more people would unappologetically get it out in the open either way. You can't collect your winnings until you lay your cards out on the table.

laura k said...

Thank you! That's a really considerate and constructive thing to say.

You're an interesting mix of opinions - that's refreshing, too. Not toeing a "party line".

Thanks for reading, too. :>)

Kyle_From_Ottawa said...

Being honest is something a lot of people could use.

Choosing Dean as the new chairman of the Democratic Party was a great idea because he actually believes in his ideals.

Likewise, I have great respect for the Pope because he also has the courage of his convictions. Unlike "Christian" leaders like the repugnant Jerry Falwell, the Pope practices *all* the tenants of his religion, not just the ones that let you do unto others whatever the hell you want while excusing yourself as the "good guy". I disagree with a lot of things in religion, but what really turned me off religion was the total hypocrisy of people who used religion as an excuse to bludgeon others into conformity.

Likewise, I have no respect for our current Prime Minister Martin. He made the right choices (in my opinion) on things like gay marriage and missle defence, but not out of any convictions on his part. He flopped around pressures forced him to make a choice. He would have pissed off the Americans less if he had said "no" from the start instead of "yes, no ,maybe, err..., yes, I mean no" on the missle defence issue.

Bush is also incredibly dishonest. He's not a moron, he simply plays the part of the straight-talkin' average joe. The difference between his words of "compassionate conservatism", "limited government", "liberty & freedom", and his actions are astounding, yet he still manages to appear honest to the people. It's almost Machavellian, and to think that he's dumb is to underestimate him. He wants his opponents to think he's a dim bulb, and its proven to be a potent political weapon.

laura k said...

Interesting. I think W is dumb, but that he's only a figurehead for extremely smart and shrewd people. Cheney's (and other's) puppet. The supposedly average Joe face of the cabal. But I do think he is of sub-average intelligence.

Re appearing honest, remember he has a BIG assist from the American media.

You're so right, it is Machavellian. The word I keep coming back to is Orwellian. From the "Patriot Act" and "No Child Left Behind" on down, language has been consistently turned on its head until words have no meaning at all.

Crabbi said...

This is spot on. The "I'm not a feminist" thing is so lame. My other favorites are "I'm not really political" and "I don't watch the news." I've heard this from people who vote!