Liberal Encounter on the Fourth of July

By: Guest Authors

By: Greg Halvorson

Oh boy…. Living in Portland, Oregon, it’s impossible to avoid, if one is to have any social life whatsoever, card-carrying, knee-jerk Democrats, and over-the-weekend, rather by accident, I conversed with one of them. It began innocently enough when I asked whether his small business had been hurt by the economy, and he replied that, though he was getting hammered by taxes (welcome to Oregon), he was doing okay. I replied that he should brace for more taxes, qualifying this with comments about government-run health care and the eco-spawned Cap-and-Trade bill. At this point, he sighed, mumbled into his Corona, and, though I can’t be one-hundred percent certain, lightened epithelially. Knowing him in small business, I assumed (though one should never assume that a Liberal comprehends his own peril) he was against higher taxes (he had, after all, just griped about them) and, as a matter of course, against Obama Nation.

I was wrong.

Without stating specifics, he tossed out that the president was “working as hard as any president had ever worked,” and that, indeed, he’d inherited a mess which would “soon be solved” by expert appointees. I, thereafter, brought attention to Broadway extravaganzas, weekly state dinners, and White House luaus, as well as an obsessive-compulsive-press-conference disorder leading, in my mind, to Barrack-on-the-brain.

This raised his ire; his mood soured, and he began, alternately, to gaze at the ceiling, a sweaty pot-roast impaled with toothpick flags, and the floor. I was informed, brusquely, that the last eight years had been the worst ever—emphasis on “ever.”

Now, he had me—no one, his face read, could counter George Bush; and, to diffuse a meltdown, I agreed, yes, that Bush had been a poor leader. The economy had grown in seven of the eight “worst years.” Still, George, by refusing to communicate with the People, had fostered doubt, acrimony and confusion. That said, I wondered (rhetorically) whether the election of his opposite was a sound way to go. Obama, I pointed out, is by contrast liberal, at which point he snorted, viciously, “He is not.”
“Is not what?” I asked.

“Liberal,” he said, ascribing my claim as regurgitated “talk radio.”

Talk radio? What had begun as a friendly inquiry into his well-being had, lickety-split, drawn a Maginot Line. I wondered, silently, whether he felt himself among the 95% of Americans (43% of whom are exempt from federal taxes) promised a “tax cut” by Obama who will suffer interminable economic nicks. Did he comprehend the meaning of deception, the dizzying urgency of unread bills being slammed into law based on red-herrings? Goaded beyond silence, I asked how he could possibly say that government expansion, as policy, isn’t liberal. I mentioned union ownership of G.M., government-issued health care, and the capping of carbon output based on refutable findings.

Disgust. Eyes narrowed, unable to engage the source demanding consistency in his statement, he repeated, “Talk radio, talk radio….”

“So you don’t have an answer,” I said. “That’s what Libs do when they don’t have an answer—dissimulate and whine.”

“Obama is intelligent,” he blurted, backing it with the ultimate trump (touché!), “Sarah Palin?”

“Joe Biden?” I countered.

Correlations between lofty I.Q. and sound leadership speak well of Mao, I added, causing a puckering of features seen rarely in the toothed.

Expecting plugged-ears and lip-bongo, I departed. A small business owner vexed by taxation had just informed me that the orchestrator of the largest expansion of government in sixty years “isn’t liberal,” and had supported his statement by denigrating rationality as “conservative dogma.”

Wow, I thought, Obama can sell….

With the arrival of darkness a short while later, the fireworks seemed a little less bright.

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