Liberal Encounter on the Fourth of July
By: Guest Authors
By: Greg Halvorson
Oh boyâ€¦. Living in Portland, Oregon, itâ€™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 canâ€™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 â€œworking as hard as any president had ever worked,â€ and that, indeed, heâ€™d inherited a mess which would â€œsoon be solvedâ€ 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 everâ€”emphasis on â€œever.â€
Now, he had meâ€”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 â€œworst years.â€ 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, â€œHe is not.â€
â€œIs not what?â€ I asked.
â€œLiberal,â€ he said, ascribing my claim as regurgitated â€œtalk radio.â€
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 â€œtax cutâ€ 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, isnâ€™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, â€œTalk radio, talk radioâ€¦.â€
â€œSo you donâ€™t have an answer,â€ I said. â€œThatâ€™s what Libs do when they donâ€™t have an answerâ€”dissimulate and whine.â€
â€œObama is intelligent,â€ he blurted, backing it with the ultimate trump (touchÃ©!), â€œSarah Palin?â€
â€œJoe Biden?â€ 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 â€œisnâ€™t liberal,â€ and had supported his statement by denigrating rationality as â€œconservative dogma.â€
Wow, I thought, Obama can sellâ€¦.
With the arrival of darkness a short while later, the fireworks seemed a little less bright.