This whole manly men of the right has just pissed me off all night, and I think it is something that just needs to be dealt with aggressively and unflinchingly. Masculinity and manliness is not about about hurting the week or underprivileged. Being a man is about taking care of those who can not take care of themselves. Being a man, or macho, or whatever bullshit you want to call it, is about taking care of those around you.
Perhaps the greatest thing to ever happen to me was this blog, where I could post my opinions and have people react to them. You can check the archives for all the embarrassing and stupid things I have said in the past, but this blog served as a corrective. People like Brad Reed and the Poorman and our own DougJ and how many countless others never gave up, and I learned a lot. Were it not for them, and their taunting and relentless (and fully deserved) abuse and mockery, I doubt I would ever have learned anything. I remember one day when Atrios called me the wanker of the day, and shortly afterwards, as everything came to a head with Schiavo and Graeme Frost, I realized that if being called a wanker bothered me so much, I should probably stop being such a fucking, well, wanker. Here is a coda I just posted to FB, but it kind of belongs here:
What’s on my mind, Facebook? I will tell you. For decades I was a Republican, but they lost their shit, and I left the party in 2005. I was always pro gay rights and pro-choice and anti death penalty as a Republican, but they decided I did not belong, so I left.
And now, I am happy to say I am a proud liberal who will stand up to right-wing douchebags who have decided that 2/3 of America doesn’t deserve the right to exist.
I support gay rights and the ability for gay people to marry.
I am pro-choice. Not pro-abortion, but pro-choice.
I am against the death penalty. This used to be a libertarian position, but they are so corrupted by right wing money that they no longer are worried about the state executing the citizenry. Because, you know, freedom.
I think marijuana should be legal and taxed. Obviously, alcoholics like Orange John Boehner think this is crazy as he leads the House with a BAC of .20 every day.
I think religion can be a good thing, but I think religious people should respect that many people do not share their faith nor need lists of commandments to understand they shouldn’t fuck their neighbor’s wife or murder or steal. Some of us kinda figured that shit out on our own.
I don’t think video games or movies make people kill people.
I do think easy access to guns makes it really easy to kill people.
I think gay people should be able to adopt. In fact, I think we should stop calling them gay people and just call them, well, people.
I don’t think taxes are a punishment. I think they are what gives us roads and part of a great societal pact; an obligation for all of us to fulfill so we can be so lucky to live in this country.
I don’t think people who are poor are evil, stupid, or lazy. I just think they have no money and could use some help from me.
I think that this world is basically lacking in human compassion and empathy, and that bothers me. “I got mine” seems to be a refrain that is repeated too often.
I could go on, but these are the basics.
I will never be remembered as a great man- I won’t write the modern equivalent of the Magna Carta or draw the Mona Lisa, and you know what, I am ok with that. I do, on the other hand, want to be remembered as a flawed man who worked really hard to be a good person who helped others and who took care of animals and basically, even in my misguided moments, tried to do the right thing and be right by my fellow citizens. It took some education and some patience by many of you readers and commenters, and I really am always going to be a foul mouthed drunken work in progress, but I think I am doing as good as I can with what the FSM gifted me.
I hope you do, too.