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Capitalist @ ConservativeShir

February 20, 2012

It is the principled impulse of my soul to fight against tyranny over human agency and productivity, which is also tyranny over the human heart, and the ultimate enemy of human love.

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The rhetoric of liberty is the rhetoric of love.

I recently infiltrated an assemblage of the “enemy.”  They were gathered in a sports bar that featured unisex restrooms.  There were no little geometric people icons with pants or skirts donning the restroom doors, so this traditional lady was a little bewildered. The presence of unisex restrooms was a sure sign that the establishment was owned by a Liberal; not just any Liberal, but a “sexual revolution,” undifferentiated-equality-between-the-sexes Liberal.  So I, to my great umbrage, I entered the restroom after a fellow had used it.  I got a corner of paper towel and used it to lower the toilet seat.  And, trust me, I didn’t sit, I hovered.  But, to tell the truth, the restroom debacle was the worst thing about my experience.

I went to the gathering to get some video footage and do a news piece on a Democratic candidate running for our United States Congressional district here in Western Colorado.  I blended, I admit it, with the “enemy.”  My hair always looks a little windblown, I usually wear jeans and a sweater, and comfy shoes, and I rarely wear Republican red because it clashes with the blue in my skin.  I introduced myself to the candidate and his staffers and told them the name of the website for whom I was doing a news piece. I turned on my little video cam, got out my note pad, and went to work.  I felt quite comfortable.  These were ordinary people.  Their perspectives were a little different than mine, but, like any other Americans on a Saturday afternoon, they were sitting in a sports bar, eating burgers, and mingling with like-minded people.  The biggest difference between this “enemy” assembly and a meeting of my Conservative cohorts, was the lack of cynicism about what their candidate was telling them.  The candidate fielded a total of 3 questions, one of which was mine.  The “enemy,” it appears, is not terribly curious about their candidates, and tends to be trusting and compliant inasmuch as their pet issues are not challenged.  Conservatives are curious, and will grill their candidates like hotdogs on a hibachi, never finding complete satisfaction. Liberals are less suspicious of one another than Conservatives.  They simply play well together.  However, someone must have googled my name during the meeting because afterwards, when I approached the candidate and a couple of his staffers to ask a final question, they refused to talk to me, and were, to my disappointment, cagey and cold.  I politely thanked them and left to go home, upload the video and write a piece for a conservative news site.

One is left to ask, what did they discover that caused them to shut me out?  Did they see the picture of me standing in front of the American flag with my six-shooter?  Did the name Reagan in ReaganGirl raise their hackles?  Did they see the word “Conservative” in my bio?  What dynamic transformed a woman who blended, was friendly, and felt very comfortable in the meeting, into a threat to their operations?  When I use the term “enemy,” it is with irony.  But, unfortunately when they saw that I exercise a different point of view, they thought me the antagonist to their cause as well as to their persons.

It is an idiom among counselors and students of human dynamics that fear and love are opposites.  Hate is only an expression of fear, and fear is what occupies the vacuum where love is absent.  Fear is the opposite of love, but it is also its pinch hitter.  America is polarized into factions, less because of ideological differences and more due to fear.  Each side has so demonized the opinions of the other, that it’s difficult for them to acknowledge that both sides are comprised of human beings.  Fear has become the grammar of political language.  Fear is preached from the pulpits and news desks of candidates and pundits alike.  Fear is the polarizing force that drives apart ideological rivals.  Fear is what extinguishes, not just the love for one another, but the love of country as well.  Fear, angst, and contention are woven into almost every rhetorical theme used by people of all political stripes.  But our current polarized condition is less an indictment of the use of fear to drive opinion, than it is the abrogation of love and truths that should be held in common by all Americans.

RightOnline, the Conservative web gathering,  and Netroots Nation, the Liberal Internet pow wow, are the biggest blogging conventions in the country.  Eric Telford, the organizer of Right Online, invariably waits until Netroots Nation has made arrangements for the coming year, and books Right Online in the same city, at the same time, and often within a few city blocks of Netroots.  There are usually fireworks, especially when Andrew Breitbart manages to intermingle with Netroots activists who believe him to be the Little Satan–second only to the Great Satan–Rush Limbaugh.  But my experience at Right Online 2011 was not contentious at all.  My hotel was full of Netroots participants.  They were mostly well behaved, and when I caught them individually or in small groups in the elevator or on the sidewalk, many were receptive to my smiles and kind words.  I never confronted them about our differences, which are legion, but focused on our Americanism, our dedication to a cause that is important to us, and our humanity.  It became apparent to me that fear is dispelled when love identifies the “enemy” as simply another seeking, questioning, struggling, confused, lovable, Child of God.

Liberalism, or more accurately, Progressivism, to me, is incompatible with happiness:

When I speak of progressive government I am speaking of an idea, not necessarily of the individuals who align themselves with the ideas of Progressivism.  But we are, unfortunately, at a point where many individuals have placed themselves in positions of power over the lives, wealth, and agency of the Children of God.  I am a Conservative not because I hate Liberals or Progressives, but because I have no choice but to fight against a system of government whose central purpose is to eliminate individual liberty.  It is the principled impulse of my soul to fight against tyranny over human agency and productivity, which is also tyranny over the human heart, and the ultimate enemy of human love.
What is the rhetoric of love?  Do Conservatives, the Americans who fight for Constitutional principles and Natural Law, soften their rhetoric to make it palatable to others ideologies? NO!  The rhetoric of the Founders was not soft, but it was filled with love.  They loved all Americans sufficiently to pledge their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor in behalf of the Loyalists as well as the Patriots.  It was their love for all Americans, their love of God, and their devotion to the principles of human liberty; those which elevate individuality, self-determination, responsibility, and the pursuit of happiness, that compelled them to risk everything.  Their unwavering devotion to one point of view defined their love, not as partisanship, but as truth embodied in wise and courageous leadership.
What does the rhetoric of love look like in 2012? After all, economic bon fires are torching countries across Europe. Warfare and revolutions are springing up across the Middle East.  And in America, those in government with the greatest power are chopping away at the foundations of our individuality, self-reliance, morality, success, families, culture, and our understanding of God.  How does someone who knows that these individuals must be stopped and removed from their powerful positions, express love?  How do Americans express love to people we know want to destroy our very identities as sovereign, self-determinant, Children of God?
  • We greet them with a smile and a handshake.
  • We compliment them to brighten their day.
  • We make them friends at home and in the community, and enemies only in debates and at the ballot box.
  • We answer their questions sincerely, with thoughtful and temperate words.
  • We gently agree to disagree, without anger.
  • We find those things we have in common and make them the fabric of our discourse.
  • We remember that the liberty to think, act, and err belongs to every one of us.
  • We look at each and every individual, political enemies, allies, and those of unknown quality, as simply another seeking, questioning, struggling, confused, lovable, Child of God.
But ReaganGirl, you might ask, you have previously written about secession and separation from a “wicked, dictatorial government?”   How do you reconcile “The Rhetoric of Love,” with the idea of national secession?  I will address these completely compatible ideas in my next post.  Happy Presidents Day, 2012.
By Marjorie Haun 2/20/12


  1. […] The Rhetoric of Love […]

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