Sunday, July 24, 2011

Zealous Idolatry

I am by no means a left-wing liberal. Nor am I some sort of right wing kook. I'm more of an American than a democrat or republican. I tend to be fiscally conservative, socially progressive, an advocate of freedoms (such as personal, speech and choice) and generally skeptical of government and the people who run it for us.

While we're not in total agreement, my circle of friends, treasured acquaintances and guests tends to be congenial and not-too-polarized-by-politics. That is, it seems, until recently when a newcomer decided that he must underscore his presence with very strong tones of his being a republican and an avid follower of Rush Limbaugh.

But we're not talking about conversation and advocacy for a particular position but rather that stereotypical "Ugly American" "right wing nutjob" kind of behavior. Escalating volumes and then bizarre, insistent pronouncements that those who disagreed were "idiots", "dumb" and generally stupid. I started to wonder if this guy was going to blame the fall of Western Civilization to the invasion of minorities, the spread of same sex marriage and Muslims.

I didn't pay too close attention to the argument happening three feet in front of me because it was just silly, and this person with the high moral ground was also an adulterer. Kind of difficult to take someone seriously and respect that persons supposed moral fiber when it's that loose. That and it's just a waste of time to argue with someone doing the adult equivalent of covering your ears and saying "I know you are but what am I?"

The comic part of the exchange started to occur when this person started insisting that the person he was arguing with didn't know what he was talking about and questioned where he received his information. Comic because our friend is a reporter for The Washington Post.

This person also decried the size of Big Government, ignoring the fact that he is employed by said government. How one rallies against the very hand that feeds him seems curious, at best, to me. Don't like Big Government? Quit and make it that much smaller.

Watching from across the bar was just rather strange. Strange to see that our little group had been invaded by this adulterous republican. He seemed consumed by his conservative brainwashing and anger. Was he going to resort to fisticuffs? I wondered when he would start calling for the extermination, er, expulsion of non-whites.

This kind of blind mentality reminded me of the guy my cousin married, another white ultra-conservative religious type. The kind of person that immediately makes me uneasy because they seem to be just a bedsheet away from a new wardrobe. That guy is a total prick and an adulterer too to think of it.

It also reminded me of the kind of white guys I used to see in Ermita, Manila parading around with their "exotic" girlfriends cum wives. Guys who seem more seduced by the ideal of having a submissive, exotic, Asian wife to do their bidding and then treat them like second-class whores in reality.

So curious that such zealous, right-wing, conservatives types seem to have a proclivity to adultery. Rally for "family values" and rail against homosexuality but cheat on your wife. Weird. I just don't "get it."

He really got another riled up when he started insulting President Obama with the typical stuff you hear from the right. Spending, war and more came up as Obama's failures with the belief that somehow it was only Obama that's the cause of these problems. Never mind the fact that much of what we face today was started by his republican predecessor.

It's that typical "blame everyone else but accept no responsibility" line of thinking - as though this person didn't live in a pre-2009 America and we don't have a divided government that's hell-bent on fighting each other over party lines instead of working forward to benefit America.

In the end, this guy really turned everyone off. Beyond the simple politics of position but more because of the belligerence and blind zealotry displayed. That kind of blind intolerance is scary and uncalled for in modern society. It's the kind of blindness that leads to hate and persecution. There is no reasoning with this kind of thinking.

And that's a shame.