Last week I asked: Are liberals stupid? None of my readers thought so—at least not liberals in general, as a species. But several thought particular liberals could be—namely me, for attempting to engage an enraged drunk who was brashly denouncing “f**king liberals” outside a restaurant in Boonsboro.
“Hey there!” I yelled. “How can you tell who’s a liberal?”
There is a time to speak and a time to keep silent. You should have kept your mouth shut.
Most people know that the better part of valor is discretion. Most people know not to poke the bear. Most people know not to get into a pissing contest with a skunk. Most people know you can’t reason with a drunk—or a sober Republican.
But sometimes the devil gets the best of us. Sometimes we just gotta piss on a skunk. Sometimes we just gotta pick on Republicans. Jim Jordan, Ted Cruz, Mitch McConnell, Marjorie Taylor Greene. We can’t just ignore that menacing menagerie.
And yet, I confess, some of my best friends are Republicans. Well, actually just one. And he’s intelligent, reasonable, tolerant, kind, scientifically informed, and not bonkers.
Which only goes to show, as one reader said: Labels can be harmful and misleading, blinding us to nuances and complexities in the other.
Not all Republicans are bonkers. Not all liberals are quixotic. Not all evangelicals are insurrectionists. Not all rednecks are intolerant.
Let people evolve. Let them be more than we think they are. Let them surprise us.
The day after same-sex marriage was legalized in West Virginia, my friends Richard and Rob went to the courthouse in Martinsburg to apply for a marriage license. They went with trepidation. After all, a certain pious county clerk in Kentucky had recently refused to honor such a request. What kind of reception would they receive in West Virginia, another red(neck) state?
Well, let me tell you. The clerk was thrilled and honored to issue the license. My friends were flabbergasted. Floored. They invited the clerk to their wedding. She came. After their vows, they invited her to stand. The congregation gave her a rousing ovation.
Labels negate, confine, restrict.
Which brings me to another comment from last Sunday’s post. One reader labeled me a smart-ass. I could say it takes one to know one, but I won’t.
You see, I’m evolving.