Published On: Mon, Feb 29th, 2016

COMMENTARY: Observations and random thoughts. Volume Six.


Liberal and conservative philosophies issue. Part Two.


Last time I was just getting into the flow but my article was deemed a lot too long and was cut into two parts. If you want to refresh pick up Part One, re-read or scan through and continue with this. I’ll try to be a little less wordy next time but I ain’t guaranteeing nothing.

What’s happened since the last column? Oh yeah, the Panthers got their hindquarters FedExed and handed to them in SB50. And you can spell it as you want, whuppin’ or whoopin’, it happened. Ugly, ugly, boring game. Unless you’re a Bronco fan. Cam Newton said earlier in the season, “If people don’t like my dancing, then stop me.” Ask and ye shall receive dude.

Speaking of dancing, SB50 had a very boring halftime show, someone really should’ve done us all a service and stopped the dancing done by Coldplay’s singer, that very pale man ain’t got no kinda rhythm. And Thunderthighs Beyonce almost stopped her own “dancing” by falling off the stage. That itself woulda been the highlight of SB50.

Golden State is tearing up the NBA, big time. I’m a Laker fan, have been since ’68 but lately I’ve started watching Warrior games, not much to watch in Lakerland these days. Steph Curry is unreal. I especially like it when the Warriors lay a major league smack down on the Cavaliers. LeBron in defeat is as much fun to witness as Cam Newton in defeat. But Lebron knows how to handle a loss, Cam had to run off and weep. Funny stuff.

Now, back to the main event.

Liberal. Just to be clear on the subject, even though I consider myself a moderate I like the term liberal. I don’t mind when people call me that. In my eyes it’s far from being the insult that the conservatives think it is. To me the very definition of the word liberal is something to be proud of. The word liberal means progressive, adaptable and open to change. Open-minded and intelligent people can easily adapt to change. The word conservative simply means the opposite, fearful of change, holding desperately to the idea of traditional values. All of these are good except that in the real world most conservatives are also paranoid, stingy and very selfish. They seem to value greed above all. Capitalism in the original sense is now dead or dying thanks to that greed. And it kinda makes me wonder how they can claim to be as religious as they do since they refuse to even try to help the unfortunate. I’ve also noticed that conservatives are extremely motivated by fear. Fear of immigrants (ironic), fear of the National debt (whaaat?), fear of minorities (huh?), fear of the government (again, whaaat…). I also remember conservatives running out in droves to buy guns and ammo when Obama was elected and again when he was re-elected. Something about fear of a blackskin uprising that never happened. Now they’re at it again.

I can’t begin imagine how life in America would be today if liberal ideas weren’t allowed to work…other than wonder what we could’ve become if we hadn’t allowed any immigrants to land here in the first place. Oh well, c’est la vie. So I’ll throw a few liberal concepts out that have worked so well that conservatives wish they were the ones that thought of them. Number One: most important, there’d be no United States of America because revolution is an extreme liberal idea, remember, the British supporting Tories were conservatives, they liked how things were and were scared of change. The Constitution and Bill of Rights (which is chock full of liberal ideas like free speech, freedom of the press, right to bear arms, etc.). Civil Rights. Women’s voting rights. 40-hour work week. Social Security. Capitalism. Unemployment compensation. The abolishment of slavery. And the one that I like best, citizenship for Native people. We’re still treated like second class citizens by many but that’s another column for another day.

There’s one thing that gets me, America is OK with females doing and being everything imaginable except be President of the United States. I truly believe that after 227 years, the USA might finally be ready for the first female US President, and after 219 years of whiteskin male Presidents I certainly am. We’ll need a strong woman and, like her or not, Hillary Clinton is such a woman. She’s highly intelligent, she doesn’t take any crap from anyone (many people, mostly, especially, insecure men, call her that “B” word because she won’t take any crap from them) and she apparently values traditional marriage more than Republicans like Newt Gingrich, Bob Dole, Henry Hyde, John McCain and other GOP’ers who’ve dumped their wives to marry their mistresses, some more than once. And since you want to let’s talk Benghazi, yes you do, you know that you do…she’s been investigated by no less than seven GOP led committees, all seven found no wrongdoing which is exactly why they keep holding these hearings, stay tuned for number 8. The email “scandal”? That’s a fabrication by Republicans wanting to tarnish her image and it’s kinda worked. People that weren’t going to vote for her in the first place still aren’t. And just FYI, the days of women being chained to the stove, barefoot and pregnant are long gone. Ah, those traditional, conservative values.

As for Bernie Sanders I’ll say this for him. He’s a very intelligent man who just happens to understand that war doesn’t make us great and who also believes in a concept or philosophy called democratic socialism. Democratic socialism shouldn’t be confused with communism which less enlightened Republicans routinely attempt to do. It’s that fear thing again. So, I’ll attempt to prove my point by pointing out a few examples of democratic socialism which are alive and well in America today. I’ll begin with…our military. It’s paid for and supported by the American people because, war or not we’ll always have a need for a military…either that or corporations will hire their own armies. Our roads, highways and bridges. Again, paid for and supported by the American people. Police and fire departments. Public libraries. US Postal Service. CIA, FBI, Homeland Security. The VA. Garbage pickup, landfills. Public schools. Elected officials. And finally, free and open elections, the cornerstone, something we used to enjoy until the GOP attempted to manipulate the ballot box by inventing various voter fraud scandals and re-organization or re-drawing of voting districts. But, simply because Bernie Sanders believes in the same rights for all Americans he has no realistic chance to be President. Even if he got elected he’d fare no better than President Obama because conservatives are scared of change for the better.

This discussion of conservative versus liberal philosophies brings to mind an old joke that fits this whole thing perfectly…”Two elderly folks were sitting in church one Sunday listening to the preacher, the wife leans over and whispers to her husband, “I couldn’t help it but I just tooted a long silent toot.” The husband replies, “You need to change the batteries in your hearing aids.” The point being, always have all of the facts available before making assumptions.

Ledford is an EBCI tribal member living in Albuquerque, NM.