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Monday, November 1, 2010

The Twisted Nature of the Liberal Mind

As I drove through Bismarck on my errands Saturday, I was listening to NPR. (only God knows why) Actually, the reason I stopped on that station which I usually avoid like the plague (in reality I have never really avoided the plague as it were so maybe it should be "avoid like a pair of Nike shoes") was because the person being interviewed was talking about his travels around the world using the lowest forms of "conveyance" (his word) in the world. Having recently visited Guatemala and experiencing some similar travel situations, it peeked my interest. But as I listened, I began to realize that there was something more to his story than simply revealing these sad stories of destitution to the general public who may never experience them firsthand.

 My first inclination that something was amiss was when he was describing his trip over the Andes mountains in Peru. Without going into all the details, he described traveling in a packed bus(he was sitting in the stairwell with his legs hanging out of the bus)down steep mountain roads made of mud, with cliffs rising and falling mere inches from the bus at times. There were no bathroom facilities because a man was using the bathroom to store the crates of fruit he was selling to the passengers and the man next to him had a sick child who was vomiting on the bus and defecating out the windows during the terrifying ride down the mountain. All of that is horrible enough but what he said after that description was what made my ears perk up. He said (and I am paraphrasing here) that after he just accepted all of the dirt and filth and discomfort, it was one of the most invigorating and heartening trips he ever took. He went on to describe some of the positive things of the trip such as that the passengers were kind and people brought him food (the host had to point out that they were SELLING him the food, a fact that he deliberately left out and we will see why in a moment).

 After discussing this part of his trip a little more, he went on to describe returning to the United States and how he took a Greyhound bus from the West coast to his home in the East. I am guessing that this was his idea of the lowest form of "conveyance" in the U.S. He described this leg of his journey as the most depressing and discouraging part of his travels. Why? Because the people were not very open, and he had to buy food from a vending machine. It was clear now what his message was as he continued to describe the shortcomings of the United States. His message was that no matter how bad things may be in Third World countries, the United States is much worse.

 This reveals the corruption of the Liberal Mind. In order to twist reality to to fit the liberal way of thought he had to disregard all the negative aspects of the horrific conditions in which he was traveling, and there, in this world of his own creation, he could find utopia of liberal thought, people living in harmony. That is the ideal of the liberal mindset. It doesn't matter if those harmonious people are starving to death, or plummeting off mountain passes to their deaths as long as they were living in harmony. So, instead of being concerned about the suffering of the child who was vomiting on the bus, or the indignity of being forced to defecate out the window of a public bus, or the humiliation of needing to purchase food stored in the toilet of a bus, or living in constant fear of death every time they had to take to the road, the liberal mind is concerned about the impersonal nature of buying food from a vending machine or the unwillingness of strangers on a bus to speak openly to each other. You see, America's goal is not harmony, it is freedom and prosperity. That is anathema to the liberal mind.

 As I listened, this all played out in front of me. He would not have been so candid if he had not thought he was speaking to friends, which is why he was on NPR. He was honest about ignoring the negatives in order to bolster his position, yet he was caught in his dishonesty by an only slightly more honest host when talking about people bringing him food on the bus. He would have been just as well with giving us the impression that he was being fed free of charge out of the kindness of their hearts because it lent itself to his point. If a person is willing to lie to support his position, it makes me question the validity of that position. He complained about the vending machines as if it were the only food offered to the passengers of this bus on their 72 hour trip across the U.S. I simply don't believe that. And somehow he found vending machine sandwiches more repulsive than unrefrigerated fruit stored in a public toilet. He complained about the "standoffishness" of the passengers of the bus on Grey Hound when I can imagine he made no effort to strike up a conversation. If he had, he may have found things very different. And finally, while I am sure the Peruvian Andes are more breathtaking than the deserts of the Southwest U.S., he made no mention of the natural beauty of the country side he experienced in that last leg of his journey. I am sure there was beauty somewhere along the line. But that is the liberal mind. It is a twisted view that requires a twisted reality. Remember this as you vote tomorrow. Would you rather live in America, or take a Peruvian bus to work each day? Providing you have a job at all.

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Steve at Random said...

Your blog reminds me of this recent adage: "There are two kinds of people. Those who think income should be earned and those who think it should be shared."

Nicholas said...

Thanks Steve!

Scott Jonesilicious said...

Hey man, you go to some backwards country like Peru and it can be really eye-opening. Can you really chalk up liking the charm of a simpler life in the middle of nowhere to having a "Liberal Mind". Yeah, NPR has its irritating, self-righteous left wing nonsense. (and it also beats the hell out of your local "Mix" station.) A trip like that is kinda awesome.

I've got a lot of "stuff" a second property, investments and a sweet job. I "earn" plenty and could pretty much just do as I please, and I'm all right with "sharing" what I've got too.

But you get a whole shock to your perspective and it is "exhilarating" when you go off to some orphanage in Russia for a couple weeks with basically nothing - as I've done - or your trip to Guatamela. Didn't you come back to the U.S. with both an appreciation for America and also a whole lot of new perspective? I don't think you can simply assign a profound life-experience to the political spectrum. I mean, take away the political assumptions and tell me you can't relate at least a little bit. If anything, really, the criticism of the guy should be: If you love Peru so much, why don't you move there?

And the Greyhound is BEAT. I live a block from the station. Vending machine food for 17 hours is accurate. I'm not saying I'd eat the food out of a toilet, but I do like fresh food over vending machines. That's part of my Life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

There are people who "earn" and "share". Any "Two kinds of people" adage is always as ridiculous as Ricky Bobby saying "If you ain't first you're last." There are like a million different shades in there between bleeding-heart dirty hippie and right wing nut.

Oh and sorry about all the reposts.

Nicholas said...

Scott, thanks for the insight.

It is a little difficult for those reading my post because you didn't have the chance to hear the interview for yourself and I realize that. You almost have to take me at my word in order to accept my point. And that is a little unfair to be sure.

If he had referred to moments of "charm of a simpler life" then I would chalk that up to the fact of everyone has their own tastes and that would be fine. But that is not what he presented. He presented one of the most abysmal descriptions of human life I have ever heard (some of which I witnessed first hand in Guatemala) and what he said was after he accepted how horrible it was and ignored that part of it, THEN it was an exhilarating experience. That is very different from what you were suggesting. Don't you agree?

I think what makes yours and my experience in places like Russia and Guatemala a little skewed is that we know what we have waiting at home and that we will be back soon. I think our view would change drastically if we were not ever going to be returning.

Yes, it did give me an immense appreciation for the States when I returned even though there were things that were heightened in my awareness of my life in the US that were actually pretty negative and troubling as well. I wish I had written the last part to my Guatemala trip but upon my return I couldn't bring myself to write it and I fear that too much time has passed to write it accurately now.

But see, appreciation for the States was the exact opposite of what this guy said he felt. For him coming back to the States was the worst leg of his trip. Those were his words. No matter the vending machine food, that is a delusional mind who thinks as he does. It is classic Liberalism. Take the very worst of our society and elevate it to preeminence and take the worst of a socialist/marxist/communist society and ignore it and somehow conclude that America is far inferior than all the others. When in reality, our worst is nearly on par with their best. It is a guilt complex.

In Guatemala, I was living as a pretty wealthy person would live there and I had almost none of the comforts I was used to at home in my lower middle class living environment. It was stunning.

To me, Liberalism is more than simply an ideal in a political spectrum. It is a mindset that permeates every part of a person's thought processes and life. I find its effects in many areas of life having nothing to do with politics. And that is what I was trying to show here. This project of his was not political at all yet his Liberal mindset determined his conclusions about his experiences and it was so plainly flawed as to be a perfect example of the twisted nature of the Liberal mind.

Thanks again for your comment and don't worry about the dups, I did the very same thing on another blog earlier today, ha ha. Feel free to respond further!



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