Tao Te KaChing
Workin' the cash register of the Great Tao

Politics, Lexicology, and Me...

I've decided to add a politically-nuanced(?) entry based on a tiny epiphany I just had. I will, in my lifetime, have seen the political re-meme-ing of one or two words.

I was thinking about why I am disgusted with people who now accuse others as "another liberal". I'm not sure exactly why I'm disgusted, as the image this pops into my mind is of some hairy, unshowered, pseudo-intellectual, hippy lesbian 20-something dancing around at a large college party with Grateful Dead playing in the background. But this is not what's implied when a (neo-)republican lay-pundit snarls at someone being "another liberal".

I then thought of Ann Coulter. She, in her undergraduate years at Cornell, was in the College of Arts and Sciences, basically getting a liberal arts education. I thought then that schools nowadays may need to have both a college of liberal arts and a college of conservative arts. I didn't care so much about what this would mean, if anything, because it was then I noticed the meaning of these words in my mind at that moment is not actually what their meaning really is.

The word conservative should connote something to the effect of "if it works, that's what we should do," whereas liberal would therefore imply "we haven't tried this; it may be better, so we should try it." Again, we might also say that conservative means to purposefully use a minimal amount of, say, salt, whereas we're liberal with salt if we shake on as much as we might want.

Looking at the Bush / Cheney's administration through these terms really makes them neither liberal nor conservative. Some argue that Clinton made the economy what it was when Bush Jr. took over, others say he inherited it from Bush Sr. Either way, our economy was working, and working well. A conservative, under the assumptions of the above connotations, would have continued the policies that was proven successful. Liberals would have wanted to expand on it, try new things with it, even alter it. Technically, then, our current administration is very liberal when it comes to our economy.

What's more baffling, though, is our military strategies post-9/11. Bin Laden initially denied responsibility for the attacks. A conservative (again under the above connotations) would have held back military action again Bin Laden and Al Qaeda until substantial proof (not just evidence) warranted retaliation against them. A liberal would be less burdened by proof. At this point, we again seem to be seeing a far more liberal administration than a conservative one. However, the real proof is in the pudding, and the pudding consisted of 15 of the 19 hijackers being Saudi Arabian. Ergo, both the liberal and the conservative would have directed attention more to that region than, say, Iraq. What term then fits this administration? Retarded? Pussy?

The final coup-de-gras comes with Bush's desire to lessen restrictions created by the Endangered Species Act. Aside from the mind-boggling reasoning behind trying to push this one out when your poll ratings are so low, this is an extraordinarily non-conservative stance. As a noun, this implies one who is discreet, cautious. I would bet money that a vast majority of Americans support the Endagered Species Act. This is unlike global warning and other environmentalist issues. This is about keeping rhinos and polar bears and eagles in existence, because they're cool. Ergo, not the policy change you want to try to make if you're cautious, and especially if you want to be discreet.Furthermore , as an adjective, conservative means "tending to conserve; preserve". Thus, Bush is a hardcore liberal.

This may seem to be a Bush / Cheney lambasting entry, but it isn't. I'll enjoy returning to this with a Obama or McCain administration to see which way they truly lean. I just want to remain true to the roots of my native language. I'm just a staunch conservative that way.