They're hardly the worst people in the world, but among the more annoying breeds of Americans are bleeding-heart conservatives and macho wimps.
not bad-mouthing "compassionate conservatives" here. People should be
compassionate; conservatives are people; so conservatives should be
compassionate. The bleeding-hearts I refer to, mostly, are religious or
social conservatives who can't bear the thought of (figuratively) God's
straying sheep destroying their lives and, more important, damning
themselves to hell. Bleeding-heart conservatives want to intervene and
save these lost sheep; they differ from bleeding-heart liberals because
their interventions often involve serious jail time, and some of the
lost sheep wind up as mutton.
over gay marriage ultimately has to do with full-citizenship, sodomy and
sin, and ancient and modern attempts to preserve the boundaries around
categories — male and female, here — and semi-conscious programs to
increase our tribe's population by limiting sex to the reproductive.
This is an important debate, and rapidly getting resolved: a
growing proportion of Americans, when pushed, accept "Different
strokes / For different folks" with gays, or will allow that American adults
have the right to go to hell as they, and we, choose.
An armistice in The War on Drugs is also approaching, if more slowly.
approaching bankruptcy can't afford "the New Prohibition" of
recreational drugs other than booze. We can't afford the investment in
policing; we can't afford the gang wars over sales territories; and we
can't afford incarceration of people who hurt mostly themselves. Abroad,
the United States can't afford the figurative "War on Drugs" when it
interferes with a far more literal war against the Taliban, ISIS, and other zealots.
12-step people — Alcoholics Anonymous and its offspring — say this much that is true and important: that you
really can't help addicts until they want help, and they often don't
want help until they hit bottom. You want to be a compassionate
conservative? Make sure every addict that wants help gets help. No
waiting time to get into rehabilitation programs — and good programs.
Until then, let these lost sheep, too, go to hell in their own ways:
limit "intervention" to matters of public health.
currently most troublesome macho wimps, in my unhumble opinion, are the
people pushing the excellent slogan, "Freedom isn't free" while
militantly unwilling to take risks themselves.
are arguments to be made against closing the US prison camp at
Guantanamo Bay. Those arguments do not, however, include, "Keep 'em
locked up forever without trial in an iron cage 'cause I'm afraid to
have a possible terrorist in my area code!"
Freedom is not
free; neither is decency nor effective foreign policy. They all require
risks. Indeed, to modify a bit a teaching of Thomas Jefferson, freedom,
decency, and even crass policy all require, from time to time, that
nice people will die.
Americans would be safer in a police state than a free one, but we
haven't gone to a police state. To establish unlimited police powers
would be macho in a way: tough; to do it to protect our own precious butts, however — the reason it gets done — is the act of dangerous wimps.
bleeding-heart conservatives and macho wimps: toughen up! Throwing
people in jail for doing some drug is not compassion; wetting your pants
in fear that a suspected terrorist might get acquitted and walk among
us isn't manly, or womanly: it's wimp.
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