how to tell if you are part of the “liberal elite”

Ever wondered who the “liberal elite” are that threaten to destroy, no, who are destroying the Constitution and taking away everyone’s civil liberties?

Here are a couple lists for you. They’re long, but not exhaustive.

Part I: The yes questions. If you answer yes or maybe or have to think about it for more than four seconds on any one question, you are part of the Liberal Elite.

  • Do you call the Tea Party movement “teabaggers?”
  • Do you make fun of fundamentalist Christians?
  • Are people who misspell signs at demonstrations fucking idiots?
  • Does human-produced pollution contribute seriously to global warming?
  • Is global warming an issue we should all be concerned with?
  • Is Sarah Palin not very bright?
  • Should the government be required to obtain warrants before wiretapping our citizens?
  • Is empathy a strength, or, at a minimum, is empathy a very important quality in the experience of being human?
  • When you hear “freedom” do you think freedom of speech, freedom from want, freedom from fear, freedom to improve our lives, freedom from harm?
  • When you hear “patriot” do you flinch because you think of the Tea Party movement types but then, with some thought, do you realize that actually you do feel patriotic because you want the best for everyone in our country?
  • Do you see groups of impassioned Tea Party movement protesters and really, truly not get why they’re so upset? (And, do you then think they must just be idiots?)
  • When you pay your taxes do you maybe think, this totally sucks, but do you also have a sense if you really think about it that you are investing in the infrastructure of our nation, the commonwealth, so you feel a sense of pride and responsibility?
  • Do you wonder how anyone could watch FOX News and take it seriously?
  • Does everyone have a right to a high quality education in the USA? Should schools get the funding they need? Do you believe some students need more support to be successful in school than other students?
  • Do you believe it’s the responsibility of the government to protect us?
  • Does governmental protectionto you mean the government is responsible for:
    • building and maintaining our infrastructure
    • keeping our food/water/air/medicine safe
    • researching health, environmental, and other nationally important issues
    • ensuring big corporations don’t abuse their workers
    • maintaining a strong national guard, police, fire fighters
    • providing the resources necessary to predict and/or prevent and/or recover from natural disasters.
  • Do you believe that hiring private businesses to take over governmental functions in most cases actually takes taxpayer money and turns it into corporate profits?
  • Do you think that no-bid contracts given to private corporations to perform government functions costs the taxpayers a hell of a lot more money than it would cost to have the government do it? Might you refer to that as privateering?
  • Do you believe that private corporations in most cases hired by the government to take on governmental functions end up being governmental entities themselves but without any accountability to the public? Again, might you call that privateering?
  • Do you believe the government has a moral mission to provide for the general welfare, the common good of the people while corporations are only concerned with profit and are only accountable to their shareholders? And, again, might you call that privateering?
  • Do you believe it is literally dangerous in many cases to turn governmental functions over to private corporations? For example, asking medication companies to test their own medicines for safety since the FDA hasn’t been properly funded and can’t handle all the testing required? (Privateering.)
  • Does it scare the shit out of you that not only is Blackwater a private firm making millions of dollars in profits—taxpayer money—has a massive training facility in Southern California so they can take on border patrol work? Is the idea of a private corporation taking over so much of the work the military is trained to do absolutely abhorrent to you? Does it seem wrong that it’s Blackwater personnel guarding the sites where Blackwater crimes (murders) were likely committed so investigators are guarded by the same people they are investigating? (Privateering.)
  • Are protected lands such as National Parks an important part of our commonwealth?

Part II: The no’s. If you answer “no” to any of these, you are part of the Liberal Elite.

  • People who have a lot of power generally deserve that power. They must have worked hard to get there. If they inherited wealth and social capital that’s because their family worked hard to get there, so the power they get from their wealth is still merited.
  • Do you look to the person lowest on the totem pole (the “bad apple”) when something goes wrong to right those wrongs? (Think Abu Ghraib and who was punished there.)
  • When someone says, “I want the best for everyone in this country,” do you hear them saying, “I know what’s best for everyone in this country.”
  • Have the Liberal Elite have taken over Washington and are they trying to dictate how Americans spend their money because the Liberal Elite are so full of themselves they think regular Americans don’t know better?
  • Civil liberty means the freedom to do as I please.
  • Freedom of religion means the government should allow schools to force children to pray. Freedom of religion means that the Truth should be shared with as many people as possible because otherwise they’ll burn in Hell.
  • If someone is poor, they must not have worked hard enough.
  • If someone is addicted to drugs, they are immoral.
  • Corporations are in bed with Washington and there’s nothing we can do about it.
  • Corporations are in bed with Washington but the Corporations are less to blame for it since they’re just doing everything they can do make a profit which is an admirable goal.

Well, how did you do? Are you, like me, a member of the Liberal Elite?

Every single time you call the Tea Party movement people names, you are reinforcing the radical right’s frames. You are enforcing the myth that there is some Liberal Elite trying to crush regular Americans. We progressives need to step outside the frames of the radical right and start over.

The radical right/Tea Party movement uses facts, but they are driven by emotion, morality, values.

The progressives/liberals use facts, but we don’t even know what our own emotions, morality, or values are because the radical right has taken over so completely the framing of the issues. Until we, the progressives, know what our values are (you can see above some examples of what I believe they are) we will never make serious change.

Empathy and empowerment = strength and responsibility. That’s what we’re about. We are regular Americans. Empathy and empowerment equals strength and responsibility. Be proud of it.

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