What Are They For?

I see what the Republicans don’t like. They’re happy to tell you what they don’t like. They’re happy when they’re telling you what they don’t like. They don’t like John Kerry. They don’t like Liberals (so much so, that they capitalize the word much of the time). They don’t like anyone who enjoins. They don’t like anyone who opposes. They don’t like the world as it is. They don’t like the world as it could be. They only like the past. And only a version of the past which never existed.

They don’t accept that the past is changeable, even as they bend and warp it to support their own Rightness. They don’t accept that contradiction, paradox, irony, inference and induction are valuable tools for expanding knowledge.

They can’t tell you why they’re right, because they only measure it by their perceived wrongness of others.

That’s why Others are Always Bad. Always Wrong. Always Ridiculous. Always Credulous.

They believe in a government just small enough to fit inside your bedroom, just small enough to fit in what they insist is the empty headspace of the Others.

They imagine that there’s nothing to imagine. They assume that their assumptions are rock solid. They insist that the borders they have mapped out map out all of existence. They don’t allow for unprovable truths nor refutable falsehoods.

So when Others talk about a brighter future, or a nobler purpose, or a more companionable co-existence with other nations, they assign insanity to Us Others, because we’re talking about things they Know to be impossible fancies. And they’re Never Wrong.

So the next time your friendly neighborhood Republican starts telling you why John Kerry is either so weak-willed as to be dangerous, or so strong-willed as to be dangerous, ask him or her what their vision of the future is. And ask them directly what President George W. Bush offers to the world besides jingoism and plutocracy.

If they decide to honor your request, you’ll be greeted with silence. It’s the Right Answer.