Friday, October 18, 2013

A Message To Conservatives From A Civil War Reenactor

I hope this sounds coherent. I've been awake and violently ill for 72 hours with this stomach bug all the guys in the unit have. No one wants to take antibiotics, because they weren't around - we're really into authenticity, you know? The good part is it's helping me make my goal of losing a third of my body weight in time for the campaign. Anyway, I've had a lot of time to think.

Here's what I realized at 3 am while I was dipping my buttons in urine:

"What's okay in one time period is absolutely crazy in another."

I mean, right now I'm shaking, my body is producing a strange smell like bad cheese, and the fever's giving me hallucinations of Shelby Foote dancing in a Rockettes outfit. If I were suffering like this while serving in the Army of the Potomac more than a hundred years ago, folks would say it couldn't be helped. I was just doing my duty. But I'm a real estate broker with a solid health plan, and I am less than five miles away from my Volvo. There's even a Rite-Aid close to the parking lot.

There is no excuse for what I'm doing. None. My wife said that when she took the kids to her sister's. I am surrounded by the 21st century, and I just don't want to live in it. That's nuts. Completely insane. Which brings me to you guys.

You like to argue that change is not necessarily progress. And sometimes it's useful to fight for what you call "traditional values." It's a fair point. People understand that. But sometimes... and I want you to follow me here, because this is hard to hear... sometimes progress really is progress. We know things about human psychology that were unfathomable a few decades ago. And as more people come out of the closet and share their stories, it's becoming obvious to everyone in the country - everyone who isn't living in a hole in the ground or some isolated seat on the US Supreme Court - that gay people are pretty freakin' normal. They're just. Plain old. People.

Sometimes we shortchange our ancestors. Sometimes we don't give them credit for their insight. This is not one of those times, okay? I've been wearing a wool outfit soaked in my own sweat for a month now, and I can honestly tell you the modern world's got a lot going for it. They were wrong back then. Wrong about a lot of things. You look like idiots if you listen to them.

Some of you are going to trot out the Bible. You're going to say that because of your religious beliefs, you just can't compromise. There's no progress from eternal, big-T truth. I understand that too. A lot of people are like this, people who will never fit in with the outside world. Like the Amish, for example. Or people who live in compounds and take multiple wives. Or folks who hide in caves and wait for the Rapture. You see where I'm going?

The point is, like it or not, society changes the rules, many of these changes are because we really do improve ourselves, and folks who choose to stay behind become part of an oddball subculture or a tiny religious splinter group. Gay people are not living an alternative lifestyle. You are. Believe me, I know the difference.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have some vomiting to attend to.


  1. I find it slightly paradoxical that conservatives tend to forget Edmund Burke who is generally credited with being the father of conservatism once remarked
    "We must all obey the great law of change. It is the most powerful law of nature, and the means perhaps of its conservation."

    1. Dude, thanks so much for reading my stuff! I'm tickled you're liking it. It's been a hell of a ride this week, nationally. It's given me some real softballs, as you say.

    2. Well since you said you were posting links on the National Review I decided to help you out and posted links on Infowars and PrisonPlanet... (just kidding). However I share the Guy Fawkes piece on a comment thread of a friend who claims to like the Koch Par...ooops I meant the Tea Party and spews their crap from time to time. (he does seem to have a lot liberal friends, maybe too many to be a true patriot I think maybe he's a closet-moderate but is afraid to come out of the closet. In all other respects he is usually intelligent and has a good since of humor.)

      So I posted in a comment thread of his where he was purposely trolling another liberal friend of his, who from reading his response I thought would really get a kick out of your blog as he seems to share your sense of sarcasm. Not sure how many of his 'other' friends will check out the link and how many there are but I apologize in advance...

    3. Well, that's terrifying... But let's light this candle.

    4. Hmmm. Interesting thoughts. However, I'm reminded of a saying, "Just because we can do a thing, doesn't mean we should do a thing." Not all progress is good.
      From a historical viewpoint, I'm sure that Mao-Tse Tung thought his progress was excellent, and then he started killing teachers, and free thinkers. I'm sure than Stalin thought his progress was also excellent and he started putting people in Gulags. I'm sure that Che thought his progress was excellent, but then he started killing people.
      Progress, tempered by wisdom, is fine and dandy, but there is some progress we don't need, or desire, and I'm not talking about the happiness of the GLBT crowd. I'm talking about the type of progess that removes one person's happiness and forces him to do something he doesn't want to do.
      I'm only saying this because unless I misread your article, the crux of this was about healthcare and the stupidity of not taking anti-biotics when you needed them. The ACA, in my mind, seems like this type of progress that we don't really need. It's more of a tax, than a health care plan, because it forces people to buy something they don't want, and for prices they don't want to pay, or it fines them if they don't.

      If I'm wrong, then let me know where I'm wrong.

    5. The deal we make with society is that we get various benefits by making certain sacrifices. Sure, you can live on a deserted island and do whatever you want, but of course what you can do will be severely restricted by the absence of other people and their capabilities. We balance the tradeoffs.

      The ACA is a half measure, or really a quarter measure. We really should have picked one of the systems used by the 36 countries who rank higher than us in the World Health Organization stats (including Costa Rica. But we just beat Morocco.). All of them have the element of universal enrollment and payment based on income. They end up spending less money and getting better health outcomes.

      Mr. Weiss, you live in a society. That means you don't always get what you want. I don't always get what I want either, but overall it's better than living alone or in a chaotic state of nature.

      And forgive me Mr. Weiss, but if you don't want a health care plan you are absurdly shortsighted and a potential societal parasite. Unless, of course, your ambition is to die untreated in a ditch like our fictional Civil War reenactor.

  2. I have so little time to check out writers like you, but when I do I am always thrilled by how brilliant your postings are. Keep up the good work.


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