This past Friday, bored while waiting around for someone at a pretty empty bar, the Rude Pundit got into a brief Twitter slap fight with conservative columnist Jonah Goldberg, who you might know as "Oh, that motherfucker?" The Rude Pundit was responding to a piece Goldberg had written that cited a Pew poll where, as Goldberg put it, "A majority (60 percent) of 'solid liberals' said they don’t often feel proud to be an American."
However, that's not exactly true. Close, but not exact. The Pew poll says that 40% of those solid liberals "often feel proud to be American." It does not say that the other 60%, as a block, said they don't. But 60 is a higher number than 40, so kudos, Jonah Goldberg, on the basic math skills.
Now, it'd be easy at this point to argue the obvious point: that you can like and even love your country without feeling particularly proud at any moment, just as a parent can love a child who is a blow job-offering meth whore. Just because you're not proud of your child's meth addiction and whoring, just because you want your child to get help to get off the meth, for fuck's sake, it doesn't mean you don't love your child. And you can make the case pretty clearly that America sucked off a whole bunch of skeevy johns back in the Bush era and that Republicans wanna keep the country on its scabby knees, in the filthy alley, cranked up from nuts to eyeballs.
Of course, Goldberg doesn't offer that. He says, "You wouldn’t think, five years into the Obama presidency, that so many liberal Americans wouldn’t like America." Then he gets into a whole bullshit thing about how Hillary Clinton's anger at the Hobby Lobby case means she isn't fond of the nation and that Barack Obama doesn't think that the United States is the most exceptionalist nation in the history of nations. Goldberg defines "exceptionalism" as "a complex concept describing the uniqueness of the American founding and American character." If you're rolling your eyes and thinking, "Oh, go fuck yourself, Jonah," you're the problem.
Do you get it? If you don't love America the way that Jonah Goldberg and other conservatives love America then you don't love America, liberal traitor scum.
Or we could look at another number from the same poll. 82% of solid liberals say that "Compassion and helping other are my core values." Only 65% of "solid conservatives" say that. So if the Rude Pundit was using this useless-to-the-point-of-nonsense data to make some great and grand bullshit point, he'd crap out a column saying that, obviously, from the Pew poll, liberals are far more compassionate than conservatives, who hate humanity in larger numbers. (The sad part there is how many conservatives would proudly agree.)
Or how about this number, from another Pew poll: only 33% of Republicans believe that the United States "stands above" other countries. Or maybe this one from Reason: only 16% of millennials identify themselves as Republicans. That's half as many as call themselves Democrats. Quite possibly, they feel that way because Republicans oppose nearly every fucking thing they believe in but act like braying assholes about the country.
You wanna throw poll numbers around? Then let's play. Because, Jonah, it'll bite you on the ass every time. Right now, someone is thinking of poll numbers that'll dick over the Rude Pundit's argument. Ain't punditing fun?
The Rude Pundit is sick of arguing that liberals love this country more than conservatives ever could. He's been doing it ever since at least the Reagan era, when the word "liberal" became demonized. He's sick of editorials like one in The Week last Friday by Damon Linker, a man whose headshot makes him look, truly, like a dick tip.
In "How Liberalism Became an Intolerant Dogma," Linker attempts to conflate "libertarianism" and "liberalism," two words that admittedly sound close, like "Dutch" and "douche," but have very little in common. (Unless you're buying a douche in the Netherlands. Anyways...) It pretty much invalidates everything Linker has to say since you could make the case that libertarians have more in common with Rand Paul than Bernie Sanders.
But he offers this as proof of what bastards liberals are: "On a range of issues, liberals seem not only increasingly incapable of comprehending how or why someone would affirm a more traditional vision of the human good, but inclined to relegate dissenters to the category of moral monsters who deserve to be excommunicated from civilized life — and sometimes coerced into compliance by the government." The Rude Pundit bets that you could read that exact line back in the 1950s about interracial marriage. Is it "intolerant" to say that a corporation owner can't refuse to hire people married to people of other races? What if that belief is based on a "more traditional vision of human good" or whatever fucked up phrase you wanna use to justify your bigotry?
Linker doesn't seem to understand what "intolerance" is. Most liberals would say, "Fine, groovy, worship whatever ghost king you want. Just don't force me to do the same." Why is it only the Left that is asked, time and again, to tolerate the intolerable?
If liberals aren't "proud" and are "dogmatic," maybe because, at the end of the day, there's only so much shit you can eat in the name of compromise. And when you've been forced to go back to the shit pot for refills while conservatives merely pick at their first plate, you might be understandably pissed.
(Correction: Deep, deep apologies to Jeffrey Goldberg. Because that was just dumb. Kind of hilarious, but dumb.)