Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Just wondering out loud...

Question... Why is it that conservatives always like to accuse liberals of some weird, blind loyalty to Clinton?

The reason I find this so odd is that in my day to day, I see a lot of people's homes. I have never seen a picture of Clinton up anywhere...not even in the homes of the craziest lefties in Wisconsin. Yet, I see a lot of cheesy pics of Bush, Jr. in the homes of conservatives.

Usually, there are corresponding art prints with a bible passage and a whiter than white Jesus or pretty angels hanging on the walls. Now that is what I call weird. White Jesus and George, Jr. - what an unusual pair. Or maybe not so unusual at all, who knows?

Saw another one today. It's the more popular George, Jr. pic with him in combat greens - military George, commander in chief George. It was in the usual spot for said picture - the kitchen. It always seems a bit shrinelike and today was no different.

In all fairness, I should admit that I have a picture of Ronald Reagan on my wall. It's him talking to the National Secretaries Association (or some such thing) and my Mom took the photo. He gave her his My Name Is badge that he signed his name on as well. She was president of the association at the time and arranged the talk. She dropped her camera she was so nervous. He kindly picked it up for her. She said he was very nice.

I also have Gerald Ford and Betty Ford's autographs framed on the wall. My Dad met them on a plane back when he was travelling a lot. They were very gracious. Guess that's one of the perks of first class. He got me Jimmy the Greek's autograph too, but that's not on the wall.

In other countries, people put up pictures of leaders too.

Tibetans still carry images of the Dalai Lama and prize them very highly, despite the Chinese banning them. But then, the Dalai Lama isn't just a political figure, but a religious one as well. Tibetans aren't praying to him, but rather hold him as a figure worthy of emulation and deep respect.

What old Soviet home would have been complete without a picture of Lenin or other Party leaders? That could have more likely been a case of covering your ass than veneration though. I could be wrong, but from what I've heard from Iron Curtain friends, that was usually the case.

Anyway, my friend Gregg gets worked up about pseudo hippy college kids and their love of the iconic Che Guevera poster. You know the one...everyone does. As I tell Gregg, at least it's a strong graphic image. No denying that Che looks good on a poster. What Gregg doesn't like is that these kids have no idea who Che really was. Like him or not, he was a killer. A revolutionary yes, but a killer too. Is that kind of person worthy of veneration? I think that's a valid question. Whatever the answer given, it will speak volumes about the person answering.

I'm not going to make the leap and compare Che lovers to Bush, Jr. lovers...I'm only setting it up so you make the jump yourself. Once there, ask the same question. Is this a man worthy of veneration? You already know how I feel about it.

And while you're thinking about it, ask yourself why it is that conservatives feel the need to cling to the image of Bush, Jr. and treat him with such veneration - the same sort of blind idolization that they like to accuse liberals of?


Kate said...

The church I attended while growing up had a painting of Christ portraying him
with blonde hair and blue eyes. Below the paiting, on the frame, was the phrase "Se Gud's Lam" which mean's Lamb of God in Swedish. The funny thing was that I never paid much attention to it until I was in college, when I put the two & two together...

A non-political comment, but one I was reminded of by the "white Jesus" reference in your post.

dbackdad said...

I see signed (I'm sure it's fake) pictures of W and Laura in a lot of my clients' houses ... thanking them for their generous donations. It's sad on so many levels. It screams, "Look at me. George cares about me. I'm one of the cool gang." I think conservatives are afraid to be alone. They have to feel included.

Miranda said...

Hmm. I can think of a lot of people I'm loyal to that I don't have wall pictures of. Lack of a picture doesn't mean lack of loyalty. I think we accuse liberals of it because of their continued support of him after what happened with whitewater, his sexual harassment dealings, his perjury, his apathy toward genocide, etc.

and because most liberals still refuse to admit he did anything wrong.

Why more Bush pictures than Clinton pictures? Bush looks better.

Shawn said...

K - I grew up with White Jesus too. There's no way he would ever look like a dirty Middle Easterner...oh wait. I also grew up with Noah building an arky arky out of hickory barky barky. No wonder I turned out like this...

Ddad - I think you're right about needing to feel included. That's far more charitable than some of the other things I sometimes think.

M - On the contrary, most liberals were apalled that he didn't help stop the carnage. Just like we're now appalled that despite all the talk of helping the Iragi people...they're still dying at a pretty good clip and their society has been levelled (as in flattened).

Don't even get us started on the fine job W is doing in Darfur. But thanks for slavishly supporting him.

Scott said...

Dems do it. They just idolize their pop stars rather than politicians.

Hey, did you hear the new Dixie Chicks CD? Yeah, *they're* stickin' it to teh man! What rebels! You know it's SOOOOOO rebellious now-a-days to speak out against the president. Nooooobody does that.

I think I'll buy their new CD.

Oh! And that Billie Joe! *He's* the one fightin' for the common folk. LOOK AT THAT REBELLIOUS GREEN HAIR! Stick it to the man Billy!

I think I'll check out that Green Day concert after all. Maybe even get a sweet poster for my wall.

Same thing.

dbackdad said...

That is such a tired argument. If I hear one more person talk about the Michael Moore, Hollywood-loving godless sodomites (thank you, Stephen Colbert) that Democrats are, I'm going to scream. People don't idolize Charlton Heston and Toby Keith for their political beliefs?

Shawn was talking about blind veneration for a leader of some type. Veneration that is loyal and proud, deaf and dumb.

Dixie Chicks/Green Day ... talking about getting off topic. You make the intellectual leap of saying that by buying something from anyone that may disagree with the government, you are elevating them to god-like status in your house. Well, I guess I'd have a pretty busy wall with pictures of the Dixie Chicks, Rage Against the Machine, Bruce Springsteen, Jon Stewart, etc. People may "like" an artist because of their ideas or their defiance. I believe people love their political idols for the exact opposite reason: a dearth of ideas. They do it because it makes them feel safe.

Scott said...

Well get ready to scream I guess.

Dems do the same thing. And you've done nothing to prove any different other than say you're sick of hearing it and Republicans do the same thing with Chuckie Heston.

I believe people love their political idols for the exact opposite reason: a dearth of ideas.

See now you're making the assumption of why people do what they do. A person puts a picture on their fridge of the president and it automatically means they A)stopped thinking and B) don't feel safe? Your taking one set of logic to justify "liking" an artist and another set of logic to condemn a Republican for "blindly revering" their politician.

And of course I have to point out, like any good classical liberalist would, that the Dixie Chicks, Green Day, Democrats, etc are not AT ALL anti-government, their just anti-republican.

Shawn said...

I think there's a big difference between idolizing an artist and idolizing a politician.

In the case of an artist, there is a separation between liking the art and liking the person who created it. I don't mean that in just a personality or hot appearance sort of way.

It's possible for me to admire Picasso the artist and not admire Picasso the womanizer. Or, it's possible to like the Dixie Chicks' music without caring one way or another who they voted for in the election.

Look at Mel Gibson... Turns out he's an anti-Semitic drunkard. I, for one, don't respect that at all, but I do have say that I still love his movies.

It's much harder to justify when the person's work is a direct reflection of their moral character as in the case of a politician.

(And before anyone jumps on me - yes, I realize that morals can be reflected in people's art. But, by nature, art and artist are seperate... Back to the regularly scheduled rantings.)

Sure, it's possible to draft some awesome legislation and be a crook as well - but the average American isn't versed enough in politics to tell you who drafted what bill, what it's numbered, or even where to find that information out. That being said, I'm pretty skeptical that there are many people out their idolizing politicians based on an undying admiration for the way they worded that last bill.

People generally idolize politicians because they strongly associate with their political and social outlook. Or, like Dback said, to be part of a group. It just seems to me that conservatives have a much stronger need to feel like they belong.

dbackdad said...

Scott's two favorite phrases:

- Dems do it

- Same thing


In the eyes of a Libertarian, you can't be against policy or policy leaders, you can only be against the whole government. It's not true rebellion unless you blow up the whole damn thing. Excuse me for believing there is a practical role for government.

And my criticism of idolizing a political leader was not limited to Republicans and I did not make any specification that it was. It would be just as sad to have a Jimmy Carter or Bill Clinton picture. But that's just the point. I have never ever seen anything but a picture of Bush, Bush Sr. or Ronald Reagan in anyone's house. There is a fundamental difference in how Republicans or Democrats feel about their political leaders ... the original point of Shawn's post (which we may have lost).

Scott said...
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Scott said...

Well it's a combination of those two phrases really: "Dems do the same thing." I can't help it, Democrats keep telling me they're different than Republicans and I don't see it that way.

And in defense of myself (and Libertarians in general) we do believe there is a practical role for government. We're not anarchists, atleast not the majority of Libertarians. (RATM are anarchists, btw) We just believe that role is preserving the rights of its citizens, not granting privledges to selected classes, or even the tyranny of the majority. We believe that role is clearly defined by the constitution that formed the government.

Shawn, I'll agree with you that there's a difference between idolizing an artist and idolizing a politician. But when the artists are standing on the stage next to the politicians the lines get blurred just a tad. At least in my view.

Miranda said...

Funny. I never heard them say so.
I still usually don't.