The Angry Men are once again pleased to welcome a new voice of anger to the fold. In keeping with our belief in the healing power of anger, we present the Angry Virginian in his own words, writing about his recent epiphany:
Once upon a time, I didn’t understand conservatives at all. I mean, what is it that they have against poor people? Why do they like violence so much? Why don’t they care about the future of our planet? They just seemed like a bunch of greedy and hypocritical old men to me.
Then, a funny thing happened that turned my view of conservatives on its head. It wasn’t George Bush’s election – He seemed like a harmless nitwit, and by himself, he didn’t do much to change my view on anything. It wasn’t even the September 11 attacks, as I’m the sort of person who believes that whatever was a good (or bad) idea on September 10 was still just as good (or bad) an idea on September 12. However, the United States’ response to the September 11 attacks, which has been inefficient at best and utterly terrifying at worst, dramatically changed the way I view politics, government, and international affairs.
First and foremost, I learned why so many conservatives don’t like big government. When you realize for the first time that your tax dollars are being spent on things that are stupid and unethical… well, you get mad. You get frustrated. You realize that when the government does something wrong, it does it on such a vast scale and with so much momentum that there is little (if anything) the private sector could do to counteract it. Previous presidents might have been sleazy or inconsistent, but they didn’t waste too much of my country’s time and money doing it. George W. Bush taught me just how wrong the government could go, and he made me wonder if maybe government is inherently bad after all. It’s a possibility that I hadn’t considered – Thank you, George, for pointing that out.
Speaking of evils that I hadn’t believed in before, how about some more government surveillance? I participated in a protest so that I could speak out against the invasion of Iraq – Does that mean I’m on a government watch list now? I mean, I have nothing to hide, but that shouldn’t mean squat. The idea that expressing one’s political views and participating in public debate could be punished by the United States Government is deeply and truly disturbing. All of those gun-toting libertarians who have been fretting about Big Brother don’t seem so paranoid any more.
There’s another area where Bush has made me more conservative. For many years, liberals (myself included) have favored increased federal power, as the states dragged their feet in providing many Americans with fair treatment and essential liberties. However, as the federal government now seems to be more in the business of discrimination and restricting rights than many of the states are, my attitude is shifting. As long as certain powers are reserved to the states (hey, it’s that Bill of Rights again!), then I will always have the option to leave my embarrassingly-red home state for somewhere more civilized and yet stay in the United States.
To sum it all up:
- If my taxes are funding a pointless war, then I want my taxes to be cut.
- If law enforcement is being directed to go after pacifist old-ladies, then maybe I really do to hide from the government and buy a gun.
- If the federal government is going to be so stupid, then maybe some power needs to be given back to the states.
Living under the Bush administration has taught me that these conservative ideas make a lot more sense than I thought.