In my advanced state of media-related cynicism, I'm enjoying the bipartisan postmortem and spin control on the debate, especially this fellow here, who maintains somewhat frantically that Bush was sandbagging Kerry.
It should probably terrify me that, immersed in the news as I am (my day job essentially involves a Man Who Fell To Earth</a>like barrage of media), that the most 'liberal' media I can locate is Capitol Hill Blue, who are notable chiefly for hating everybody equally. Which seems fair to me.
I really want to know where this alleged left-wing media can be found, because I'd personally find it comforting...
Some years ago, around the time of the Bush/Gore election, I had the opportunity to have a long and remarkably civil conversation with a pretty staunch neoconservative at the local dog park. And what struck me about what I learned that day was how idealistic he was, how concerned about all the same things I was concerned about--personal freedom, personal safety, his family's well-being, what his dog was getting into over in the corner. (He had a five-pound Chihuahua that he'd rescued from the side of the road. The dog had had multiple injuries including broken bones when found; apparently somebody stomped on him. That little dog worshipped my fascist friend. I'm sure said fascist friend was equally bemused by the adoration my rescue Great Dane showed for a commie pinko like myself....)
In particular, I remember one point of debate being women's rights and equal pay for equal work--and my neocon friend was strongly opposed to women working outside the home. Very Goddess of the House, with a strong feeling that women should be protected and treasured (and he was, I will say, extremely respectful toward me). He seemed a little disconcerted by my point that not all women want to be protected, and that not all men can be trusted to be quite so noble.
In any case, I walked away feeling like quite the cynic, compared with this gentleman's idealism. And I also walked away rather terrified, because I realized that my basic terror of the neocons--that these are people who want to take my rights as a human being away!--is exactly the same feeling he has about me.
But what he considers his basic rights (to drive a Winnebago, for example, and to raise his children in a world where they're no exposed to immoral perverted commie pinkos like me) are directly opposed to what I consider my basic rights (to say whatever the hell I want, and love whomever the hell I want, without governmental interference).
So what do you do?
Well, respect the other guy, I guess, and fight like a dog to make sure he doesn't get his way. Because compromise isn't possible. This is the basic liberal mistake; we assume that the other guy wants what we want, which is to be left alone to do our own thing and not have anybody infringing on his rights.
And he does.
But the rights he doesn't want infringed on are diametrically opposed to the rights we don't want infringed on. And he understands that. We can't have the rights that are important to us if he gets the rights that are important to him. Period. It's a macrocosm of the abortion debate, and it's a situation where my lace-curtain Yankee "suit yourself" attitude just doesn't work.
So, you know, fiftyish white dude with the Chihuahua; I respect you, and I respect your opinions, and I kind of liked talking to you, and I gotta say, you take really good care of your dog and I'm grateful for his sake that you saved him...
...but I'll fight you in the streets and the gutters and the back rooms and the media and the voting booths, because I don't trust your paternalistic condescending male self with my independent feminist ass.
So you see, this means war.
They know that. It's about time we figured it out, too.