Don Quijote

I’m a conservative?
But what does it mean? From time to time I have asked my conservative friends, especially when they start to make disgruntled noises (moaning), to qualify (quantify) what does being a conservative mean? What is it? Like, in concrete terms what is it? I get the standard answer: less government, less taxes, right to bear arms, etc and that’s about it, nothing specific, applicable or tangible…

Well, after this whole healthcare debacle I finally got it. I was looking for symptoms and issues rather than looking at the core (the affliction), and now it all make sense. Given my “liberally mavericky” ways of daring to have a social conscience I’ve dared to have an expectation of at least basic fairness and common practical sense (never mind social justice) in healthcare reform and of course it was a disappointment. I was sitting there thinking, 'how can things be this way?' Is there any social conscience of any kind? Is it just about money and power… me and screw you?

It kind of works this way - imagine the Wild West, two cowboys traveling in the desert, a rattlesnake bites one of the cowboy's horse and (through no fault of his own) the horse tosses him over and he breaks his neck. Both are sitting there (horse and the cowboy) in pain, unable to do anything and asking for help. So this is the deal, the other guy friend, if he’s a conservative, will simply say, “tough luck, it could have happened to me… but it didn’t.”  If he’s a “compassionate conservative” he will shoot the horse (to put it out its misery) but most likely take all his friend’s stuff get on his way and leave his friend to die (and if he's very very compassionate shoot his friend as well). Basically (and I’m serious) the moment you get sick and ask for help at that moment –no matter how responsible or how much of a contributor to society you have been- you’re not an American anymore. You are not a good American, you’re unpatriotic, and you do not love your country (I'm serious still). If you simply try to “think ahead” and make it equitable, compassionate or even just practical and civilized then you’re a socialist and that's it, nothing in between (and that’s what they are saying, at the top of their lungs). I thought that they were crazy but they are not, they are just cowboys, they want to live –and die- in the Wild West. It’s simple, if you have a social conscience you’re a social-ist, if you have no conscience then you’re a conservative.

So I get it as far as the big corporations are concerned, but why are some of these losers at the bottom of the food chain so adamantly opposed to getting help? Well, many live under the illusion that they may make it big and that for as long as they can keep their guns and go postal when things don’t go their way than they are fine.

I don’t have a problem with the American dream part as I have realized it in my own measure. I have always been on my own and have not needed nor wanted anything from anyone. I love this country for all of what it is. I buy into the idea of opportunity and I really don't care much for the Europe of social democracy, but how about being clever and practical? How about making it fair and on merit rather than on meanness. How about just regulating madness and exercising common sense. I thought that the days of the Wild West were long gone, relegated to movies and western novels, but I was wrong. We, as a society have come a long way since those days (and of course there’s no going back like there’s no going back to the middle ages) but to some that’s an uncomfortable feeling, its too complicated and you set yourself up for disappointment.

We all need to live someplace in our minds and of course it makes sense and its simple. You’re on your own, good luck! For as long as you can take care of yourself by any means and keep on the top of the food chain that’s fine. If you’re not tough enough or your luck runs out, well that’s too bad then, the best we can do is pull the trigger for you and like a horse, put you out of your misery.

The problem with being progressive is that you create expectations and guess what; you get disappointed. The moment you understand that you should not expect anything then it’s easy. Just let us keep our guns so that when someone screws us at the very least we can go postal and get even (again, I’m still serious). I can see the comfort in that; just worry about yourself and who cares about anybody else. There's no disappointment when there are no expectations. And again, we all need to live someplace in our heads.

Okay then I can live with that, but if I’m on my own why on earth then do we need a military and why on earth do we pay so many and so much in taxes? I mean last time I checked I was getting fried no matter who was in office. I mean if we’re going to pay that much in taxes what are the benefits? What do we get in return? So why don’t they give us our money back (all of it) so that we can buy more guns and take care of ourselves? But of course, the IRS itself is another hungry for-profit cowboy-like corporation in its own right and not that much different than the health insurance industry. They just have bigger guns and therefore they can screw us all they want.  So really, cut our taxes. I mean everyone’s taxes, not just the big corporations; make it a more of a level field and I’ll become a conservative, no problem. If we’re just going to be condemned to stay middle class and pay all the taxes (anyway) may as well –like our European counterparts- reap the benefits, right? And if you want to call it socialism then, just be my guest. Oh, and as per having a conscience part, I’ll just find Jesus… and of course pray so that it does not happen to me.

So, get it straight, like really “really” cut taxes or at least balance the budget… then at least it will be a reasonable choice. If you want to be a cowboy that’s fine. I like it and I appreciate it myself (I even like guns). But how about just not being stupid? There’s nothing worse than a stupid cowboy. If you profess yourself a conservative, then be a conservative but you can’t have it both ways. And jeez, stop complaining!! That’s completely un-American. Oh, and if you get those religious fanatics out of the equation then I’ll become a conservative myself. In the mean time it's not over yet and -while we have big enough guns- lets just fight a little harder for our rights or at the very least to get our money’s worth (conservative or otherwise). We’re all getting screwed so what’s the point of arguing with each other?

It’s Christmas anyway so I would like to say something like “Peace on earth and good will towards men” but that’s communist talk…so go and screw your self instead (just kidding of course happy holidays).

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  1. Profound. One of the reasons that I follow this blog is the depth of the art. I am amazed at your grasp of the American mindset! Using Sancho Panza to represent Congress and by extension the donkey as the American people is very clever. Do we really want Obama to succeed? (The donkey/Democrat visual was not lost on me.)

    You can see the realization of this fact in his eyes. He knows that he has been left alone to fight alone.

    The cowboys were a stroke of genius! They are the quintessential representation of the 'Good Ol' Boys' network. Whether Democrat or Republican, he is an upstart outsider who has the audacity to come in to 'their' world and address issues directly, with an eye to change and forward momentum! How dare he endanger the gravy train?!

    About the two cigarettes - is that a commentary on American excess? Just curious...

    Love the work, both visually and ideologically. You really captured the surreal nature of Capital Hill. Are we all just tipping at windmills?

  2. Cool that you get to point this things out as tend to take for granted what comes out in the art itself. As per Sancho I thought of him as to represent "the people" riding the democratic party "donkey" they elected and got them nowhere. Funny how impatient and quick to give up on things people are sometimes. I think that we should change the symbol of the democratic party from a docile donkey to a mule and then live up to it. just an idea. I think that the cigarettes was a happy accident but you have a point point so I'll pretend to stand by your comment. thanks for the comment.