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Grasshopper Soup: Liberals, to thine own self be true

By Bob Sweigert
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Thank you for your letter to the editor last Friday in which you noticed my deliberate obfuscation on the history of American Czars. The point is, Obama has far out-czared past czardoms, both in number and in kind. I was not and#8220;factually incorrect,and#8221; I was just horsing around. (That’s why I call it Grasshopper Soup. Where ya’ been?)

Forgive me if my jesting mislead young students about the history of American czars. Young people are at enough of a disadvantage as it is from so many decades of feel good, politically correct public education in which adolescent immaturity itself has been elevated to magna cum laude status, on equal footing with the wisdom of the ages.

Your hope that the next generation will remake America into something completely unrecognizable may come true. Given the chance, I am sure they will. But most of them don’t even know how to use a shovel, so I am not too worried. However, I really don’t believe you actually meant to say that. The fact is, you need what my generation knows.



To make America into something I don’t recognize, you would have to get rid of your freedom to make political and social change. You would have to criminalize the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, or assert that those documents only exist to accommodate your ideology at the expense of all others.

You would have to deny that those documents give us all the right to live according to our own conscience, and allow diverse peoples, beliefs and lifestyles to peacefully coexist. It would be disastrous for the next generation to mess around with those fundamentals.



To totally remake America you would have to remake other people’s lives. You cannot remake America without imposing your will on others. Good liberals won’t do that. Why would anyone want to destroy the organic, natural fabric of hundreds of millions of human lives?

Liberals prefer organic, natural things. Doing your own thing without bothering others is the ethical, and truly liberal, thing to do. But, ethics are the and#8220;oldand#8221; America. I hope you aren’t proposing to do away with ethics, too.

As for your assertion that last week’s Grasshopper Soup was filled with typical right wing hysteria, all I can say is, and#8220;Huh?and#8221;. Right wing and left wing are theatrical terms to me, and I can’t write when I’m hysterical. I have no political affiliation. If anything, I’m a liberal trying to teach liberals how to be true to their own beliefs.

The national unemployment rate is higher than expected, and rising. That means a lot of towns are seeing double-digit unemployment. California is broke and issuing IOUs. The banks are not honoring those IOUs. And that’s not even half of it. The federal government is headed in the same direction, and you accuse me of false hysteria?

Are you old enough to know that people need money to live? You can’t buy bread with IOUs. I’m not hysterical, I just have empathy and compassion for people, don’t you? Empathy and compassion are values indispensable to authentic liberalism.

Are you happy to know people are suffering? Do you get a kick out of seeing lives ruined? True liberals don’t just care about people they approve of. Don’t be hypocritical like the Taliban, who refine heroin for a living but have a moral objection to liquor, and who say TV is dangerous while they routinely carry explosives in their clothing.

Does it really make any sense to change everything? No, it doesn’t. Unless, of course, you are an imperialistic bully. True liberals object to imperialism.

If you are really serious about creating an unrecognizable America, allow me to suggest the North Korean model, or Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge style of government. Mass murder is the only way you can ensure the and#8220;purificationand#8221; of a society.

If you want to change America through the proper channels, have at it. I wish you speedy success. Just don’t throw out the baby with the bath water. It’s your baby, pure, innocent, full of promise, and made only in America.

Bob Sweigert is a Sierra Sun columnist, published poet, ski instructor and commercial driver. He’s lived at Lake Tahoe for 25 years.


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