“Why can’t we have a world without labels?” a very good lefty friend of mine more than once asked me….a good human being with a good disposition who always means well. Most of my closer friends are lefties and I would describe them in much the same way. I swear they all could ask me the same question without realizing its foolishness. They are thinking primarily about political labels. To the woman, as most of them are, they are defensive about labels which pertain to them: Liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Lefty, Democrat, Collectivist, and Sexist, I might add, words which accurately describe the persons they are according to their voting, arguing and defensive habits. None of them like to talk about anything dealing with these ideas anyway. And they know nothing about the meanings of so many words necessary to the understandings of modern political struggle. They know their habits and don’t want their habits to be disturbed. So they read novels instead of non-fiction.
What about labels? Folks, it’s awfully hard to talk or write without them. Labels are nouns. Alas, more than half of Americans “educated” over the past 40 years couldn’t be bothered to know what a noun is. For the two percent of the Prager population unaware of the noun, I’ll give some examples: tree, man, woman, house,weed, thoughtfulness, Marxist, although someone could be a Marxist thinker which makes thinker, not Marxist, a noun, jerk, athlete, Minnesota, valley, Republican, Lefty, smile, hunger, etc. Didn’t those of us who paid attention remember, a noun is a word refering to a person, place, or thing? (“Weedy” is not a noun, because it is not a thing.)
Following me, camera guy?
By label, I am a liberal. When I was 25 and didn’t know very much outside of facts and figures, I was a liberal as well as a Liberal. After all I went to college. Can a turnip grow in the middle of the ocean? (“turnip and ocean” are both nouns. I couldn’t write that question without those labels, could I? Better yet, I went to graduate school…TWICE! What would Dennis say about that? But I never even thought of asking, “Why can’t we live in a world without labels?” However, I had studied a couple languages, one of them dead. Maybe that helped me understand sentence structure better.
I am still liberal, but I am a Prager conservative, without question. (In this case “Prager” is used as an adjective, even though we all know him as a noun. This additional information is offered for Liberals who might be reading this blog column. )
My lefty friends and clients, every one of them dear persons, don’t like labels for the same reason. They do not know what nouns in politics really mean. They have been programmed by the establishment media, academia, entertainment world, some churches especially in minority communities, judicial decisions dealing with victimhood and the Democratic Party to feel that “conservative” is a very bad label. These friends vote, read, and talk as they are programmed. But they do not feel like lefties. They reject the lefty label. My lefty friends even often argue from conservative positions and become insulted when a point is identified as a conservative point. Dennis moans about this all of the time. They bleat memorized lefty expressions and commentary ala “1984″ as alas do many Republicans,with different memorizations, of course…at least for most of them. Wasn’t it reported that 40 % of the November 4, 2008 voters thought Republicans ran the Congress?
“Clarify your terms!”…I was taught. Most of you know by whom. What is a “Prager conservative”? Folks, like Dennis, I am a liberal, but a “Prager conservative”. I had been taught by adults close to me and those old ladies in the schools, to be liberal (not “Liberal”, but liberal. I suspect nearly every member of the Dennis Prager Discussion Group in Minnesota, knows exactly what a “Prager conservative is!” Not many of you would have joined this crowd if you didn’t. Throughout my thinking life, I have recognized nothing much good comes out of disorder and chaos. an environment lefties seem to enjoy. Noise and emotion overwhelm ideas and thought. So I have believed in social restraints to maintain a sense of community. E Pluribus Unum! I have always believed liberty trumps equality. So did the Founders of our great nation. Change in life is inevitable, a lesson I learned by age 13 with the deaths by that time of all grandparents, two aunts and an uncle, and one cousin. So, manners of living or living without will always change. But some things in a civilized society must remain the same. I had been taught the greatness of America, its struggles both realistic and romantic, the importance of freedom, the glory of the quest for truth believing in the Judeo-Christian God, and to live a God approved life, and to respect adults, and there were many adults in those days to respect. Therein lie most of my conservative credentials which have formed the core of who I am. This core made me an American, the kind that in those days included both Democrats and Republicans. That was the intent of my father’s and mother’s generation.
Then I went to university, into the military, and on to graduate school twice. Only the military experience failed to paste a layer of lefty glaze over my world. And, like Dennis, I never voted for a Republican until Ronald Reagan. Like Dennis, I studied Russian both culture and language. Like Dennis I spent time in the Soviet Union as a Russian speaker, the first time, in 1966 when it still was a first class dictatorship, and the second time, in 1990, when at last, that horrid concentration camp was collapsing. And like Dennis I have come to know a great deal about the greatest Socialist thug of them all, Josef Stalin whose USSR made the USSR of 1966 look like any Iowa town of 1954.
When I voted for Ronald Reagan, I was a Liberal voting for a conservative. I had been programmed to believe him stupid, a second rate actor, ergo a second rate American, but I voted for him anyway to get rid of Jimmy, yet in truth I felt like a Jew voting for a Nazi and trembled as I pulled the lever. I do admit that his description of America as a shining city at the top of the hill did move me, but not the man, after all the press agreed that he was dumb and out of date. Slowly I was becoming a conservative by thought, not by habit.
My epiphany into Pragerism occured in 1992, 12 years before I “met” Dennis on talk radio. It transformed me to respect anyone, male or female, who has ever attempted to start a business on one’s own and endure the terror of losing, yet live on as if nothing is going wrong. That event was one of the most important learnings of my life and led me out of “angerhood”. (Isn’t English wonderful!) I really prefered terror to anger. With Dennis, I found a home. Someone else who thinks like I do, who talks as I would like to talk, and who has the same values as I have. God bless free enterprise, I had finally become a doer as well as a thinker..One of the best balances of life one can achieve. With the help of God, (some Prager folks might prefer “With the help of all that is good”, it makes no difference to me, I am no longer a Liberal or a Democrat. I am a liberal conservative. A Prager one at that! And I have been very lucky in Life.