I was hanging out at a bar with a couple of lefties after a show one night talking politics. One lefty was a good friend’s husband, the other was his brother-in-law. I tried to keep the discussion civil, but the liquor prevented such from happening. The topic turned to welfare and my lefty friends started using a word that frankly shocked me. Since it is nearly impossible to tell this story without referring to the word, and in the interest of keeping this a family page, I will substitute a different word: the name of a beloved character from “Winnie the Pooh”…
That adorable rascal Tigger.
The brother-in-law started, “You people don’t care about the suffering, don’t care about the weak and under-privileged, you don’t give a rat’s ass what happens to them, because to you and your ilk they’re all just a bunch of Tiggers!”
I was shocked. Even more shocked was the black gentleman sitting at the bar who suddenly took a keen interest in the conversation. After all, this is a word so repulsive it can cut through the static of even the noisiest bar. My friends had their backs to him, so it was impossible for them to see they had attracted an audience.
Never being one to avoid a conflict, I feigned ignorance. “They’re just a bunch of what?”
My friend was happy to clarify, “Tiggers. You think they’re Tiggers. You don’t care about them because they’re just all Tiggers.”
Here were two long-time liberals demonstrating to me the privilege of language accorded only to those on the correct side of the aisle. I asked again, “They’re WHAT?”
The husband spoke, “TIGGERS TIGGERS TIGGERS! How plain do I have to say it for you? T-I-double GUH- ER!!!”
At this point the eavesdropping stranger could remain silent no longer, “Uh, excuse me…”
My liberal friends turned around, and I cannot find the words to describe the shade of red their faces took as their bravado sunk under the table. The moment of silence that followed, seemed to last an eternity. The husband broke, “Um, you don’t understand what’s going on here,” he pointed into my chest and indicted, “You see, he’s a REPUBLICAN!”
The gentleman pretended like he wasn’t listening, so when the husband rushed over to apologize, he had to say the word again, right to his face. It was a very embarrassing moment, almost too painful to watch. On the up side, the gentleman ended up getting a free drink out of the deal, as the husband was eager to put it behind him.
The puzzle of that night has befuddled my mind to this very day. Apparently, my political leanings are supposed to be more offensive than the horrible word those two shouted in a crowded public space. That I might have supported George W. Bush gave them the entitlement to scream such a vulgarity in a crowded public space and should also make it okay to this stranger simply because they’re liberals and have the right.
Watch Bill Maher. He LOVES to make jokes about race, jokes that would force many of us to apologize, and perhaps lose our jobs. And this is why I disagree with Tom Shilue about Janeane Garofalo being funny. I think she’s a snotty opportunist who wouldn’t be talking like that if there was any chance for her to do a second season of “24.” (Look for Janis Gold’s horrible death around hour 23, which is about two hours longer than her talk radio career lasted.) However, I think Shillue has a very valid point about how the Liberals view us.
Rather than skewering the messenger, we should be talking about how to change that opinion.
Ooh, wait a minute… I forgot to plug MY record on iTunes.