By Alan Bean
I received this graphic from a Facebook friend. I clicked on “like”. My friend probably wondered why. I’m not sure. Something about the image appeals to me. The “conservative” is literally lionized, an invisible force for good. The “liberal” is a scavenger, an impostor, a hyena attempting, in this case unsuccessfully, to feast on the carcass when he didn’t make the kill.
I have often felt like the hyena in the picture, a hapless liberal do-gooder confronting the conservative juggernaut. Nonetheless, I feel compelled to mouth off several sentences too many.
Some conservatives would reverse the image. They see themselves as a lion surrounded by a pack of liberal hyenas.
These savanna fantasies obscure more than they illuminate. “Liberal” and “conservative”, two grand words with a goodly heritage, are now debased currency. When liberalism is associated with superficiality, debauchery, and profligate sentimentality, who wants to be a liberal? When conservatism becomes a code word for racial bigotry, intolerance and privilege, who wants to be a conservative? (more…)