Advice My Momma Gave MeWhen you're omnipotent, there's a high premium placed on avoiding mistakes. After all, it's what people expect of their deities, so who am I to disappoint? One step on this path of perfection is to practice a little advice from the Omnipotent Mom delivered when I was a mere pup of a god - always put the shoe on the other foot.
Sadly, this advice seems largely forgotten today. Perhaps that's why I'm one of the few remaining practitioners. Today, people only put their shoe on the other foot after they've taken it off and smacked dissenters up side the head like a crowd of Iraqis setting upon a statue of Saddam Hussein. Scarce is the politician, pundit, or public that looks at both side of an issue. I'm reminded of this repeatedly by the debate over warrantless wiretaps.
Those on Side 1 claim tis better to give up a rarely used civil right to sleep better at night. The flip side believes that civil rights are inalienable and should be protected at all costs. While there's plenty of existential filigree, the debate is really a very simple one - how far do you trust your government?
More often than not, questions like this end up in a partisan pie fight the Three Stooges would envy. One side implicitly trusts the Bushmen while the other doesn't trust them any farther than they could throw Karl Rove.
Righties generally believe that anything BushBoss Squarepants does is okey-dokey. To them he's a man of honor doing what he believes is right for the country. They trust Dub not to misuse his imperial fiat to tap their phones because he's a good guy who talks like them. After all, they're not terrorists, so what's the Moonbats' problem? Damn commie lefties!
The lefties see it differently. To them, El Jefe is a bad, bad man. He's out to string up anyone who disagrees and he'd just as soon wipe his ass with the Constitution than give ground to a liberal. He's not to be trusted about anything. If he says the sky is blue - he's a frickin' low-life liar who KNOWS it's green. Damn his miserable hide!
So let's now imagine this:
Righties, you trust Mr. Bush because he is a kind, benevolent leader who only believes in what's right. He'd never use his awesome power to harm anyone other than those who deserve harm. But, what if this was eight or nine years ago? You'll recall being awfully upset with Billy Bob Blowjob. You didn't trust him any more than lefties trust your leader now. So, put the shoe on the other foot. How much would you trust Bill, Hillary, Al or some other commie with the same sort of power? Would you exchange losing sleep over terrorists with losing sleep over liberals wielding lots of power? My guess is there are quite a few out there who would.
And lefties, you're just as bad. For you, George is shredding the Constitution and breaking the law. However, I didn't see many of you lining up during his administration to call for his well-polished balls when he criminally lied to a grand jury and perp-walked down the impeachment trail.
Democracies, by their nature, are messy, strife-filled affairs, but they needn't be so polarized. We'd all be better served by politely listening to those on the opposite side and being open to their points. There will always be disagreements, but it helps if people don't go around wearing them like a bomb strapped to a suicide bomber on a crowded bus. It's important to listen to and understand dissenting opinions, because one day the power will certainly swing the other way and when it does, you'll find that now you've become them.
Ain't such a comfortable place, is it?
Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Thursday, May 11, 2006