Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Joe six pack is a drunk

I have, on occasion, been accused of being a hippy. No, I don't wear tie-dye t-shirts nor do I insist on the consciousness-expanding possibilities of certain pharmcopia (anymore). I don't smell of patchouli, and I can only name two dead songs, one from the 80's. Yet, I must ask the question, as has been asked before, what's so funny about peace love and understanding? Nothing really, I'm all for, um, that. I agrre with hippies and their hippy-like ilk on a number of issues. I think we should all just get along, man. I just try not to say it with a slack jaw while moving my long hair to that place behind my ears from whence it will inevitably fall again as soon as I look down to lip the bong. I like to think of it as the substance without the style.

Similarly, there are things, very few things mind you, that are said by conservatives that I actually agree with. If I may revisit the Costello lyric, what's so funny about small government and fiscal responsibility? I don't expect I will become a NASCAR fan anytime soon, or give up drinking imported beer. For me, it's all about substance not style.

So, dear reader, you may well inquire why I am telling you all of this. I imagine most of us believe ourselves to be basically moderate in our views. Sure, we might self-identify with one or the other end of the ideological spectrum. However, the so-called cultural divide tends to wither once we get some distance from the talking heads of the 24 hour news cycle and engage in everyday life.

Friends, the challenges that confront us do not require hockey moms, or joe six pack, or even liberal progressives. They require simply that we start being grown ups, being honest with ourselves and each other, while resisting the blitz of polarization and misrepresentation. It's the right thing to do.

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