I am a jerk

I HAVE BEEN dubbed a jerk. And not for the first time. I have also been called an a-hole.

jerk
Felipe?

A collectivist blogger down on the sweaty Mexican coast took issue with my calling Andrés Manuel López Obrador, a perennial, left-wing, Mexican presidential candidate — who never can quite manage to win and gets very indignant when he does not — a semi-literate demagogue.

Let’s look at the two elements of my accusation. Start with demagogue. My Cambridge Online Dictionary defines the word thusly:

A political leader who wins support by exciting people’s emotions rather than giving them reasons.

López Obrador, better known by his initials AMLO, certainly qualifies. Were he to actually win one day, he would be Mexico’s Hugo Chávez, just without the beret and military training.

I have never listened to AMLO more than a few seconds, but my child bride has. She says he butchers Spanish in the style of a country bumpkin, so there you have the semi-literate.

For pointing this out, I have been labeled a jerk. Again, not for the first time. And a few years back, I referred here to a woman who favors Obama as “a left-winger.” I do not consider left-winger any more an epithet than I consider right-winger an epithet. I openly confess that I am a right-winger, which means conservative.

These are political stances, not cuss words.

That acquaintance, who has red hair and perhaps speaks before sufficient thought at times, fired off an email, calling me an a-hole. I shorten the word because The Unseen Moon is a family website, plus I value decorum.

We live in sad times. Our political life is highly polarized, and those on the extremes are very prone to name-calling. And that — as their mothers might point out — reflects badly on them. Tilting to the conservative side, I naturally believe those on the left are more guilty of name calling than we on the right.

We, of course, are the traditionalists, the conservatives and, for the most part, we dodge potty talk. We tend to offer rational arguments or religious faith  for our beliefs instead of epithets. Of course, we have nothing in our valise like that colossal, all-encompassing, catch-all, mouth rocket so loved by the left: Racist!

Of course, I’ve been called that too, more than once. But who hasn’t?

Yes, we live in troubling, sad — and rude — times.

42 thoughts on “I am a jerk”

  1. [Practical gentlemen] have a number of bitterly sarcastical comments on persons whose minds are so open that their brains fall out. —Max Radin (1937)

    What happened to the liberals’ embrace of tolerance and freedom of others to speak their minds? There’s a serious and disingenuous disconnect at play, one which has taken their minds hostage to an Orwellian tragedy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ms. Shoes: One has merely to step onto most any university campus these days to see how tolerance has, well, flown the coop. Only one set of opinions are allowed, literally.

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  2. You cannot please all of the people all of the time. I am sure that at this point in life, you will not lose sleep over this. One thing that I do not understand is why people have to write angry and vicious emails to someone if they do not agree with what they write online. It is not as if you are sitting face to face with them and having a discussion. When people read something on a blog that they do not like or disagree with, all they have to do is move on. No fuss, no stress. I really don’t get it.

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    1. Connie: True, I will lose no sleep over this. And I would have just moved on, which was my initial plan. But then I thought: Wait! I can have some fun writing about this. And I did.

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  3. For me being called an axxhole, I take as a badge of courage, and personally have worked very hard in earning that title.

    I am the type that enjoys tweaking with people, just to see a reaction. Both you and I will probably never win any popularity contests, for that I rejoice.

    Whether in getting down with his people by playing basketball or having a beer, there is little difference with politicians that kiss the rear end of their constituents to gain votes. I would also put in what Chávez, and in Honduras what Lobo did, to try and be one of the brothas. People that run the country should at least exhibit some class by not kissing ass of brothas or other politicians.

    In my opinion.. .

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    1. Tancho: I think I definitely could win a popularity contest! It would just depend on what type of people are voting. Probably you too.

      But … you have an axx up your hole?! Call an ambulance! Jeez, man.

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  4. So many trolls and not enough bridges …

    I don’t think anyone is listening, and if they are they won’t or can’t take action, so I’m going to retreat to my cave in the Sierra Madre Mountains and await the end of civilization as we once knew it.

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    1. Bob: While you’re there in the mountains, I’ll be staying put right here because I’m having too swell a time.

      Don’t know why your feedback went to the moderation list again. Maybe you changed email addresses. That will do it.

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  5. I know what you mean, Felipe. I am a conservative like you. I voice my opinion at times at work and the liberals there jump down my throat. If I disagree with them I am a bigot (even though I am married to a Mexican and some of my very good friends are black) or whatever other mean name they can come up with that fits the situation. I have almost stopped voicing my opinion there, which is what they want, I suppose. It is disheartening. Instead of a good debate they want to name call or talk over you to drown you out. It is a changing world, my friend — and not for the better in this arena.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mike G.: Yes, they do want you to shut up. I recommend you do not. And name-calling is a preferred tactic, racist being the accusation of choice, regardless of its having anything whatsoever to do with the topic at hand. Hang in there.

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    1. Charles: Though I have long been a fan of Martin, I cannot remember if I saw that movie or not. He is one truly strange individual, and he does dramatic roles well.

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  6. I know you will keep on giving your opinion on “your blog”. That is your right. I also wonder why people who disagree, don’t turn the page. Obviously they are not open minded enough to accept our opinions. I personally agree with your political views, and disagree with Croft’s. I do however continue to read Croft for the the content that I enjoy.

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    1. Mike M.: My comment about AMLO was not on my website. It was a short comment I left on someone else’s blog. The best reaction, as you note, would just have been to turn the page. The “jerk reaction” directed at me was an entire post on the culprit’s own blog. There was some video of Ayn Rand included, but I never saw a connection. Perhaps if I had actually watched the video.

      Also, I don’t know why you were sent to the moderation line here either. Sorry about that.

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      1. As I read Steve everyday (most enjoyable reading), I obviously confused where I read your comment. My comment about your opinion on your blog, still stands. Keep them coming.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. P.S.: You mention Croft, so I’ll say this. Though he is about as far left as one can be (an admirer of Cuban communism!), he is invariably polite, and I admire him for that, especially since courtesy when faced with contrary opinions is not the hallmark of his people. He does not comment here much anymore because I put him on permanent moderation, not because he was rude but because he would leave looooong and frequent comments that often were correct in much of their content but irrelevant to the topic. He finally wore me down. He admitted that his wife told him he carried on too much online. He’s a good guy even though entirely politically loopy.

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  7. I find different opinions are treated respectfully here. State your case and facts. You can agree or disagree politely. Rudeness and name calling (racist, homophobe, bigot, Islamaphobe, etc) are not accepted. They stop the dialogue and exchange of ideas and viewpoints (maybe that is the goal). Pretty simple.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Patzman: I think many leftists mean well. I really do. They see themselves as being fair and equitable. Where they err, in my opinion, is their idealism, their Utopianism, their frequent disconnect from the realities of human nature, and that latter stems from a poor grasp (or total lack) of history.

      There is, however, a really mean streak in their increasingly strident movement. Not all manifest that, but way too many do. There are some bona fide extremists, the people who quite literally would toss you and me into a prison camp without a second thought.

      But name-calling here would serve no purpose, so I do not do it. It’s best to maintain calm. The fellow who wrote the entire blog post on my being a jerk would contend that I was name-calling AMLO. I disagree. I think he is quite literally a demagogue and semi-literate.

      As for Islamaphobe, count me in. I am one, entirely. I think it’s a reasonable stance today.

      As for their rampant use of the racist word, it is entirely to stop conversation on the spot.

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      1. I stand corrected on Islamaphobe. It is used by some to shut down the discussion. But it does apply to our (yours and mine) fears of the frightening facts about Islam.

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        1. Patzman: I was not aware that Islamaphobe had joined the collectivist collection of conversation-stopping accusations. It makes sense, however, since in their world view the anti-woman, conversion-by-the-scimitar religion must be “tolerated.” Were someone to accuse me of being an Islamaphobe, I would simply reply, well, duh.

          We should all be Islamaphobes.

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  8. Felipe’s not a jerk. His name’s not in the phone book.

    Navin R. Johnson [The Jerk}: The new phone book’s here! The new phone book’s here!
    Harry Hartounian: Boy, I wish I could get that excited about nothing.
    Navin R. Johnson: Nothing? Are you kidding? Page 73 – Johnson, Navin R.! I’m somebody now! Millions of people look at this book everyday! This is the kind of spontaneous publicity – your name in print – that makes people. I’m in print! Things are going to start happening to me now.
    [the Sniper points to Navin’s name in the phone book]
    Sniper: Johnson, Navin R… sounds like a typical bastard.

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  9. It would be nice if some people would listen to what the Tea Party is saying rather than what the talking heads in the media say they are saying. Our nation is facing some difficult problems, and name calling is not going to solve them. It is not that the Republicans are so good, but that the Democrats are so bad. There is nothing so pervasive and all enduring as a bad idea.

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  10. The fact of the matter is that even Capitalinos, who voted overwhelmingly for him, eventually tired of AMLO’s antics. It’s hard to imagine getting worked up over whether someone thinks he’s an illiterate demogogue or not.

    Personally, I have more important things to worry about than your opinion of AMLO.

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    DF, Mexico
    Where it’s doing its best to pretend it’s Seattle.

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  11. López Obrador was a colorful character who almost beat Felipe Calderón in 2006. Calderón was about as exciting as milk toast and probably set back the PAN party for many years. The PRD was even a bigger loser. I think America would be better off with a six year presidential term like Mexico.

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    1. Andrés: I voted for Calderón, and I liked him. He could have done better, true. And I agree that a six-year term in the U.S. would be better. Well, unless someone like Barry gets elected.

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  12. “I think many leftists mean well. I really do. They see themselves as being fair and equitable. Where they err, in my opinion, is their idealism, their Utopianism, their frequent disconnect from the realities of human nature, and that latter stems from a poor grasp (or total lack) of history.”

    I consider myself a liberal. I do mean well. I am idealistic but I do not consider it an error. And yes there is sorta a disconnect from human nature – but not in the sense that we do not understand – but that we continue to believe that things can get better. I have an excellent grasp of history and continue to study history. This is where the idealism pops up again in that someday we may learn from our past mistakes.

    Not all Democrats are demons nor are they all remarkable either. The same can be said for Republicans. Extremists of any sort are dangerous – political, religious and otherwise.

    I am fair and equitable.

    Not sure if you are a jerk or not. You are clever and talented and your writing is almost always excellent even if I do not always agree with the content.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. You can’t really remember if you have seen “The Jerk?” You haven’t.

    You should watch it. One of my fondest memories was watching my grown sons react to this movie I watched as a young man. It is Steve Martin’s classic — almost as non-PC as “Blazing Saddles.”

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    1. Ray: I tend to think I have seen “The Jerk.” I have a dreadful memory for some things, and always have. For instance, I have had my hair cut by the same woman for about two years. I keep her name in the little notebook I always tote, so I can remember her name. Otherwise, I am clueless. I could not tell you the name of a book I finished a week ago, or the book I am reading at the moment, though I can tell you what it is about. I do recall that I saw “Blazing Saddles.” Twice, I think. Mel Brooks said recently that he could not make the movie today specifically because it was non-PC.

      He could, however, make it in Mexico. We would not care.

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