May is going to be a month of radical political talk, especially here in Chicago, where the NATO meeting will be protested by Occupy Chicago and other groups. You will hear some left-wing people say some weird things. (Of course, the only people who will pay any attention to the protests are the police, and nice Democrats like me, who will wonder if they ought to maybe go down there and lend a voice, but who have a tee time at two and to be honest, aren't sure what's so bad about NATO, anyway.)
Me, I like radical political talk. It's fun! But I like some radical messages better than others.
For instance, I think NATO haters have more of a point than do the grown American children who want to reduce to government to military and trash pickup. I'd rather take the excesses of the left with grains of salt—last week I listened to an Occupy person share her suspicion that Occupy might have actually been organized by the one-percenters "to get us all in one place"—than try to find grains of truth in the utterly foreign stuff that comes from the far right.
Like, I'd venture to guess a 9/11 conspiracist had better SAT scores than your average birther.
I see more evidence of big corporations taking over my life than big government. (In fact, I see the corporations taking over the government.)
And I'm less troubled by the people who fund the far left than those who fund the far right—if for no other reason than the latter goons are so much better at it.
But the left is full of foolishment too.
"This Obama presidency has been a brilliant move by our ruling class, for this black, personable decoy has managed to pacify vast swaths of an otherwise restless constituency, while enraging others for the wrong reason."
That's lefty writer Linh Dinh, writing in Counterpunch. He continues, in no uncertain terms: "Although Obama’s blackness is irrelevant, it has become a fixation to both his detractors and supporters, so that it has become a point of honor to defend or depose this man for his blackness alone, when in truth his race does not factor at all in any of his decisions. One should not care that he is black, because Obama does not care that he is black, and not in a good way either. Obama is not here to rectify whatever ails the black or any other community. He is only here to facilitate the wishes of the Military Banking Complex, and he’s willing to trample on you all, black, white, brown or yellow, to achieve their goals. "
What asinine nonsense! But is it as asinine as the far right's claims that President Obama is a socialist Robinhood? No, it's not.
Dinh concludes with a little anecdote about his recent visit to Chicago: "I was dismayed and disgusted to see an Obama poster as I entered the Heartland Café, a bastion of progressive politics in that city, but my mood was improved, however, at a Trayvon Martin rally downtown, when I encountered a man with this sign, 'OBAMA—IMPERIALIST COMMANDER IN CHIEF.' Of course he was only stating the obvious, because how can a US President be otherwise under this current setup?"
What the Heartland Café really is, is a bastion of dreadful food, studied indifferent service and lots of gray-haired, gray-faced lefties who look pretty darn comfortable, for guilty citizens of a murderous nation.
But in the summertime, I ride my motorcycle up there to work on the Heartland's screened-in porch, which puts me in mind of Key West, a place I haven't been since I was a baby.
I don't hang around lefties because I agree with them all the time. I hang around them because I agree with them some of time—and because I'm afraid of the right-wing people. Imagine the Heartland Café of the Right: The Heartless Bar & Grill, a twisted combination of a country club dining room, truck stop and Wild West saloon, where Pink Slime is the Friday Special, smoking is mandatory and women aren't be allowed.
I'll take the Heartland, please.
And pass the salt.