Have you ever had a moment where a phrase suddenly strikes you? A passing second that suddenly grows into hours spent pondering the implications of your thinking? That was my afternoon. As I drove to a nearby city today a car passed mine and gunned it. That in and of itself is not unusual, as I do live in an area with a high number of fools who think back roads are invitations to open it up and see just how much they can risk their lives. What struck me about this car was one of their bumper stickers, “WARNING: Does not Play Well with Liberals” with a picture of an automatic rifle on the corner.
My first reaction was to get my feathers riled up. I know for a fact my face contorted and I quietly muttered a few not so well chosen expletives. But then something happened. I pulled into a drive through and ordered drinks for my daughter and myself. When the carhop brought out the order I handed him a ten for a $4.50 order and told him to keep the change. The kid looked at me with a rather confused expression and said, “Are you sure?” I nodded, told him to have a nice day, and left. I found myself smiling. I had taken a moment that had inspired aggravation and had tossed it off by choosing to do something positive for someone else.
Admittedly I am what many would classify as a ‘bleeding heart liberal.’ I believe that society should work to ensure the welfare of all. I believe that the environment is important and that we should do what we can to protect it and ensure that future generations are not tasked with cleaning up or surviving a mess we create today. I think that taxes are a necessary part of civilization and that there is nothing wrong with providing for others.
The term ‘bleeding heart liberal’ has been tossed about like it were an insult. The people who wield it see it as derogatory. Whenever a cause is brought to the light by liberals, the sneers ooze, “it’s just those bleeding hearts again.” It’s a way of discounting the actions of a group of people as if they were somehow lessor because they seem to act based on their heart. But it is in that term that we might find our strength. We might be able to fight back against the current regime and introduce ourselves to the world in a much better light.
The repugnants found their way into power by proclaiming that they cared about those who saw themselves as forgotten. Through the spouting of a series of generic slogans, the Tangerine started rallying those who believed themselves to be lost. He declared that he would fix things and make everything great by returning the country to a fantasized past that never really existed. Instead of rallying people behind the concept of a shared future that would be built together, he placed himself on high as the only one who could save them from a dark evil that they believed had banished them and left them lacking. Through lies, sound bites, and twitter bursts, the repugnants inspired hate and rage all under the false moniker of hope.
The repugnants are continuing to maintain their platform of hate. Facts are being distorted to fester fear and fear propagates hatred. Fingers are pointing at those who are different, labeling them as the sources of all that ails this country. The idea of caring for all is being trounced upon by the promotion of a “me first” mind set. Suddenly we are at a place where we cannot do for others because we might not have enough for ourselves. We no longer care for the poor because it costs too much and we don’t want to be forced to help anyway. Lines are being drawn and people are being categorized as worthy and unworthy.
My little interaction today got me thinking about the current movements going on throughout the entire country. Town halls around the nation have seen an influx of people demanding answers of their repugnant representatives. They are wanting to know how those representatives are planning to ensure that they are not left behind. People want to know exactly how the actions being taken by the White House and congress are going to provide for a better future for all members of our society, not just the wealthy or the corporations. They are standing up and screaming their needs, their hopes, and their desires. Calls are flooding offices and emails are flying at unprecedented rates.
So perhaps it is time for the ‘bleeding hearts’ to start putting it out there again. We are already protesting and proclaiming what we want for this world. Now it is time for us to start modeling for others what we already know to be true. We are one people (the human race) and we need to have each others backs. The ‘bleeding hearts’ are at a place where they can genuinely impact the future direction of this country by doing for others and encouraging each other to step up. We are going to have to reach our hands out to give, even when it is giving just a kind word.
Instead of turning into trolls and bashing each other over the head with memes and off the cuff statements on the internet, we need to start providing logical and caring solutions. Those who are promoting hate must be combated with love and it must be done openly and routinely. We must demonstrate what it is we wish to see in our society if we want to hold onto the progress that has been made in the last forty years, we have to expose its values to others. Sharing and supporting those who are the targets of the hatred must become the normal way of life if we are going to continue to move our world forward. This is not a religious movement as they are often clouded with expectations of dogma. Instead we ‘bleeding hearts’ are tasked with a movement of action, a movement of love, and movement of hope.