Myth taken

When I was in grade school, our library had a copy of illustrated Greek myths that I kept checked out for the better part of a school year simply because I loved the stories. I often think of that book when I see memes on Facebook using artworks of one of the 12 labors of Hercules—slaying the Nemean Lion—labeled something along the lines of “Hercules trying to give his cat a pill.”

The first one on the bottom was me trying to put ointment on Charlie’s eye. But I wasn’t nekkid. Image found on iFunny.

Which could just as well be me trying to apply ointment to the irritated skin around Charlie’s eye (dang pollen). When my furry one was alive, his regular vet almost always gave me liquid medication because pilling that freakishly strong boy was a nonstarter not just with me, but the vet techs. It was mostly successful, but I still have nightmares about the worm medication. Thank the good lord I haven’t had to do much on the medication front with Charlie; I’m badly out of practice, which is why I only tried once.

The myths I deal with on a daily basis aren’t as entertaining as those Greek myths. They’re political myths, but not on the level of the destructive Manifest Destiny (“the idea,” according to History.com, “that the United States is destined—by God, its advocates believed—to expand its dominion and spread democracy and capitalism across the entire North American continent”), or even of Parson Weems’ apocryphal tale of George Washington and the cherry tree. (I know, I know, you want to believe it, but it’s not true. There’s a whole raft of stories about the founding fathers that aren’t quite true.)

Yup, this is a myth, according to Mount Vernon. Image found on MountVernon.org.

Let’s take a look at a couple; you might see why I’m an independent.

😡 All conservatives are racist misogynists, and all liberals are snowflakes who want to corrupt and indoctrinate your children and abolish the police.

I’ve talked before about the dangers of overly broad generalizations, and both parties have the tendency to do just that. Victoria Parker wrote in The Atlantic in December that the research she and three colleagues conducted found that people were more likely to correctly characterize the other side’s stance on standard policy issues, but not culture-war issues, showing “a false polarization in which one side excoriates the other for views that it largely does not hold.”

Not every liberal wants to get rid of the police (most know that’s a bad idea) or indoctrinate your children (most teachers want to teach, period, and don’t need parents threatening them because their kids won’t pay attention in class). Most conservatives (at least the ones I know) are neither racist nor misogynist, and indeed, some are heavily in favor of reproductive rights. Both liberals and conservatives are just as likely as the other to be a “snowflake,” and hypocrisy is strong on both sides on cancel culture.

Such snowflakes! Image found on cheezburger.

Rather than believing that a local candidate believes something based on the party with which they affiliate, why not try doing actual research instead of just voting for all Rs or Ds? You probably have more in common with them than you think. To take it a little further, I wouldn’t be averse to the idea of not putting parties on the ballot at all to force voters to be more diligent in vetting of candidates.

Imagine that; actually doing the hard work toward maintaining our democratic republic by researching candidates. I know. As Charlie says when I call him back in after outside time, I’m mean. (He does too talk!)

😐 Republicans and Democrats haven’t changed positions over the years.

Another version of this claims that the left has shifted far to the left over recent years, but the center and the right have remained stable. To the contrary, Pew Research notes in a study of Congress that “both parties have moved further away from the ideological center since the early 1970s. Democrats on average have become somewhat more liberal, while Republicans on average have become much more conservative.” (Meanwhile, in the real world, independents outnumber either Republicans or Democrats: 40 percent independent, 30 percent Democrat and 28 percent Republican, according to the most recent Gallup tracking.)

Aren’t we tired of all the fighting yet? Image from capitolhillblue.com via Southeast Progress Report.

So, there’s been a shift on both sides, with a larger one on the right. Further, the middle, “where moderate-to-liberal Republicans could sometimes find common ground with moderate-to-conservative Democrats on contentious issues, has vanished,” since 2002 in the House and 2004 in the Senate. The fringes on both sides are loud, but less powerful. If their numbers increase, though, more tumult than laws will be made. (Vote, damn you, vote!)

But the lie goes back much further, with people (there’s one in particular I deal with who is married to this idea) claiming that the parties haven’t changed since they were formed, which would pretty much be an impossibility, as change is inevitable. During the Civil War, Republicans tended to be from the North, and Democrats from the South. Today it’s the opposite (with the addition of the heartland for Republicans and the coasts for Democrats). PolitiFact talked to Carole Emberton, an associate professor of history at the University of Buffalo. “Although the names stayed the same,” she said, “the platforms of the two parties reversed each other in the mid-20th century, due in large part to the white ‘Dixiecrats’ flight out of the Democratic Party and into the Republican Party after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.”

It still took a while for the majority of Dixiecrats to get out, but once Blacks started getting more rights, well … Clifford Berryman editorial cartoon found on Truman Library.

By the time the act became law, it was the Democratic Party, Emberton said, that supported so-called liberal causes that “had been the banner of the Republican Party.”

But sure, keep saying the parties are the same ones formed by Andrew Jackson and Abraham Lincoln in the 1800s. Heck, the Republican Party of today is not even the same one it was in 2012.

😻😻😻😻😻

As you read this, I’ll probably be back at home tapping away on my computer, if not on my way in to the office for a few hours. Charlie’s mom Sarah has by now returned home, and I’ve had to bid adieu to that sweet little cat (don’t worry, I’ll be visiting a lot; Sarah may get sick of me).

I’ve really enjoyed my time with Charlie, and I’ll miss his excited eck-ecks whenever Kevin and Bill show up. But the past month also made it very clear to me that while I love pet-sitting, I’m still not ready for another furry one or three. Hopefully I will be sometime in the near future. Those head bumps are the best.

Took Charlie a few minutes Monday to determine it was OK that the couch was nekkid while I washed the couch cover and his blanket. Such a sweet boy.

10 thoughts on “Myth taken

  1. In a sea of partisanship, there are islands of unity.

    Sunday, we attended the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. featuring three Russian composers: Borodin, Shostakovich, and Tchaikovsky. The guest conductor pointed out that the program was planned years before the Russian invasion of Ukraine. He noted that each of the composers was a rebel in his time, not well-liked by his government.

    Then, the concert began with the Ukrainian national anthem, and the entire audience and orchestra spontaneously rose to their feet. I was moved to tears.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: A good laugh – PIED TYPE

  3. “Imagine that; actually doing the hard work toward maintaining our democratic republic by researching candidates.” For too many people this will the first time in their lives that they have actually tried to do some honest work or hard work. I have a low opinion of this type of person because I probably work harder in one day than they have ever worked in their whole lives.

    Like

    • Even when nonpartisan sources do the hard work and publish voting guides, they prefer to believe the sources that tell them what they want to hear. That’s not exactly good citizenship or patriotism.

      Like

      • They sound like the “Nowhere Man” in that song by John Lennon and Paul McCartney because they only hear what they want to hear and they only see what they want to see.

        Like

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