Monday, July 04, 2005

How Trey Ellis Might Become a "Good Guy"

Arianna Huffington's The Huffington Post continues to be a must read collection of celebrity blogs. While the posters and readership both lean heavily to the left, it's witty, well written and often insightful.

Today, in honor of the Fourth of July, Huffington assembled a veritable old fashioned 4th of July picnic of columns. Especially tasty is the blog by
Danielle Crittenden.

But my post today is a reply to
Trey Ellis' plea "I Want Us to Be the Good Guys Again". Like so many Liberals, Trey is tired of the Conservatives having the corner on Patriotism. He's tired of being labeled one of the "bad guys."

Trey, I'd love to help you out. But, before you can become one of the good guys, you actually need to be able to see that you act like one of the bad guys.

Now, of course, I don't mean that you actually are a charter member of Bush's Axis of Evil, simply that you act like one. You write like one. You cry like one.

Compare your blog today with ANY conservative's column. A Conservative column will be brimming with positives. Conservatives will sing the praises of our country, the blessings of God, the joy of freedom and the treasure of democracy. It likely will be syrupy sweet. It's likely no negatives will be included.

Your column today is so negative it's almost frightening. While you extol your love of country (and I believe it is a genuine love), it's always phrased as if it were a blessing you reluctantly bestow on the country. Your gift to America is that you love her, in spite of her nearly constant evils, shortcomings and oversights.

You wrote, "Despite its despicable treatment of my people I love my country ...."

And, to prove your criticism is equal handed, you wrote, "I was furious that the Clinton administration didn't do more and much earlier to stop the bloodshed in Yugoslavia."

And you continued, "And then came Bush's elective war in Iraq, his constant snubbing of the U.N. and the string of international treaties he feels are too beneath him to sign."

And, as if the above weren't enough, you summarized, "I don't think most Americans realize the extent to which our image in the world has devolved from good guy to villain."

O.K. Trey, here's my surprise revelation to you. Conservatives are no more happy with the course our country has taken throughout history than you are!! And Conservatives are equally unhappy with most of the recent history of our country.

Do you think conservatives are thrilled with the recent Supreme Court decisions? Do you think they're excited about the progress of the war in Iraq?

Part of the difference is that Conservatives see the glass as half full, and liberals see it as polluted and nearly empty.

But a bigger part of the difference can be more easily explained with a sports team analogy. At the risk of offending your liberal sensibilitieses, let's use College Football, old fashioned Southern Football.

In Alabama, the state is divided between Alabama fans and Auburn fans. If you love one, you're likely to hate the other.

If you're an Auburn fan, you know the strengths and weaknesses of your coach and every player. You know what to expect from the coming season, but you always expect the best. If you win a game, you cheer to the rafters. You can still be objective about the problems; you can even complain mightily.

After an Auburn victory, a fan might say, "What a great victory. Our guys played their hearts out. But we're going to need to do a better job a coaching the receivers, but they guys played hard and showed they had what it takes to be great."

But, if you are an Alabama Fan, your view of that same Auburn game is quite different. In reviewing the same game, the same victory, the Alabama fan sees only the failings of the Auburn team.

The Alabama fan might say, "Harrumph. Auburn got lucky! They didn't deserve to win. Their receivers can't catch for $#@!. They won't be so lucky next time. The only reason they have any talent at all is that they cheat."

In you column today, you write like that Alabama Fan analyzing the Auburn team. There is no love. There is no underlying support. Just seething, smoldering dissatisfaction.

If you really want to be one of the "good guys," start to act like one. You don't need to change one single view. You don't need to support Bush and approve of the war in Iraq.

But you do need to see that the future of the team is in your hands and you need to act like a supporter. When Auburn has a bad season or two, all the fans may call for a new coach, but they never let you doubt that they love the team.

I know you want a new coach. But today is game day. How about a few cheers?

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