Letter To A Liberal
by Edgar J. Steele
I came across the following while cleaning out some of the directories on my computer's hard drive. It is a letter I wrote to a very liberal friend of mine well over two years ago. It struck me how much more relevant the words are today, so I share it with you.
You see, I had received a sternly disapproving letter from this liberal friend of mine, one I have known and loved for over 30 years (I was his best man), decrying my representing the Aryan Nations in the trumped-up lawsuit brought by the Southern Poverty Law Center and its founder, Morris Dees.
I'm not a skinhead. I'm not an adherent of Christian Identity. I'm not even uniformly conservative. Though I often describe myself as right wing, that is only because the rest of this country has become so thoroughly socialistic-cum-communist, so that true moderates, such as myself, now appear to be far right. Because those like myself refuse to join the left in condemning those on the right, we get pitched in after them and painted with the same liberal paintbrush (though, honestly, if I had to choose one side over the other, then I have clearly been pitched in with the right people).
After thinking long and hard, I drafted and sent the following response, which I share with you as a sort of catharsis for my belief structure - call it a part of my rebirth as a right-wing radical, perhaps (or a neolib, even):
Your letter was unexpected because I thought you had discarded me without further thought once you decided I was too politically incorrect for your intellectual comfort. Since there may actually be some small chance to salvage our friendship, I will respond and attempt to reason with you on the points you raise.
Let's see now...your letter accuses me of having changed from a liberal, becoming a conservative and bigoted, likely due to my apparent affluence, during a period spanning 30 years, during which you changed from conservative to liberal. Because I confess to being a separatist, you equate that with racism. You also state that I must agree with the thinking of the Aryan Nations, since I have it as a client. Having read and reread your letter, perhaps 50 times, I think that's a reasonable summary.
As I look back over my life, you stand out on a number of counts, one of the most profound being the fact that, in the 60's, you were one of the most bigoted people I have ever known, including all members of the Aryan Nations that I have met. Have you changed in that regard? Sure, but not exactly in the ways you profess. You're still pretty bigoted, Rod...witness the animosity you now feel for me, based strictly on my associations and thinking and not on my basic worth as a human being or my actions toward you.
Though I disagreed with your thinking then, I was pleased to have you as my friend. Now that you perceive our roles to have reversed (your perception only, incidentally, since I have never indulged in the sort of racial vitriol and outlooks you possessed when I met you), you are not inclined to return the favor, however. Funny thing is, though I believe your thinking is pretty muddled politically and your mind as closed as any I have ever seen, I still have no problem with you as a friend. Friendship is, as they say, accepting others as they are, not because of what they are.
Trite though it may sound, some of my best friends are liberals. Some of my best friends are also conservatives. Some of them are even bona fide racists. Some are religious zealots. Some are atheists. Some are Mexicans, Jews and Asians. Though I don't currently count any blacks as more than acquaintances, I have been pleased to call many of them friends through the years and do currently admire the intellectual acumen of several. My last office manager in California was black; and there are both Latins and Asians on staff right now. Do you actually have anything but liberals as friends, Rod? This is such an issue with you, but doesn't really occupy much of my time. Just who is the bigot here, anyway?
Have I changed through the years? Sure, and it has been for the better in most regards.
Far more profound, however, has been the fundamental societal shift in this country from conservatism to liberalism, undeniable in the face of our having elected a draft dodger to be President. Compared to that sea change, which has swept you away on its leading swells, I have altered my stance very little, though the apparent relative shift is quite substantial. As a Berkeley judge I met in my 20's once put it: "If you are not liberal when you are young, you have no heart. But, if you are not conservative as you grow older, you have no head." What a marvelous assessment.
When did the word "conservative" become so dirtied in your lexicon? I have observed the effects of liberalism and increased welfare and entitlements upon this country and its population and been forced to conclude that we are creating and perpetuating that which we profess to be attempting to alleviate and eradicate. "Tough love" is what is required and what works, both at the family level and at all levels of government.
Create a safety net and others of all races will always rely upon it and take it as a given, never becoming self reliant. The current general affluence which overlays this country's outright socialistic government is an anomaly that time will show to have been a product only of the most massive expansion of credit and the money supply ever witnessed, and for which our descendants (and, possibly, we) will pay dearly. There really is no such thing as a free lunch.
Fewer and fewer pay the taxes that support burgeoning governmental bureaucracies, thus the upswell in tax rates, despite the general prosperity. When prosperity gives way to recession or worse, as it always does, then the system will break down.
Fiscal conservatism, which I wholeheartedly believe in, is the only way and I challenge you to say otherwise since I know you personally practice such in your life. You aren't borrowing wildly to finance your current lifestyle. National economics really is no different from that practiced at the personal level.
So, I guess you decry my social conservatism, then, is that correct? Of course, I believe in abortion, however. I also believe in private freedom of religious thinking (no state religions, not even that peculiar brand called atheism). I also believe in true equality. Of course, equality means equality of opportunity to me, not dividing up everything and handing out equal shares - that is socialism, of course. And drugs, well, you know my attitudes in this regard. Pretty liberal thinking, eh? Gosh, I guess that means I am still a Libertarian...funny thing, since that is the outlook I subscribed to over 25 years ago. Seem to remember you being there, too, but we will both agree that you are no longer such.
Gosh, maybe "conservative" isn't really what you mean, then. You seem to use that word interchangeably with "bigot," "separatist" and "racist." Of course, I note that most liberals indulge in that sort of broad brush stroking. I'm surprised you don't accuse me of being a religious fundamentalist, as well, since that is part and parcel of the name calling.
Of course, since I am willing to tolerate religious fundamentalists, perhaps I really am one of them to a liberal. Of course, using your logic about my representing the Aryan Nations, if I am willing to defend a religious fundamentalist, then I must think just like them, too. Ergo, I must be a religious fundamentalist, which even you will admit is ridiculously off the mark.
Hmmmmm. Do you see the flaw in this sort of reasoning, Rod?
You never mentioned the word hate, a favorite of the liberal, left-wing, socialist, commie, tree-hugging, Birkenstock-wearing, fruit-beer-swilling, granola-munching, dirt-eating druids now running America. I'm sure that is implicit in your charge that I am a bigot, however. I'll be happy to deal with that, but first let's get this distilled down to the single real bone you seem to have to pick with me.
Closely allied to the bigotry charge is the separatism/racism duality you propose.
I see you have a new address, though you have never told me you moved. I'll address this letter to that address and see if it comes back. Are you now in a part of Portland that is occupied by all manner of different ethnic groups, or is it pretty lily white, just like the last section in which you lived? If the former, then good for you in practicing what you preach. I'll be interested in hearing your assessment in a few years' time. If the latter, however, and I would give long odds on this selection, then you are still a separatist, Rod.
I don't care what the rationalization is that you have for living there; the fact remains that you selected it for characteristics that derive from its almost purely Caucasian nature. And I guarantee you that what few ethnics might be there are actually white people, too, in all regards except skin color (and they are the ones you always think of when you are pushing your diversity-is-wonderful message on others, aren't they?).
Separatism is merely the act of being or living apart from others possessing specified characteristics. Want to live in a low-crime area? Near good schools? Then you are a separatist, because those are characteristics that do not exist in multiethnic neighborhoods.
Separatism might be racism, but if it is, then you are a racist, Rod, and will have to consider that racism may not be an altogether bad thing. I am a separatist; I cannot in honesty profess to be otherwise.
In fact, I don't want my kids associating with white trash or knee-jerk liberals' offspring or the kids of religious extremists, either. I want them physically safe and not being bombarded with propaganda (which I don't spoon-feed them, either). Like you, it is the characteristics that attract or repel me, not the racial makeup; fact is, though, the characteristics accompany and derive from the racial makeup.
Facts are facts. Even the liberal press makes no pretense of crime and ignorance being uniform throughout our society.
So, what are we left with now? Racism, I guess, and the bigotry (hate) charge. But, then, they are the same thing, aren't they? What is racism/bigotry, but the belief that one is better than another (therefore entitled to dislike or hate) due to one's racial history or skin color?
Fair enough? Isn't that really the crux of your dilemma with me, Rod? Your assumption/belief that I am someone who hates others due to skin color? Well, guess what? You are wrong and you know it. And my 30+ year history with you deserves better consideration than you have afforded.
Do I possess some attitudes about different races? Sure. Are some of them politically incorrect? You bet. Are they wrong? Show me where and I will change in an instant.
For example, there are differences between races, other than skin color. It isn't just coincidence that sports of every sort are dominated by blacks; they evolved in the African veldt, where strength and swiftness were rewarded with life and natural selection doomed lesser physical specimens. Broad, flared nostrils enhance the intake of oxygen, which is used in prodigious quantities by those oversize gluteal and thigh muscles in jumping and running.
In the northern climes, where Caucasians evolved, physical prowess was important, to be sure, but intellectual ability was disproportionately necessary in order to make it from one summer to the next by setting aside food for the future and making living accommodations in one season that sustain life in the next. That is why Caucasians so dominate intellectual activity in this country and why affirmative action will never work.
Are blacks better than whites because they are physically superior?
The fact is, as shown by even the liberals' hushed-up studies, white IQs exceed black IQs by an average of 15 to 25 points. Are whites better than blacks because they are mentally superior? My own IQ is well in excess of 25 points higher than the average Caucasian's; does that make me superior to any white person beneath that mark? Does that entitle me to hate almost everybody?
Asians and Jews, as races, have higher average IQs than whites. Does that make them better than us?
There are other differences, including skin colors, but the point is that they are just differences, some of which give some races advantages in certain arenas over other races. There is no inherent superiority to be derived from an assessment of these differences and certainly no privileges that should thereby attach.
However, I am sick to death of political correctness.
I am sick of white people apologizing to blacks.
I am sick of the very racist attitudes of liberals which results in affirmative action because they fundamentally believe that, otherwise, black people can never compete as equals.
I am sick of white people being discriminated against, in favor of any ethnic group.
I am sick of the media bias against whites and in favor of blacks, which results in the rare white-on-black crime being headlined and the monstrously-disproportionate black-on-white crimes being not reported at all or being submerged into the background noise.
I am sick of white children being forced into physically and mentally-unsafe schools and neighborhoods by bleeding-heart liberals.
I am sick of hearing about children of any race being raped and murdered.
I am sick of the hatred being tossed around today by liberals and justified by terms such as anti-semitic and racist and right-wing and conservative, ad nauseum.
I am sick of all the hatred, which now seems to be primarily the province of the left-wing.
You want to talk about hatred and dirty tactics and unethical behavior? Then I could talk for hours about Morris Dees and the Southern Poverty Law Center and the JDL and the ADL, in the context of the lawsuit in which I am defending the Aryan Nations. My little girl could tell you of the death threat she received from a JDL member, as could Rex, Nicole and Cyndi about theirs.
I could tell of the multiple threats I have received from the JDL/ADL and from around the globe, especially Israel, for defending the Aryan Nations against this bullshit case, brought only to shut them up for their anti-semitic and racist beliefs.
How about the witnesses being harassed and tampered with, right now, by Dees' minions? How about the subornation of perjury that is now taking place?
How about my office being repeatedly illegally searched by someone?
How about the phone taps that I know have been emplaced on my lines by the FBI/ADL?
How about the tax audits I have all of a sudden had to undergo? The property tax reassessments that have taken place out of sequence with my neighbors? The beer cans in my driveway?
How about the local papers calling me a Nazi because I defend the Aryan Nations (of course, since you, who have known me so well, are willing to stoop to that sort of rationalization, how can I expect more of them?)?
How about the loss of my friends (you, for example), now afraid to associate with me because I am standing up to the system?
I am proud of handling the Aryan Nations case, regardless of what the outcome may be. This is the current battlefield for the First Amendment and I am honored to play a part in its defense.
The rest of the Constitution has already been eroded or superseded, and I realize that the First Amendment is on its way out, too. Think not?
2nd Amendment (right to bear arms) - already so limited that it does not exist in most places.
3rd (quartering soldiers) - eliminated by Executive Order, as will be seen when and if martial law is ever declared.
4th (search and seizure) - you or your car can be searched anytime a cop wants. At worst, he can always claim he saw you do or drop something suspicious. Search warrants require merely the flimsiest of affidavits, often perjured, and a friendly magistrate.
5th (due process of law) Fifth Amendment - Government takes what it wants, when it wants, via civil forfeiture, with nothing in the way of due process being observed. Law enforcement now has a stake in the drug trade. It's easier to broker drug deals than to conduct genuine investigations. If the cops arrest a burglar right away, they have to return your property. If they don't take any action till he sells your property and buys drugs, they get to keep the cash.
6th (rights of the accused) - How do you hire a decent lawyer after the government confiscates all your assets or spends you into bankruptcy defending yourself in audits and the like?
7th (trial by jury in civil cases) - Routinely denied in case after case that I see nowadays.
8th (cruel and unusual punishment) - 10 years for smoking marijuana rather than drinking beer?
9th (rights retained by people) - Other rights? Why, even the enumerated rights have been taken away.
10th (rights reserved to states and people) - Now, clearly it has become the rights granted by government, particularly the Federal government.
11th (suits against states) - I just had a judge throw out a client's main cause of action against the local county because, by statute, the county and its minions are incapable of being negligent.
12th (election of President) - Yeah, right. As if Bush/Gore/McCain/Bradley is really a choice.
13th (slavery) - Pretty much still intact, unless you view working for half the year to pay taxes as slavery.
14th (equal protection) - As George Orwell observed in Animal Farm, some are "more equal than others." They are now the judicially-enumerated "protected classes": race (only if non-white), sex (female only), religion (state approved only). The parenthetical comments are those made by the judges, not me. This is also where six guys can be involved in a drug deal, five are cops and one goes to jail. And so on...
I wanted you to read David Duke's book so as to expose you to some alternate points of view that I knew for a fact you had discarded out of hand without considering their merits. Not because I agreed with everything he has to say; on the contrary. He has written an excellent overview of the racial problems of the world, from the perspective of the racist. I wanted that to serve as the basis of a dialogue between us which could lead to resolution of the growing unease you had with what you perceived me to have become. I invoked and risked our 30-year friendship to create that dialogue, because I felt that otherwise our friendship was doomed anyway.
Can you seriously argue that I was wrong, given
your current feelings? I don't feel that I lost anything that wasn't already
lost. You weren't willing to honor that request of mine, probably because our
30-year relationship had already become relatively valueless to you. This letter
is a poor substitute for that dialogue we could have had, but worth the
considerable investment of time and energy I have chosen to make, nonetheless,
because I do value you.
"I didn't say it would be easy. I just said it would be the truth."
Copyright © Edgar J. Steele, 2002
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