I’ve been bugging my close friend and fellow blogger The Hippie Conservative to get back into the blogging game. Despite my best efforts to get him back to his outstanding writing, he’s been on the shelf, save his frequent comments on my and a few other blogs. But he finally cleared the dust off his typewriter (I’m joking. I’m sure he doesn’t use a typewriter. It’s a quell and ink, right?) and get back to writing. So here’s a piece from my friend and guest columnist, The Hippie Conservative.
Is there a God? Am I living in a matrix? What’s the meaning of my existence? Do I even exist? These are questions that have plagued mankind since language first allowed us to ponder our inner thoughts. These aren’t the kind of questions, however, that routinely get me in trouble.
The questions that I’ve been asking , and that have gotten me kicked off of Myspace and Facebook sites, are a little more challenging to the norm. An example would be, “Why do black and poor people support abortion when it targets their children?” or “If guns are the problem, why are the majority of the murders in this country disproportionately in one small area of any city?” Every since I was a little kid growing up on the North Side of Flint, Michigan, I’ve had a fascination with questions and, more importantly to me, the response that they would get from people. Most of these questions have gotten me into trouble or arguments… or even fights.
I love questions.
Questions are the best way to see if someone truly believes what they are saying or if they are just regurgitating pabulum fed to them by someone else. Questions are great for getting your point across without making a real statement or opinion of your own. Questions keep authority honest; governments from going completely corrupt and people from becoming mindless ideological zombies.
People often quote Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi propagandist, who once famously said, “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” However, the best part of the quote is often left out, “The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” In short, Goebbels was saying that questions and the resulting dissent are the enemy of propaganda.
I couldn’t agree more. No one who is lying likes to be questioned; no one that is unsure of his values likes being questioned, no one that has committed a crime, no one that is unfaithful, and no one that is dishonest. Questions are the air that floats the truth to the surface. For those that seek to manipulate you, questions are the enemy.
For those of you that don’t know me, it’s easy to mistake me for a simple troublemaker or someone who is trying to change your point of view. The truth is; I don’t care that much what you do or don’t believe. I have many friends on both the right and left and I refuse to see either side as the enemy. Remember, fear and hate is how they control you. I’m simply fascinated with how you have gotten to your point of view and how you defend that view. In my 50+ years on this planet, I’ve learned it’s far easier to get someone thinking than to change their mind. The hope is that they will come to a better conclusion if they will allow the most important questions-the ones you ask yourself.
So, since my good friend Andre was kind (crazy?) enough to allow me to guest write here, I thought I would start with a few questions, Since most of you have heard some of my questions, or will hear them in the future, I thought it would be nice to first have you ask me a few. Nothing is off limits except my name or identifying factoids (such as my social security number). Some of the answers may surprise you since a lot of my time here has been spent trying to figure out you, not telling you what I really believe. Take your best shot, because after this, the questions will all be mine. I promise they won’t be easy.
The Hippie Conservative blogs at http://thehippieconservative.blogspot.com/