"I figured out why half of America disagrees with the other half," says the boxer shorts zombie.
"What about the middle?" Justine asks. Of course, the zombie simplifies his argument by ignoring the middle, and treating everyone in the U.S. as part of a dichotomy of extremes, but let's humor the zombie, shall we?
"It's all about perception," he continues, ignoring the woman's question. "The Right believes they are on the side of Liberty."
So she plays along with his argument. "But to the Left, they are money lovers at best and hypocritically theocratic at worst," says Justine, completing the zombie's thought process for him. Remember that old New Testament adage: The love of money is the root of all evil. That definitely would be a point of hypocrisy for any would-be Christian theocrats.
For the most part, conservatives tend to equate Liberty with a limited Federal government and (potentially) unlimited states' rights: A theocracy here, a socialist state there, and some post-apocalyptic anarchy for good measure over there. Conservatives also tend to disagree amongst themselves about Liberty on the personal level, though - or at least, they'll let the individual states decide how free is free for how many people. Good luck finding a good state, then.
"The Left believes they are on the side of Justice," says the zombie.
"But to the Right, they are tax happy at best and anti-American Stalinists at worst," replies the woman.
Issues like health care reform and gay marriage - like college grants, integration, suffrage, and emancipation before them - do look an awful lot like social justice, equal opportunity, and civil rights. Of course, social conservatives tend to disagree, and cite any of the above (and some go old school on this!) as a deterioration of the 'American' way of life. Fiscal conservatives tend to dislike all the issues that involve tax money, like health care/insurance overhaul and, yes, FAFSA grant money.
What happened to ...with Liberty and Justice for all? And yes, I'm talking about both the U.S. "Pledge of Allegiance" ideal and old-school Metallica.
The zombie proposes a solution: "The winner will be the one who learns to make fun of themselves," he says. "'Cause no one likes a holier-than-thou, face-saving, smug douchebag." That's not exactly true because holier-than-thou, face-saving, smug douchebags kind of like themselves and people who believe the same. Good try, zombie, in any case. And props for not saving your own face, literally.
This solution seems reasonable to both the woman and the previously-silent Vampire Lord.
"Recently, in late night TV, self-effacing Conan is the good guy," says Justine, comparing NBC's recent debacle with our ever-continuing national struggle.
"Ah, and Leno must go on Oprah to fix his reputation. Blah," concludes the vampire. Seriously, Jay's most gracious option would have been to retire. Unfortunately, that's not how the cards of fate were played.
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