OTHER SIDE OF THE FENCE
Conserve [v. kuh n-surv] To use or manage wisely; preserve; save
Ipopped a heartstring during a recent Burt Reynolds interview.
Shrunken, frail and ill, his condition offered a stark reminder – Father Time travels on an express train.
Back when the Bandit was dancing around Georgia frustrating Smokies, I was interning at Hotlanta’s Georgia Mental Health Institute, frustrating instructors. Burt – his bar, shenanigans, movies, ladies and zest for living – offered great distraction.
In graduate school I was surrounded by an assemblage of narcissistic liberals. Burt’s plucky rednecky resistance to gobbledygook packaged as enlightenment was timely. He excelled as a trusted compass back to the real world. I’ve watched Burt’s “Sharkey” blow his bad guy out of Atlanta’s Peachtree Plaza at least 10 times. In tribute, I thought I’d take an equally lively shot at blowing my bad guy, liberal-progressive- socialism, out of its ivory tower.
Illuminating their tragic touch is almost as good as Trans-Am’ing with Sally Field.
(1) The secular left’s passionate opposition to Christianity rests on an incredibly glib notion called the “Big Bang Theory.” Believers prefer worshipping a big God over a big bang.
Hate to break this to those deifying the things of man, but both dedications require a leap of faith.
(2) Liberals – think Bernie, Hillary and most Ashevillians – don’t get the dynamic difference between real capitalism and socialism. Conservative realism pushes us to compete for our fair share of a growing pie – socialist fanaticism compels us to fight over the crumbs of a shrinking pie.
(3) Ever noticed the lines of scowling faces at your local health food store?
This mysterious misery – ‘‘Progressiv-itis’’ – is common to those confusing control with concern; deviance with diversity; uniformity with unity; and enabling with empowering. The resulting friction necessitates regular doses of tattoo therapy, vanity, weed, casual sex, anger, entitlement and craft beer.
Conservatism – see subheading above – offers a recovery plan.
(4) The left loves to fan the flames of racism. They reliably magnify things people can’t control – like color – and ignore that which people can control – like choices, character and culture.
This shameless social scam advances political power by ensnaring the unwitting.
(5) Liberals don’t get that the Second Amendment is less about guns than the right to defend oneself through effective means. Smart people are purchasing guns at an unprecedented rate because our government’s competency – and the world’s sanity – are fading at an equally unprecedented rate.
(6) Speaking of weapons and violence, our good friends on the left are deceptively comfortable with both — they just prefer the mayhem occur behind closed doors. To date scalpels and abortions have intercepted the lives of 55+ million American children.
(7) The next time a liberal asks you to donate to a food bank, ponder the fact that America’s deeper problem is with food addiction – not hunger. There are earnest exceptions, but most people’s ‘‘food insecurity’’ is a withdrawal symptom. Food banks are a classic example of corruptively fostering dependency as a substitute for the more loving mission of nurturing self-reliance.
(8) The wickedness of the left is further revealed in four toxic priorities – the promise of something for nothing; an enthusiasm for powerful government over powerful citizens; a dedication to pleasure and comfort vs. growth and freedom; and a distasteful habit of treating people as pets. The enlightenment of the right is similarly exposed in four tempering passions – reality; reason; responsibility; and right – agendas not coincidentally mirroring nature’s truths.
(9) Progressives hate diversity. A quick survey of the micro-number of conservative-minded instructors at UNC Asheville and most other education settings reveals the left’s candid dedication – supremacy. Locally, the very idea of having even one conservative voice on city council scares liberals to death. False prophets reliably eliminate dissent.
(10) The American Dream rests on a simple conservative formula: Liberty + Opportunity + Responsibility = Success. Liberalism has its own favored equation: Dependence + Control + Chaos = Power. In a hard world which represents our best chance at a noble future?
For a quick means to separating liberalism from conservatism, consider our mountains. The former reliably beckons the unknowing toward the easy downhill path. The latter points to the accountabilities and prospects of the uphill climb. To the extent that everything good requires personal effort, the real right has it right.
So thanks and happy new year Burt – I appreciate the nudge. Please hang in there and keep the pedal to the metal.
Having just read your autobiography, ‘‘ Enough About Me ,’’ it’s a suggestion you’ve had more impact than you imagine.
Carl Mumpower is a psychologist, former elected official and Burt Reynolds fan – he can be reached at