Liberal Elitists: If you’re going to grow tomatoes, do it so you have something to throw

There’s some they-made-their-bed-let-them-lie-in-it advice circulating on Facebook from Garrison Keillor.

The text I’ve seen from his Washington Post piece is:

We liberal elitists are now completely in the clear. The government is in Republican hands. Let them deal with him. Democrats can spend four years raising heirloom tomatoes, meditating, reading Jane Austen, traveling around the country, tasting artisan beers, and let the Republicans build the wall and carry on the trade war with China and deport the undocumented and deal with opioids, and we Democrats can go for a long , brisk walk and smell the roses.

keillorI admit that I’ve never been much of a fan of Mr. Keillor. I’m even less of one now.

While Mr. Keillor has the luxury to travel back to his own version of Lake Wobegone, the entire planet and everyone on it will be put at actual existential risk, especially if you’re Muslim, LGBTQ, poor, a person of color, or some combination of these.

Keillor’s shtick always struck me as too much of an aw-shucks-why-can’t-America-be-Mayberry view of the world.

Given that, it’s no surprise to me that now his advice is for liberals to make plans to travel the country tasting artisan beers and raising heirloom tomatoes back home.

Sounds like advice Nero would like.

My advice is for liberals to spend the next 4 years demanding that our elected officials do everything possible to obstruct and reverse everything and anything Trump and the Republicans try to do.

How can I say that?

Because there is no middle ground with bigotry, racism, xenophobia, and misogyny, and that is what Trump represents. It’s also what Republicans have always been about during my lifetime, too.

Washing my hands of it to take brisk walks and smell the roses is the epitome of liberal cowardice and privilege.

Keillor may have done this tongue-in-cheek, but somehow I don’t think so.

Either way, we liberals – especially my fellow white liberals of some privilege – should be unified in sending a completely opposite message to all of our elected representatives; from our local school boards, town councils, and city leaders, to county, state, and federal officials.

That message is we’re not surrendering anything to you. We’re coming, and we are not here to compromise.

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2 thoughts on “Liberal Elitists: If you’re going to grow tomatoes, do it so you have something to throw

  1. While we may not agree on our personal preferences for Mr. Keillor, I am with you 100% on everything else you say here. Like you, I will no longer permit the use of words or deeds by others to me or around me which promote or excuse bigotry, racism, xenophobia, and misogyny without making a thoughtful, if need be, angry response to it and to the person who has done it. I will also promote through social media my absolute opposition to the use of these hateful ideas in those who converse with me. As I have learned from my indigenous brothers and sisters, and from many others who do not share my privileged white, educated, financially independent (though if Social Security takes a nose dive I may have more in common with them!) position in our society: I do not fully comprehend their experience, and I will never be able to because it is not my experience. What I can understand, through the use of compassion, is that my true respect and consideration for their viewpoint is essential, and that my support of and actions around issues they care about is the best way I can demonstrate this.

    I put my plans for a Trump presidency in an online post on November 6 before the election was finalized in a response to a Facebook friend’s posted request: What will you do if Trump wins? Those plans have not changed. I share them here for your readers.

    “I will feel angry, sad and resigned. But I will turn those feelings to action. I will continue as I would have if Hillary won: I will continue my online and person-to-person campaign to:
    1) inform myself and my fellow citizens of the facts behind current events, the truth about history that feeds current events and the need for thinking critically about all of it;
    2) continue my efforts to encourage the younger generation to seek education and find joy in lifelong learning;
    3) continue to work to break down barriers between people everywhere, to increase civility in our human discourse;
    4) help to inform, support and identify where gerrymandering of districts has occurred and support efforts in those jurisdictions to create non-partisan citizen boards to draw electoral districts for all elections;
    5) support and work for any and all legislative efforts to remove corporations from the designation of personhood or to remove them from laws that give them privileges that should only accrue to human citizens;
    6) continue to increase online connectivity between individuals worldwide and promote and encourage direct communication between them wherever possible;
    7) continue to work for the rights of Native American and indigenous peoples everywhere to have their lives and their cultures valued and protected;
    8) continue to work for all people, regardless of race or ethnicity, creed, gender or circumstances of birth to be treated equally and fairly;
    9) promote and encourage creative solutions to climate change, worldwide hunger and water availability, creative alternatives to war and to identify and promote effective solutions to income inequality worldwide.” And I might add:
    10) share my personal experiences with an open mind in all of these areas with anyone, anywhere who is willing to engage in true, honest exchanges with an open mind.

    Thank you for your continued effort to maintain a civil and open discourse and for promoting thoughtful and thorough examination of the issues based on the facts.

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