Like many other Libertarians, I generally regard self-declared "liberals" as well-meaning, but hopelessly deluded on matters of economics. In the last few days though, in the aftermath of the hurricane, as they scramble to blame the Bush administration for failing to take the precautions that were also ignored by every other administration back to Abraham Lincoln, I began to wonder whether they were actually interested in helping the people of New Orleans, or simply reveling in the opportunity to work up a lather blaming George Bush for a natural disaster.
Then, I came across this discussion.
Now, knowing just how rare it is for a mugger to lure a victim by pretending to have a disabled vehicle, it has been my policy for as long as I've been driving to stop and help anyone whose car has broken down, since I'd like to have the same common decency applied for my benefit should I need the same help. I've stopped to pick up a young couple at 3:00am on a completely deserted road, and been told that a dozen other people had passed them by already, including more than one highway patrol car. Nearly every time I've helped someone on the road, they were surprised that I did so without fear.
That being said, the story that this "demgurl" at democraticUnderground.com tells about zooming away from a woman and a child who needed help, because the mother had performed the unpardonable sin of having a George Bush sticker on the bumper of her van, made me wonder what it might take for me to behave similarly. Perhaps if I spotted a sticker that promoted a racist agenda, I might drive on by. But wouldn't I do better to pick up a person in such a circumstance, and let the Klansman or Nation of Islam adherent know that they had been helped by a Jew?
Let me also offer a suggestion for a "liberal" who might find himself in such a situation. Perhaps the young mother was not the owner of the van she was driving. What then? Should she be left stranded because her brother or grandmother may have supported George Bush? What if she is indeed a Bush supporter? Does that mean that she's not a human being deserving of compassion? Isn't it the Liberals who are always excoriating the Conservatives for callously ignoring people in need?
I'm reminded of a story of a Rabbi a few years ago who was getting hateful phone calls from a neo-Nazi. The Rabbi found out who this man was, learned that he was disabled (wheelchair-bound), and offered him help. He ran errands for him. He patiently listened to all the evils of the "Worldwide Jewish Conspiracy" that the man spewed at him, and pointed out where the man contradicted himself. Sometimes they argued, but the Rabbi consistently helped the man. The Nazi eventually converted to Judaism, and celebrated his Bar Mitzvah in that Rabbi's synagogue.
I'm not a religious person, but there are some very profound sayings in the Torah and the Christian scriptures. One of them that I pay attention to in particular, is "by their fruits shall ye know them." When I look at "demgurl"'s behavior, I see a vicious little misanthrope. I see the other people in the discussion chiming in and telling her that what she did was acceptable. I see a stunted, infantile, and utterly narcissistic world view. The fruits of this woman's world-view are hatred and division. I hope she snaps out of it some day.