The “L” word

Friend of mine sent me a great piece from the (I hope this isn’t verboten) SFGate about the gentrification of South Boston, the section of Boston once ruled by the iron fist of Jim “Whitey” Bulger. Landmarks that were once the alleged mobster’s HQ’s now turned wineries, the death of the local Irish pub, all the elements you’ve seen in a million stories about ethnic enclaves turned “Starbucks Nation”. 

Pretty good read as things tend to be (I lived in Boston for 12 years and rarely spent any time in Southie), but one quote stood out like a sore thumb: “The liberals came in and started to buy real estate. They realized how beautiful it is and they started throwing money at it.” This from a “Jamie Donnelan”, a 41 year old electrician. 

What’s that you say, Jamie? “Liberals?” Why, by gosh almighty, I’d a thought “liberals” never worked and were lazy and all on welfare (as that’s the meme one sees all over the Net and radio and cable news). Now, it seems that these sloth-like parasites are driving up land and property values–a strange thing occurs to me here. It isn’t possible, Jamie my lad, that “liberals” are two polar opposites of each other. Either they’re a drain on the hard working people of (name any place) or they’re the scourge of “the working class” (a critical distinction) by being successful in business and pricing them out of their homes. (South Boston is a hop, skip and jump over the channel to the business district).

So, which one is it?

I doubt that Mr. Donnelan could answer that one. Because the word “liberal” is now the “L-word”. Just as there’s an “N-word” and an “S-word” and a “K-word” for the “hated others”, “liberal” has become the all purpose epithet of choice for every resentment-addled reactionary, coast to coast. And it isn’t that “liberal = bad”, it is, astonishingly, “bad = liberal”. All bad things are not only the result of liberalism, they ARE liberalism. By making a political point of view (and a vague one at that)synonymous with evil, “liberal” no longer means anything.

After all, the “liberal media” is the one that tells us things we don’t want to hear. “Liberal academics” brainwash children (Liberty University and others like it, nah). And were it not for “liberals in the church”, none of the pedophile scandals would have happened (yes, they actually believe this!!!!).

All that’s wrong with the world = liberal, all good, conservative. Never mind that the rich yuppies that are pricing Southie’s long time residents out are doing so because of financial deregulations implemented by, erm……….Nope, that can never be it. Never and ever.