Liberal or Conservative, it's amazing what they can do with plastics these days ...

Genres of Liberals …

The Benign, Lifestyle Liberal

These are the hybrid vehicle, Whole Foods Market types. Cultural command and enlightenment derived exclusively by way of PBS Pledge Drives. Add just a smattering of John Coltrane, but in limited doses. Conservatives don’t generally regard this genre as being entirely benign because they, after all, vote for the Democrats. But beyond this, their actual participatory involvement doesn’t extend far beyond purchasing a canvas bag at the checkout isle that donates 10% of its proceeds to a popular cause. With this, they feel connected and engaged. These, indeed, are benign ‘Lifestyle Liberals’ – not to be confused with …

The Designer Liberal

These are the ones who wear liberalism as a mere fashion accessory, much like something out of the Prada catalog – perhaps even the GAP, for the low-enders. While entirely off-the-rack, it still makes a statement of some sort. The Designer Liberal just doesn’t entirely know what it is. It’s stylish, in any event, and that’s the point. But like most fashion accessories, one can easily remove it, at will. It’s entirely dispensable and easily disposed of, as convenient. After all, Designer Liberalism's hallmark is that it can be dropped to the floor like a soiled undergarment when it inconveniences one's personal world. And, in truth, at the end of the day – or incandescent runway, the Designer Liberal doesn’t actually give a shit. Never did.

The Faux Intellectual Liberal

This genre learns the basic ‘keywords’ of current events and commits them to memory – much like wine lists – while having little knowledge of the actual issues, themselves, short on the factual details. No matter. It contributes to the cocktail party chatter, and those in attendance are generally too sauced to notice that the exchanges are, in truth, entirely substance-free. Most among the group, indeed, wouldn’t detect it even when sober. The Faux Intellectual Liberal regularly seeks out its own kind, preferring to run in packs. Woof.  Easily spotted as the ones who lean back in the chair and cross their legs when discussing world events at Starbucks – emphasing points in a staccato-like fashion, not with the hands, but with their cardboard cups ... half-empty, appropriately enough.

The University Liberal

Cornel West and Ward Churchill.   Enough said.

The Bona Fide Bleeding Heart Liberal

Not to in any way be confused with any of the above as, unlike the aforementioned genres, The Bona Fide Bleeding Heart Liberal is sincere – a cognitive rarity for liberalism. And, as such, this genre is perhaps the most heart-broken among liberals. They have but two choices … to remain blindly optimistic and naïvely enthusiastic … or to become woefully disappointed and miserably despondent – at least while they currently reside on this planet. Conservatives, nevertheless, find them to be the most frustrating of all knowing that their bleeding hearts can seldom be won, for the hemorrhaging just can't be stopped. Otherwise harmless to the conservative, as they’re fundamentally ineffectual and short on practical influence, while being far too preoccupied with imagination.

Genres of Conservatives …

The Northeastern, Old Money Republican

If only for the means, it’s what the garden variety conservative secretly aspires to be, save one thing … The Northeastern, Old Money Republican experiences cringed embarrassment by the likes of the NASCAR, Pro-Life, Jesus-loving, God-fearing, gun-toting, Miller time conservatives – and rightfully so. Comforted in the knowledge that these low-grade members of the Republican Riffraff don’t hang around Sands Point much, anyway. Still, give them the Jews in Manhasset, any day.

The Lounge Act Republican

Common among the men of this Republican genre, they curiously style their own natural hair to make it look as if it were a cheap toupee (see Ken in the lead photograph). Fond of plated American flag lapel pins and tie tacs, this genre exists as that special fusion where Brooks Brothers meets Dollar Store. Masters of posey, flag-fetish affectations when placing hand above the heart, eyes aimed high, brow knitted hard in a strained contortion of simulated passion, in earnest. They haven’t looked so emotional since the Ford Motor Company stopped production of the Continental Mark series in a limited Bill Blass edition. Tacky, all around, they’ve successfully turned patriotism into a cheap lounge act … or cable news commentary.

The Golden Age, Levittown Republican

Pre-Fab from birth – even conception – their dads were Republican, along with their dad’s dad, and his father before him. Respective injection-molded clones of one another, just with different extensions, they still remain to be … the very same house. Continuing to prop family ghosts atop the spinet piano, with the living poised along the diagonal gallery by the stairs, they pause – just for a moment – to look fore longingly over their shoulder for a wistful glimpse of a kinescoped America that flickers a time since passed … and one that, perhaps, never truly existed in the first place. They extend a poignant wave to Donna Reed in the rearview mirror …

The Donut Shop, Corner Table Republicans

In truth, despite upscale Republican stereotypes, this group is far more plentiful than the Wall Street Journal variety. The genre marries cheap dress slacks to a white undershirt and black sneaker formals as a complete outfit. They congregate – as a group – at one particular table, seemingly reserved or claimed by squatter rights, in the corner of a local Donut Shop. It is here that important affairs, foreign and domestic, are settled … aloud. Embittered malcontents – principally male – but often including just one frumpy, dateless and apolitical female to act as summit secretary and keeper of the spare cigarettes for the rotational smoking sessions out front, trading off in shifts. One stays behind to keep guard at the table at all times, securing its perimeters, protecting it from insurgents ... always.

The Fundamentalist Christ-ervative

Despite the ‘though shall not steal’ teachings of the Old Testament (as stolen from the Jews), the New Testament curiously plagiarizes its major plot points and themes from several religions and folklore legends that preceded it. From virgin births to resurrections, the performance of miracles to ascensions – it had already been done before. And not just once, mind you – but several times. The Fundamentalist Christ-ervative merely wants you to adopt a single book – no matter how derivative – as the epicenter of one’s existence ... even if it may be the rough equivalent of a recycled term paper purchased out of the back pages of the Village Voice.

Send an Email to JosephMind




 original contents copyright © joseph bambach