One of the things that I have always been very angry about is that when you are a political Conservative, you are automatically labeled as anti-environment. As if Conservatives actually want, crave even, the wanton destruction of the Earth and its critters.
We don’t, of course. But hey, why let reality get in the way of the use of labels by people who say that they hate people who use labels?
I am not all that much of an outdoorsman. I can’t go camping for the simple reason of pain. I thought seriously about buying an RV, but frankly – and this is slightly embarrassing – I can’t actually use (or even get into) the bathrooms in an affordable RV. So that idea went out the window. At least until I win a few million dollars supporting the education system via the legalized gambling system known as the State Lottery.
Some years ago, I got involved in a bit of a tiff over the proposed John Wayne Day in California. It wasn’t so much that I cared whether or not California had a John Wayne Day to honor the actor. Rather, it was the hypocrisy of why the idea was rejected by the State Legislature. You don’t have to be particularly attentive to know that the reason was (gasp!) “John Wayne was a racist!”
He wasn’t. But hey, why worry about facts when you have a 1971 interview is a sleazy magazine featuring naked women in which he expressed some racist ideas. Mind you, John Wayne was not a politician seeking power over anybody; nor did he seek to inflict his positions on the nation. He expressed an idea. That is not the definition of racism, it’s an exercise of the 1st Amendment. Still, it was enough for the California State Legislature to make an issue of not providing honors to him in the form of a “John Wayne Day” in the State which would not have been an actual Holiday or useful in any way, shape or form to the States economic goals.
The problem is that California is full of places – and a day – named for John Muir. The same people who hated John Wayne Day couldn’t wait to celebrate Muir. While Confederate monuments and Catholic Church statues and murals of Slaveholders (racists) were (and are) being eliminated across the State, John Muir is celebrated and receives continued approbation.
Now, before you get the wrong idea, John Muir was a national treasure. But he is also an example of how people with incorrect beliefs but the right accomplishments are allowed to be celebrated, while those without are shunned and held in disdain…