Gather 'round the fireplace, children, and hear a tale of a time gone by. And like all good tales of times gone by, it begins with "Once upon a time..."
Once upon a time, there was a time in America when Republicans just loved America. I don't mean like love between a man and a woman, or the way some people love pizza, no, I mean absolutely unabashed, adoring, open-your-heart-and-pour-out-joy love. They loved America so much that the only thing in the world they hated was people who didn't love America. (Such people were called "Hippies," but of course they weren't all Hippies, but that was an easy description to put everything you didn't like in a box, and easy descriptions are ideal in a world where you love everything.)
This was the time, you see, during the Vietnam War, which was very contentious and controversial, except for all those Republicans and conservatives who just loved America. There was nothing controversial about America it at all to them. They even had their very own, nifty slogan. "America, Love It or Leave It."
It didn't matter to them if the war was right or wrong. This was America. It was Our Country. And you love your country, period, right or wrong. And if you couldn't handle that simple concept, get lost. Hit the road, Jack. Adios.
America, Love It or Leave It.
If you took to the streets and protested; if you marched on Washington and protested; if you organized and protested; if you simply had long hair and looked like you might possibly protest at some time in the future before you had time to get a haircut - you were a Hippie Commie subversive radical pinko Anti-American Socialist revolutionary dissident.
If you were against the war and said so, you were unpatriotic. Because America, Love It or Leave It.
If you were against racial prejudice and fought for Civil Rights laws, you were disloyal. Because America, Love It or Leave It.
If you were against inequality against women and fought for Women's Rights, you were Un-American. Because America, Love It or Leave It.
Because America didn't have problems. America Was All Good. And if any problems might have slipped through the cracks because we were busy praising all the good things, shut your trap because This Is America, and America Is All Good and if you can't see that, if you're unhappy about anything in America...then get out of here. We don't want you.
Because America, Love It or Leave It.
If you believed there were problems in America and thought you should point them out so that they could be corrected and perhaps make a better America - y'know, like filling in a pot hole before the next car blows a tire - you were a leftie, a traitor, you should be jailed, or beaten, or sometimes even shot. Or lynched. Because it didn't matter what problems you thought existed. This was America.
And America, Love It or Leave It.
Once upon a time.
But as that scraggly, protesting Bob Dylan once wrote - the times they are a-changing.
Sometimes Life is just too bizarre for its own good. Sometimes Life has a sense of humor so ethereal and unbelievable that it's like a perpetual pie-in-the-face and seltzer down the pants.
"Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it," the historian George Santayana wrote. And since we've discovered that so many conservatives don't believe in the reality-based world, but prefer to create their own reality - where they don't believe in the laws of evolution, or pretty much any science at all - it should not come as a huge shock to learn that these Republicans and conservatives who didn't learn from history are repeating it.
It's just that, in their non-reality-based world, they've ended up repeating someone else's history!
And so, there we get conservatives in the streets protesting, with tea bags. We get conservatives marching into Washington, to protest for 9/12 Day. We get conservatives organizing to protest at town hall meetings against health care for all. We get Republicans protesting against Supreme Court appointments, protesting against presidential speeches to schoolchildren, protesting that they hope the president fails, protesting that the president wants to kill old people, protesting that the president isn't even president, protesting against every single thing the President of the United States wants to do. And cheering when America lost getting the Olympics and the jobs and revenue it would bring, cheered because the president supported it - as did 84% of all Americans.
And through it all, they turn to the TV cameras in weeping tears, asking what has happened to the America they knew?!! Crying that this isn't the America they knew!!
Well, no, it isn't. For starters, in the America they knew, you didn't protest against the president and America. You called those people Hippie Commie subversive radical pinko Anti-American Socialist revolutionary dissidents.
However, like all good fairy tales, this one has a happy ending.
All these Republicans and conservatives who so deeply hated anyone who said anything was remotely wrong with America and dared to protest in order to make things right now see the light of day. See the error of their ways. See that it's actually okay to protest when you see something wrong. And see that it's a Good Thing to try to correct those problems and make America better.
And looking at how they're acting today, it's clear they're on their way to becoming Liberals.