In 2003, Detroit-based sportswriter Mitch Albom published the much-heralded The Five People You Meet In Heaven. The book spent nearly two years on the bestseller list and was made into a TV movie starring Jon Voight. It told the tale of one man’s life, growth and death as seen through the lens of five individuals with whom he is inextricably linked.
Granted, none of the five folks of whom I speak today offer opportunities for growth beyond the sort achieved by fungus and mold, and their connection to life and death revolves around the former for murderers and the latter for unborn babies. Some might even see my references to Albom’s work as a shameless attempt to hitch my rhetorical wagon to an enormously successful writer. It is. But Albom lives in Detroit, so I’m certain he has suffered greater pain. And Albom has sold about 30 million books, so I’m quite sure he’ll survive the indignity.
This summer, the Democratic Party will hold its quadrennial Presidential nominating convention in Charlotte, N.C. Among the rogue’s gallery who will descend upon that poor city to re-coronate President Barack Obama (or perhaps not; check out Chip Wood’s column The Plot To Make Hillary President) will be the usual coterie of bottom-feeders who populate every large gathering of liberals. While every single one of them will share the dubious distinction of being members of the Democratic Party, they generally will fit into one of five categories (although given the girth of some of their masters, some pushing and/or WD40® will be involved).
With apologies to Albom, I present: the five people you’ll meet in Charlotte.
Distinguishing characteristics of the egghead include: unwashed hair, a ponytail (regardless of both gender and amount of hair remaining atop the head), speaking with eyes closed and spectacular body odor.
Often nominally employed as either a lawyer or college professor (or worse, both), the egghead suffers from an odd combination of low self-esteem and overestimation of his own intellectual import. This psychological stew produces an individual who recognizes that no one really cares what he thinks, and he responds by replacing import with volume.
The egghead carries a dog-eared copy of Rules for Radicals and the latest issue of Mother Jones in the tote bag he earned for donating $25 to his local PBS affiliate. The veterans write for hate-speech blogs like Dailykos; the real all-stars quote their own material in the third person.
Eggheads are fond of making definitive statements about the evils of conservatives, such as: “The Rethuglicans are pushing for immigration reform because they’re racist” and “The ‘teabaggers’ are so stupid.” The egghead laments 9-11, but only because it made life harder for Muslims. The egghead considers Michael Moore a visionary and George Soros a saint, and he has no issue with the fact that both are archetypal hypocrites.
The egghead supports any legislation and/or court decisions which abrogate the rights to offer opinions, pray or own firearms — except for liberal hate speech, Islamofascism and Mexican narcoterrorists. When eggheads dress down, they wear the jerseys of European Premier League soccer teams and refer to soccer as “football” and football as “American football,” though they’ve never been farther east than a whale-watching trip off Nantucket Island, Mass.
The eggheads’ idols are Keith Olbermann and Rob Reiner. Their defining Issue is the establishment of the United Nations as the world government. Their next destination is Occupy Haight-Ashbury.
The True Believer
Distinguishing characteristics of the true believer include: wearing mom jeans (regardless of gender) and bringing “Hillary ’12” and “Obama ’12” buttons (both homemade) to Charlotte, just to be on the safe side.
When the rest of the fleabaggers headed home to mommy’s basement because it began raining, this was the redoubtable martyr who stayed out there, proudly waving a hand-lettered “I am the 99%” sign. The true believer has never led so much as one of those disjointed chants of which liberals are so fond, but he is the rock upon which the Democrats balance. The true believer isn’t mean-spirited like most liberals; but a dearth of intellect – and, therefore, long-term prospects — have left him vulnerable to believing his party’s promises of an easier life with limited effort. Younger true believers will come to Charlotte with their egghead college professors on junkets paid for by their college student activity funds.
In photos of outraged liberal protesters, the true believer always smiles and is never in the front row. Many members of the Service Employees International Union are true believers who believe that verified reports of union thug and/or occupier violence “are overblown.”
The true believers’ idols are Hillary Clinton (because she’s such a strong woman) and Michelle Obama (because she looked great in the latest issue of People magazine). Their defining issue is… um, let them check with the eggheads. Their next destination is a Unitarian Universalist sing-along and drum circle.
Distinguishing characteristics of the joiner include: owning at least a half-dozen cats, wearing T-shirts proclaiming so (even in rather formal settings) and saying “interwebs” without a hint of irony.
The joiner shows up at Democratic rallies because Democrats need warm bodies, and the joiner has nowhere else to go. The joiner will listen in on conversations of which he is not a part and later misquote the speaker thusly: “They say..” as in: “They say the Koch brothers are funding attacks on the Occupiers!” The joiner seems incongruously cheered by fairly mundane news, as in: “One of Nancy Pelosi’s staffers just told me to step aside. She was that close to me!”
The joiner watches MSNBC’s nightly tirades and nods the whole time. The joiner reads the eggheads’ blogs, but never writes his own. Male joiners gravitate toward the most outraged female they see. Female joiners gravitate toward the first rock star or movie star they see.
The joiners’ idols are Madonna and Leonardo DiCaprio. They have two defining issues. Older joiners want increased Federal funding for Planned Parenthood. Younger joiners want Federally subsidized weed. Their next destination is determined by their age. Older joiners will go home alone. Younger ones will go back to the vegan dorm.
The Outraged Minority
Distinguishing characteristics of the outraged minority include eight-button suits (male), awesome hats (female) and wardrobe colors not found in nature (both).
The outraged minority Democrat stands apart from the rest of the rabble, partially because he doesn’t like noisy white people and partially because he doesn’t like quiet white people. Outraged minorities will vote for any black Democrat and will subsequently consider any opposition to black Democrats racist. Outraged minorities stood with Marion Barry, O.J. Simpson, Kwame Kilpatrick and William Jefferson, but they consider conservative blacks “Uncle Toms.”
The outraged minorities’ idols are R. Kelly and Johnnie Cochran. Their defining issue is re-election for Obama (and Marion Barry). Their next destination is church; Jeremiah Wright is delivering a special homily.
Distinguishing characteristics of the thinker include: being groomed (but not overly so) and being mortified by his surroundings (but keeping quiet about it).
The thinker is a rare liberal. The thinker is likely socially liberal, but harbors fading hopes that his party can be rescued from the clutches of the aforementioned people. The thinker has studied the issues from multiple angles, and his objections to some positions tend to be fairly well-informed and based on principle — as opposed to ignorance or hate.
Older thinkers voted for Ronald Reagan in 1984 and backed Hillary Clinton in 2008. When Obama loses next November, a large part of his defeat will be due to thinkers abandoning him for Ron Paul.
The thinkers’ idol is President Harry S. Truman. Their defining issue is saving their party from their fellow characters. Their next destination is returning home to their families, followed by work the next morning.
Of course, these categorizations are far too broad. There are many subcategories within each of the aforementioned categories. Unlike the characters in Albom’s bestseller, heaven-bound souls are few and far between; although it would be enormously entertaining to watch a personal injury lawyer try to argue his way past Saint Peter.
Liberals are fond of overly simplistic generalizations; I am fond of making liberals sputter like preteen girls whose parents confiscated their iPhones. What better way is there to do so than to hold up the mirror and give them (and you) a look at themselves, warts — or fleas — and all?