There is a very specific definition for the word “asshole”, and lately, there have been so many excellent examples of said affliction, it is getting hard to keep up.
Now, there are people who ACT like assholes, but aren’t necessarily so. Generally, we are just ignorant, and can be trained out of our ignorance with some judicious help. Like, the kid I had working for me a long time ago – Jason was his name. He was a nice kid, a hard worker, up-front and honest, and he happened to be a pretty dark shade of African American. Then, one day, he and his buddy were doing something for me, and I happened to say something along the lines of “Hey, when you boys are done there, can you do this XYZ thing for me?” Jason gave me a loooong look, and said, “Maybe next time you could call us ‘young men’.” Yup, I stepped in it, felt kinda awkward, and corrected myself from that moment on. “Boy” was a loaded word: I used it inappropriately, got spanked, and fixed it.
But there are people who fail to see a problem with using the word “boy” in that particular context. These also happen to be the people who don’t see why they can’t splash the N-word all over their conversations because they heard a (black) rapper on TV say it like, a thousand times in one song. These people are assholes. When you deliberately do something other people are uncomfortable with, just because you can, you are the textbook definition of an asshole.
Like Joe the Asshole-Plumber. When 6 kids get gunned down in Santa Barbara, he says THIS: “Your dead kids don’t trump my Constitutional rights.” Gosh, is it really much of a stretch to comprehend how some people – like, maybe, the families and friends of the victims – might really not want to hear that before the murdered bodies of their loved ones are even cold? Ol’ Joe wanders far into distant left field, becoming not just a textbook asshole, but a grim and creepy asshole. And then there are those bug-like supporters that come out to echo those very grim and creepy sentiments that normal, non-asshole people will give a pass on saying at the particular moment, no matter how they feel about it.
Lots of people say liberals are “weak”. They don’t like the fact that a liberal President (not that there’s ever been one) would not be caught dead on an aircraft carrier parked off the coast of California in a flight suit with a sock stuffed in his pants beneath a banner proclaiming “Mission Accomplished”. Because that is an asshole thing to do. Liberals are good at something that assholes are terrible at: the art of the self-check. That’s when Ann Coulter or some equally unbalanced circus performer spouts whatever she’s spouting, she doesn’t miss a beat whether she’s exaggerating, lying by omission, flat lying, or just bullshitting. Anybody can point out her obvious and egregious errors and she just keeps on a-going, like an Energizer bunny. That’s why liberals seem slow and uncertain sometimes. When Ann Coulter says something like “Liberal Senator X is bad for puppies, bad for ducklings, and bad for America” – obviously a fact-free stream of consciousness blab that came straight out of Ann’s amygdala – Senator X takes time to regroup. What is she talking about? Did I do something to a puppy? Maybe I AM bad for puppies. What, over my long career, have I done to a puppy besides accidentally stepping on a tail once or twice? True, I don’t like dogs generally, but puppies? Oh! Wait a minute! She’s full of crap – AGAIN. Of course, by that time Ann has bulldozed on to some other nonsensical claim or another, and Senator X is sadly behind the curve. But that’s because an asshole deliberately set him up.
This happens all the time. It happens to me, and it happens to people I know. But it is all part of NOT BEING AN ASSHOLE. Obama is not the POTUS I wanted, but at least he isn’t an asshole, like the infernal George Bush was, and Dick Cheney still is. He is thoughtful and reflective, and has found ways to keep us out of international bloodbaths. He got that dude out of Afghanistan. He sent Bill Clinton to get those chicks out of North Korea, which was, let me tell you, a real feat because Kim Jung-il was a major asshole. Obama stayed his hand in Syria, stayed his hand in Ukraine. All around, I think he’s been admirably slow with the trigger finger, and assholes HATE him for it. As William Tecumseh Sherman said – and if anyone knew bloodbaths, it was Sherman – “War is hell. It is only those who have neither fired a shot not heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded, who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation.” That pretty much ID’s draft-dodging hawk assholes like Cheney and Limbaugh right there.
So, let’s recap: what makes an asshole an asshole?
- Unwilling or incapable of self-reflection and self-check
- Unwilling or incapable of figuring out a way to do something differently
- Self-involved to where the asshole thinks his or her point of view is the ONLY valid point of view (See N.R.A.)
- Completely impervious to facts, and, by extension, reality
- Though an asshole may not be especially pissed off as a given moment, they SEEM pissed off all the time, ready to pull a Spokane 4th District Republican State Representative Matt Shea stunt, yank out a handgun, and start waving it at people who may or may not know what he’s mad about THIS time.
- Exaggerated sense of victimhood. The Men’s Rights Movement is chock full of these guys. If the hot blonde model isn’t going to come rock your 5’2″-stained T-shirt-beater 90’s Toyota-split-shift at the 7-11 at $300 a week world, it’s because SHE’S SUCH A BITCH! So now our asshole isn’t just pissed, he’s also a victim. What a terrible condition to be in – for all of us. And, speaking of victimization, this is a favorite ploy of conservative politicians to make people feel sorry for them. Awwww! Poor Chris Christie, people are so MEAN to him, using all those FACTS to make him look guilty! Waaaaah!
- Not only ignorant, but proudly ignorant, happy to let the International Brotherhood of Stupid flag fly at the top of the pole.
What a bunch of whiny assholes.