My wife and I are liberal, and on some things, probably even radical. We grew up in the world of conservatism and can appreciate civil, socially liberal conservatives. But we resent the stereotypes that the Limbaugh’s and other ultra conservatives want to label people like us. I find the ideal of white heterosexual males calling liberals snowflakes nothing more than projection. They are the most whiney bunch I know. I consider the snowflake accusation a ‘remove the beam from your own eye before you talk about the speck in mine’ charge. The other charge that is quite often thrown at liberals are they are consumed by white guilt. Now one could make a strong argument that this would be a natural consequence of our treatment of Native Americans, blacks, Hispanics, Asians, in our country and our historical treatment of other countries such as the Philippines, Cuba, China, Mexico and Puerto Rico to name a few. But we feel quite certain we do not feel any unnecessary guilt as the far right has come accustomed to saying about our ilk.
That was until the incident known as the Great Laundry Lint Controversy of 2019. Did you know that they found plastic in the Arctic. I found this horrifying. But I also wanted to know how this happened. It turns out many scientists say this in large part may be washer and dryer lint. Apparently, because we are not emptying and disposing of our washer and dryer lint filters appropriately the lint washes out into the water systems and eventually ends in the Arctic sometimes.
We were both unaware that the washing machine had a lint filter. I was bemused that I did not know this. My wife said she too was unaware of this. We pledged, as good environmentalist, to do our due diligence to be sure we addressed the washer filter issue, to do our part in preserving the Arctic. We were not ashamed to admit our ignorance but now that we were wiser we would do the right thing. We were so proud of ourselves.
Then it suddenly dawned on me I had not changed the dryer filter in forever. I asked Chris if she had. To which she exclaimed NO! Now we were alarmed. She was at first worried that the dryer was about to overheat and explode. I was ashamed that somehow I had not addressed this issue. What kind of global citizen was I? We compost, recycle, solar dry, eat vegetarian, use things until they die, shop locally, etc. We try not to leave any stone unturned when it comes to saving the environment. And now I realized this was nothing more than a humble brag. We were failing to live up to our lofty ambitions. Of course, we were guilty of other environmental transgressions such as we do not bike or use public transportation enough. But how dare we not empty and dispose of dryer lint appropriately. This would be so simple. We had failed. We would be held guilty in the environmental justice court for gross negligence. As my wife and I shook and lowered our heads in shame, I suddenly achieved enlightenment on the issue. I looked at my wife with a stupid grin and a little relief and said, ’Honey I am just now remembering we do not own a dryer.’ We both looked at each other as we realized all the shame and guilt for the last few minutes were over a non-existent issue. We laughed and moved on quickly because there was nothing to see here.
So maybe liberals do have a little bit of an overblown guilt for things.