Who Does George Carlin Represent?
Updated: Jul 21, 2019
Like many Americans, I occasionally find myself sitting at a bar, enjoying a drink, and watching the game. Often, my quest for new establishments and experiences leads me to new, interesting places, and these new places are quite often out of my usual comfort zone. We have all been there, that establishment where you are certain that it would be unwise, if not dangerous, to discuss religion or politics and this was certainly such a location. Living in Southeast Texas, ‘MAGA’ hats are not uncommon, but even I found it unusual to see so many without knowing that a Trump rally was scheduled nearby. As Kenny Rogers played over the substandard sound system, “I knew when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em.” If someone does ask, I have only had two drinks and I am still coherent enough to steer the conversation in a safe direction. Finishing my last craft beer, probably a dead giveaway that I was not local, I overheard a topic that I was not expecting – George Carlin.
George Carlin does not need my platitudes, but I will still proffer them. Carlin, for 40-years, was one of the greatest comedians ever. His political commentary was scathing and on par with any of the greats, Pryor, Chappelle, Bruce. His satirical comments and relentless attacking a damaged system that unfairly trounced on the rights of its citizens (here if you ask Carlin, rights are an illusion) was the stuff of legends. Perhaps that it is why I was shocked to hear that George Carlin was being so widely admired by a group of people who think that Alex Jones and Infowars has more credibility than CNN as a source for news. I am not naïve to Carlin’s scathing attacks on Liberals and his disdain for political correctness. Comedy has truth in it and his dislike of political correctness is actually not as uncommon in Liberal circles as Conservatives would have you believe. My belief, like Carlin’s, is that you call people what they want to be called. I refer to black people as black because that is how they wish to be called. If a black man tells me he wants to be referred to as an African-American than why should I not abide by his wishes? Heck, if someone tells me that they wish to be referred to by their hex color than guess what, I will gladly call them #000000 but unless he tells me otherwise, I am going with black.
Carlin was a master at dissecting language and making us laugh. He hated political correctness and his problem with Liberals is that often times they have an aura of smugness and self-righteousness surrounding them. Many Liberals, especially those on the far, far left do believe that any disagreement automatically makes one racist, sexist, homophobic, or any other kind of bigot. There are individuals, with whom I share a 95% agreement on the issues of the day, that refuse to allow any nuance to an issue. This uncompromising stance sometimes leads to mistakes, mistakes which Conservatives are quick to jump upon and never forget. I don’t know how many times I have listened to a political commentator on FoxNews say, “but remember the Duke Lacrosse incident!” There are times to be rigid but being inflexible 100% of the time drives people away, and it is easier to drive them away than to bring them back. While this might be an over-generalization, there almost always is a grain of truth in the stereotype.
“The habits of liberals, their automatic language, their knee-jerk responses to certain issues, deserved the epithets the right wing stuck them with. I'd see how true they often were. Here they were, banding together in packs, so I could predict what they were going to say about some event or conflict and it wasn't even out of their mouths yet. I was very uncomfortable with that. Liberal orthodoxy was as repugnant to me as conservative orthodoxy.” -Carlin, Last Words
It is easy to watch a YouTube clip of Carlin and see why he is a hero to anti-PC, Conservative America. However, more than he hated both political correctness and that purposeful, systematic mangling of the English language, it is no doubt that George Carlin would have found nothing but contempt for a golf playing, misogynist billionaire. Take a second to peruse Amazon or watch an entire HBO special. President Trump is everything that Carlin found appalling in politicians. As far as his personal beliefs, Carlin routinely and ardently supported staple issues that are the skeleton of Liberal ideology today. He sides with the Democratic party platform on woman’s rights, the right to choose, gun control, social programs as safety nets for the poor, healthcare, corporate greed, homosexual/transgender protections, evolution, censorship, criminal justice, and political corruption.
Carlin may have hated liberal orthodoxy and he disliked political party machinations of both the Republican and Democratic parties, but he sure loved him some liberal causes.
I (re-)watched quite a few of his specials in recent days, and I really, really wanted to write something like, “Carlin represents all of America, his distrust of government, is something we all share.” Unfortunately, I can’t. The truth is that George Carlin would be branded a left-wing nut job who has pie-in-the-sky ideas and wants people to collect money for doing nothing. His beliefs in fairness and equality in welfare programs and corporate accountability would all be mocked as liberal elitist propaganda or as a counter-culture hero of another age. It is not far-fetched to believe that if George Carlin were alive today, he would be given a weekly, 1-hour television series in which he would spend mocking the sham patriotism of our current President, the incompetence of our Congress, and the overall government corruption that permeates Washington. Imagine watching a mashed-up version of HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” and CBS’s “The Late Show with Steven Colbert.” Who wouldn’t pay extra for that?
George Carlin at the National Press Club, funny stuff - https://www.c-span.org/video/?c4288994/george-carlin-national-press-club-19-1999