The one piece of advice I wish I could have gotten long ago is that a control freak of any kind-liberal or otherwise-simply can’t possibly be expected to listen to the voice of reason. My experience over the course of my lifetime tells me that when someone is bound and determined to use someone he generally tends to build up an entire way of life around exactly that very thing. Liberals classify everything they want as tolerance and everything they don’t want as intolerance. Over the past many years I’ve noticed that many nasty characters I’ve known tend to defend the most obscenely deranged ideas by referring to them as the common sense approach to things. Anything that deviates from what they want is lacking in common sense. I have absolutely no idea whatsoever how either common sense or tolerance could possibly have gotten such a good reputation because my experience tells me that each is a deceptive form of manipulation. Sometimes I think I’m the only one who’s ever noticed it but according to everything I’ve seen, anyone who sets out to make the world (family, classroom, workplace etc.) a better place, instead of merely trying to be a good person in his own individual life will invariably be the nastiest and most manipulative of characters. That kind of individual reminds me of what Father Zosima referred to in Dostoyevsky’s “The Brothers Karamazov”. He’s the kind of a character who is the greatest possible lover of mankind in general but he bitterly despises the specific individual who’s right in front of him. Phony pride, mankind’s ultimate curse, is never going to go away. As far as I’m concerned, common sense and tolerance represent the absolute epitome of phony pride and it’s too bad no one explained those kinds of things to me when I was young. Each of them is a venomous tine of the same serpent’s tongue.