Purplevania: A Parable of Tolerance, Dance & Death

The people of Purplevania, more than any country on earth, loved ballroom dance.

The waltz. The tango. The fox-trot and the quick-step. The paso doble and the rumba. Year after year, the greatest ballroom dancers in the world came from Purplevania.

Yet all was not sunshine and roses.

Purplevania endured a minor yet long-running dispute about ballroom dancing lessons.

Some people in Purplevania believed that everyone deserved free ballroom dance lessons. They loved the beauty of ballroom dance, the thrill of competition, the benefits of exercise and the really cool hairstyles.

Others believed that no one deserved free ballroom dance lessons. They were not against ballroom dance lessons. They too loved the beauty of ballroom dance, the thrill of competition, the benefits of exercise and the really cool hairstyles.

They believed that any Purplevanian who wanted ballroom dance lessons should pay for those lessons themselves rather than forcing all Purplevanians to pay for them.

For decades, the two groups of Purplevanians lived in peace with one another. Each group thought the other was wrong, but each group tolerated  the other’s contrary beliefs.

It was a peaceful, happy and beautiful time to be alive.

Until one day, when…

A charismatic, powerful figure rose to a position of power: Fabulous Frederick Flaminco

Fab Fred, (as his supporters called him), was a fiery speaker, aflame with passion for ballroom dance. He believed – passionately – that everyone deserved free ballroom dance lessons. On the strength of that message, he was elected Prime Minister by the narrowest of margins.

In a stunning departure from Purplevanian traditions, he commanded the creation of a special committee charged with collecting money from all Purplevanians to fund free dance lessons for all.

Naturally, the Free Dance Lessons for Everyone crowd loved Fab Fred.

The other crowd – the “if you want it, then pay for it” crowd – was horrified.

“Why are we forced to pay for other people’s dance lessons”, they rightly asked. “It violates our beliefs!”

They two groups of Purplevanians had coexisted for decades with those differing opinions. But now, one group had chosen “progress” over “peaceful coexistence” and was forcing their beliefs on the other group.

Of course, this story ends as all true stories do: with death.

A civil war broke out.

Purplevanians by the thousands were killed, wounded and horribly maimed by the war. Purplevania lost its stature as the ballroom dance capital of the world. The war destroyed all the ballroom dance studios and killed most of the teachers.

No more champions ever came from Purplevania again.

In the end, Fabulous Frederick Flamingo was deposed and fled the country to live out the rest of his life in Argentina, (naturally).

Some people still loved him. Some would forever revile his name.

Purplevania never recovered.

Today, where once there was prosperity, happiness, art, beauty and cooperation, there is only poverty, pain, sickness, destruction and suspicion.

And very few Purplevanians even remember how to dance.


Believe whatever you want. But let other people believe whatever they want, too. It’s not okay to force other to pay for your beliefs. Everyone loses in that situation.


Rederica, Bluemerica, Freemerica

Come Wednesday morning, half the electorate is going hate the President and either the House or the Senate. That hating half believes the other half is the very embodiment of evil in our land.

A rational diagnosis of the situation should lead you to conclude that we don’t have one country anymore; we have at least two: Bluemerica and Rederica.

These are two very different countries with two very difference sets of people.


Bluemericans believe:

  • The government and rich people are responsible for your health, wealth and housing
  • Big corporations are evil, big government is good
  • The government should allow gays, lesbians, transgenders and bisexuals to marry just as it allows heterosexuals to marry
  • White males are oppressors, women and people of color are oppressed.
  • The more money you earn, the greater the percentage of your earnings belong to the government
  • Guns are immoral
  • Capital punishment is immoral; abortion is not
  • God is irrelevant
  • Most drugs should be legal


Redericans believe:

  • You are responsible for your own health, wealth and housing
  • Big government is evil, big corporations are good
  • The government should allow only heterosexuals to marry
  • If you’re not a criminal, you have nothing to fear from increased police powers
  • If you make a lot of money wearing a suit, you are probably not a criminal.
  • If you are a black male, you are probably are a criminal.
  • If you served time in the military, you are a hero, (especially if you killed a lot of non-white people in another country.)
  • Gun-ownership is not merely a right, it is a requirement in a free society
  • Abortion is immoral, capital punishment is not
  • God is on our side
  • Most drugs should be illegal


As for me, I’m kinda screwed, because I think both of those places are Crazyland. I want to live in Freemerica, where there are only two laws:

  • Self-ownership: This means that each individual has the sole and exclusive right to decide what to do with his or her own life, time and property.
  • Non-aggression: This means that if you commit an act of aggression against anyone else’s life, time and property, you are legally subject to a forceful and proportionate response.

In Freemerica:

  • You are responsible for your own health, wealth, housing and food.
  • You are free to enter into any contract of any kind to deliver any good or any service with any other people you wish, provided those contracts do not violate either of the two laws.
  • You can create any organization of any size to do anything you want, as long as it doesn’t violate either of the two laws.
  • The government has no say in marriage
  • You can think or say anything about anyone, as long as you do not violate either of the two laws. (Saying something “mean” about someone is not an act of aggression.)
  • You can think whatever you want about God, drugs, guns, gays or whatever, just as long as you do not violate either of the two laws.
  • You can build and sell any product or service you wish, so long as you do not engage in fraud or extortion. (Fraud and extortion violate the Law of Non-aggression.)

So on Tuesday, will you vote for Rederica, Bluemerica or Freemerica. I want to know.