I think part of the problem to begin with is trying to quantify beliefs as "left or right." It oversimplifies complex, nuanced opinions and issues
imho. And it creates labels and sides that people either adhere to themselves, or get lumped into.
I'm very socially liberal. I support most things people would consider liberal staples, and while I believe in a perfect world pure volunteerism and
libertarianism would be morally superior to forced taxation, social programs, and regulation, we don't live in that world yet, so I believe social
programs and taxes are necessities for now. I'm someone who depends on some of said programs for survival, too. Yet at the same time, I do believe we
can enact savings on these programs; eliminate waste, more accurately determine who really benefits from them and who doesn't, etc.
I support the second amendment, and absolutely oppose arbitrarily limiting things like clip size, barring those on no fly or other lists from owning
firearms without due process or recourse, etc. Yet at the same time, while upholding this right and opposing its curtailment, I personally abhor guns
and would never seek to own one myself.
I'm in my personal life a pacifist, and I always oppose war and believe it always, always
represents a failure on humanity's part to find
another way. Yet, I do believe there are times when once that failure has occurred, and coexistence is impossible, it becomes the most humane thing to
prosecute a war with overwhelming force and efficiency, to bring it to an end as expediently as possible, with the fewest possible number of deaths.
It's always tragic to me, but I do believe there are times when that is the case.
One such example in the present day imho is ISIS. They have no interest in compromise or coexistence, and as such, I do support efforts to defeat
them. However, I oppose the way in which this has been done. It doesn't conform to the doctrine of overwhelming force, and bringing the conflict to an
end as quickly as humanely as possible. As such, the quagmire has raged for years and many, many people - innocent people - have suffered or died
terribly as a result. Thus I oppose the war, on the basis that it has not been prosecuted humanely imo. I also always oppose wars I feel have not met
the, "no other option," point yet. Such as the Iraq war, as one example. In general, I always oppose war.
I believe in some immigration reforms, but I certainly don't want to build a wall, and I do support limited amnesty for certain immigrants.
I believe very strongly in government secularism and separation of church in state (the government should never legislate or permit discrimination on
the basis sexuality or gender identity, or limit individual reproductive rights, etc. imo) Yet, I'm also a Christian. (If a recently minted one.)
But even there, I believe judgment is not mine but God's, and that I should not and cannot judge others for anything, both because that's not my job,
and because I am aware of my own guilt and imperfection. And because I believe I am supposed to love and show compassion and fellowship to everyone,
even those I disagree with.
I also disagree with some
of the doctrines it (my faith) adheres to... for instance, I believe the light of reason exists for a reason (as some
Christian denominations teach as well,) and that it has shown us homosexuality is not a choice, and I do not regard my gay friends as anything other
than fellow human beings, not sinners... but I also accept within myself that that determination is up to God, not me, and so while it aggrieves my
conscience at times to belong to a faith that teaches something I don't personally agree with, I persist in faith by maintaining what I call a
"tension of conscience." In so doing, I pray that if they are wrong or hard hearted in anything, their hearts be softened and opened. And likewise, if
I'm the one who's wrong, I pray the same for myself, and for His forgiveness and mercy... because I can always
All of my beliefs are predicated upon, "This is what I believe, and I will stand by that - but I bear no ill will toward anyone, and I believe
everyone must have, and does have, the free will to choose for themselves how they live their lives and conduct themselves, and I do not judge anyone
for who or what they are or their choices. Their choices, and the consequences thereof, are theirs to make and bear, as are mine."
As you may imagine, this can make it difficult for me to find a "group" to belong to lol. I'm Christian, but many Christians disagree profoundly with
me on certain issues. I'm socially very liberal, but there's no liberal political party or platform I agree with because of my second amendment
stance. I'm economically liberal on social programs, but fiscally conservative or at least moderate to the extent I believe we need to save money on
those programs. I support the second amendment, but disagree profoundly with many elements of all the conservative parties and platforms available.
One might think my middle of the road views and "live and let live" attitude would make me a perfect fit for libertarianism... but I oppose the
libertarian view on social programs and welfare, even if I do believe that in an ideal world, theirs would be the morally superior solution. I simply
don't perceive that we live in that world yet, and feel making such a change that rapidly, as things are in actual reality today, would doom a lot of
people. (Myself among them.)
This is why there's not a single presidential candidate - and I have thoroughly researched them all - I can vote for. Show me a socially liberal,
second amendment conservative, economically moderate, morally secular, non-social-program-gutting, foreign policy dovish yet wartime hawkish
(overwhelming force) candidate, and I'll vote for them. So far that doesn't exist. If they uphold the second amendment, they also want to gut social
programs. If they protect social programs, they also want to curtail the second amendment. If they want a more peaceful foreign policy, when conflict
does occur they use limited air strikes that prolong conflicts and don't achieve victory. If they want to enact savings on social programs, they
either go too far, or also tend to be too tough for me on immigration.
So yes, we exist. But we have no real voice, imo. And whenever we express one small, isolated aspect of our views... we immediately get lumped in with
one affiliation or another, and all sorts of things get assumed about us. Because everyone seems to truly believe if you believe X, you must
also believe Y and Z, and that makes you either their ally or their staunch enemy.
edit on 10/3/2016 by AceWombat04 because: Clarification, typos