posted on Feb, 10 2017 @ 01:07 PM
I love this community and this website. And I know things have been incredibly divisive here lately, as they are all over the country. Therefore, for
whatever little or much it may be worth to anyone, since many seem afraid to state plainly where they stand, I wanted to say for the record what my
I believe in nuance. I believe in not generalizing, about any group (I'm even a little dubious about whether said groups even exist to begin with in
any formal sense, as logic and experience should make it self evident that we're ALL different, imo. But I digress.)
Whether someone is a liberal, a conservative, something in between, or anything else; whether they are a member of a specific faith (including Islam,)
agnostic, atheist, or anything else, my position is the same: I will assess you as an individual, on an individual basis, not as a member of your
"group" via guilt by association. And I will respect you, and hold a modicum of compassion for you, and your loved ones, and your wellbeing.
As an example: I'm probably about as liberal as they come, but I don't believe in gun bans, and I don't believe in restrictions on ammunition
types, etc. either. I may not like guns (truthfully, I abhor them personally,) but the second amendment, to me, is clear. I also was not an Obama or
Clinton supporter, despite my liberalism, because to me, they were both highly corrupt corporatists whose policy positions did great harm, both at
home and abroad. (While at the same time, they also had some positions I agreed with.)
I also acknowledge the hypocrisy I see, for instance: fellow liberals who are incensed and outraged about the immigration restrictions our new
President has put in place, or the deaths of innocent civilians (and one brave serviceman) in the recent Yemen raid... yet never seemed the least bit
bothered by the scores of innocent civilians killed by President Obama via drone strikes, which he made a standard method for carrying out attacks
worldwide... including in one case against an American citizen.
Or how many fellow liberals fear the roll back of the Affordable Health Act (some of which I agreed with, and some of which I thought was terrible and
a handout to insurance companies, who by the way, helped draft it,) yet didn't seem to care that people - including close friends of mine - had their
premiums rise so precipitously that they had to move... and one of whom was injured in said move, and had to go nearly a year without BADLY NEEDED
treatment. The argument was made, "Well, for MOST people, that won't happen." And that's all well and good, but even a small percentage is still
potentially millions. So for the record, I care about both those who the ACA benefits, and those it hurts.
Or how many fellow liberals condemn conservative economic platforms due to the perceived harm they do to the poor, or how they benefit corporations...
yet do not condemn DNC supported initiatives such as NAFTA which have left places in our country like the rust belt bereft of jobs, causing real pain
(pain we're SUPPOSED to care about if we call ourselves liberal... aren't we?) Or some Democrats' willingness to vote against the interests of the
people, due to being recipients of large corporate donations (the recent vote on importing lower cost drugs, for instance, by Dems who had received
donations in large sums from pharmaceutical lobbyists.)
How can I possibly call myself compassionate and liberal, yet support that? For the record: I don't. I oppose that hypocrisy, and those policies, and
the suffering caused by them. Indeed, I feel strongly that it was in large part the refusal to acknowledge this that cost the Democrats the
Likewise, I may disagree with many conservatives about many things (LGBT issues, immigration, regulations, abortion, the existence of
intersectionality and institutional racism in our country, among others,) but 1) I know that like me, not all conservatives believe the same things or
hold the same positions, as though they are a single, monolithic block. 2) I respect their rights and opinions even while disagreeing with them, and
will not attack or belittle them as human beings... even while steadfastly standing my ground and making clear where I stand. And 3) I'm a Christian.
(Surprise!) I'm not ashamed to admit that, and I also don't share all of the doctrines or ideologies of any one Christian denomination (as is likely
clear by this post,) though, technically I am a member of one.
Bottom line for me in all things because of that last point, is this: I believe in love, mercy, compassion, charity, and fellowship. I believe in
equality and liberty for all, so long as they are not doing harm. And even then, I still believe in forgiveness and compassion, though I know this is
not always a practical and popular stance.
And I firmly believe that only by respecting one another, communicating, applying critical thinking and real nuance, owning our faults and mistakes
(for instance, I'm liberal but perceive the Democratic party establishment as HIGHLY corrupt and insensitive to much of the country - we talk about
conservative insensitivity, but never own our own, and that is sad imho) etc. and by SINCERELY CARING what happens to ALL people, regardless of their
political stances... only by truly doing that, can we heal the divisions in this country.
I'm not even sure that's possible anymore, realistically - as everyone seems to be militantly in their "camp..." but that's where I stand, for
I love everyone. I hate no one. I can disagree without disdaining people. I believe in what Christ taught, that I should love and bless those with
whom I disagree, even those who literally hate me. And that is how I try - while being imperfect, like everyone is - to conduct myself.
I know this likely means many on both the left and right see me as an extreme outlier and anomaly, and that many on ATS will disagree with countless
of my positions above... and that's fine.
That's where I stand. Just wanted to say that.