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Liberalism Through The Eyes of a Proud Liberal

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posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 09:35 AM

Liberalism Through The Eyes of a Proud Liberal

Opening Thoughts

Hello again ATS!

As we are all aware, just about the entire world is currently embroiled in a cultural war - the likes of which I do not believe have existed since possibly the periods of the Great Schism or the Reformation and Counter Reformation. This war is of ideas and we can frame those ideas in a variety of ways:

God versus Secularism
The Old Ways versus The New Ways
Self Interest versus The Collective
Greed versus Compassion
Individual Achievement versus Opportunistic Coat Tail Riding
Morality versus Immorality
The Nation versus The State
Freedom versus Oppression
Democracy versus Tyranny
The Few versus The Many
Conservatism versus Liberalism

Over the years, here on ATS and elsewhere, I have been actively engaged in this war of ideas. It is no secret that I self-identify as a liberal and have no qualms about defending my thoughts on the matter. In political discussion mercy is a luxury that is not often exercised and quarter is rarely given. The stark nature of this prevents many people from even entering the fray. It is a rough field to play upon. As for me? I have won a few. I have lost a few. That is OK by me because, for me, it was never about keeping score. It was about trying to stand up for what I see as just... what I feel to be moral. Given that, I keep fighting regardless of circumstance or situation. I stay true to my beliefs.

Which brings us to the point of this thread. There is so much misinformation and malicious misrepresentation in politics and political debate that calling myself "liberal" really does nothing to communicate who I am or what I actually think. The term simply seems to tie me to an endless list of false assumptions, slanderous memes, and misunderstandings. This is not to suggest that the same is not also true for many who consider themselves conservatives. For they, too, enter the conversation already prejudged and charged with a laundry list of stereotyped assumptions that may or may not accurately portray them and their sentiments.

The fact of the matter is that, to some people the word "liberal" automatically implies a person of color who drives a high end vehicle, lives in an expensive house, has a college degree... but who cannot read, who uses their free cell phone to broker drug deals and arrange random abortions, and who cannot wait for the welfare check and food stamps to arrive - cuz all praise Obama.

By the same token - there are those who imagine conservatives to all be extremely wealthy, white, racist, religious zealots who consider every person they encounter in public to be inferior and unworthy of anything but indentured enslavement - cuz all praise Reagan.

The sad truth is that there are people out there who do live up to these stereotypes. But these people are not the majority. They are the exceptions. So why is it that they seem to get all of the "press"?

These stereotypes divide us as a people and deny us the chance to recognize the commonalities that we share. They incite blind and baseless fear and hatred, fostering contempt where none is necessary. To that end, I felt that it might be beneficial to open a dialogue today about what being liberal means to me... an actual liberal - and not a pundit who gets paid to patronize your fears.

It is my hope to show a liberal who is not an Olbermann, or a Maddow, or anyone else that Hollywood might dream up.

It is my hope to show a liberal named John and to share a bit of what he thinks.

Let's Define Liberal From Both Sides of the Argument

As I began mentally formulating how to approach this original post, my first step was to open my Bing search engine ( Don't hate - I just personally prefer it over Google for light searching ) and the very first page showed me the following definition:

lib·er·al  [  líbbərəl  ]     
1. broad-minded:  tolerant of different views and standards of behavior in others
2. progressive politically or socially:  favoring gradual reform, especially political reforms that extend democracy, distribute wealth more evenly, and protect the personal freedom of the individual
3. generous:  freely giving money, time, or some other asset
Synonyms: open-minded, broad-minded, moderate, noninterventionist, freethinking, tolerant, laissez-faire

To verify source, simply search the word "liberal" on Bing - and the "Bing dictionary" result will show. Same with the following definition..

That last synonym, laissez-faire is one that we often see in the debates between conservatives and liberals and I think defining it here is a very important thing to do - as it shows just how muddied the rhetoric has become...

laissez-faire [ lè say fér ]

1. principle of no regulation of industry: the principle that the economy works best if private industry is not regulated and markets are free
2. refusal to interfere: refusal to interfere in other people's affairs, or the practice of letting people do as they wish

We will get into parsing out some of the things stated above in a moment. For now I only wish to say that the above matches, almost exactly, how I would define my own personal political views and goals. The way I try to approach my life. My values and personal morals. My sensibilities.

But there are other definitions floating around too:


edit on 8/21/13 by Hefficide because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 09:35 AM


A liberal is someone who favors increased government spending, power, and control, as in ObamaCare, as well as censorship of Christianity. Increasingly, liberals side with the homosexual agenda, including supporting homosexual "marriage". Many liberals favor a welfare state where people receive endless entitlements without working. Liberals are often anti-Christian, or otherwise disagree with moral or social principles held by many American Christians. They prefer atheism over the Christian faith, as atheism has no objective morality to hinder their big government plans. The liberal ideology has worsened over the years and degenerated into economically unsound views and intolerant ideology. Some liberals simply support, in knee-jerk fashion, the opposite of conservative principles without having any meaningful values of their own.

A liberal supports many of the following political positions and practices:

Spending money on government programs (the significant economic problems in the Eurozone due to government debt will no doubt increasingly discredit this aspect of liberal ideology and make things more difficult for advocates of liberal economic ideologies)
Government's ability to solve economic problems[2]
The belief that terrorism is not a huge threat, and that the main reason for Muslim extremists' hostility towards America is because of bad foreign policy [3]
Taxpayer-funded and/or legalized abortion
Cessation of teacher-led prayer in classrooms and school/state-sponsored religious events.
Gun control
Affirmative action[4]
Opposition to government regulation or restriction of obscenity, pornography and violence in video games as a First Amendment right[5]
Government-funded medical care, such as Obamacare
Belief in evolution
Destroying the Christian foundations on which America was built on.
Taxpayer-funded and government-controlled public education
Placement of men and women in the same jobs in the military
Legalized same-sex marriage and homosexual adoption
Tax and spend economics
Economic sector regulations[6]
Spreading of political correctness
Destroying liberty
Ending Western morality
Non-syndicalist labor unions
Encouraging promiscuity through sexual education (the teaching of safe sex) rather than teaching abstinence from premarital sex[7]
A "living Constitution" that is reinterpreted as liberals prefer, rather than how it is thought to have been intended.
Government programs to rehabilitate criminals
Abolition of the death penalty
Constitutionally mandated separation of church and state.
Opposition to full private property rights.[9]
Reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine
Opposition to domestic wire-tapping as authorized in the Patriot Act
Opposition of Operation Iraqi Freedom, a major part of the War on Terrorism
Opposition to the War on Terrorism and the War in Iraq
Regulation of business rather than a laissez-faire capitalist economy
Opposition to the Constitution. Liberals seek to expand federal power at the expense of local government and silence the conservatives who hold them back, violating the 10th and 1st Amendments respectively.
Denial of traditional gender roles
Support of financially irresponsible policies
Advocating policies which are proven to be incorrect
Encouragement of global warming alarmism
Persecution of Christianity with deference to other religions, such as Islam.

Source - Conservapedia

I find myself hesitant to use this source - as it does represent the extreme of the rhetoric current to our society and demonstrates the far end of the judgmental spectrum. It is an example of the psychological manipulation involved in today’s politics. In all frankness... I keep going back to the part where I am apparently supposed to be ashamed for opposing domestic wire-tapping - but that's a thread for another day. In that regard, the hyperbole is absolutely correct on at least one level. I do vehemently oppose domestic wire tapping and think that the Patriot Act is the sort of thing Stalin would have been proud of. It also serves to demonstrate the influence of media in how we perceive - as media, these days, is all about the hyperbole and extremism. I believe that this is by design and that the government is not only happy about it - but is probably orchestrating it all... But, again, fodder for another thread on another day....


posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 09:35 AM
Funny how, if one only took their cues from media, one would get such a glarlingly different view of what the word "liberal" means. In fact simply clicking over from "Web" to "Images" on that same Bing search shows the startling variances...

Changing the term up a bit, from "liberal" to "liberalism" brings up these gems:

With the images I did cherry pick, seeking to find memes or pictures that represented the arguments I tend to run into on ATS during political debates. There are, certainly, much kinder and much meaner examples to be had. I also went with images, for this portion of the post as the saying tells us "A picture is worth a thousand words"... and I want you, dear reader, thinking on visceral and emotional levels right now. I think it is very important that we bring these feelings to the surface and table them for the sake of honesty and open dialogue.

Besides - if I start looking for quotes from famous people regarding conservatism and liberalism - the truth is that there is no shortage, going back to just about the earliest civilizations we have records from... and they tended to make the same arguments, then, that we do today. I am hoping to avoid the circular argument trap ( A lost cause, I know... )


Thus, above - I have provided a dictionary definition of "liberal" that I find to be accurate and representative of my experience. I have also included a definition and supporting images that seem to represent most of the arguments against liberalism that I have encountered. I think that I have now defined "liberal" from both sides of the issue, allowing the opposition to have a greater voice in this portion of the post - as I very much want conservatives to have a voice here - even the most liberal hating among them.

After all... The point of this thread is to air these differences and attempt to shed some light upon the reality of what it means, at least to me, to be a liberal.

My Own Personal Views

That's right. I am a bleeding heart and I wear the label rather proudly. I care about people. In fact I even care about the people who society tends to want me to avoid caring about... the lost causes, the damaged, the broken, the misunderstood. I care about them all because once, a long time ago, I was taught a lesson about not judging anyone if I have not walked in their shoes. Where the stereotype ends, however, is that I do not blindly care about everyone in the world regardless of their actions. Being a bleeding heart liberal does not mean that I blindly forgive any and all trespasses. This is part of the misinformation that tends to get bandied about. For example, Ted Bundy is dead and I am quite content with that fact. Bernie Madoff being in prison also makes me smile a bit.

I guess what I am trying to say is that "bleeding heart" does not mean "idiot".

Where my liberalism comes in is when I see a scene like this:

My instinct is not to assume drug addiction, poor choices, alcoholism, laziness, or opportunism when I see a person in the above situation. My first thought is "How can we fix this? What needs to happen to stabilize the situation so that positive progress can begin to happen here?" I see a fire, in a manner of speaking, and my instinct is to want to put the fire out. Once the fire is out and the situation is stabilized... then we can begin the process of diagnosing the source of ignition and begin the process of trying to keep the flames from arising again.

Where some see a waste or a tragedy. I see a person. A person that, in all honestly, could be me if just a few things in my life were to fall apart.

When I see someone like the above I understand that I know nothing about them, at all, and that any assumptions I have about how they may have gotten to where they happen to be are just that, assumptions.

Bleeding heart. It means I want to see the best in others, even when it's not easy to do. I know that we cannot save everyone and that there are people who seem to gravitate to the bottom no matter how much help they might get... over and over again. Some people are wrapped up in a destructive form of selfishness that drags them down endlessly. My point is that we cannot morally assume everyone in a bad position to be that sort of person. There are damned good and productive people out there, even as you read these words, living a life like the one pictured above. People would would kill for a chance to work and better themselves, People who do not use drugs or drink alcohol. People who simply got caught up in a bad flow or set of circumstances and who got pulled under.


posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 09:35 AM
Many of us here live week to week, paycheck to paycheck. In the current economy.... well, there but for the grace go we.

I believe strongly in social safety nets to protect the people who find themselves underwater even though they are strong and are swimming with all of their might. I believe that it is a social responsibility of the able to pitch in a little to help make sure such safety nets exist. Furthermore, I do not see doing so as a selfless act at all. In fact I think that making sure such safety nets exist is a selfish and necessary part of becoming successful in ones own right. We all want safe streets, well fed neighbors, stability in our communities...

These things all suffer when we allow others to fall through the cracks and say nothing because, this time, it wasn't us.

Further I believe it is a sign of self-respect to help those who cannot help themselves, without judgment. The sick, the elderly, the young. Investing in these people is investing in ourselves. Many of us would not be here today if it were not for others helping to provide for us when we were children. Many of us here would not be in good health today if we did not receive help, in one form or another, at some point during our pasts. Many of us here will one day wake to find that we are no longer able to provide for ourselves... time or illness robbing us of our physical abilities. Age or illness showing up to decimate our nest eggs and empty out our retirement funds far more rapidly than we had ever thought possible.

My neoconservative friends... what I am saying is that even if you are rich and vibrant today... a single accident or illness - or just plain old Father Time - could turn you into the very type of person you despise faster than your imagination and pride will allow you to believe. How will you feel if such a day comes? How will you feel the day when you have to force your eyes up, through bruised pride, and say "Please...."?

Such realizations and thoughts are what led me to accept the label of "liberal". The very simple idea that to me it best matches the admonishment of treating others as I would want to be treated. Nothing more, nothing less.

I realize, even as I type these words, that the other side of the issue has a text book response to throw... the old "And it'd be awesome if we all had magical unicorns that pooped diamonds and flew too!" debate. The idea that we cannot possibly afford the type of world I wish to live in because there just isn't enough money to keep everybody with a bare minimum safety net available to them. It's simply too expensive!

Except it isn't.

We have these issues, whether we address them or not. They exist. Currently we increasingly jail the people at the very bottom of the ladder. We house, clothe, and feed them - just as we would otherwise... only with jail we do something that I would think conservatives would shudder at the thought of... we do these things while revoking the basic freedoms of others. That's the truth of it. We have a very functional social safety net today that we call the prison industrial complex... investors get tax money to house, clothe, and feed our poor AND the poor lose all of their rights in the process... they leave the voting pool.

Convenient. Convenient and sad as it goes against everything a true believer of the Constitution would accept or want.

Hating this travesty of morality is another thing that makes me liberal.

Being liberal means that the sexuality of others does not threaten or offend me in the least and I find it amazing that it seems to so wholly offend others. As if to think that same gendered couples engaging in a societal contract might somehow destroy society as we know it. Gay people can marry all they want and I'll still be straight. I cannot fathom how this scares people so much. Then again, race, nationality, and religion also scare people and it's equally as ignorant and irrational to be threatened by such things. Sorry folks... the gay and the black.... they're not contagious.

Being liberal means that I think McDonalds and Wal Mart should be sued down to their last cent for propagating a culture based upon something just a shade above slavery. "Working class" does not mean "Property".

Being liberal means that I think every Company that avoids the cost of doing business in the US by outsourcing jobs should lose their right to sell their products here or face tariffs to do so. They whine about how greedy WE are, and then brag about our glorious free market economy that allows them to set prices and mark their products up thousands and thousands of percentiles.

Shortly stated, being liberal means that I love commerce but despise greed and avarice.

Ultimately stated... Being liberal means that I choose to care because selfishness is the easy way to be. It doesn't require any thought or growth... only caving to base instincts.


posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 09:36 AM

Closing Thoughts

I realize that this is nowhere near the thread I envisioned writing when I woke up this morning and set out to attempt this labor. The subject matter is so diverse and so thick that it is nearly insurmountable as a task. And to think it started with such a basic thought.... What is it about me that makes others see me as "liberal"

To me being liberal is about respect. Choosing to respect others as a rule, and wanting the same in return - regardless of differences. By respect, I do not mean just lip service. I mean genuine respect. The kind of respect that motivates people to try and find commonality that will enable everyone to make the best of the situation they find themselves in. The kind of respect that allows us to be able to agree to disagree.... to live and let live... to find a balance in compromise that allows us all to have most of what we want, while giving enough to make the whole happy as well. A respectful world where we defend one another on principle, despite our differences - because that which binds us far outweighs that which separates us.

Today, sadly, I see nothing even remotely resembling that. Today I see an army of politicians and citizens all holding gas cans and matches.... all screaming "GIMME WHAT I WANT OR I'LL BURN THE WHOLE DAMNED THING DOWN".

I see a nation that defines itself by fear of terrorism behaving like a pack of terrorists - and it saddens me deeply.

With this now all typed out, it occurs to me that my words will not make a dent in the problem. They probably won't change any minds or alter any opinions. However they might start a dialogue and, in that dialogue... maybe one or two of us might find some commonality and realize that we're not as different as we think ourselves.

Thanks for your time and consideration ATS. All comments are welcome.

posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 09:44 AM
I think that if anyone is a hardline conservative, they are a fool.
I think that if anyone is a hardline liberal, they are a fool.

The world is not black and white.
There is black.
There is white.
Almost everything is neither one.

Be a libertarian.

A libertarian can have an opinion on a lot of things.... but they don't believe that a law is required for most things.
edit on 21-8-2013 by butcherguy because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 09:46 AM
reply to post by butcherguy

Wouldn't being a hardline libertarian fall into your notions about conservatives and liberals???

posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 09:51 AM
And the Constitution? Do you want to keep it or change it?

posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 09:51 AM
Not only is this a great write-up on your views and liberalism in general, it sheds light on how taking a label such as liberal or conservative draws a line around someone, and brings with it baggage and assumptions that one must wear in order to ride under their chosen banners.

Well-written. Bravo

posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 09:51 AM

Originally posted by Hefficide
reply to post by butcherguy

Wouldn't being a hardline libertarian fall into your notions about conservatives and liberals???

One can be for liberty and be not be either (edit: how did I just write that?) A libertarian does not have to be a fool.

Take me for instance.
I believe that a person should be able to use heroin without a prescription. How many conservatives agree with that?
I believe that there shouldn't be a law against a woman's right to choose. How many conservatives agree with that?

I believe that I shouldn't be forced to pay for other people's food and housing. How many liberals agree with that?
I believe that I should be allowed to own a fully automatic center fire rifle. How many liberals agree with that?
edit on 21-8-2013 by butcherguy because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 09:54 AM
That is a very long introduction and I promise I will read it all.

But in the mean time, I will like to say, that been an outsider (you know I grew up in PR) and the terms liberalism and conservatism in politics was not something I am familiar with.

But with all the yeas I been living in the US (since 1981), raised two children, I have to say that in todays politics is not such think as "liberals" and "conservatives", this terms are oxymoron.

a combination of contradictory or incongruous words (as cruel kindness); broadly : something (as a concept) that is made up of contradictory or incongruous elements

The reason I see it that way is, very simple we are a society that so full of variation and ethnicity that no longer you can find anything in any of the political parties that makes them different.

Ok, now I am out to the gym.

posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 10:25 AM
reply to post by Hefficide
Heff I am most often labeled a Conservative, what you would consider the opposite of your particular stance. That is the divisive trick attached to labeling, it separates us using a broad set of parameters that in most cases do not encompass the entirety of our ideologies.

I find much common ground (more than should logically be expected) in our particular political and social beliefs. I honestly believe this is because there are very few "hard core" Liberals and Conservatives- even if those few are the very loudest and draw the most spectators. The majority of us find policy choices that are both to our liking as well as our disgust within both major political parties; we just happen to fall in with which ever side holds more of our likes than dislikes and are forever painted with the broad brush of labeling.

I wonder what would happen if the terms "Liberal" and "Conservative" were to disappear from the English language? Could our politicians, heck, our citizens sit down at the table and find the things we agree on and make some compromises? I could- could you?

posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 10:29 AM
reply to post by Hefficide

With the images I did cherry pick, seeking to find memes or pictures that represented the arguments I tend to run into on ATS during political debates.

Just the fact that you are able to engage in the act of 'cherry-picking' images concerning the subject matter of your OP reveals that the label "Liberal" is now an empty aesthetic used to manipulate the voting public.

It has been for a very long time, but your thread just did a really good job of proving it.

There is no 'there' there any longer, just a bunch of emblematic images meant to stimulate the memory, or conditioning.

Which is it for you, Hef?

edit on 21-8-2013 by Bybyots because: ?

posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 10:30 AM
This is precisely what is wrong with this Nation.

"Labels", by those definitions I am a Liberal.

These terms only serve to divide people. Exactly what they want to do.

We must rise above labels... The question is how?

posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 10:39 AM
reply to post by Bybyots

That is, actually, kind of the point of the thread - and the same exact cherry picking of images can be done with the word "conservative" ( BTW searched that as well and with similar results ).

The word "liberal" has no value to me whatsoever - it is a label implied upon me by society because of my morality and beliefs. It can be a scarlet letter or a red badge of courage. I choose to wear it as the latter and accept it insofar as it enables me to table discussions that may eventually lead to something positive coming of them. Naturally I don't feel that my threads will change anything... but if enough people, on enough sites, and in enough articles all begin to address the same issues at the same time?

Well that's how things do get changed.

posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 11:04 AM
reply to post by Hefficide

Great post! I define myself as a social libertarian, and we have very little differences in how we think about issues. My other libertarian friends say that there is no such thing as a social libertarian, but I digress recognizing that they are on the far right of libertarianism. In fact social libertarianism were originally referred to as liberals = libertarians whom embody the concept of laisefaire. Let others live their lives, so long as they do no harm to others. Then came the libertarian party whom co-opted a brand of libertarianism more to the right of center. Like any political party it tends to become corrupted. The same is true for Republicans and Democrats. Both of the American political parties favor the use of government to effect change.

But our media tends to keep us all unaware of the fact that neither party is living up to the ideals upon which they were founded and which increasingly these political parties usurp their own power from the institutions they were elected to. There are social conservatives as well that believe similar to your own beliefs, but these people are generally outcasts in their own parties.

I believe that generally most Americans are as you, liberal when it comes to social issues, and conservative to fiscal issues. Thanks for putting down your thoughts, and no matter if you define yourself as a liberal, you are an honest liberal that just wants to see their neighbors succeed. Nothing wrong with that, no matter if others want to mislabel your intentions.

posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 11:04 AM
The entire system has come down to pandering to extremes, either the Extreme right or extreme left of either party. You know the people that tend to be rabid about their beliefs and tend to be active voters and into their "team", honestly the Polarization of the two parties and the extremism that allows for no compromise will be the death of the entire system.

The squeakiest wheel gets the grease and in this case the squeakiest tend to be the nut bags in either party.

Meanwhile they pander to the extremes and create huge distractions to hide the fact that the only agenda being pushed in DC is who can milk the system for the most.

I used to Consider myself Democrat, was raised by ones in a liberal state, as I got older I swung Republican, NOW I know its all nonsense.

The truth is never black and white, and usually lays in between the two extremes.
edit on 21-8-2013 by benrl because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 11:16 AM
reply to post by Hefficide

An interesting thread. I respect the thought you've put into this and, at least, your attempt at objectivity.

I fall into that general group that is labeled "Reagan Democrat", who has moved to the Republican/conservative side.

I base my philosophies of life on empirical experience. At 62 years of age, I've had a bit of experience...still learning though.

I hold that the founding fathers never intended "social safety nets". I hazard to guess that if that issue even came up, it was relegated to the community and state level. Churches and local gov'ts, et al.

You, I presume, used that likely scenario as the logic for "progress", an "evolving" Constitution, I view it differently.

The federal intervention into state affairs has opened the door to agendas that feed on your views as well as mine.

My life experiences have taught me that our children must be taught the concept of earning. The idea that nothing is truly "free". That if you teach one's children, and by extension, any group of individuals that they somehow have a right to material things, even basic survival items, they never develop the skills required to contribute to the society in any exchangeable form and end up liabilities to that society.

The Constitution did nothing more than to do it's level best to allow the self-reliant to have freedom. Personal choice. As long as possible, knowing full well that even it could not assure an indefinite time of freedom. Hence the second amendment.

If you educate a society that exchange isn't required to obtain materials and services, you create one that demands the same with no price to themselves.

The perfect definition of a criminal, be he rich or poor, someone who wants something for nothing.

That's flaw one in the liberal mind set.

Flaw two is the one you know and choose to ignore. You violate your own ideal of "Laissez-Faire" in that your social nets, your gay marriages, so on, are imposed against the will of the those that don't want it.

That very imposition diametrically opposed and contradictory to your stated beliefs.

Yet, I am willing to let you have your progressive views....ON A STATE LEVEL.

You want them? You can have them. I'd rather see this union dissolved than turned into a society where safety trumps freedom.

Neither is perfect. I merely prefer mine.

Your thread has value for those that aren't aware of the common interests of all Americans. The overlap so to speak

You, on the other hand, are perceptive enough to already know this, as many of us are. This is merely a lubricant to promote your agenda.

Have a nice day.

edit on 21-8-2013 by nwtrucker because: grammar

posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 11:24 AM
Heff, this is exactly why I refuse to self-identify with anything politically, and these days I'll disassociate with any label because of the obvious contradictions in terms depending upon the observer/speaker/writer..

As a much younger man I used to say "I'm a liberal strict constructionist!" - which by just about any definition commonly in use today seems oxymoronic at best. Still, I've got problems with Justice Scalia's ideation about strict constructionism, his arguments for "context" pertaining to common usage of language in the 1790's to be at best ludicrous and at worst fascist. While I don't believe the Constitution to be a "living breathing document" from the standpoint of changing interpretations, expansion of federal powers and/or executive overrides - I DO firmly believe that it remains relevant today and some of the context necessarily changes as society evolves.

I view the continuum of political ideology more of a mobius strip or a circle as opposed to or a divided plane (right/left) paradigm. For example, I believe in a LIBERAL exercise of our freedoms and unalienable rights while also maintaining a CONSERVATIVE or very STRICT view of Constitutional. principles - like Obamacare, asset forfeiture, modern day "bills of attainder" and "letters of marque" (Blackwater/Xe). I think "free trade" is a wonderful concept, yet some degree of regulation is required to ensure a "level playing field" and mitigate abuses by those with tremendous financial resources and fraudulent character

In my view the Constitution is a GRANT of powers to the federal government that is severely limited and very narrow. Gun control to me is 2" groups at 50 yards, but I've got some leeway when it comes to reasonable regulation (age restrictions on purchase).

On the other hand, in this day and age it seems imperative to me that the cost of healthcare should be tightly controlled like the UK's National Health Service. Yes, a little bit of blatant socialism is NECESSARY to keep both an orderly and compassionate society. Unbridled capitalism is not the road to prosperity unless one considers that human slavery is very cost effective means of running a society - it IS of course very efficient, but completely lacking in humanity (human dignity).

So I must continue to shun labels rather than embrace new definitions. Your post has illustrated the problems about self identifying with ANY label - it's not black & white or grey here, it's more like a psychedelic panorama with each individual having a unique set of rose (or other) colored glasses masking certain hues, distorting other's views.

No labels for me, I don't want to play that game any more. When asked if I'm a liberal or conservative, a republican or democrat, a libertarian or independent, a communist or a capitalist - I've got to "just say NO"!


posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 11:26 AM
reply to post by Hefficide

Well that's how things do get changed.

Things get changed by keeping them the same?

I have considered that as well; the idea that maybe we just need to get our working definitions down and then re-enter the fray so that the argument is thoroughly wrung out. Is that what you mean? How's that working out for you?

Listen, between your "Liberal" thread today, and Wrabbit's 'I love Ronald Regan" thread yesterday, I am feeling totally up for going back to the 80s; like, totally.

It'll be great, we can all spend the rest of 2013 arguing about Ronald Regan.

Excellent work. Listen, man, I really do understand what a strong influence nostalgia is on men our age; but it's going to be the death of us this time around. There was nothing good about the 80s.

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