I’m probably going to annoy all of you some of the time. Why? Because I’m not really a left or right winger. I have often taken issue with the left and have gotten my head handed to me for my trouble. But, being an idealist crossed with a masochist, I’ve never let that deter me.
So, if you are coming here to always have your own political ideas echoed back to you, you may be disappointed.
Some examples that may or may not cause cognitive dissonance for you:
1) I do not understand why tax cuts were evil under Bush, but acceptable under Obama. Does trickle-down-economics suddenly work under Obama? And if so, can he possibly part the Red Sea while he’s at it?
2) I am not philosophically opposed to capital punishment. I am opposed to it because innocent people (especially poor people and (god I hate this PC expression) ‘people of color’) are the ones who usually get executed, and, often, framed.. And I’m opposed to it because it costs more money to kill someone than to incarcerate them for life. However, I support the idea of capital punishment for two reasons:
a. When there is a rabid dog in the street, or a grizzly bear clawing someone to bits, unless you’re a member of PETA, you’re going to want to stop that animal, which usually means killing it. The ten-time sex offender who has just tortured, raped, and killed a little boy or girl is just such a creature. He is not ‘curable’, he is amoral, violent, and a clear and present danger. If I was presented with irrefutable proof of someone’s guilt in such a case, I’d shoot them myself. I wouldn’t enjoy it. Indeed, I might have nightmares about it for the rest of my life, but I would do it.
b. Who do we ask to guard people who are violent, amoral, and, because they’re in jail for life without parole, have nothing to lose? Do I have the right to imperil someone else just to quarantine a human virus, rather than eradicate it?
3) I own guns (and a hunting bow). I believe in the right to keep and bear arms. However, I do not support the odious company line of the NRA and other zealots who think we should be able to own just about any weapon, including high-capacity semi-automatic weapons. I do not need a 30 shot banana clip to go hunting, only to give vent to juvenile Rambo fantasies. Moreover, I think that anyone who buys a gun should have to do the following:
a. Register each gun, like an automobile.
b. Pay ‘gun owner’s insurance’ for liability
c. Take a mandatory gun proficiency course once every ten years.
4) I think it’s inexcusable that Obama dignified Pastor Rick Warren by giving him the signal honor of performing the inaugural invocation. Rick Warren has been videotaped comparing gay people to pedophiles (particularly ironic since the vast preponderance of pedophiles are heterosexual), people who practice incest, bestiality, and polygamy. Had Mr. Warren compared any other group I can think of: women, black people, Jews, Muslims, short people, fat people, old people… his words would have been villified in the press and he would have been rightfully shunned. But Mr. Obama (and the King Center as well, much to their dishonor of Dr. King’s memory) seems to at least implicitly accept that gay people are the one group acceptable as targets for hate speech. This frankly enrages me.
So, hopefully, you’re up for a lively debate, and a civil one. I love a good argument, and am more than willing not only to have you comment, but perhaps to be a guest blogger or a guest on my radio show someday. However, I WILL NOT tolerate personal attacks. Occasionally, I fall into ad hominem attacks too. For example, I think that it’s rather accurate to call Sean Hannity a ‘buffoon’. But, truth is, accurate though it may be, I will try to restrain myself, and ask that you try to do so as well.
If your idea of an argument is merely spewing personal invective, random cursing etc., please spare all of us your vitriol. I have sadly learned from experiences on sites like DailyKos, that this kind of nastiness is not confined to the right wing. There are mindless thugs on all sides of the political spectrum, and one reason I’ve started this blog and podcast is because I find the knee-jerk attack of anyone who even slightly disagrees with some predetermined party line (‘Obama is always right’, ‘Obama is Satan’ etc.) to be very disheartening.
I have a very old friend who is quite conservative. But he’s not an ideologue. We argue, albeit in a very civilized manner, and sometimes we even change each other’s minds. Neither of us is wedded to ideological purity, or fealty to any one ‘brand’. Oddly enough, we both support the constitution and believe in some form of capitalism and ownership of personal property, perhaps even a meritocracy. Neither of us is remotely politically correct, and we aim to keep it that way.
It’s people like my old buddy that I’m looking for. From the left, right, center, who love this country, and fear for its future, and sincerely want to make it better.