Listening to any ideologue discuss how politics affect the nation is like listening to a fish in a bowl describing the room in which the tank sits; the environment of the bowl warps the perspective of the observing fish. Some things may seem larger or smaller than they actually are; other things are reflections of objects in the tank and do not actually exist in the room itself.
If conservatism involves less government and the basic fiscal responsibility to spend within reach of revenues, fine. I get that and I agree whole-heartedly. The Democrats have little-to-no sense of fiscal responsibility, but the right misjudges their intentions and vilifies them. Most that could carry the label “Liberal” are actually quite charitable at heart, perhaps to a fault, and they want to use the resources of government to administer what they see to be charitable acts, such as financial assistance to the poor, healthcare for the sick, and protection from oppressors (both foreign and domestic). I see the primary disagreement between right and left being that these charitable acts should not be the responsibility of the government, not that these intentions are inherently evil, although the pundits may disagree from within the fishbowls.
In regard to the lattermost point regarding protection against oppressions, particularly domestic, the left sees a great potential for business owners to be oppressive to their workers. It is true that they call for government regulation of business in hopes of preventing such oppression, for they fear those with money will quickly lose moral judgment in pursuit of more capital. Government’s regulation of business for the protection of workers goes back to the abolition of slavery. I would certainly hope we can all agree that the federal government was justified in making laws deeming slavery illegal, and while it certainly impacted the profitability of slave owners, the rights of those workers were deserving of federal protection.
Going back to the overdeveloped sense of charity that “Liberals” are affected by, I see a great irony in the number of Christians who align themselves with the GOP from a moral standpoint. It seems to me that Jesus would have been in favor of doing all that was possible to clothe and feed the poor and heal the sick; that Jesus would not be in favor of preemptive military strikes; that Jesus would accept a homosexual as a person deserving of love and respect. From my understanding of Jesus’ actions, he demonstrated more “Liberal” qualities than conservative. He washed the feet of tax collectors, he made company with whores and beggars, he protected the adultress by inviting one without sin to cast the first stone, he espoused charity and urged his followers to do away with all their worldly possessions, he eschewed wealth; most importantly, he called on others to follow in his footsteps. These are virtues pursued by “Liberals” who are trying to protect their fellow man and the earth we all share. They are Christian in nature.
Speaking of protecting the earth, environmental laws do serve a purpose: they keep people from shitting upstream of others. Present bickering over climate change and pollution is not about a fascist takeover of the world, it is an attempt to define what constitutes shit, and where the boundaries of the stream are. Those downstream say “Stop shitting in my water supply” while those upstream say “Too bad, I can’t afford to build an outhouse.”
And then there’s perhaps the most divisive issue in all politics: abortion. It seems to me that the right’s stance on abortion has allowed all logic and reason to be swallowed by blind dogma that states no abortion should be allowed, ever, under any circumstance. Pro-choice does not entail the merciless slaughter of infants. If a woman were to be raped and impregnated, I think she should be entitled to an abortion and should not be forced to carry that baby to term. If pregnancy complications threaten the life of the mother of two, I think she should be able to have an abortion and save her life, for her two children and husband are better off with a mother and wife than a sibling / third child. If a father rapes and impregnates his daughter she should not be forced into a back-alley with a coat hanger in order to keep that child from entering the world. However, I do not think abortions should be used as a basic means of birth control, and late-term abortions should only be allowed in the event of a life-saving decision on the mother’s behalf. There can be a middle ground.
The right seems to have unwavering faith that businesses will be just and moral and need no regulations, but strives to regulate morality on the individual level. They claim the fascist left wants to re-form the constitution, but the right has its own changes it wants to make, such as a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. The heart of gay marriage really boils down to tax benefits and advantages gained from being able to file jointly; normally the right is all for lessening a tax burden, but not when it’s just for a couple of fags, I guess. Homosexuality is not new. It is neither created nor expanded by gay marriage. Two gay people getting married does absolutely nothing to affect the sanctity of my marriage. It is not an act of war on marriage, as many right-wing pundits claim. Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh have done more to deface the sanctity of marriage with their infidelity and multiple divorces than the two ladies who live together three houses down from me, yet Rush and Newt are idolized by a large faction of the right.
Then there’s waterboarding, which is another divisive topic between right and left. There are two angles to the argument: whether or not it is torture, and whether or not it is effective. I can’t speak to the first directly, but I do take credence in John McCain’s view that waterboarding is torture; here is a man who has truly been tortured, he has a valid perspective. I doubt waterboarding’s effectiveness as an interrogation technique. I bet if you waterboarded Dick Cheney or George Bush long enough you would get them to confess that 9/11 was an inside job (NOTE: I do not believe 9/11 was an inside job, I do believe people will say anything to stop being tortured).
I do not condone the voices of the far left. I am glad Keith Olbermann was fired from MSNBC and from Current. While I think Rush Limbaugh is a selfish man with very little moral value, I do not think he is the “Worst Person in the World” and think that by attempting to classify him as such, one downplays the truly horrible acts that occur every day. Likewise, to liken the left to a rising Nazi party belittles the horror of the Holocaust, and to associate the left with Nazism is to imply the left is trying to rise up to take over the world and engage in mass genocide—a Fourth Reich, so to speak—which is simply ludicrous. The left—who wants to feed and educate the poor, to heal the sick, to abolish the death penalty, to protect the environment—is not the party of death. They are more pro-life than many foes of abortion.
I’ll conclude by saying that while this rant was largely focused on the right, the left are equal in their use of deplorable tactics, and they also set party lines based on rigid dogma requiring unwavering support on all fronts. Both sides have a single, primary goal: to destroy the other party. There is no intent to fix, to heal, to reconcile. Both sides have adopted the stance that “it’s my way and fuck yourself while you’re at it.” Sadly, the majority of Americans, who are just trying to live day-to-day, will be the ones most affected by this fight, and not in a good way.
PS I won’t defriend you if you comment sharing a different viewpoint. I value the ability to debate issues in a rational manner.