Saturday, October 01, 2005

Random late-night musings

I think an upcoming post on poverty and combating it will be forthcoming in the wake of the natural disasters being rained down upon us.

This next part is from my comment posted at dKos:

I'll be honest. I've been a centrist my whole life. The continued rightward, religion-in-your-face tilt of the Republicans pushed me to the left of center. I still have certain views that are conservative, but friends I have that are Bush supporters think I'm a complete liberal because they are so far right, and because I believe in things like gay rights, keeping Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid intact, and wanting religion to be a private thing.
So, fine. They want to call me a liberal, then let's redefine it for people. Let's show people that liberal isn't some groveling, money-hoarding, tax the shit out of you, spineless, military-hating person, but rather a person of compassion, a person for equality, fair tax policy, progressive programs to help lift people from poverty, unity, and an ear that isn't tone-deaf when it comes to the opinion of other nations.
It's not bad to be a liberal. It's not bad to be a centrist. It's not bad to be conservative even, but those using that name today aren't conservative by definition, they are CINOs. It used to be that the parties could coexist and work together. Let's do that again, but dammit, let's also fight for the things we believe in, let's stand up and be loud and proud when we think something like this bankruptcy bill is a sham.

Adding to that, what I'm trying to get at here is that labels have come to define people, not ideals. Republicans and Democrats alike have ideals, but we've gone to just saying "cowardly liberal" or "bullying conservative" instead of demonstrating our values and ideals and seeing what the American people think. The election last year was hardly about ideals, it was the scare-the-living-crap-out-of-you election, and Bush did a better job at it. Of course, Kerry's sunken eyes were scary in a much different way.

I think we'd be a better place without all the shoutfests. Hannity and Colmes, the defunct Crossfire, Hardball, The O'Reilly Factor, etc. all promote that sort of bullshit. Because, really, that's all it is. Republicans have mastered the shoutfest game, and so we have this stifled idea of debate. Debate is the intelligent discussion of competing philosophies and ideas, and as long as anyone that is centrist or liberal is unable to clearly, quickly and intelligently explain what their philosophy really is, we will continue to live in a political cesspool. I think we'd be much better off with a real exchange of ideas, but we're probably years away from that happening. And America is worse for it.


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