Sunday, August 5, 2012

I Am A Liberal American

It goes without saying that I love my country. Atleast, it should go without saying. Recently I have come across waaaay too many people painting me and my mine as out to destroy the country. To tell you the truth, I sometimes think I love my country more than the average American does. You see, for fourteen years I lived in a foreign country. I didn't have the freedoms that so many of us take for granted here. I did not have the same freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and if I had been arrested on any suspicions I could have been left to rot in jail without a lawyer. What's more, I had to stand up and represent the USA on a daily basis. I had to defend or explain our country's policies whether I believed in them or not. This included President GHW Bush's invasion of Iraq as well as President Clinton's impeachment procedures. So now that I'm back, I cherish this land of the free and home of the brave. And what's more, I take it personally if somebody tries to tell me that I'm out to destroy it.

What happened to being able to disagree with someone's opinion but then being able to stay friends?
Why is every discussion an argument about good (us, whichever that is) and evil (the other guy)? People, we can't keep letting this happen. Everyone needs to relax a bit and remember: we didn't like your guy, you don't like our guy, we won't like your next guy. That's how it goes! We aren't doing anybody any favors by creating malaise and chaos instead of negotiating and working together.
I truly believe that we as a nation need to stress what we agree on and not constantly harp on what we don't. It is not just "them" when all of us are an "us."

There are fourteen weeks left before the Presidential Election on Tuesday, November 6, 2012. This year's election is vitally important to the future of this country. With that in mind, I would like to begin weekly discussions, here and on Facebook, regarding the most important issues of the day.

And here are the ground-rules:
1. No craziness. If you honestly believe that President Obama was born in Kenya and is trying to turn this country into a socialist dictatorship, or that President GW Bush allowed the 9-11 attacks in order to invade Iraq, you need to leave this site. Immediately. There are plenty of other fantasy sites you can visit. You are not welcome here. I am not kidding.
2. No rudeness. Recently I have had incidents where I or others have written things like, "It is stupid to think that" and  "Only fools believe that...."   If you don't want to have a meaningful conversation, don't join in. I am not kidding about this, either. However, often we get flustered or excited or caught up in a moment. I do, too. My strong suggestion is to re-read what you write before you post it. Remember, you're not going to win any friends by calling them stupid.
3. No hyperbole. It turns out that Attorney General John Ashcroft wasn't a Nazi goose-stepper and I'm relatively sure that no one in the current administration is, either. Also, we aren't about to lose the Second Amendment rights or Freedom of Religion. Talking about how to manage gun control laws or whether we should make all companies offer birth control in their health insurance plans is not necessarily an open invitation to Paronoia Land.

That's it. I do not intent or want to moderate comments here or on FB. However, if people cross these lines I will either begin moderating OR delete messages or both. Unfair? Well, it's my party! If you as my guest don't behave in a way that I would like you to, I have the right to kick you out, right? So let's all watch the alcoholic intake and open this up to discussion. :-)

This week's theme: I am a liberal American.
However, I am not an idiot.
I am not a socialist.
I am not a traitor.
And I resent STRONGLY any assertion that I am any of these other things.

When I started doing research for these articles I did an internet search to try to find out what, exactly, the two major parties believe. I mean, I know what *I* believe, but am I a "true" Liberal or somebody Left or Right or what? A conservative friend sent me a link to to an article that he said was "humorous," but in fact really pissed me off.

This John Hawkins guy, a "professional blogger," accuses me of giving aid to terrorists (#6) and of being a socialist (#8). I would respectfully suggest that John Hawkins is a writer who knows his audience, and is a very irresponsible individual. Either that or he's crazy.
--I know what you're going to say: no rudeness allowed! But to that I say: he started it! ;-) But seriously, any writer who paints a whole group of Americans as terrorist supporters is an idiot. Do some Democratic politicians question the validity of our anti-terrorism laws? Probably. Is this what he's talking about? God, I hope so.

The point is, I typed in "conservative vs liberal beliefs" on google and then went through three pages of recommended sites. Most were wikipedia-like sites such as this one:
and this one:
These are the two sites I printed out and will be using as my base, although I think they are somewhat out-of-date and partly incorrect. (Do Liberals really approve of eminent domain? I could have sworn we hated that, but maybe it's just me....!)

The other sites I found were similar to this one, where unnamed Conservatives use the word "Liberal" like it was a dirty word, calling me intolerant and worse:
I had to shake my head when I read this one, especially the part about Liberals not having open minds. I've not known political partisanship to have any link to stubbornness. In fact, I've had plenty of facebook discussions and I find that closed-mindedness is not owned by one side or the other. It's another thing we share!!! :-)
So this week I'd like to know what you think of studentnewsdaily and news-basics. Are they *basically* correct in their descriptions? Or they totally off? I want to get into specific items later, but in general, do you think these are fair comparisons? Can we agree that these are the terms we will use to have our discussions?


  1. I agree with the most of the analysis at Mostly. Immigration in particular, I think they may have stated a bit too simplistically. This site,, I have some issues with. On human nature and justice, for example, I don't think the two statements are necessarily two different sides of an issue. I agree with both statements. But basically, yes, I think both these sites do a relatively good job of defining the differences.

  2. News-basics seems like a caricature of conservatism from a left-wing point of view.

  3. That's funny how both of you echo my thoughts exactly. Of the two, news-basic is the more simplistic. Thanks for speaking up!

  4. Here is a better statement of the conservative view of the "social safety net": Liberals measure compassion by how many people are on welfare. Conservatives measure compassion by how many people are able to get off of welfare. (Rush Limbaugh)

  5. Rick, that is the smartest thing I've ever heard attributed to Mr. Limbaugh. Thanks!