Monday, April 13, 2009

Why I can't call myself a liberal or conservative

Funny thing. When me and the family were watching the details of that sea captain being rescued from those pirates yesterday, it didn't take long for one of us to say "How long do you think before some left-winger comes roaring in to the pirates' defense?" Another of us said: "Don't call them 'pirates'! They are 'independently operating seafarers'!" The left-wingers among us wondered aloud if more criticizing of Obama was about to ensue. Our family runs the gamut in regards to political views, so family gatherings are always fun - and I mean that sincerely. We may have discussions, but we are always civil.

Anyway, usually after such discussions, I've been asked why I don't just call myself liberal or conservative instead of trying to straddle a line in between the two. I've tried to do that before, but I just can't seem to come up with a good enough explanation that will satisfy everyone, but I'll try again anyway. For one, I am not straddling any line, sitting on any fence, nor seeking any "middle path" - far from it. My views are my views, and they happen to fall on both sides of the political spectrum. Being against abortion is considered a conservative view and being against the death penalty is considered a liberal view - how could I possibly have a middle ground between those views when they cover different issues? It's like saying there's a middle ground between gun control and "baggy pants" laws; in other words, it's apples and oranges. I can't explain it any better than that.

Next, I can't call myself liberal until being liberal means being 100% prolife (and that means being opposed to legalized euthanasia and the death penalty as well as legalized abortion). If liberals can't come to the defense of the ultimate in defenselessness among us, then it puts the lie to the usual belief that being liberal means coming to the defense of the little guy. Simple as that. Truely, I can't understand why this is so hard to understand. Belief in the sacredness of all life should, in the eyes of what I think all liberals should believe, be above all political ideologies, social experimentations, economic theories, Frankensteinian scientific experiments, medical flights of fancy, or any other groups or philosophies that have utilitarian views towards human life and its value.

All of the inhumane atrocities of human history have been because the leaders or certain groups of people didn't take the full humanity of other groups of people into account. I shouldn't have to provide some historical examples of what I am referring, but I think I do: the Holocaust and slavery. Any time one person or group in a position of influence decides that they are above the rest of us or that a group of people are beneath them, then they are headed down the path that has no good end in sight. So with that, why do we think that, in our day and age, we are exempt from committing inhumane atrocities ourselves? A saying about pride and falling comes to mind.

I categorize legalized abortion as an atrocity. An unborn human dies every time in an abortion. Period. Anyone that denies this denies logic, reason, and scientific fact, so I honestly don't get the "yes, but..." that usually follows when I make that statement. And it pains me to think that liberal Democrats are legalized abortions' most ardent supporters, and I wonder what the hell for. How do they manage to leave out a whole group of people whenever they rush to the defense of those that the rest of us would shun? In other words, if you're going to be "bleeding heart", then it needs to bleed for everyone.

In case you think that I don't have my gripes about conservatives, then just sit tight a second - I'm about to get to that.

My main gripes about conservatives is that they seem to believe that the free market will solve all. Before I continue, let me state here that I am no Communist. I do NOT support a Statist point of view in which the State controls all. Far, far from it. However, many free-market conservatives seem to believe that there are no scam artists out there to make a quick buck no matter what despicable thing they do to get it. Not all of them are as easy to spot as an e-mail from a Nigerian banker's widow or a phone call telling you that your car's warranty is about to expire. Sometimes they come disguised with initials such as AIG. Just ask the many millions of Americans whose retirement plans have been wiped out because of the chicanery of people in suits who were supposed to be managing our finances.

Another avenue rife with potential abuse are insurances. You can go years faithfully paying your insurance, but it won't be until you actually need it to find out what it actually will cover. Then you find out that it won't cover X because Y happened, and it was spelled out in the fine print that stated "certain (unspecified) fees apply". The most recent of this cycle of economic chicanery has been the medical industry and health insurance. I swear, it's a MUPM (Mutually Assured Profit Margin) when doctors, hospitals, and health insurances work on the final bill that you will pay so that you pay for more of it.

And how, I ask, will socialized medicine help? The only people I see benefiting from a national health care program are the politicians. In essence, they won't wipe out the MUPM vicious circle, they'll only get themselves included in that circle so that they too, benefit. And then we'll really be SoL (S**t outta Luck). No, as chaotic as our present system is, at least it makes it harder for these various groups to pool together to make things even worse for us. The solution will not come from the government in the form of socialized medicine.

What we need from the government is to speak for us like it's supposed to. THAT'S its role - to speak for us against the financial barons of the various industries that put profit above all else. In order for the free market to be a fair market, a strong government is necessary to keep them on the straight and narrow. Otherwise, the free market will go down the path of putting profit above all else, thus justifying various economic absurdities such as the American sales of 90% of the weaponry that the Mexican drug cartels use. Without our representatives, we are voiceless. When our representatives sell out on us to these financial barons, then we lose the only defense we have against these people. No, for the government to put themselves in the free market only makes them a player in it where they are more tempted to put their own profits above serving our needs; and when that happens, then we're REALLY SoL.

Conservatives want smaller government, and yet too small a government is useless. We need its voice and our representatives to speak for us. I can't call myself a conservative until conservatives understand the limits of a free market and the potentials of abuse. I also want to see how they plan to curb such abuses if "self-policing" doesn't work. People who work hard all their lives to settle comfortably into retirement shouldn't have to worry about the economic greed and stupidity of CEOs who can't control themselves around other peoples' money.

Nope, I am neither liberal or conservative. I am comfortable right where I am at.

1 comment:

Clint said...

John, this is a great post! You summed up your beliefs perfectly and with plenty of examples as to why you hold them. I happen to agree with most of what you've said...literally, politically, and philosophically. Great job, my friend!