Who Are You?…….

Cue the music. Pete Townsend and the Who are on full volume as I ponder the question and yes maybe it is CSI. Let’s look for clues and let the evidence not emotion lead us. The boys and girls in DC are on summer break and it is a great time to think of your political bent without the normal barrage of left and right.

I really would like to know what it is I am? I could take a test on the internet which is actually quite fun if you are honest with yourself. But I really hate to be defined. Time to go to Merriam just one more time.

Conservatism

is a political and

social philosophy that promotes retaining traditional social institutions. A person who follows the philosophies of conservatism is referred to as a traditionalist or conservative. Okay I get that. You really like the status quo. Don’t mess with Texas and if you are rich and famous you like that just fine. Who wouldn’t? If you are really conservative then you are a reactionary. You want to really roll back the clock to colonial times or cavemen depending on your fervor.


Liberalism is

a political or social philosophy advocating the freedom of the individual, nonviolent modification of political, social, or economic institutions to assure unrestricted development in all spheres of human endeavor, and governmental guarantees of individual rights and civil liberties. Wow!  That was a mouthful. I think they are saying that you want to tinker with society to make it work better.

On the surface I don’t really have a problem with either side. But as always the devil is in the details and the energy. You can take a workable philosophy and have extremists. This is the take no prisoners philosophy. I can’t back down one bit because to show weakness is to predict my demise.

Branding is a concept that is very much in vogue today. In commercial applications, Coke, Nike, BMW, Kraft Foods et alia push their brand in print as well as electronic media. You want to use or be a part of their family because it implies quality, hipness or a certain joi de vivre that you want to be part of. You know someone says they wear Armani suits because it makes a statement about who they are. A little shallow but true.

We have this irrepressible urge to categorize and label. I’ve talked about neat little stacks because then I can decide if you are in or out and do I really want to have something to do with you. Can I trust you? I think I am saying if I listen to you and hear your point of view then I might catch a disease and then what will people think of me? Politically we have to define you as left or right and then form our message to attract as many as possible to our side.

If you are liberal you want to cure society’s ills through government intervention. You believe in equality and if it doesn’t exist you can create it. Now I feel for my fellow man. I give to charity and volunteer my time. Interestingly rich liberals give less to charity than rich conservatives. Why? They think the government should provide not the individual. I am not sure that makes sense in a philosophical or practical sense.

The error of the liberal way is that taken to the extreme you rob the individual of any sense of self determination. I guess at its real extreme it is socialism. I want to help a bit not give away the ranch. But let’s not get quite so smug oh ye of the right.

Conservatism says we should all do it on our own. No help. Let the chips fall where they may. I got mine. You get yours. I am a pretty self reliant person so I can agree. Sort of. If I am a conservative from the Midwest why am I taking a subsidy for my farm? If I lean right in New York then I should not have flood insurance or any help from the government when my house in the Hamptons or Mantaloken blows out to sea.

If I really cut out the entitlements then no one can get high end surgeries or hip replacements to pay for those houses. Government  grants keep the hospitals and universities that I like on an even keel. I could put in tolls everywhere to pay for the bridges and highways but then the less fortunate won’t be able to get to the malls to buy the stuff  that keep the stock prices up. Hmm. Maybe we ought to help a little. Especially when it benefits me.

Enter the independent. Now he or she says I really can’t buy either of your acts in entirety. They are the bane of politics because no one really understands what they want. A little from Column A and a little from Column B. Playing coy. Not committing but saying you have a chance for my vote. Let me hear your pitch. It really is in pure election parlance the swing vote. How cool.

The only real problem is the institution at the present time does not allow for independents. The true power in Washington is reflected by the committees of Congress. If you want to get the plum assignment you have to be a big cheese in the party. If you want to get money from the lobbyist you have to have seniority. There is not a lot of swagger or influence for the chairperson of the Postal committee.

For this reason there is an incredible need but almost an impossibility for a third party. If there was another side we would have the powers that be making deals and forming coalitions. Not trading tit for tat but forming legislation that was really in the best interest of all and not just doling out hidden percs for support. If you vote for my subsidies then I will give your constituent a tax break. What  a crock. But as long as we let them play the games it will be our ruin. If we let money and power prevail we are screwed. If you think the current situation is sustainable I have some oceanfront property in Arizona I would like to sell you.

Who am I? Government is not the solution to everything. We should be out of education nationally and leave it to the locals. We should wipe out every single tax loophole and start over. Any new levy should stand on its own and not as part of a hidden rider. We should gear our expenditures toward infrastructure and less for defense. Not only roads and bridges but a broadband system second to none. We should say if you have a great idea there is no better place on earth to see it to fruition. We have got to help the poor as civil people. If we have poverty you can’t have a sustainable economy. We have to root out the bloated bureaucracy and corruption. That means attacking power at its roots.

This is not campaign rhetoric for the TTG party. It is just a common sense approach. I don’t want to be labeled left or right. I want to tell you what I believe in and respect your ability to do the same. I want to meet you half way and sing somehow out of the same hymnal. You sing tenor, I will sing bass. But we will sing together. A loft expectation? Of course. If you are Conservative come down off your high horse. If you are liberal don’t expect the world. Those are the real facts of who we are.

As Always

Ted The Great

Factoids;

There are 26 national parties in the United States. Among them are the Communist Party, the Modern Whig Party, Socialist Worker Party, the Christian Life Party, the US Marijuana Party and the US Pirate Party????. Something for everyone.

Up until the 1820’s nominating the people to run for President was really an inside job. The Congress got together and decided who should run. This became so outlandish in 1824 that the individual parties did their own picking and Andrew Jackson, hero of the War of 1812 was the “People’s” pick in 1828.

Our current primary system is both good and bad. Ideally we would have an open primary where the two top vote getters regardless of party would square off  in the general election. Good for us. Bad for the parties.

Good Examples of Positions:

Immigration;

Liberal;Support legal immigration. Support amnesty for those who enter the U.S. illegally (undocumented immigrants). Also believe that undocumented immigrants have a right to: all educational and health benefits that citizens receive (financial aid, welfare, social security and medicaid), regardless of legal status.  It is unfair to arrest millions of undocumented immigrants.

Conservative;Support legal immigration only. Oppose amnesty for those who enter the U.S. illegally (illegal immigrants). Those who break the law by entering the U.S. illegally do not have the same rights as those who obey the law and enter legally.

 

Abortion:

Liberal:A woman has the right to decide what happens with her body. A fetus is not a human life, so it does not have separate individual rights.

Conservative:Human life begins at conception. Abortion is the murder of a human being. An unborn baby, as a living human being, has separate rights from those of the mother

You wonder why we can’t agree?

 

3 thoughts on “Who Are You?…….

  1. Ted – yes the definitions of the words conservatism and liberalism are as you have transcribed from the dictionary. Yet there is a deeper meaning to these philosophies if you ask me. The deeper meaning is that conservatism is a backward looking mentality in which people that adhere to it are always looking to at least hold the status quo and in a perfect world roll back change. Liberalism on the other hand, is a mentality in which people that adhere to it are always pushing for change and advancement.

    To make my point, let’s look at how the philosophies have changed over the years. Let’s first look at the issue of race relations. If you were to go back about 200 years the concept that all people of any race should be equal and have 100% equal rights in front of the law was considered an extremely radical idea. The most progressive liberals of 1810’s and 1820’s wouldn’t have even suggested that idea. Back then a radical liberal idea was simply that people shouldn’t be kept as slaves. The conservative view point was very different. That view point was that people of the white race could “own” people of other races and keep they as slaves. The conservative argument was that people of races other than the white race were savages and couldn’t manage themselves properly. I believe many arguments were made by conservatives of the time that abolishing slavery would be the end our country!

    As history occurred we know that the conservative viewpoint was shown to be nothing more than bigotry, hatred and fear and that viewpoint was rightly thrown into the trash heap of history. As time went on the viewpoints changed and the conservative viewpoint moved from one of slavery to one of explicit discrimination (a la Jim Crowe laws, poll taxes, etc) And the liberal viewpoint advance and moved to the idea that all people were free and equal. Eventually the explicit discrimination was defeated with the Civil Rights Act and discrimination could only be done in a not so explicit manner. The bottom line is that conservative ideas and thoughts have continually been over thrown by more liberal ideas. And liberal ideas continue to move our country and our species forward.

    Another great example that demonstrates this whole concept is that of same sex marriage. Think of how conservatives have fought against equality for gays and marriage equality. Remember how before the new millennium it was OK to call a person a fag, a queer or dyke? Imagine trying to do that now – you will be pilloried and called a hatemonger. Who could have imagined in the 1990’s that same sex marriage would become “legaL” in 2013? (I put legal in quotes as it is only “legal” in the states that so far have state regulations that allow it. If you are gay, live in a state like Mississippi or Alabama and want to get married, you are better off just moving to California or New York than waiting for you state to approve same sex marriage.) The greatest liberal that conservatives love to hate before Obama was Bill Clinton and he signed the Defense of Marriage Act into Law. Once again, conservative ideas and ideals are thrown in the trash heap of history and a liberal ideal becomes the guide post of our society.

    Though there will always be a debate, in the long run conservative viewpoints never win. History demonstrates this time and time again. The only possible way the human race moves forward is to embrace the liberal ideas and move forward as we can never go back. Though I understand your desire to try and moderate between the two ideas, it just isn’t possible. The arguments will forever go on, but humans will always move forward and the liberal ideas will over time always win.

    (A little side note: For fun, I’d love to be able to come back to life for 1 day 150 years from now with one of today’s uber-conservatives with me – some one like a Jim DeMint, Ted Cruz or Rand Paul. The expression on their faces would be priceless when they saw how far society had advanced from their stone-age conservative ideals. Better yet would be the look when they realized that the conservatives of those times were fighting for ideas and positions that liberals of today would consider the most liberal things ever. It will happen!)

  2. Another great piece Ted – I could not agree with you more but I find it depressing because although you are using a seldom used strategy know as common sense I just don’t see a solution to the lunacy!

    Mid western conservative taking farm subsidies – oxymoron or just moron!

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