Friday, September 15, 2006

On the Record

I'm a known Liberal.

I've tried to avoid the label by calling myself a Progressive but I fit the dictionary definition of a Liberal, and so be it. I try to draw conclusions from facts, think critically, be kind, and care. My problem with the labels is that the words actually don't mean what the labels mean.

Broadly speaking, contemporary liberalism emphasizes individual rights. It seeks a society characterized by freedom of thought for individuals, limitations on power, especially of government and religion, the rule of law, free public education, the free exchange of ideas, a market economy that supports relatively free private enterprise, and a transparent system of government in which the rights of all citizens are protected. [2] In modern society, liberals favor a liberal democracy with open and fair elections, where all citizens have equal rights by law and an equal opportunity to succeed[3]...Wikipedia

It may be that conservatives and liberals are like Mars and Venus, stupid labels in their own right, but the people are just in different orbits. Traditionally, Liberals revere truth, Conservatives...not so much.

Benjamin Disraeli, himself a member of the Conservative Party in England, wrote in 1845, "A conservative government is an organized hypocrisy."...Wikipedia

Disraeli was refering to the self serving nature of selective truth but current conservative nature is to say whatever makes your case and when you get called on it, shout the same lie louder.

This comes up because I was riding with a man who has been very successful and owns several radio stations in East Tennessee. He doesn't run any of them, he just rents them out and tries tofigure out what to do with the money, of which he has lots. More than he or his children could spend, actually, but that doesn't stop him from wanting more. I don't get it but who am I to question success? Anyway, after our business was done he paused and said, "Steve?"

And I said, "John?"

And he said, "Steve...Why do you think ABC, the most Liberal network, would broadcast a show attacking the Clintons that way?"

And I said, "Well, Johnny, I don't know that there are any liberal networks any more, but I just put it down to the fact that ABC is owned by Disney...You know, the right wing fantasy people."

"Yeah," he said, "I tell people it's Disney."

Then we went through the obligatory banter of, "I guess you don't think Hillary is a liberal either, huh?", and so on...

Nothing points out the failure of Conservatism as an ideology so much as the stale material... but I missed a chance to needle Johnny. I let it go, actually, because I was trying to sell him something, at the time, and thought it would be better if I let him have a stalemate. What I wanted to say was that he and most everybody else was missing the real point of the ABC's 9-11 Fake-u-drama that falsely made everything out to be Clinton's fault.

The real point is that George Bush and the Republican party have been so incompetent and such failures at conducting our Nation's business that their supporters have to spend $40,000,000.00 on a negative ad with no basis in fact. They're trying to save their collective asses, and this is all they've got! They lose...a ton of them are going to jail.

Why is it that Republican operatives plan to spend 90% of their campaign money on negative ads this election season? When Republicans have been in complete charge of the Senate, the House, the Supreme Court, and the (Vice) Presidency, you would think that all they have to do is run on their record.

Let's see...Botched a war, attacked wrong country, got 25,000 American troops killed or injured, nothing to show for it, had to borrow more money from China and Saudi Arabia than all the other 42 Presidents in history, torture, summer vacation compound in Texas (how stupid is that?), botched Katrina, paying rent on 20,000 trailers sitting in Arkansas for nothing, screwed medicare, still wants to destroy social Security, Veep shot a guy in the face, illegal phone tapping of everyone in America (quite a feat, actually), record gas prices(conveniently dropping for election), record oil company profits, environment, what environment, humans on endangered species list, everybody in the whole damned world now hates us, except we owe them all money so screw 'em!

Ok, forget running on the Republican record, cue the negative ads, and Lie all you want to...

It's the Conservative way.

Me? I'm a Liberal.




  1. Anonymous9:15 AM

    Inspired during a few moments of lucidity? Very impressive commentary this morning!

  2. That's a great post. You have articulated much of what I wanted to write about - thanks! (I am trying to stick to river topic on my blog)

  3. Another legacy of the Bush administration is the health nightmare that will haunt the WTC workers for years. I remember so well how amazed I was to see those people working while using only dust masks as respiratory protection. Mr. Bush’s EPA Administrator, Christine Todd Whitman had assured them the air was safe – just as the agency thought that our water supply could stand a bit more arsenic.
    I had recently retired from a DOE facility in Oak Ridge where we had a belatedly acquired respect for the effects airborne carcinogens. We were only allowed to issue individually fitted and approved respirators and dust masks were outlawed completely – except for grass mowing crews. The reason for the ban was the “false sense of security” they provided.
    I have wondered a few times what the administration had to gain from this callous disregard for the welfare of these workers. My guess is expediency. That wound was a reminder to those who were asleep on their watch and an embarrassment. The sooner it was gone, the better.

  4. I have somewhat of a problem with the glorifying of any particular form of political philosophy. You are completely right that liberalism sounds good on paper, and if it were practiced like it was intended, it seems logical that it would work. However, conservatism (the so-called philosphy the repblicans encompass) also sounds good on paper. Heck, communism sounds GREAT on paper. It just doesn't work that way though. Just because someone labels themself as "liberal" doesn't mean they actually want every citizen in their country to have full liberty. I guaruntee 75% of the people that read this blog are somewhat afraid of terrorists, or at least afriad of a lunatic with a gun/bio/chemical weapon/etc. The fear that arises from this type of scenerio allows for the majority of "sane" individuals to reduce the amount of liberty of another. Also, the so-called democrats of our day are supposed to be the lesser of two evils I guess (more "liberal"), but they seem to be viewed as the big government that wants to take liberties away as well. So if you want to glorify liberalism, you should also glorify conservatism, because, on paper, they both seem to be "looking out for the best interest of the people." The only flaw in these types of great ideas is the human component.

    For the sake of fairness, I have pasted the conservative/republican philosophy (I think the issues are more about Democrat vs. Republican on this blog). I haven't seen any option to vote for a "libertarian" candidate when I voted. I would, however, like to point out that I agree with a lot of what republicans are supposed to do, but Americans are stupid on the whole with their "private money".

    "Historically, Republicans have had a strong belief in individualism, smaller government, and corporate entrepreneurship. In his 1981 inaugural address, Republican President Ronald Reagan summed up his belief in limited government when he said, "In the present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem."[2]

    One difference between the parties on economic issues is that the Republicans more heavily emphasize the idea that societal health is rooted in personal and corporate decision making. They trust markets to optimize outcomes, rather than government mandates. This mindset is seen most often in the party's push for lower tax rates. They consider the income tax to be inherently inefficient, and unfair to the people that create jobs and wealth. They believe private spending is usually more efficient than public spending.

    The Republicans believe there should be a "safety net" to assist the less fortunate, but tend to favor a smaller size and expense, stricter requirements for eligibility, and greater degree of private funding for the net compared to their opponents. The predominant economic theory held by modern Republicans is Reaganomics. Popularized by Ronald Reagan, this theory holds that reduced income tax rates lead to more growth and prosperity for a society and generate more revenue for the government."-Wikipedia