I’d like to preface this entry by saying that you’re so vain that you probably think this commentary is about you, and you know who you are; you all, however, are wrong.
For the larger part of my life, I’ve identified myself with conservative values (although this isn’t a hard and fast rule of my belief structure, as I will explain later). I always thought that this may have a large part to do with the fact that I had a senseless addiction to sneaking my walkman into class while in highschool and listening to Rush Limbaugh. Perhaps it has something to do with my conservative upbringing. Maybe, instead it has something to do with me being brought up in the buckle of the Bible Belt (East Texas). I’m not certain.
I do know that I have a distinct distaste for the liberal mindset. It’s no secret that my chosen profession is coding and tech work. I’m now a CIO at a small software firm, and I’m doing well in my life. There is a strain of thought that as people who come from modest families, when they grow older and richer, they become Republicans. Maybe I’ve not reached the level of success to turn into a Republican, or maybe (I like to think this one is true) I’m a bit different from the rest.
I have a lot of weird beliefs that don’t fit into the Republican platform. I don’t believe abortion should be allowed under any other circumstance than when the mother’s life is threatened (they tend to hold the more moderate ground of just banning partial birth abortions). I believe that cannibus should be legalized and subsequently taxed moderately. I believe in a national sales tax, and the abolition of the I.R.S. I believe in full disclosure of the intelligence agencies, save for active investigations. I believe in regulated foreign trade. I believe in certain anti-trust laws. I believe in the abolition of federal (or state) definitions (and by virtue of that, the tax subsidies endowed by those definitions) of marriage.
At the core of this is a conservative person. I do believe that there’s a battle of morality in this country, and those that hold conservative moral beliefs are losing badly. The turning point in the war was lost somewhere along the way, probably before I was born. The battlegrounds were: a) when the left leaning elitists won control of the New York Times, and thus are able to sway the content of every newspaper in the country, b) when the left took over Hollywood, and therefore the hearts and minds of all Americans and people who have the slightest interest in America overseas, c) at the formation of our shadow government that runs our foreign policy abroad that we now know as the assortment of alphabet soup agencies: CIA, NSA, HSA, OSS, etc.
I know this is all conjecture, and I’m not putting any facts to back this up with, but these aren’t hard assertions to find evidence for. Its accepted fact that the CIA has been propping up dictators, governments, and all sorts of shady stuff for years in “American Interests.” Noam Chomsky, a fellow not exactly known for following the conservative belief structure very closely (to put it mildly) admits that there’s a strong liberal bent in the New York Times and that most of the country’s newsmakers follow their lead when the lack the resources to editorialize their own news. It doesn’t take a genius to see that Hollywood and TV Entertainment portrays way more than 4% of the human population as homosexual, for instance (4% is the actual, reliable number of homosexual people in America as according to the most liberal accounting by the much quoted 1948 Kinsey report on homosexuality in America).
I think that the biggest problem I have with identifying myself with the liberals or Democrats is not their policy, as I have shown I’m all over the map on that. My biggest problem is their tactics. Liberals and Democrats consistently show, especially in this immense anti-Bush atmosphere we are living in lately, that they are above NOTHING to make the facts look like they are in their favor. I don’t believe that they intentionally or malicously do this, but they do it subconsciously and reflexively do this.
Consider the following:
Liberalism, up until the 90’s, was gaining significant footholds in key positions in America (Hollywood, Media, Legislative Branch, Executive Branch, and to a large extent the Judicial Branch, albeit not in the Supreme Court). When Republicans formed the “Contract with America,” (taking a page out of Reagan’s playbook of unifying the party) that’s when they started making a comeback.
After the Republican congress’s performance, and the shown inability to work with the Republicans by the Democrats, Americans felt it was time to return a Republican to the Whitehouse (although not in overwhelming numbers — I’m not going to turn this into a Gore/Bush election debate although I will say that considering the teflon ability of Clinton, Gore should have been a shoe-in, but he wasn’t. Why?) Despite the liberal infiltration that pervades the nation, a conservative government was elected. How is this possible (all comments that he stole the election will be ignored — half the country voted against the Vice-President of one the most likeable presidents in history).
Liberals are used to their progressive ideas, well, progressing. They aren’t used to major objections being put in front of them that actually have merit. They aren’t used to someone saying that 96% shouldn’t change their definition of the most fundamental act in societal structure formation for 4% of the country. Most will outright freak out if you have the audacity to say that 78% of homosexuals are affected by STDs, implicating that their lifestyle might be hazardous to their health (Rueda, E. “The Homosexual Network.” Old Greenwich, Conn., The Devin Adair Company, 1982, p. 53). If you quote the fact that “73% of all homosexuals have had sex with boys under 19 years of age,” you had better get ready for a physical attack, because you have insinuated that homosexuals are by nature perverted (Jay and Young. The Gay Report. Summit Books, 1979, p. 275).
I pick on the gay issue because it is a hotbutton of the moment, it’s sure to get your reaction, but it perfectly encapsulates the growing chasm between the right and the left in America. Most Americans probably couldn’t care less what a homosexual American does behind closed doors, much like the couldn’t care less what a heterosexual American does behind closed doors. I know that I don’t. Americans are, however, being forced to pick sides by the prevailing political winds. I know for a fact if you are reading this, you’ve got a strong opinion, even if it’s strong apathy (“I’m sick of it, let them do what they want…”).
If you ask an American right now whether he thinks that homosexual marriage should be allowed by U.S. Law, the mean response will fall somewhere along the middle, because a strong contingent of Americans grew up in the MidWest and the South where they still teach conservative values, and the East and the West have been more or less fully infiltrated by leftist values.
If however, you ask whether homosexual marriages should be subsidized by the U.S. Government, I’m guessing that you’ll hear a resounding negative by an overwhelming majority of Americans — this is because most Americans are turned off, if not repulsed, by the idea of gay sex, and between Rosie O’Donnell and all the unattractive lesbians everyone saw getting married in San Francisco, our lesbian fantasies have been ruined forever. That’s what’s being asked for, though…. government recognition of marriage so that homosexuals can get marriage subsidies, tax breaks, insurance benefits for spouses, adoption rights, etc.
Stay with me now — I’m going somewhere with this.
What if you are a weirdo like me?&
nbsp; Personally, I think the best solution is to remove government intervention or sanction of marriage in any sense, but I think we all know that will never happen. If you force me to choose, I choose the conservative side of the issue: don’t change our definition of marriage. I’m not for making a constitutional amendment about it, but I’m definately against changing our definition of marriage.
Here’s the crux of the matter: I can be completely ostrasized from a group of people I would otherwise be finding support some of my causes in. Don’t say that if you were in one of these groups, you wouldn’t do the same. I’ve been thrown out of more prestigous groups than yours for standing up for things I believe in. Cliques, clubs, even companies where the the prevailing opinion is liberal, if you have one view, one single view they term as insensitive, they will either kick you out, or make the environment so hostile that you will quit.
People fall into two categories, I’ve found, when it comes to political leanings. Those that feel their way through the issues, and those that try to base it off facts. For the purposes of this discussion, let’s throw out our idealogues like Michael Moore and Rush Limbaugh for a moment, and go with personal experience. Very few liberals use documentable facts to support an argument, whereas a conservative usually leads an argument with a fact.
These aren’t fundamental differences of opinions, these are fundamental differences of tactics. I know that all liberals aren’t all wrong on everything — but I desparately search for liberals who will do more than look down their nose at me. When a conservative and a liberal debate these days, the conservative will cite a bunch of facts, the liberal will try to discount the facts by twisting logic and emotion together, or switch to a different subject, or any number of fallacy filled tactics.
I know that liberals aren’t wrong on everything because I’m liberal on some things. When I debate the issues I’m liberal on with conservatives usings facts, quite successfully sometimes, I win respect and sometimes converts.
When a liberal and a conservative debate, it devolves into mutal derision of each other: the liberal considers the conservative a backwaters hick (even if its a rare occasion when they don’t call them that), and the conservative considers the liberal a wishy-washy moron with no factual basis for their opinion.
I’ve even debated college graduates, some with masters degrees, members of the media, youngsters, oldsters, liberals and conservatives. These stereotypes are very rarely proven wrong in my experience, even in highly intelligent people of either leaning… the more liberal a person is, the more likely it is they think they have the moral highground, and thus refuse to cite facts. The more conservative a person is, the more they think they are under attack, and therefore use more facts to back up their position.
I think if we all looked to facts, and avoided spreading disinformation, we might actually progress as a country. I wish I had a success story to point you to, but I don’t. I’m seeing less and less signs of intelligent debate taking place in America as time goes on. We’re going to have another civil war soon if we’re not careful. Polarisation of our politics is not a good thing. When we’re stretched this tight as a country, something will break.