Thursday, March 01, 2007

"I Do Not Think That Word Means What You Think It Means"

An email conversation earlier today brought out the Inigo Montoya in me. I started thinking once again about the whole Liberal / Conservative nomenclature. It really no longer means what we use it to mean.

A few examples;

In a phone conversation with my self-described liberal cousin in the Southwest, I (the conservative) had to explain some distinct points of Massachusetts’s consumer-protection law, and why I thought they were appropriate. She thought a lot of it was just crazy, and let people get away with taking advantage of others.

At an earlier date on this blog, I (the religious conservative) wrote an essay defending the image "Piss Christ."

Earlier today, I had to bite my tongue (so to speak) in response to someone else's blog post about why corporal punishment should be returned to public schools. Not a good idea!

My wife and I, who strongly disagree with government intervention into people's lives, have been foster parents for several years, because there are kids that the State has no choice but to take from their homes for the child's own welfare. If we don't help provide a home for some of these kids, who will?

I believe that constitutional law should hold as closely as possible to the original intent of the Founding Fathers. I also believe in the "right to privacy," which (contrary to pop-cultural theories) is not a part of the Bill of Rights, but rather is based on the opinions of one Supreme Court Judge (from the 60's I think, somebody correct me if I'm wrong).

The current state of politics is too convoluted for an either-or description. I find that most of the people that I talk to, regardless of their political affiliation, want the same basic things. They want the right to pursue their lives and responsibilities without interference. They believe in the "inalienable rights" of people to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

Most of the people I know, regardless of which political party they lean towards, are at the core Classical Liberals. They think everyone should get a fair shake regardless of who they are or what they look like.

Now, we each have our own opinions about how to best see these things done. But I can't say that I individually know anyone who wants to rule the world, or thinks that his or her political party should do so.

OK, so I'll stop ranting now. All I can say is that we need to get back to basics, view each other and speak to each other civilly, and listen politely. Further, we need to disagree politely.

At some point we are going to disagree.

Name-calling profits no one.

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