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Why I Am A Liberal (& Proud Of It) 
16th-May-2010 06:13 pm
Liberal 1 (This Is what...)
Republicans, generally speaking, are religious (I am not), anti-abortion (I am not), far more pro-military than I am, think that homosexuality is at best a choice (I do not) and at worst something that is corrupting and ruining society (I do not), are against welfare programs (see: Starve the Beast; also, Republican strategist Lee Atwater's "anti-welfare basically means anti-black" quote), are against stem cell research (I am not), are far more in favor of unregulated capitalism than I am, are anti-intellectual (be it out-and-out contempt for "ivory tower elites" aka "people who pursued education beyond high school" or not caring to have an informed, intelligent view on subjects aka the "Obama is a Nazi commie socialist fascist"-esque signs you see at conservative rallies), have both opposed legislation I feel very strongly about (i.e. the group of Republicans that voted against the Rape Arbitration Bill) and sponsored legislation I fundamentally disagree with (the Patriot Act), are more likely to engage in jingoistic, nationalistic rhetoric ("With us, or against us"), and I could go on and on.

Are ALL Republicans that way? Of course not. But they're more likely to be because those are the sort of people who are attracted to the Republican Party and it's platform.

Would I be friends with a "Republican" that was the opposite of all the things I listed? Sure! In fact, I am, with several. The problem is the viewpoints, not the label. However, at that point their own party would be labeling them a "RINO". The fact is the Republican party has catered to southern, white, social conservatives (which, yes, tend to be somewhat more racist than the average person; in fact, that was the whole point of Nixon's Southern Strategy: attract the votes of people who were upset over the Democrats support for civil rights) for years along with big business, religious conservatives, hawks, etc. and I have literally nothing in common with those people.

Again, do social conservatives, religious conservatives, big business, foreign policy hawks, etc. make up the entire Republican party? No. But I would hazard a guess that it represents 95+% of the Republican Party which is such an overwhelming majority makes "being a Republican" a pretty good bellweather for if I'm going to get along with the person or not.

People even try to sway their arguments for conservatism/Republicanism by asserting that Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Republican when in fact he never endorsed a political party or candidate. He publicly denounced Barry Goldwater. His father, MLK Sr., was a Republican but there isn't a shred of concrete evidence that Jr. was a registered Republican. He criticized both Republicans and Democrats, depending on the issue (i.e. he criticized LBJ over Vietnam). Based on quotes from Jr., he was definitely against the concept of free market capitalism which doesn't describe any Republican in history I'm aware of. Sure, he wasn't a Dixiecrat like many pro-segregation Democrats, but "not a Dixiecrat" doesn't mean "a Republican".

My problem is with conservatives, not necessarily Republicans. The problem being that most conservatives are Republicans and conservatives have been on the wrong side of history each and every time.

In no particular order, conservatives REGARDLESS OF PARTY were in favor of slavery, they were in favor of the 3/5ths compromise, they tried to secede from the union, they were against organized labor, against the minimum wage, against suffrage, against regulated economics, against a social safety net, against the 8 hour work day, in favor of child labor, in favor of prohibition, in favor of Jim Crow laws, in favor of segregation, against Civil Rights, against government intervention during the Depression, against Social Security, against Medicare, against American intervention in World War 2, but in favor of saber rattling with the USSR and I could go on and on.

And y'know who was on the right side of history each and every one of those times? Leftists, liberals and progressives - REGARDLESS OF PARTY.

Conservatives are, by definition, in favor of the status quo and against drastically changing society which, again by definition, makes you on the wrong side of history when there are things in society that need changing. Call that out and you're basically asking for attack mode. My bet is that they're just trying to get people to ad hom you so that you can say "SEE! TYPICAL DEM/LIB/LEFTY BEHAVIOR!" As if that's going to ellicit a "gotcha" moment out of me. Typical lib/leftist response = Having an opinion based on "reality" and "facts" instead of sticking ruthlessly to a narrative that is insane at worst and unworkable at best, or otherwise anathema to logic and reason. The Republican Party used to be liberal and the Democrats were more conservative and they basically switched sides around the 1912 election due to the Roosevelt/Taft split in the Republican Party and Wilson co-opting some of Roosevelt's progressive planks into the Democratic platform. That is history. That is what happened. I have no problem admitting that. Again, my problem is with conservatives more than with political parties, it just so happens that by and large the Republicans ARE the conservative party. They drag the constitution into arguments to try and reinforce their ideals which is useless unless you seriously want to go back to the Constitution circa 1800 where women couldn't vote and black people counted as 3/5ths of a person and slavery was legal and blah blah blah blah. The original constitution was AWFUL when measured against current societal reality and that's why the writers allowed for the changing/addition of things therein; they knew that a document written in the late 18th century couldn't possibly remain unchanged for hundreds of years as society changed and progressed.

I would not have an intimate relationship with a conservative. Period. I disagree with them on too many core beliefs. I also wouldn't be partners with anyone who was in the closet or religious for essentially the same reason - we would disagree fundamentally on too many core beliefs. I'd rather date someone with whom I'd be able to talk about more than the weather and sports without contention, assuming I'd ever wish to talk about sports. I don't like conservative idealism. I disagree with them at very fundamental levels. I would not date a conservative Democrat. I would not date a conservative Libertarian. I would not date a conservative Republican. I would not date a conservative Whig. I would not date a conservative Free Silver Democrat. I would not date a conservative Bull Moose. I would not date a conservative Federalist. I would not date a conservative Anti-Federalist. I would not date a conservative Populist.

So here it is, basically after distilling off all the bullshit and heavy paraphrasing from other conversations when others have already said it better than I can and before I could even try. I'm a liberal because when all is said and done, I would prefer to be among the people who historically are on the right side of history.
17th-May-2010 02:30 pm (UTC)
Another winning entry from one of my favorite writers. I couldn't have possibly put it better myself.
17th-May-2010 03:06 pm (UTC)
Nice to see a post from you!! :)

17th-May-2010 03:20 pm (UTC)
You rock.
19th-May-2010 01:24 pm (UTC)
Peanut-butter sammich cookies.
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