I’m A Liberal

Since Barack Obama clinched the nomination for the Democratic Party the other day, I’ve been very elated that we get a candidate that is not part of the toe-to-heel politicians that have run this place for the last couple of decades.

Dont get me wrong. I liked Bill Clinton and thought he made some great decisions and ran things well for 8 years. We had a strong economy (with some bumps here and there), a balanced budget and some items signed into law that benefited all of us. There were also some laws and bills he signed that I didn’t agree with (Defense Of Marriage Act, the act to allow insurance companies to base rates on credit worthiness, parts of the 1996 Telecommunications Act). And that’s the beauty of being able to support a candidate, but also knowing they are not going to share 100% of your views. No one candidate can or will be able to do that for any American.

As for our current president, his toe-to-heel approach the last 7 years left me with only a couple of things he did that were defined as positive for the country. I respect his personal life and really don’t have issues with what he did before he was put into office. It’s the lack of policies and respect for some of us in this country that I take issue with. Whoever his successor is, they’ve got a lot of work ahead of them to help put things back into shape. January 21, 2009 cannot come quick enough.

My Rule

I have a rule that I live by, which helps to keep peace with those I come into contact with on a daily basis. This applies to family, friends and co-workers. I do not discuss two topics (or at least do my best to not bring them up): religion and politics. I have found over the years that these two topics are the most divisive subjects ever. They even beat the PC vs. Mac and XBox vs. Playstation strongholds. Living in Utah, these two topics are discussed a lot as most of the residents of this state belong to one political party and one organized religion. But every once in a while, I hear a conversation that I feel comfortable in participating in where I don’t feel like some sort of freak or outcast.

Politically Blogging

But not everyone is elated about Obama’s delegate win and pending general election campaign. There are a couple of blogs that I visit where Obama isn’t welcomed.

Blog of Whall – I like Wayne. I’ve “known” him for a long time now, mostly as a commenter over on Blogography.com. But in the last few months, I’ve gotten to read a few of his blog entries and found them entertaining and informative. He’s a fellow IT person (so he knows late nights and server management) and he posts LOLcats pictures from I Can Has Cheezburger. His few political posts that I’ve left comments were detailed and it’s evident he spent a lot of time getting the facts, complete with links to support his positions. Agree or disagree, you’ve got to respect those efforts.

The Brilliant Brunette – I don’t know Amanda at all, save for the few comments I’ve seen from her on a few blogs the last couple of weeks. So I really can’t judge her until I’ve read some of her work, which I did last night. Her posts are well written and she’s obviously very passionate about how she feels about many subjects. Honestly speaking, she does make some valid points, if you view them with an extreme conservative eye. [is there such as thing as a “bleeding conservative”?] After reading many of her political-subject posts, I felt out of place. I wanted to read more, but it was hard. I felt like I was some kind of outcast or freak for not brandishing a gun, being pro-choice or being against drilling for oil where ever the dollar looked like it could multiply quickly.

Apply The Rule

I have nothing against Amanda or Wayne and I really do not wish to change their political positions, but as far as political posts of theirs, I have to restrain myself. I get too heated and worked up and want to post anything and everything, only to be frustrated that whatever I say is viewed as some sort of un-American rant. [how I feel, not words that either blogger has ever spoken or directly implied] Both already know how I feel and where I stand. [or at least they will after this blog post] No use trying to stir shit up and drag all of us into a never-ending debacle of divisive political discussions. I still plan to visit their blogs, especially Wayne’s since he and I share other subjects we are interested in. And I may post a line or two on their political posts, but it will be reserved.

My Stances

Now onto the subject of this blog post. My stances as a liberal, not in any particular order, are:

  • Abortion – I am pro-choice. This does not mean that I am advocate of “killing babies” or that I hate children. In political discussions, i’ve been called ‘Pro-Abortion’. I take serious offense at that label. I personally feel there are other alternatives to abortion and would encourage a spouse or daughter against abortion. But I also support the right of a woman to choose, regardless of who it is and aside from my personal concerns. Simply put, it should not be against the law. There should be restrictions, though [term limits]. And yes, I do sleep at night.
  • Gun Control – I am 100% behind the 2nd Amendment and do not wish for it to change. And regardless of various links, statements and other comments made by Obama, I doubt he is planning to repeal the 2nd Amendment and forcing each and every American to surrender their firearms. I don’t own a gun, but I support the right for each and every American to own and posses a gun for any reason they wish to use it. If they kill another human intentionally with that gun, then they should face the criminal prosecution associated with that crime. Automatic weapons that come into the US illegally for the sole purpose of killing other humans is something I am against.
  • Global Warming – This is a stated fact and not some hoax that the liberals invented. Yes, the world evolves and changes and some of those damaging effects on the planet have been happening for thousands of years, without our help. But there is no doubt in my mind that the products and pollution we’ve added the last 120 years of modern society have accelerated the process. Simply put, we need to take measures to reduce the wear and tear we put on this earth.
  • Same-Sex Marriage – Every tax-paying adult in this country should have the right to marry another tax-paying adult of their choice, regardless of what it says in the bible or how many religious people feel it is “wrong in the eyes of God”. This does not mean men can marry their dogs or we now need to pick out matching litter boxes for two felines to legally marry each other. I call those ridiculous arguments “slippery slopes”. If two men or two women want to marry and have a gret life together, they should be able to legally marry and enjoy the same benefits heterosexual couples enjoy when they legally marry. I view this as a rights issue, not a “God says it’s wrong” position.
  • Death Penalty – Honestly, I do not have a definite position on this. I really don’t. I feel that serious crimes should punished. But I also have to think about how sometimes the wrong person gets convicted. It doesn’t happen often, but the fact remains that it does. And if they are put to death, only to be exonerated years later, it’s kind of hard to bring them back to life. Some you reading this may think this is in direct opposition to my position on abortion, but it’s not. Think about it from a legal, court of law decision, where a jury can affect the life of one person.
  • Evolution – Evolution happens and it is real. In my opinion, there is no “Intelligent Designer.” Things evolve based on science, not a creator or being. When I see a child born with no eyes and missing limbs, I do not think about a creator. I think about the DNA process that created that child in the womb and that evolution, while amazing and fascinating, is not always perfect. If that child was created by an intelligent designer, why is it not born without any imperfections? Intelligent Design suggests to me that it’s not so intelligent if anyone is born with a disease, condition, deformity or physical differences. Science and evolution go hand in hand.
  • Church and State – Keeping religion and politics separate would help reduce a lot of division in this country. Racism, homophobia, abortion, gay marriage, affirmative action… all of these social issues wouldn’t be as prominent if church and state were kept separate.
  • Affirmative Action – I am against most forms of affirmative action. Anything that promotes segregation or separatism, I am against. If there are forms of affirmative action that promote positive programs and functions for any human being, then I would have to treat each one on a case-by-case basis before throwing my support behind it.
  • Universal Health Care – We need health coverage for all US citizens. I don’t know who’s program or plan is going to be the best solution for all, but every tax-paying citizen and every child born to a tax-paying citizen needs to be covered from day one. Places of employment can still offer coverage, but government-subsidized. Other countries may not be 100% perfect, but they have shown that it does work and work well for most.
  • Religion – I am an agnostic. I lean more towards atheist, but at the same time, I really do not know if something or someone exists or not. I have been called a fence sitter and indecisive. I’ve also been told to pick a side (with references to heaven and hell). I do not belong to or believe in any organized religion, even though I spent the first 33 years of my life in an organized religion (Mormon). None of that is important to me in life. What’s more important to me is: treating people with respect and kindness, being honest in my life’s dealings, being a productive resident of planet earth and enjoying all that life has to offer. None of this requires that I belong to a church or read an ancient book. I live my life based on how I want to be treated in life. I treat others with respect, I would like that to be reciprocal. I prefer not to live my life in fear of what may or may not be there when I die. I do respect others and their right to worship anyone or anything they choose, so long as they: a) don’t force me to believe the same way, and b) they have the same respect for me and my lack of belief as I do their right to believe, especially when it comes to making laws in this country.

That’s all for now

I promise these types of posts will be rare. Regardless of the Presidential outcome, you can expect another one around the second week of November. My purpose of this post was not to demean or offend. I simply wanted to write up how I felt about certain things. Kind of a reference point for any future questions or discussions.

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