October 27, 2004

Sticks, Stones and Hanging Chads

Since we've got less than a week until the election, its almost mandatory that I post something. Some of you will disagree and wonder how a reasonably intelligent person could have opinions such as mine - don't throw heavy things at your monitor or hate me for my opinions.

Unless youíve been a) hiding in a cave (understandable) b) in a coma c) hiking through the Andes on a steady diet of filtered water, trail mix and carob or d) on a very, very long conference call, youíve probably noticed that the word liberal has taken on an ugly connotation over the last four years. Since I am one, its been bothering me for a while. Join me on an exciting examination of my liberal tendencies, why dontcha.

Liberal: not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry; favoring proposals for reform, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; broad-minded; tending to give freely; generous

What's wrong with that? So, I donít see anything particular threatening or offensive in that, do you? Because I'm liberal and open-minded, lets take a look at the other side of the aisle.

Conservative: favoring traditional views and values; tending to oppose change; traditional or restrained in style; moderate; cautious

Frankly, I don't see anything wrong with that either. It inspires no hatred or loathing in me but one thing is clear Ė liberal and conservative are mutually exclusive concepts, especially in the political arena. Why is it that these labels are bandied about with such ferocity? And how do I fit into this giant political equation set to be solved on November 2nd? Maybe thereís a book that will tell me.

Keyword Search: liberal+books. How To Talk To A Liberal (If You Must): The World According to Ann Coulter; The Enemy Within: Saving America from the Liberal Assault on Our Schools, Faith and Military; Liberal-it is: A Thinking Disorder Destroying America; Slander: Liberal Lies About The American Right; Persecution: How Liberals Are Waging War Against Christianity; The Savage Nation: Saving America from the Liberal Assault on Our Borders, Language and Culture; Useful Idiots: How Liberals Got It Wrong in the Cold War and Still Blame America First; Treason: Liberal Treachery From The Cold War To The War on Terrorism; Deliver Us From Evil: Defeating Terrorism, Despotism, and Liberalism

First off, props to Ann Coulter. Three of those titles are hers. She must be fun at parties, no? Notice, please, the usage of liberal (Out, out damn liberal...All work and no play makes Jack a dull liberal...Ding dong the liberal's dead). Name calling! I already talk to liberals. I think Iím actually a pretty well-spoken guy. Donít need help there. I certainly donít think Iím ďthe enemyĒ Ė Iím not waging a personal war against schools, Christianity or any other religion, the military, the English language, culture in general and Iím not giving immigrants piggyback rides across the border. I do consider myself useful and at times Iím an idiot but I certainly donít blame America (entirely) for the Cold War. It was a Cold War, people. A standoff. Mutually assured destruction and all that.

Maybe if I try and find some conservative reading material.

Keyword Search: conservative+books. The Right Nation: Conservative Power in America; Conservative Like Me: Restoring American Politics, Piety & Patriotism; Whatís the Matter With Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America; An Unlikely Conservative: The Transformation of an Ex-Liberal; Moral Politics: What Conservatives Know That Liberalís Donít; The Compassionate Conservative: Seeking Responsibility And Human Dignity; The Conservative Intellectual Movement In American Since 1945; Letters To A Young Conservative

Well thatís interesting. Did you see what happened there? Look at the zealousness of the titles in the first list (i.e., books written about the ills of liberalism by conservatives). Compare with the second (books written about conservatism by, largely, conservatives). If I had to come up with a hypothesis, Iíd have to say that liberal writers out there, armed with material gathered through four years of a conservative administration, remained a tad more polite than their conservative brethren. What happened to compassionate conservatism? Anyone? Bueller?

Maybe Iím just going to have to rely on my brain and its interpretation of the issues. Ah, to hell with that. I'll just rely on the Internet to tell me what the big issues are this time around.

Abortion. Call me crazy but I donít feel that I, or anyone else has the right to make any decisions regarding a womanís body and her right to choose whatís best for her. If it suddenly turned into Let's Give Chris A Vasectomy Against His Will Day, you might find me slightly resistant. I wouldnít want to see judges or Supreme Court justices who have great enthusiasm for overturning Roe v Wade hit the bench anytime soon. Additionally, outlawing various type of abortions seems like a slippery snow-covered slope and I'd rather not see this country take up judicial sledding.

Campaign Finance Reform. Out. Of. Control. Special interests ruin the political process. Politicians wind up beholden to those who contributed the most bling. My recommendation? Give each candidate $250k to be spent in October and that's it. Its idealistic but it should be about ideas, not flashy advertising and $5k per plate dinners. And honestly? The amount of money going into campaigns could feed too many starving kids. Its irresponsible.

Gay Rights. Gay, in case you're not up on your old school lingo, used to mean happy. Honestly? It still should. Iím opposed to anything which limits personal freedoms especially with respect to oneís sexual preference. Gay marriage? Yay! I have no problem with that. Equal rights for civil unions? Yay! Again, no problem. Should openly gay citizens be allowed to serve in the military? Sure! Does anyone actually think this "donít ask donít tell" thing works? If they want to out themselves, they should be perfectly able to.

Religion in Government. Does "separation of church and state" mean nothing anymore? My faith, or lack thereof, has been drawn from personal experience and years of careful thought on the subject. I was forced to memorize Bible verses in elementary school and made to sit through endless sermons during which the fine reverend told racial jokes. I've got my own way of thinking now. Jaded, sure. But its my own. I donít need the government to dictate what, if anything, I should or should not believe. Prayer in schools? Displays of religious symbols or the Ten Commandments in government institutions? These things serve to bolster some but alienate others. People wonder why weíre loathed in the Middle East and other areas of the world in which Christianity is not dominant. We need only to look at our own county and the emphasis we place on Christianity to the exclusion and alienation of other world religions to understand this phenomenon. Some of my closest friends throughout my life have been ardent followers of Christianity. I have a deep respect for the faiths they hold dear and the principles by which their lives are guided. I also have a deep respect for the tolerance they show for me, the heathen. We need not institutionalize such practices at a Federal level. It only serves to exclude some from the process, from the experience that is, quite simply, believing whatever the hell you want to believe.

Gun Control. To say that ďguns donít kill people; people kill peopleĒ is akin to saying ďcrack doesnít kill people; junkies kill themselves.Ē If thereís anything that should be plainly obvious, not only in this country but around the world, its that, if you give people the tools to harm each other and themselves, chances are many will take you up on it. Should guns be outlawed? Certainly not. Everyone should have the freedom to lead their lives the way they want. Should they be allowed to pursue their freedoms with street sweepers, Uzis and flamethrowers? Probably not. Thereís a certain level at which you canít make a case for necessity. Do you really need to hunt deer with an AK-47? I think not. But who can argue with the manufacture of guns with safety devices? Who can argue with background checks for gun show purchases? Who can argue with safety programs and training for prospective gun owners? Oh, thatís right Ė just about anyone beholden to the NRA.

The Death Penalty. Hereís an issue on which Iíll deviate from both conservative and liberal agendas, at least those at play in the current political contest. I donít agree with the death penalty. I donít believe our government has any more of a right to execute one of its citizens than a citizen has the right to murder a pedestrian for his brand spankiní new pair of Reeboks. And if the death penalty must exist (I donít believe its going anywhere anytime soon), mentally handicapped individuals and minors need to be excluded from the system. Yes, its bleeding-heart liberalism at its finest, but I honestly believe that most 16 year old kids probably deserve the opportunity to be rehabilitated.

Education. Iím against education. No, my mistake Ė its legalized man-on-sheep sex Iím against. Education is fine. As a matter of fact, education is the single most important thing on which the government spends money. The problem is that it doesnít spend enough money. No Child Left Behind is a miserable failure, not as a concept but in the way its been carried out and supported (or not) by the current administration. Higher education becomes increasingly expensive yet the government, while trying to fund vouchers to send kids to private or religious schools instead of improving existing school systems, largely refuses to do anything to offset the cost. Hire more teachers and pay them appropriately Ė teachers living at the poverty level in some areas is criminal. Improve the schools Ė donít allow failing schools to continue to fail. Support them, support teachers and support the students. I believe that children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way.

Hereís my idea: Go to Montana and, since thereís really not much there anyway, build the worlds longest chalkboard. Any legislator who attempts to cut education spending will then be required to write ďI will never attempt to cut education spending ever againĒ a billion times and shall henceforth be called Senator/Representative Assclown for a period of three months. Should he/she refuse, he/she will be trampled by a herd of buffalo...or the three or four left in Montana.

Homeland Security
Can I just say, before I get into anything meaty, that I really donít like the term ďhomeland securityĒ? It makes me think of Nazi Germany, the Fatherland, and we have ways of making you talk. It makes me a little nervous. And I donít like the warning levels. Theyíre uninspired and mean nothing.

The Patriot Act is the governmentís single strongest tool to root out suspicious activity in all the land. Its also the governmentís single strongest tool to infringe on individual civil liberties. Thereís a delicate balance between the need for both. The Patriot Act doesnít manage to strike it. How does knowing what books I check out from the library help you, Mr. Ashcroft? Oh, and John, while youíre at it, I bought three books on Islam and even checked out some porn while I was online the other night. Iíll be waiting by the door with my sleeves rolled up so you can slip the cuffs on when you get here.

In order to understand what youíre defending the homeland against, we must take steps to figure out why people out there want to do us harm. Only then can we take a defensive and proactive stance with any degree of accuracy.

Youíre not going to be shocked if I reveal, here and now, that I opposed the war in Iraq are you? Good. Because I still do and I donít see that changing anytime soon. I remain convinced that Iraq became a distraction from the ďwar on terrorĒ and that Hussein posed no credible threat to our borders and the people within them. Our focus should have remained trained on Al Qaeda. Nevertheless, our focus shifted to include Iraq. Shock! Awe! Sadly, there exists no exit strategy. There exists no plan to successfully plant the seed of democracy and leave well enough alone. We should leave a country better than it was when we went in. Right now? Its worse.

Now, if youíre President Bush, what Iíve just said is terribly unpatriotic. At least thatís the way it seems to me. If youíre not for the war, youíre against American values and the troops, right? Wrong. Iím as patriotic as the next guy. Most likely more patriotic. The troops overseas deserve the best support we have to offer - better than what they're getting now, in fact. But you can't have a successful outcome until you define what form that success will take and the steps necessary to achieve it.

Health Care
There is no reason, in a country in which private citizens own Hummers and Donald Trump is successful in spite of his criminally bad hair, that anyone Ė anyone Ė should go without health insurance or proper medical care. There is something seriously wrong with a country that bombs other countries into democratic submission yet refuses to take care of its own. The problem? How do you do it? Iíll be honest enough to tell you, Iíve got no clue, aside from covering the United States with a hermetically sealed bubble and sterilizing everything. But Iím guessing that would be tough to do. Regardless, something needs to be done. People are falling through the cracks and instead of the cracks getting filled up with people, theyíre actually getting larger and more accommodating. WaitÖyeah, I think that makes sense.

Social Security
Can I let you in on a little secret? I donít plan on ever seeing a social security check that comes anywhere close to the amount that I paid into it. Isnít that a little sad? Its like a never-ending colonoscopy Ė you know youíre getting it done for a good cause but it sure as hell is uncomfortable and regardless of the findings, youíre not getting these few hours back.

I return you now to the bottom line Ė be sure to gather all your personal belongings and stay in the entry until it has come to a complete stop. Regardless of what you think of my politics, does liberalism seem bad? Does it sound evil? Do you now believe Iím going to enter your home in the middle of the night and eat your babies? I didnít think so. So stop with the name calling. Donít treat conservative and liberal like theyíre bad things. Theyíre labels, theyíre values and theyíre opinions. You may not agree with an opinion but you certainly canít call anyone wrong for having one.

I am an American. Itís a fact Iím damn proud of. I have the right to my opinions and you have the right to yours. I wonít be bullied into thinking any differently.

If you've made it to the end and actually read this whole thing, you deserve a cookie.

Posted by Chris at October 27, 2004 07:25 AM

I'll take oatmeal raisin.

Posted by: liz at October 27, 2004 07:36 AM

nice little read. living in australia and having recently witnessed it's elections i'm a little disappointed john howard made it back in as prime minister here. i sure as hell hope bush doesn't get back in so the terrible two (bush + howard) can try and force us copyright laws and other ideas this way in exchange for a free trade agreement...

Posted by: nanna at October 27, 2004 07:57 AM

I want chocolate chip.

By the by, I was nodding my head along with everything you wrote.

Posted by: Oliquig at October 27, 2004 08:03 AM

Someone else can have my cookie (I'm watching my weight).

I agree with everything you said and must add one comment of my own on the Death Penalty...

My thought always was, if we're killing someone for killing someone...shouldn't the person who flips the switch, injects the poison, etc. also be put to death for killing that person? Just a thought on justice.

Posted by: Krush at October 27, 2004 08:33 AM

Oatmeal raison. We could have been separated at birth you and I. You are the straight one though...
You certainly put THAT simple enough..why can't EVERYONE see that????

Posted by: debby at October 27, 2004 08:41 AM

My GOD, Christopher. You're practically one of those dreaded Pinko Commie Leftists!

Run, everybody! Aiiiiiiieeeee!

Posted by: Coleen at October 27, 2004 09:09 AM

I completely agree. My husband calls me a socialist because I think that the government should do something about taking care of its own instead of trying to fix all the world's problems. I don't know if I'd take it that far, but I do think something needs to be done.

Double Chocolate Chunk, please.

Posted by: myllissa at October 27, 2004 09:15 AM

This is much better reading then the crap we have been made to do in Web Design today. I love learning of others' views. Though I might not agree with everything, it still is a good "thinker" of a post. Plus, it doesn't really matter what I think anyways. I AM NOT EVEN ALLOWED TO VOTE! Lower the "legalized" age to vote, yo!

Pssh.. give me a sugar cookie!

Posted by: Maureen at October 27, 2004 09:31 AM

peanut butter-chocolate chip, please.

I'm so glad you wrote this because now instead of writing it myself, I can just link to you.

Posted by: laura at October 27, 2004 09:41 AM

That was well written and amazing Chris. You managed to tug at my heart strings, make me laugh and ignite a fire under my Canadian butt. Your views were very well thought out and I agree with you 100%

I'll have a chocolate chip cookie please!

Posted by: Kimmer at October 27, 2004 09:48 AM

A thousand times WORD! Liberals of the world unite and force a change.

Posted by: Dabney at October 27, 2004 09:54 AM

I find it fitting that I was listening to Unamerican by Ian Rhett when I started reading your post. I think maybe you deserve a whole plate of cookies for saying what a lot of us are thinking.

Posted by: LOUP at October 27, 2004 09:55 AM

I'll take white chocolate macadamia nut please. So, I have major voting issues because I'm politically liberal and morally conservative. It's a tricky business. ie: The idea of abortion saddens me more than anything, and I hope that given the choice I'd never do it, and to see it used as birth control frankly pisses me off. I'm not in agreement with gay marriage, but I don't think the government should try to stop it. It's none of their business. This is strictly a personal decision. The death penalty scares the shit out of me, it's a huge power trip, and I think life without parole is a worse punishment anyway. And every day I give thanks that I do not live in a country in which there is actually a serious and credible threat of Shrub getting re-elected.

Posted by: Heather at October 27, 2004 09:59 AM

Rude Cactus for President!

Posted by: Kelly at October 27, 2004 10:03 AM

What you said, Chris. And can I get cake instead of a cookie?

Posted by: Fraulein N at October 27, 2004 10:06 AM

I'll take chocolate chip, please. And how long did it take you to write that thing?

By the way, you have enough keywords in that list to set off every alarm in The Department of Homeland Security's Division of Traitorous Liberal Affairs.

Posted by: Jon in Michigan at October 27, 2004 10:14 AM

Hello there sunshine. I read all of it. I believe in all of it. You see...I'm a pro-choice, gay-loving, human rights-loving, civil rights-loving, liberal feminist bitch. But I will say.....the death penalty...I agree with you as well...I feel that our court system is flawed in a big way and that one innocent life being taken because of some stuffy heads mistake...is one life too many :)

Oh...and I love you :) (and Beth too)

Posted by: Amy at October 27, 2004 10:27 AM

I would also like a chocolate chip cookie.

Seriously, this is an excellent post. Of course, I am one of those commie pinko socialists, so I would think so, wouldn't I?

Posted by: bad penguin at October 27, 2004 10:28 AM

I'm so with you on that education thing? What the hell do we have that for anyway? Let's just get rid of that all together & spend the money on more nukes. Yeah, good idea.

Posted by: RockStar Mommy at October 27, 2004 10:47 AM

Ooh, ooh, I want a snickerdoodle.

Great post, I consider myself a liberal as well, I've always thought it to mean "open to new ways of thinking". I thought that's what this country was built on, or else we would have had a king. I could be wrong though.

Posted by: Mike at October 27, 2004 10:59 AM

Okay, I have too much respect for you to sit and read through this post. I scanned through and when I hit the abortion section I decided that if I was going to keep respecting you, I would need to stop reading immediately.

No discourse or diatribe on the issues just an agreement to disagree heartily with your opinions, cuz that's what America is all about!

Still love ya though.

Posted by: doulazanie at October 27, 2004 11:15 AM

i've flown over montana, and from what i've seen, there's PLENTY of room for that giant chalkboard.

Posted by: rachel at October 27, 2004 11:15 AM

I am rather confused on one thing. How come it's ok to abort a baby (or, more harshly put, allow a mother to murder her child) but it's not ok to insure a murderer is brought to the same justice they dealt?

Who's life is more valuable there?

Posted by: wlfldy at October 27, 2004 11:59 AM

Well written, even though I only agree with about half of what you said. Make mine peanut butter.

Posted by: Sheryl at October 27, 2004 12:13 PM

LOL. Trying to read all that while still dizzy from my cooties was hard but well worth it! The only thing I differ on from the rest of my liberal friends is Iraq. I can understand why many felt Iraq should have never happened, but on the flip side I know people whose family members were raped, disappeared or executed in Iraq under Saddam. It's hard not to feel that the removal of Saddam was justified after watching grown men crying in my office each time word had been smuggled out of Iraq to let them know what's happened to a family member. Were we lied to on reasons for invading Iraq? I believe so. But now that we're there I really think the US has a responsibility to make things right there as well as take care of our needs here in the US. It's about balance and we need strong leadership who can work both sides of the fence. Anyways, enough of my blabbering since I can barely focus on the screen. lol Great write-up!

Posted by: charm at October 27, 2004 12:37 PM

I agree with most of what you say but don't define myself as liberal because, to me, one thing liberal represents is big government. I want as little govenment intervention in my life as possible. Of course Republicans aren't exactly small government anymore either which leaves me no option but a third party.

Do you have any Ginger Snaps for the Libertarian?

Posted by: wendy at October 27, 2004 01:10 PM

I agree with everything you said.

I have SUCH a hard time with people who are pro-Bush. And its not that I am intolerant, not at all. Its just conservative has come to mean, to me, CANNOT THINK FOR YOURSELF. And that saddens me.

Now, I need something educational and scintillating in my blog. Enough about clothes and shoes already.;) LOL

Posted by: amy at October 27, 2004 02:20 PM

I must say, I agree with you more than any of the politicians I've been given the option to vote for. That makes me sad.
I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one who has trouble with the terminology our government has chosen. Germany had the Fatherland, Russia the Motherland and we've got Homeland. Yay! I admit that sounds a wee bit paranoid, but still, it's creepy and disturbing.

Now, on to more important things - when are the cookies being mailed out?

Posted by: Michelle at October 27, 2004 02:32 PM

I pretty much agreed with everything - well, except the death penalty part, which I'm totally for. Great post! I like Oreos myself. And could I get some milk with that? lol

Posted by: Dawn (webmiztris) at October 27, 2004 02:59 PM

Shut up ya damn whiny liberal.

Ahh haha I crack me up. I am not categorized yet. I form an opinion from the material at hand and stick with it. If new material comes along that changes my opinion I go with it.

Posted by: Jeff A at October 27, 2004 03:24 PM

ok, so where's my cookie?! =)

but on a more serious note.... YES! yes to absolutely everything you said. that is exactly how i feel. and, apparently, i'm a liberal. =)

i, too, think you should be president. =)

Posted by: Judy at October 27, 2004 03:32 PM

What is wrong w/ all you people? Chocolate chip? Ginger snaps? Obviously white chocolate chip macadamia nut cookies are the only way to go! Geesh! You liberals can't even pick the right kind of cookie to eat. :)

Posted by: junkie at October 27, 2004 03:47 PM

While my beliefs may be just slighty different than yours, I must agree with you. All I really have to say is: Amen.

Posted by: Jennie at October 27, 2004 04:46 PM

I read a lot of blogs, most of which are by Americans (damn there's a lot of you guys!) and I've read endless rants against Bush as well as many diatribes against Kerry.

It scares me that what you are about to do this coming weekend affects everyone on this tiny globe. The President of the US not only leads the US but has power at his fingertips beyond any man before him.

I hope this time wise choices are made.

New Zealand

Posted by: Fi at October 27, 2004 04:59 PM

I think that a lot of people have forgotten why their ancestors came to America in the first place--to escape the tyranny of their homeland, and to find the freedom of a better life. We should be asking for more freedoms, not giving up what we already have.

Posted by: Pimme at October 27, 2004 05:33 PM

I am going to have to take that one home and read it carefully. Brain hurts too bad right now but all I can say as a fellow liberal (shhh my entire office is right wing republican) is LIBERAL = MIND OF OUR OWN

Posted by: Jazzy at October 27, 2004 06:22 PM

I'm still laughing over the pinko commie liberal comment. I just want this election to be over with. For some reason it seems alot more painful this year.

Posted by: Steel Buildings Diary at October 27, 2004 07:02 PM

Right on, brother. It's like you crawled inside my head and then wrote down what you saw. I proudly wear the liberal label, and the feminist label, and the pro-choice label (I was a political science and women's studies major, after all). Well said, for real, though.

Posted by: Heather at October 27, 2004 07:29 PM

I agree with 99% of what you said! And chocolate chips w/pecans please!

Posted by: Sue at October 27, 2004 07:55 PM

I will be taking my life into my own hands, but I must do it.

On Friday, Monday AND Tuesday, I will wear my Kerry for President t-shirt to work.

We share space with a stock brokerage. They are all Republicans. This should be fun!

Posted by: amy at October 27, 2004 08:06 PM

Sorry, this is gonna be long...
Keyword Search: conservative+books: Two words for you - Michael. Moore. It's totally unfair to say that conservatives are better mudslingers than liberals. Each side's just as bad as the other.

Abortion: I think it's easy to come to middle ground on this issue. Partial Birth Abortions? I just did a bunch of research on that - liberal or conservative, do you think it's okay to allow a woman to kill her own baby when, by law, if someone else killed her baby after 20 weeks, they'd be charged with murder? Why the double standard? And personally, after reading about Dilation & Extraction up to 32 weeks into the pregnancy, where the baby is either dismembered in the womb or has its brain sucked out with a catheter after having a hole gouged in its skull by surgical scissors (all without anesthesia, mind you), I'm so disgusted that humans could even come up with something so barbaric, let alone that women choose to do this so far along into the pregnancy that the babies could be delivered via c-section or even vaginally with forcepts. If the baby's old enough to live outside the womb, I don't see any point in killing it. Especially when hundreds of murders are in prison for killing pregnant women who were already 20 weeks along.

Iraq & an Exit Strategy: Sorry, have to say, it is wrong to say we have no exit strategy in Iraq. How can I say that? My Dad planned two of at least four dozen potential exit strategies himself, both while still in the Air Force and as a government contractor. Simple rule of military strategy - you can't set an exact exit strategy in stone until you get to middle ground and find out what's going on in the field. We have multiple options, each ready for implementation.

Religion in Government: separation of church and state wasn't so there'd be no church in the state, it was so the state couldn't interfere with the church (i.e. England). I agree that bible verses shouldn't be memorized in schools, but I don't believe all religious icons or symbols should be removed from public or near government institutions. Let Christians put up their things, let Jews put up their symbols, let Muslims put up theirs. "Separation of Church and State" never meant we all had to be athiests in public service. If it did, we'd have to pretty much eliminate every memorial and monument in downtown DC.

Are liberals evil? No. Are conservatives evil? No. Is name-calling bad? Heck yeah. But liberals are expensive, and liberals have track records (hence the depleting the military statements - every liberal President since FDR has systematically depleted the military). So do conservatives. It's all about what you agree with most. I'm smack-dab in the middle. I like moderation in all things, which is why I'm neither liberal with spending nor conservative with benefits. There has to be a happy medium somewhere, which is why I'm so tempted to start the Repubocrat Party...

Posted by: Heather at October 28, 2004 12:56 AM

I'm nonpartisan and neither party makes me mad. The only thing that bothers me is people who hate or love based on party lines and/or politics. We are humans. We're supposed to love and like people based one, you know, feelings/emotions/personality/etc. Don't judge people for disagreeing with you politically. (I'm not talking you, by the way; I'm speaking generally.)

Oh, and the political term "conservative" also has come to mean something it didn't mean. It isn't just liberal that has been changed. The difference is that the conservatives changed that word themselves, while they also changed the meaning of liberal. Go figure.

Posted by: DeAnn at October 28, 2004 04:22 AM

So you are a liberal ? That's fine by me . Liberal and conservative have become nebulous terms and who is really what ? :)

Posted by: Paul at October 28, 2004 08:36 AM

yay Chris! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and beliefs with us. As always, you rock.

And I will take a nice warm chocolate chip cookie, freshly baked, and a cold glass of milk. Thank you.

Posted by: lady jane at October 28, 2004 08:48 AM

I can't stand Ann Coulter. Yes, I am conservative (on many issues anyway), but that woman makes my skin crawl. She uses hate as a tactic, she really does. Did you see in the news a few days back that some guys tried to hit her with pies during a talk she was giving in AZ? I have to admit that I giggled..

I agree with you on a fair amount of those issues, which is pretty cool. Especially abortion and gay marriage. I completely disgaree with you on gun control, but I can live with that. :) I grew up in a different world, where we had entire rooms for our guns (which were never locked, and was never a problem).

Very nice post Chris. Chocolate chop for moi..

Posted by: Sabine at October 28, 2004 10:57 AM

A-freakin-men! I think you addressed each point with a valid argument. I'm definitely more liberal than conservative, but I do have some conservative views. But that holds true with most "independants". Going back to my political science classes here (major in college), about 90% of voters lean to either the democratic party or the republican party.

These parties original stances from decades ago have crumbled. It seems that their issues blend. Noone speaks the truth. They speak in riddles, and say what we want to hear... It's sad! You just have to look at their past actions in govt to know what they are really about.

I've definitely found myself leaning more and more to the liberal side in the last four years. I'm a veteran and very patriotic. But like you said, not supporting the war doesn't make you patriotic. The shift in focus from Afghanistan to Iraq seemed like his own personal vendetta... But that's open for much interpretation. The abortion thing scares me... I hope it never goes back to being illegal, which seems to be the aim of the current president. I don't need to touch on all of your points. They were all very well said.

Great Post!

Posted by: azzy at October 28, 2004 02:39 PM

So I did not read the diatribe or the comments -- too tired of it all, but I do have to say that I voted absentee and what did I get in the mail?

A Ballot. With CHADS.

Posted by: Shiz at October 28, 2004 07:25 PM

Our views are almost identical. (Except I believe in the death penalty for a few select people - child molesters and rapists)


Posted by: Stacey at October 29, 2004 12:44 PM

Amen and Hallelejuah! *nodding head*

Yup. You said it babe. An amendment to Stacey's comment above, Personally? I think child molesters and rapists should be castrated (chemically or physically-or BOTH! I'm not picky) But that's just my opinion.

I'm not picky. Call me Cookie Monster. *sings* "C is for cookie, that's good enough for me... oh C IS FOR COOKIE........"

Posted by: Scarlett Cyn at October 30, 2004 08:10 PM