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Subject: Have I become a Liberal? rss

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Moshe Callen
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Maybe I oughtn't post at 03:00 but...

Growing up, I was a dyed in the wool Conservative, by US standards, both socially and fiscally. Some will find the fact ironic that as I became older, my religious views changed and deepened but with the effect I became more tolerant of others, not less. As a boy, my views of homosexuals for example were simply bigoted, my only excuse being that I was taught that homosexuals should be shunned and discriminated against; that is not an exaggeration. If asked even fifteen years ago if I would impose my morality on others, I would unflinchingly have answered, "Yes." Yet somewhat inconsistently, I fundamentally opposed "big government", the "welfare state" and abortion.

As I have gotten older, I have more and more taken the attitude that since I would not want my choices or opportunities restricted by government or similar outside agency, I do not want to restrict others in like manner. I view morality as primarily a personal choice of how I live which has nothing to do with others per se.

While I think abortion ought be limited to some degree, I think it needs to be available. In past, I would have ardently agreed that life begins at conception, but now I think it begins when a fetus has developed to the point that it could in principle survive outside the womb.

I grew up in a house where loaded guns were kept unlocked in the corner of the living room. The right of gun ownership seemed to me a basic cornerstone of freedom. Yet now I realize the world has a whole lot of people who cannot be trusted with weapons. Of course, I still favor having guns available to some extent, but then I grew up where one occasionally needed a weapon to deal with some dangerous animal; calling Animal Control was just not an option.

In a recent RSP debate, I found myself firmly in favor of nationalized health care and at least the basic aspects of a welfare state.

I want the government completely out of the bedroom and people's private lives as much as possible.

I could go on but in short: Have I become a Liberal?
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Quote:
I could go on but in short: Have I become a Liberal?


Easy test for this. Reach between you're legs and see if your balls are still there. If not, you've made the transition.
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Sounds like you've become a raging, wild-eyed, rabid Arch-Centrist.
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William Boykin
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No, you're becoming a Whig.

Or a 19th Century Liberal.

Or maybe you are a 'liberal' (in the modern sense) and we're all so used to that word being brandished as nigh unto a swear word that we've all forgotten the good that was done under the name of liberalism. (Even Liberals today who view LBJ as somehow suspect... shake

Heck, I don't know anymore what modern 'Liberalism' really stands for anymore either. Lord only knows, the entire idea of liberals standing up for the Poor is long since gone- Modern liberal causes only tangentially (if at that) concern themselves with helping the poor. Rather, they're stuck on issues that attaract the support of suburban voters- the Environment, Feminism, MAYBE Labor Unions. But the working poor? Screw em- where are they going to go, to the GOP? arrrh shake

Philosophically, I share a lot of beliefs with Libertarians, but when it comes to policies, I support a lot of programs that are 'liberal'. But then, outside of Social Conservatism, I'm not sure what Conservatism is anymore either. That attempt in Hawaii to blend Social Conservatism with Libertarianism, all under the guise of supporting the 'Conservative Values' of the Founding Fathers (who were, in fact, QUITE radical in their beliefs and goals) just makes me go *bleah*.

And don't get me started on the wierd stands within the Libertarian movement that prevent me from supporting them politically. So long as the remnants of the 1990's Militia Movement are coddled and supported by the major candidates of the Libertarian movement (*Ron Paul, I'm specifically looking at YOU and the fact you never would walk away from David Duke*), I can NEVER vote, give money, or any other form of support for the Libertarian Party.

Darilian



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I think you are likely significantly more socially liberal than you were and slightly less fiscally conservative than you perhaps were (in the American sense of the words), but I'm not sure you're a liberal. I think, based on your comments, it seems that you have merely become more socially conscious and less fiscally so.

It's exactly 180 degrees from what I've become over the last few years. I used to not care about anything at all politically, but I now care even less for laws that attempt to enact social change (or promote "social justice") and very much about government spending and political corruption.
 
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Based on your post history, you'd still be right of center in Spain, but not by a whole lot. It's a position that one can hold while being both rational and self consistent.

So I guess that according to some people around here, you are a raging socialist.
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whac3 wrote:
Maybe I oughtn't post at 03:00 but...

Growing up, I was a dyed in the wool Conservative, by US standards, both socially and fiscally. Some will find the fact ironic that as I became older, my religious views changed and deepened but with the effect I became more tolerant of others, not less. As a boy, my views of homosexuals for example were simply bigoted, my only excuse being that I was taught that homosexuals should be shunned and discriminated against; that is not an exaggeration. If asked even fifteen years ago if I would impose my morality on others, I would unflinchingly have answered, "Yes." Yet somewhat inconsistently, I fundamentally opposed "big government", the "welfare state" and abortion.

As I have gotten older, I have more and more taken the attitude that since I would not want my choices or opportunities restricted by government or similar outside agency, I do not want to restrict others in like manner. I view morality as primarily a personal choice of how I live which has nothing to do with others per se.

While I think abortion ought be limited to some degree, I think it needs to be available. In past, I would have ardently agreed that life begins at conception, but now I think it begins when a fetus has developed to the point that it could in principle survive outside the womb.

I grew up in a house where loaded guns were kept unlocked in the corner of the living room. The right of gun ownership seemed to me a basic cornerstone of freedom. Yet now I realize the world has a whole lot of people who cannot be trusted with weapons. Of course, I still favor having guns available to some extent, but then I grew up where one occasionally needed a weapon to deal with some dangerous animal; calling Animal Control was just not an option.

In a recent RSP debate, I found myself firmly in favor of nationalized health care and at least the basic aspects of a welfare state.

I want the government completely out of the bedroom and people's private lives as much as possible.

I could go on but in short: Have I become a Liberal?

I think you have more or less described my life story.
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whac3 wrote:
Maybe I oughtn't post at 03:00 but...

Growing up, I was a dyed in the wool Conservative, by US standards, both socially and fiscally. Some will find the fact ironic that as I became older, my religious views changed and deepened but with the effect I became more tolerant of others, not less. As a boy, my views of homosexuals for example were simply bigoted, my only excuse being that I was taught that homosexuals should be shunned and discriminated against; that is not an exaggeration. If asked even fifteen years ago if I would impose my morality on others, I would unflinchingly have answered, "Yes." Yet somewhat inconsistently, I fundamentally opposed "big government", the "welfare state" and abortion.

As I have gotten older, I have more and more taken the attitude that since I would not want my choices or opportunities restricted by government or similar outside agency, I do not want to restrict others in like manner. I view morality as primarily a personal choice of how I live which has nothing to do with others per se.

While I think abortion ought be limited to some degree, I think it needs to be available. In past, I would have ardently agreed that life begins at conception, but now I think it begins when a fetus has developed to the point that it could in principle survive outside the womb.

I grew up in a house where loaded guns were kept unlocked in the corner of the living room. The right of gun ownership seemed to me a basic cornerstone of freedom. Yet now I realize the world has a whole lot of people who cannot be trusted with weapons. Of course, I still favor having guns available to some extent, but then I grew up where one occasionally needed a weapon to deal with some dangerous animal; calling Animal Control was just not an option.

In a recent RSP debate, I found myself firmly in favor of nationalized health care and at least the basic aspects of a welfare state.

I want the government completely out of the bedroom and people's private lives as much as possible.

I could go on but in short: Have I become a Liberal?


I've taken a similar journey. I refuse to consider myself as a liberal though. I let other people call me what they want. I'm a centrist and a progressive, but not a liberal. I think I actually came from the farther right than you did, LOL.
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diehard4life wrote:
I've taken a similar journey. I refuse to consider myself as a liberal though. I let other people call me what they want. I'm a centrist and a progressive, but not a liberal. I think I actually came from the farther right than you did, LOL.


Ok, I'll bite. Please explain:

1) How is centrist in any way progressive?
2) How is a liberal not a progressive, in today's modern American sense of the terms?
3) You obviously have a negative stigma of 'liberal'...why?
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Koldfoot wrote:

There is so much more I could address, but before I attempt it I'll simply reiterate my first thought. Libertarian.

Socially maybe, but definitely not fiscally.

The way people can be categorized reminds me of D&D character alignment. You have the two axes of Good/Neutral/Evil and Lawful/Neutral/Chaotic. With politics, you have Liberal/Centrist/Conservative, and those three can apply to either social issues or fiscal issues.

So you're a Level X Centrist/Liberal...? I'd say Libertarians are Liberal/Conservatives.
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Moshe,

yes
 
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Koldfoot wrote:
The welfare state dictates to people how they will live and what they need to do to continue qualifying for welfare. The welfare state does not empower people to rid themselves of government control, it ensnares them in government control. People become entrapped in the rules of the welfare state for fear of losing the benefits. Almost any step to better yourself will result in a decrease in benefits.


This is true of our welfare state but is not inherently part of a social safety net. Many on the left have failed to understand that the flip side to needs-based programs is that they create the equivalent of punitive marginal tax rates on the poor.

An alternative approach, which applies to many benefits in Europe, is to establish a set of benefits that everyone is entitled to. It's more expensive, but it avoids (most of) the perverse incentives our system is prone to. Moreover, simple market segmentation methods ensure that people will gradually opt-out of using much of it as their wealth improves.

It's still an open question as to whether this sort of program is good policy, but it's worth noting that the American model is not the only one to consider.
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Jim Haltom
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I'm very wary of anyone who labels themselves as completely liberal or completely conservative. It makes me think that they haven't taken the time to look within themselves and discern what issues truly matter to them. Now, I'm not saying that no one will label themselves as such, but there are too many shining examples of extremism on both sides that scare the shit out of me.

Fiscally, I'm as staunch a conservative as you can get, by the classic definition of conservative, not the current definition. Socially, I'm very liberal, especially when it comes to taking care of those who can't take care of themselves, and working to empower those who are at a disadvantage. But being socially liberal, you'd think I'm for gun control, when I am 100% against it.

Labels are bad. To me, you've looked within yourself, and you've decided to believe in the things that matter to you, regardless of the labels. To me, this is a beautiful thing.
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Moshe Callen
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Koldfoot wrote:

I don't even know where to start, Moshe.

As you describe it, you've probably become more libertarian in your old age.

I also wonder if you've thought your feelings on the welfare state through. The welfare state is exactly the opposite of keeping gov't from restricting people and out of their lives.

Koldie;

I don't see the distinction between a social safety net and a welfare state. If one accepts the gov't's help, it has strings attached. One can either accept or find other means. That is equally true of private help as well in most cases.

I don't get how a de facto contract between two parties to which both sides freely agree (i.e., without coercion) is tantamount to diminishing freedoms to any greater extent than when, say, I sign an intellectual property agreement with the company I work for.
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grafikchaos wrote:
I'm very wary of anyone who labels themselves as completely liberal or completely conservative. It makes me think that they haven't taken the time to look within themselves and discern what issues truly matter to them. Now, I'm not saying that no one will label themselves as such, but there are too many shining examples of extremism on both sides that scare the shit out of me.

Fiscally, I'm as staunch a conservative as you can get, by the classic definition of conservative, not the current definition. Socially, I'm very liberal, especially when it comes to taking care of those who can't take care of themselves, and working to empower those who are at a disadvantage. But being socially liberal, you'd think I'm for gun control, when I am 100% against it.

Labels are bad. To me, you've looked within yourself, and you've decided to believe in the things that matter to you, regardless of the labels. To me, this is a beautiful thing.
I can hear quozl in my head decrying the evil of labels as well. I somewhat agree insofar as labels are inevitably prone to confusion. For the better part though, I disagree. These labels are starting points that lead to potentially meaningful discussion as is happening here. Labels shift, as they probably should. We get to discuss the shift though and hopefully we gain insight in the process.

As for the OP, I wouldn't say you are becoming a liberal. I would say you are largely in line with my outlook and I consider myself conservative. In a similar way, I don't agree with the characterization of conservatism that I see expressed oftentimes which is two dimensional and negative.
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Its because you got married and you are remolding your lifestyle. This just got caught up in the changes.
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What you've described is the natural effect of a truly capacious mind shucking off the constraints that society has unflaggingly attempted to place upon your intellect from your earliest days. The very brightest individuals on the planet usually see a problem from every angle, not just the one they are naturally inclined to favor through their desire for individual self-preservation, which frequently presents itself as an adoption of parental stances.

This doesn't make you either liberal or conservative--it makes you a thinker, and somebody who is willing to approach an issue or problem from the perspective that desires its solution, despite where said solution may fall with respect to party politics or ideological pigeon holes. I congratulate you, and hope that more people around here will allow their minds to open sufficiently to see the undesirable societal impacts that their kneejerk responses to political stimuli may have. No matter which brand of ideologue they may happen to be.
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Wrayman wrote:
I can hear quozl in my head decrying the evil of labels as well. I somewhat agree insofar as labels are inevitably prone to confusion. For the better part though, I disagree. These labels are starting points that lead to potentially meaningful discussion as is happening here. Labels shift, as they probably should. We get to discuss the shift though and hopefully we gain insight in the process.


Excellent point. I guess I was using a blanket description of labels, much in the same way people use a blanket description to describe their political leanings. All encompassing labels tend to pigeon hole people's perceptions, whereas more descriptive labels paint a more detailed picture. Insight into anything that affects us socially, politically, etc. is what helps us understand ourselves, and others, better. Thanks for the wake up call Wrayman.
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whac3 wrote:
Have I become a Liberal?
Judging from your posts, I'd say you're mostly a sensible person.
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whac3 wrote:
I could go on but in short: Have I become a Liberal?


Why do you need to label yourself?

Use your personal morality to decide on the best answer to a problem.
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BFoy wrote:
whac3 wrote:
I could go on but in short: Have I become a Liberal?


Why do you need to label yourself?

Use your personal morality to decide on the best answer to a problem.

I was more coming from the perspective of how I am perceived. by many people. While not all important by any means, I think the impress one makes on others is something to be borne in mind.
 
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whac3 wrote:
BFoy wrote:
whac3 wrote:
I could go on but in short: Have I become a Liberal?


Why do you need to label yourself?

Use your personal morality to decide on the best answer to a problem.

I was more coming from the perspective of how I am perceived. by many people. While not all important by any means, I think the impress one makes on others is something to be borne in mind.


In the US, I'm considered a moderate because I reject the rigid ideologies of the US political parties. However, I'm not sure that would map over well to a parlimentary system of government.
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