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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I am a liberal

It doesn't really matter what a person says they are; write a few words or in say how you feel about any subject and the recipients will place you in a slot. In Victoria, we only have two slots liberal or conservative. There is that Ron Paul slot, who usually side with the conservatives because it's much more popular. People like to be on the right sides of things. The Ron Paulites are relatively easy to identify; anti taxes, anti government, anti reforms, and spending.

I like to keep things simple, so I can get into the details of the debate. Most of my opponents are convinced that I am a liberal and that's fine with me. It's only when my partisan opponent tries to take the high road when I will call them out for being disingenuous, because we all have a bias and an agenda. It's darn near impossible to convince someone that thinks they are a moderate without any biases. This group thinks they are above the fray. I normally call them the “the mushy middle" or the "Heinz 57," which means that they like to take the good from both sides and apply it to their beliefs.

The ideological labels change their meaning over time and location. Some still think all liberals are the old flower child hippies, tree huggers, war protesters, and are only interested in making this country a nanny state. Others think all democrats are liberals. When we were in Chicago, I remember laughing, when I read a University of Chicago newspaper poll that stated that 95% of the respondents thought Obama was too conservative. I would be a moderate in Chicago. A lot of today's liberals call themselves progressives because the conservatives have done a marvelous job of demonizing the word "liberal" to where politicians usually squirm whenever a pundit calls them a liberal. In Victoria the word "liberal" is always used in a pejorative way. Conservatives are for individual freedom, less government and fewer taxes; while liberals believe that it takes a village, believe in an exclusive government and investing in the future, even if it means more taxes. I think that's a major difference because fiscal conservatives who hate deficits and liberals believe manageable deficits will lead to growth and other immeasurable benefits. i.e. Conservatives will say that high speed rail has failed in the past and cannot support itself. Liberals will counter that saying that relieving the congestion on our major highways and reducing the carbon footprint should be considered in the cost. Liberals have a hard time driving home their message in a struggling economy where everyone is worried about keeping their jobs.

A lot of fiscal conservatives or moderates will say that they are socially liberal, meaning that they accept some form of gay marriage, and are pro-choice when it comes to choose between life of a mother and her unborn child. I think there is a fringe pro-choice group and everyone else is really pro-choice because of the exceptions. I don't know a lot about the subject but that's how I see it.

President George W. Bush threw the word conservatism into the unknown when he borrowed for tax cuts and Medicare Part D (prescription drugs for seniors, bill) and put two wars on the credit card. The Tea Party will also muddy the waters with their version of conservatism. The Tea Party believes in taking a hatchet to the discretionary spending (12% of the budget) but want to leave Social Security and Medicare untouched. They don't mind going after welfare and Medicaid. I think it’s best to leave out these two examples when describing fiscal conservatism.

There it is; I have left myself open for disagreement.


Rebecca said...

I know you are but what am I?

I can't really think of what a "typical" liberal or conservative would be anymore. I could get an idea from the forums, but I don't think that would be fair or accurate. Conservative would be a curse word if I were to do that.

I feel I make conservative choices as a parent, but I love the idea of a radically free and relaxed environment - for our learning. Not totally, because I think I want to start up with Greek and Latin roots for our family learning - add that to French.

I'm going to avoid politics, except where you are concerned. =D

Rebecca said...

That song "Cupid Shuffle" just popped in my head. I just realized that you missed an opportunity to combine a political blog with Valentine's Day!

The song has the lyrics, "to the right to the right... to the left to the left..."

I guess some of us have ideological leanings that mirror the moves of the song.

Rebecca said...

OMG, I'm hogging your blog. I was just thinking that maybe (this is how it's justifying itself in my mind at the moment) the differences between a conservative vs liberal stance on certain issues is a preventative vs dealing with the results of when prevention didn't work. I'm not talking about pro-life vs pro-choice, but a mindset or a hand that's been dealt. We think the two re polar opposites when sometimes they might be ... a different focus in the same struggle.

Mike said...


If I had to analyze your discussion with maryann yesterday, I would have to say that she took the conservative stance which is a resistant to change. You did not conform to standards because you have evolved and she probably thought you were a liberal.... I don't know if that makes any sense but that's what I meant in the first paragraph of this blog.

I'll have to read that re polar opposites about three of four more times before I understand what you meant.

I have to agree about parenting; I was a very conservative with my daughters.. I didn't like the the boyfriends.:-)

Since I'm the proprietor of this blog, I rule that multiple posts does not constitute " Hogging the blog ."..:-)

Rebecca said...

Typo. I meant "are polar opposites." =X

Our conversation last night... Yuck. No one changes by showing a play that no one is forced to attend. The title gives people fair warning about the content. I'm for adults making a choice to attend an event that might contain adult humor and adult content. I also appreciate very very good acting!

Maryann misunderstands everything I say. I'm sure it's because she thinks I'm arguing from an opposite position and she reads that into the things I say. I'm not. I'm usually trying to explain to her how she misinterpreted something I said. D=

I'm for freedom. Even the freedom to see a play that others might want to disappear.

Rebecca said...

It's also insulting, as an adult, to have other adults talk down to me like I am a child or under the Taliban. I make decisions for myself and I bring the morality and opinion wherever I go. I'm a big girl and I don't mind if reality isn't candy coated and hidden...

Rebecca said...

I vented at Maryann and now I vented at you. Actually, you guys have probably saved me much money in therapy. I probably owe you. =D

Mike said...


It's all about perception..IMO...Posters think they're talking down to me all the time because of the ideology I have embraced... Once we get past that; the details of the debate moves the discussion to its proper place. As much as we try, sometimes we just can't control perception but I cheat a little bit because I don't get into a discussion unless I have a full grasp of the subject.i.e. You made the decision to go to the play, so only you know what you got out of it; an opinion other than yours is not worth very much.

Like everything else, there are times when posters get angry when they think they are surrounded with opposing opinions( as maryann was) so they take it out on the next commenter.I have done that several times....Yesterday a poster said "I will say this for you Mike, I respect your view of things and I respect the fact that you can have a civilized discussion without it becoming personal."..... That's what it's all about in my opinion, a civilized discussion without it becoming personal;if we can get it.

Mike said...


Observer is a good example where posters don't read the blog because they have a canned answer at the ready.In my recent blog for Vi Cad He immediately blamed what he thought were liberal environmentalist that didn't want to compromise but that's the main theme of the blog...Compromise between two long time foes.

You see ,instead of saying something like "that great,lets continue" it's my side is right and yours is wrong.

Edith Ann said...

Well, Rebecca stole my line--

So, I call myself a progressive, ultra-conservative Democrat. But here is the citeria that I base it on.

I don't believe the government should support everyone, but I do believe there are instances where it is necessary, and it's the moral thing to do.

I have no problem with gay marriage. It's not my cup of tea, but I have other things to worry about than someone's sex habits.

I have no problem with toll roads. When I use them, I consider the toll the price I pay for the time convenience.

I do think some folks need to be protected from themselves, and if it take the government making a rule or regulation so that a few don't mess it up for the whole, then so be it.

I don't like the government telling me how to use my woman parts. I can make up my own mind about whether I want to carry a baby.

I'd love to hear what you think.

BIGJ said...

Edith Ann.

Well I consider myself as a Democrat despite my very "conservative" views like Gay Marriage etc.

Edith Ann said...

Whether either of us likes it, BigJ I think you and I are closer politically that we may have thought. Not exactly aligned, but many points of agreement.

Mike said...

Edith Ann

A progressive ultra conservative democrat..... That sounds like a statement from a long time ago remember “free, white, and 21."...:-).... Today it translates to “I don't need any stinking poster, pundit, or pollster to tell me what I am”.

I suspect you align yourself with the blue dog democrats, but I don't have a reason for my analysis.

I believe gay marriage is no longer a wedge issue because not as many people are against the concept as there was five years ago.... You remember the forum lighting up every time the subject was mentioned. Not so much now.

This is what I think the differences between blue dog democrats, and liberals are:

1. Liberals campaigned praising health care; blue dog democrats ran away from it.
2. Liberals want alternative energy; blue dog democrats want less reform for coal & oil.
3. Liberals want some spending increases along with spending cuts; blue dogs want spending cuts.
4. Liberals were adamantly against tax cuts for the top 2%; blue dogs did not want to tax anyone in a recession.
5. Liberals want finance reform; blue dogs want less regulation.

I don't think anyone can tell a person what they are, but I wrote this blog as if it was a Chris Matthews Hardball segment. He will say there are parts of Philadelphia( Irish and Italian Catholics) who will vote a certain way and then goes on to describe another region; stereotyping them.

I think the budget fights, we are having, typifies a person's ideological bent.

Mike said...


We've had this discussion many times and I think the last time we agreed that you were a " hybrid democrat."...:-)

You call yourself a Freedom Democrat, which according to the web site is a libertarian democrat, but your views don't always coincide with theirs.

I still say if it weren't for the social issues, you would be a republican.

Edith Ann said...

Damn, I am more confused than ever! The way you put it, I'm now concerned I might be a, a *GASP* LIBERAL!

Seriously, I have more friends tell me that I am really a republican because of positions I take, but all they succeed in doing is pissing me off. I refuse to be labeled a republican!

I realize I have this very narrow vision of how the world ought to be, and most of the time nothing in reality aligns with my vision. Do you all have that same issue, too?

My very republican son (not to be confused with my other very liberal Democrat son) always laughs when I talk about belonging to the local Progressive Women's Group. He tells me I am anything but progressive.

I think I'll just stick with the general 'Democrat' label for now, and not get so caught up in the subsets!

victorianbybirth said...

Gee EA, I do believe we are on the same political page! I kinda figured as much ;p

I believe things shouldn't be cookie cutter it should be case by case...when it turns into the whole demanding all or nothing, my knee jerk reaction is it should be nothing then. Knee jerk reactions are common on forums such as these, nuance gets lost in translation.

Mike, I disagree with SS & Medicare cuts & do believe SSI, Welfare, Medicaid, EITC should take the first hits. When pitting the elderly against the young & able bodied I will choose the elderly every single time...they paid their dues leave them alone. It is really killing me at work when I hear that roughly 90% of the people that work there cheat on their taxes, I'm not in that 90% since I pay & then pay some more. Granted they don't make very much but those dollars do add up. I was always told if you watch your nickels your dollars will take care of themselves...we are being nickled & dimed to death!

"I still say if it weren't for the social issues, you would be a republican." Thanks for that comment...I died laughing!!!!!

victorianbybirth said...

Let me clarify when I said they don't make very much...they don't make very much through the year...they clean up at tax time.....thousands of dollars per person....that's a whole lotta dough.

Mike said...

You are hard to pin down because I haven't seen you make that many political statements.
You might be a member of the " pragmatic party."
Your republican son may be right but you being a member of the local Progressive Women's Group takes on a meaning of its own.... I can see you been elected president, and giving the term " progressive" a brand new definition...:-)

Mike said...


I think all of us leave a little wiggle room in our political stances but I was generally speaking on how we feel about the controversial issues.

I'm now convinced that Social Security should be dealt with as a standalone issue because it does not add to the deficit and more and more people now believe that increasing the eligibility age and a means test would make the system solvent for another 75 years.

The people in my age group and above are bankrupting Medicare because we are living longer, expensive procedures, and we out live our contribution to the system...i.e.a working person making $75,000 a year will pay $1088 a the year for Medicare($75,000X 1.45%) if he worked for 30 years; their total contributions would be $32,625..Now if that person lives for another 30 years ,they will pay about $39,600 in Medicare premiums.....Now that adds up to $72,200, you work in the medical field; you know one heart attack will put the average Medicare recipient on the minus side......Yesterday, a Nationwide sting caught several doctors defrauding the system.

We will deal with EIC at a later date...:-)

Edith Ann said...

Mike, I never thought of it like that. I just know for sure I am not a yellow dog Democrat.

I am all over the place, and some of my very best buds are republicans and libertarians. I voted for Reagan and the first Bush. (I know!) My front yard looks like a schizophrenic lives here during election season! Bill White, Matt Ocker, Jeff Lyon, Robert Pruett--all kinds of stuff. You've probably wondered if you've driven by my house!

But I had so much fun two years ago! The forus was a riot!

The Pragmatic Party may have a nice ring to it!

Mike said...

That's interesting Edith Ann but I'm not surprised that we don't have a political litmus test when we choose our friends.
My parents never talked about politics and I kept up the tradition when my children were still at home. The only time politics ever came up at a family gathering was when the Terry Schiavo situation became a political event.

My youngest daughter voted for the very first time in 2008 .... She literally started crying when I told her that her vote for Barrack Obama would not count since we use the electoral college to choose our president. I explained that since Texas is a conservative republican state; all their electoral votes would go to the republican candidate... She had forgotten what she learned in civics. It wasn't long after that when we looked at one another and just started laughing....

That's why I really don't keep up with Texas politics; republicans can do pretty much what they want.

Mike said...

That's what's wrong with the Victoria Advocate online forum. I get to a point where misinformation or misrepresentation by some posters make me angry, so I respond. I resent having to call out some nice people but if it leads them to be more responsible with their information, then it's worth it..... I am not all-knowing but I don't mind taking the extra steps to make sure that I'm comfortable with my response. If I'm not, I hope someone calls me on it.

I guess it's time to take a trip to clear my head and wonder if I made the right decision, even though I thought long and hard before posting.

Rebecca said...

At least your facts dispelled my conclusion that most people were bearing false witness if those other stats were true. =D

Because that one is breaking a commandment. The other one, breaking church teaching? I am very ignorant of Catholicism (except that my grandpa was excommunicated for marrying a Baptist) but I would assume that a commandment would trump a teaching?

Mike said...


VBB had a discussion about the different churches under the umbrella of Catholicism.... In reality, our mass usually lasts about 55 minutes.. It's usually about 50 minutes of prayers read from a missalette and an interpretation of the Gospel of the day and then a very short sermon from the priest; we then take communion and leave....Jared is reading from church doctrine that is not always followed.

Roman Catholics are human beings with faults ,temptations, and the characteristics of their protestant brothers and sisters. We do have a orthodox charismatic sect that follows church dogma to the letter but it represents a very small number.

Mike said...

I don't know what happened but I meant to say I had a discussion with VBB..

Mike said...

I was seriously thinking of removing my post RE: Jared but my post seems rather mild compared to the ones that followed..My post was more like a pat on the back " we'll get them next time" message compared to what followed.

That's the reason I posted what I did...Misinformation leads to remarks that would not normally be made but Jared lumped Catholics in one pot and most posters believed him because he is a nice person and usually makes credible comments.

Rebecca said...

I'm glad you left it.

BIGJ said...


Me a Republican? HA !!!! I will never be a Republican. I will never sided myself with Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Rick Perry, Sarah Palin, Dennis Miller, and Rush Limbfart. Granted I only sided with Matt Ocker out of my strong dislike of State Rep. Geanie Morrison. Second my family is Democrat with\one of them being an elected official.