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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

How to talk to a liberal


I know I stole the title from the controversial Ann Coulter's book “How to speak to a liberal if you must" I never read the book so that's the only thing I stole from her.

I'm not going to make the mistake of implying that I speak for those who take a left of center position. Recent polls state that only 21% of Americans identify themselves as being liberal. As I've said before, conservatives have always used the word liberal in a pejorative way and it worked. I still remember President George H.W. Bush looking over at his opponent, Michael Dukakis of Massachusetts, and saying “He’s a liberal." I think it was from then on, that liberals stayed away from the word. Within the last 10 years the democrats have picked up the label, “progressive” to identify themselves. They even have a progressive caucus. The people left of center still don't use labels as much as conservatives do, to identify themselves. Most conservatives think the conservative label is like a religious bond that is superior to anything out there.In Texas, many like to call themselves Conservative Democrats because they believe in republican fiscal policies but not always with their social ones.   It doesn't matter whether it's a fiscal or social conservative, the word conservative remains supreme in their mind. That’s why they tend to use the word "We “as if they are speaking for a solid majority.Actually only 40% claim that conservative label. According to a book I’m reading “The Reactionary Mind" many libertarians have crossed over and are now calling themselves conservatives because not that many people identify with libertarians.That’s the reason for the GOP’s sudden shift to the extreme right. If Romney wins the election, the party will come back to where it was four years ago.

I'm like an old pooch, I'll answer to anything, just as long as it's a gateway to the issues. There are extremists on both sides but a lot of people on the right think that liberals are the 1960 hippies or the Code Pink, PETA, and the radical environmentalists (tree huggers) but that's the extreme side. Barbara Boxer, Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry, and Dick Durbin are notable liberals. They are judged by their voting patterns. President Obama and Hillary Clinton are considered centrist because they are about compromising to move the agenda.If you think Obama is a liberal, it’s because you one of those conservatives that think the word liberal is a cuss word.Look at his voting record and the things he has placed as his priorities.

Now that you have background, I'm going to describe what some on the left have told me that they want in a discussion. We agreed that we want substantiated facts, as opposed to hearsay, plus we want our questions answered and we will do likewise. I don't think name calling adds any value to a discussion but it doesn't annoy me that much; I’m amused. I want my opponent to come prepared to have a good discussion with points and counterpoints. For example we had a good discussion going about the flags flying at half mast for a celebrity. Sugar Magnolia, posted the code which everyone agreed with. I'd dug a little deeper without dismissing the code and found that since there was no real enforcements, governors often got around the code by using their discretion. That would have been a good discussion until some people came in with name -calling and took the topic in a different direction.

My conservative opponents like to put me in a box and tell me what I think but when I turn the tables on them, they get annoyed. I don't argue with ideologues because it's a losing proposition and a waste of time. I can't hide from my positions of the past, nor do I want to, because it's who I am and I left a record. I can argue the merits of a tax abatement, and joint venture because there are examples where they have worked, I can't argue a philosophy that not based on actual facts. My conservative friends like to tell me that the private sector and charities will take care of poor, if not for the government but they can't give me proof based on 21st century information. We all want smaller government but we disagree on what programs to cut, how much and how fast to cut. The libertarian/ conservatives want a very tiny government but most Americans want a responsible government because they want services. We want public schools, public libraries, trained police officers and firemen, the FDA, EPA and, IRS, CIA, Social Security and Medicare.

This country is smack dab in the middle and extremists from both sides are having trouble getting people to listen to them. The only difference is the extremist on the right actually think  only their views are what’s best for this country. It's amazing how a pundit can tell the republican legislator that the polls are against you and the lawmaker will just ignore them and move on to their talking points. Persistence is something that democrats lack. I use myself as an example; I will not try to convert anyone. “To each their own” is my motto.

There you have it, if the subjects are questionable (most are) bring some evidence to support to support your claim. Tell me something I don’t know and don’t get angry if I disagree because I may have misunderstood the point you were trying to make.


Legion said...

We We We... ect. lol
I did conserve of Monday, broke my record according to the evil smart meter, you know the one that will shut your electricity off if you use to much ;).
3/12 12.987 kwh!

Mike said...

I didn't know the smart meter would shut off your electricity if you use too much electricity...Thanks for the info but now I will check mine if I can find it...After almost 5 years of ownership I just found out where my car battery was...Good info

Mike said...

It is just me..Aren't we just recycling our gripes about pit bulls,guns,voter ID, and such?...A town this size shouldn't have to recycle as much...In Houston and Austin it's about city council and new ordinances,mayor, and expansions.

Legion said...

lol, no Mike, the smart meter won't, that was one of the complaints when they where installed... more Guvenment intrusion! LOL, Even though it was our electric providers installing them.

Heck it took me awhile to find the battery in my moms 97 cutlass! Way down there by the left front corner panel under some other stuff. lol

I like the smart meter web site, you can see where usage went up at a time of day and sometimes I can remember what I did to make it go up. All you have to do is get the umm, esp#, I think, off your meter and register at

Originally it was suppose to be real time but it's two days behind.

It is not just you, I cannot remember how many times subjects have been re-hashed at the VicAd site... same stuff over and over and over...

Mike said...

Oh yea,I remember Kenneth saying the smart meters was a way the government can spy on you...Thanks for the website..I forgot all about that.

Edith Ann said...

Well, you know I recently was asked to publicly declare that I was a Conservative Democrat. So I did. Apparently I am the only one. I do know I don't speak for anyone but myself. I belong to a liberal page on Facebook, and I don't always agree with everything that is posted there.

I don't agree with your definition of a conservative Democrat, so I am going to have to decide what part of me is the conservative. I may have to change my label.


Mike said...

I've written and spoke of Conservative Democrats way before I had even heard of you...I have also stated that everyone has to decide for themselves if they need a label or how well they fit the accepted definition. I don't need one. I have found that self evaluations don't matter because others will place a label on you, based on their conclusion. They will probably base that conclusion on what you write, say, or do...Remember I called BigJ a republican if not for hate radio.. He calls himself a radical libertarian democrat. He thinks global warming is a hoax, he's against gay marriage, feminism, Affordable Care Act and wants to “drill here, drill there and drill everywhere" and says he's Pro-Life. People constantly call him a liberal because he may disagree with them on one specific point. He's dealing with people that have a belief of " either you are with me or against me."...Think about that!

I don't know why it was important for you to publicly declare that you were a Conservative Democrat. I don't know what difference it makes. We're constantly being judged by the court of public opinion, so I think we're been judged on the positions we take on certain issues. I don't know, just guessing but I think people wanted to know if you're one of them or could possibly be one of them in the future.

Some people will take a test to see where they lie on the political spectrum but that just tells you where you lie on left and right issues.

I'm more familiar with national and conservative democrats like Ben Nelson, Joe Lieberman, Bill Nelson, Mary Landrieu and Mark Prior. With the exception of Joe Lieberman, all come from red states or districts, so they don't always vote party lines.
It has often been said that then Governor George W. Bush got along so well with Lt. Governor Bullock, so it proved that he was bipartisan. Not so, Conservative democrats usually vote with republicans in Texas, especially fiscal conservatives but they will shy away when it comes to social issues overreach.

Edith Ann said...

Mike, one of my readers was messing with me, and I think he may have thought I wouldn't do it (well, why not?), but my point was, in disagreeing with your definition of a CD, that I don't know if I have applied the right label to myself. I don't think you're wrong. I think I may have held steadfast to the label for so long--years and years--that maybe I am deceiving myself.

I do know pretty much that my thinking has not shifted all that much, but maybe the name has a bit.

I don't think it is required that we have a label, but when I am asked, it's the one I prefer. Or did prefer. I don't know. Now I am really confused!

Mike said...

I guess the question would be, without the democrat what is your ideology?

I wrote of the shift that applied to the word liberal. In my 67 years, I don't recall one time where I verbally announced that I was a liberal not because I'm ashamed of it, but my opponent had already established in his mind that I was not conservative ,so I must be liberal.... This is especially true in a red state or county.... My conservative friends have always used the word conservative to describe themselves, as if it was a part of their birthright name... The book I'm reading said that we were all tribal and that’s a way of identifying with a certain group mindset but liberals don't adhere to that.

Yes, it has shifted for the GOP because the tea party and libertarians have infiltrated the party and want to take it as far right as possible. That group has his own definition of" fiscal conservative" and they won't waiver. ... It's no wonder you're confused, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul say that Rick Santorum is not a conservative and Rick says he's the only conservative running. ..That's a conservative family

Bottom line, some people become so infatuated with that label, that they start to set up their own purity test, like signing a "No Tax" pledge and their vote has to meet a 99% and above grade.
As I've said before, when I see a political candidate say that he's a true conservative, I just say "who really cares?"

BTW The republican governor of Pennsylvania justified the new ultrasound test that will be given to women who want abortions, not intrusive because it's exterior not interior ,and all they have to do is close their eyes and listen... Has all human dignity left that party?

Mike said...

Don't blame me for all the confusion,I posted a blog about retirement and a blogger made it a reason of why older people should not hold office..That idea was the silver bullet to get this country moving again..And his old uncle agreed and was laughing his butt off.

Edith Ann said...

I agree. I've been pondering on this today, and I wonder if I have held on for dear life to the 'conservative' adjective because I realize what a negative connotation 'liberal' has taken.

I'm also wondering if my real label is independent. Period.

I saw your VA blog--there is no rational anything over there.

But--thanks for making me think and examine.

Mike said...


Now you are cooking with gas,you of all people,meaning you are a strong,independent woman,don't owe anyone an explanation for your thoughts. That's strictly voluntary.

I think I've said this before but it's worth repeating...When my old workmates used to say "I'm conservative" I would say " I'm Catholic but I don't know what that's got to do with anything,let's get back to what we were talking about."

Edith Ann said...