April 22, 2005
I was discussing politics with a colleague the other day, and, after he fully expounded on the fact that Fox news is not biased, I asked him what he thought a liberal was. He responded with a definition that centered around religious concerns. Liberals, including me, are godless relativists with no morals, ineptly blind to their own hypocrisy. They (me) slaughter 1.6 million babies a year and seek to undermine the religious foundations of the country.
I asked him if "Christian Liberal" were an oxymoron, to which he snorted a laugh, as if I were being funny. I asked if Martin Luther King would fit into that label, to which he replied, "Yeah, but he gave up preaching whenever he started leading the Civil Rights Movement," whatever that means.
I offered to explain some of the main reasons I stand on the Left: progressive taxation, privacy, and education. I explained that a progressive tax system is fundamental to democracy because of the commonwealth it produces--the fortunate among us contribute more to the general welfare, which is guaranteed in the Constitution after all, so that all citizens can prosper. Of course, Rethuglicans call it "wealth redistribution," but I call it "forcing the bastards to be humane."
Privacy issues are particularly disturbing to me as a geek who sees how technology has turned our personal information into a commodity. Those grocery cards and car giveaways you've been signing up for are not innocent promotions. I, for one, am not comfortable with giving up my privacy; Republicans are.
As far as education is concerned, there's a reason the vast majority of teachers are union members, much less Democrats. I see public education as fundamental to the ideas of equality and opportunity, which are liberal policies I think everyone can agree on.
It's always frightening and enlightening to talk to the "other side." On one hand, we agreed on some things, like gun control and nuclear power, but on the other, I realized that he saw me as a demonized pinko, dehumanized and handily categorized. That's too bad, because, while I remember and reflect on what he said, I suspect he never heard a word from me. So much for discourse.Posted by tat at April 22, 2005 09:11 AM