Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Monday, May 09, 2005

It's easy...

Editor's Note: The following is a personal viewpoint and does not reflect NPI's official views.

For my very first actual post I'd like to simply post an opinion. You can say what you please about it, feel free to ponder it and pound the keyboard in frustration at my lunacy. But do not insult my intelligence or my grammar. Both are, as far as I'm concerned, flawless. And, additionally, they are immaterial.

I am not a conservative. I am an atheistic, bush-hating, flaming liberal, from an atheistic, bush-hating family, and I would prefer that stupid people--oops, let me rephrase that: people who are unqualified for their jobs-- didn't exist. But don't we all? Now that my position's firmly stated, let me play Dev - I mean Conservative's Advocate.

Many of us act as if there's no other right. How can people be free when they're stuck under a space-monkey president and his ultra-conservative cheerleading squad, forced to carry babies they might not want nor have asked for, stuck in a horribly polluted environment, thanks to our infamous environmental "laws" and mortifying every other culture in the world with our ignorant foreign policy? Exactly. We can't!

So why are there so many conservatives? Hmmm? The American citizens who make up over half the country can't all be loony. In fact, there are probably some of them who are downright decent people. Imagine.

Some of you might agree with me. And now I want you to know that I don't care how many enlightening discussions you've had with your conservative aunt Sally about your beliefs. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing I like more than a friendly debate.

But here's the tricky part: when does a debate turn into an argument? It starts when neither side wants to give in; they are so firmly set in their beliefs that they will barely even pretend to listen to their similarly qualified opponents. Don't kid yourself, really. It happens.

This occurs, of course, on both sides of the political spectrum. But come on, guys! Are we really the good guys? Do we really know what's right for 2.9 million people? How can we, when we really only listen selectively? The conservatives are not monsters. They are simply conservative. And their beliefs count and should be recognized for what they are worth, not simply as those of power-hungry fiends. We get those on both sides, you know.

Maybe I'm missing a huge part of the main picture. If I am, would someone please point that out? I have seen those I trust and admire for their strong political beliefs squabble amongst themselves, each trying to out-argue the other. And I'm not meaning "argue" in a good sense. It's exceedingly embarrassing and frustrating to watch.

For the nine-some months that I have been politically active, I have heard remarkable arguments against conservatism. I do not love our president or his corrupt cabinet, but I feel a little bit cheated. It's easy to attack the weak points, everyone and everything has them. But the strong ones? It takes a truly educated person to weigh the scales either way and then make a decision.

Finally, as an additional disclaimer: This is a rant that I try to make sense of. It has its strong points and it has its weak points, just like Conservatism, just like Liberalism. I am proud to know that there are people who have actually thought about the ups and downs of both sides, very carefully, before choosing a standpoint. I'm simply encouraging more people to do the same, I hope.

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