I’m a little unclear on what many people mean by the “Left” and the “Right.” In my experience, the Left has often been used to describe anybody who identifies as a Democrat and/or is liberal, while the Right is the catch-all phrase for those who identify as Republican and/or conservative.
But is it as simple as all that?
I don’t mean to stir the pot (okay, maybe I do) but I’m a registered Democrat who likely identifies more so as a Libertarian. I have friends who are Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians and some who likely don’t wish to identify with any of the above for good reason.
Truth is while my opinions are liberal whereas some issues are concerned (such as marriage equality, etc.), I am also quite conservative with regard to other issues like fiscal responsibility.
(For the record, George Walker Bush screwed us on that particular issue. Bill Clinton decreased spending and the deficit while GWB wasted dollar upon dollar on Middle East tensions, in the form of wars, etc. People like to blame the Democrats for out of control spending but the truth is that BOTH parties have been equally guilty of not giving a crap about OUR working class families.)
It’s my opinion that we do a disservice to ourselves and to our communities when we give in to prejudice and lump people in to one category or another when in truth, their values are comprised of many different opinions (that differ, one from the other) making each one of them uniquely different. Rush Limbaugh’s conduct has been atrocious for as long as I can recall; when I think of him, the labels “douche bag” and “hypocrite” come readily to mind. Mark Levin is another who has said things I find offensive, but on the other hand he has ALSO said some things I am in total agreement with him over.
On the Left, we have the likes of Dan Savage. While I agree with “some” of the things Savage may say … much of his conduct, like Rush Limbaugh, is offensive and causes me to have a rather low opinion of him. (For instance, it’s no secret I cannot stand Rick Santorum; he’s a creep that has no clue how to carry himself as an elected representative without FORCING his own brand of religious viewpoints upon others, at the expense of their own secular rights as guaranteed by the Constitution.) Even so, Dan Savage’s “below the belt” tactics to manipulate technology in such a way as to attack the man’s name via Internet pages that were created to result in his being compared to a mixture of lube and fecal matter was crude, gross and uncalled for.
I’m gay; I’m also faithful/spiritual and identify as a Christian. I’m ALL FOR marriage equality and do not believe women or any other group of people should be singled out and disrespected (judge people for who they are, not what they are). I’m also quite conservative in many respects; I fully support monogamy and while I respect other’s rights to conduct their own relationships as they see fit, I myself can’t fathom being in an “open” or “polyamorous” relationship. I’m not wired that way but if others are, I respect your right to live your own lives as you see fit.
As regards birth control, I’m for it. I’ll admit that I’ve some reservations as regards the subject of abortions but I suppose when all is said and done, I come down on the side of pro-choice. My own criteria is fairly simple; so long as (1) the woman having the abortion isn’t demonstrating a “habit” of getting pregnant, only to then depend on “the quick fix” to get rid of the fetus and (2) so long as the abortion is NOT a late-term procedure… I can get behind that. My reservations are simply that I believe mankind has become “too comfortable” with the idea of aborting rather than acting responsibly from the beginning (a problem that persists in other areas of our lives, as well). If you want to have sex, fine, take some precautions. People should be doing that anyway considering the number of sexually transmitted diseases that are out there! But yes, I’m pro-choice provided certain conditions are met and adhered to. I won’t argue about this here; if you disagree and are pro-life, fine. I can respect that; just don’t get in my effing face yelling that I’m an enabler of baby killers, etc. From where I stand, because I’m no advocate of late-term abortions – I’m not talking about “babies” (I’m talking about “fetuses” – big difference, regardless of what others on the opposite side of this issue want us to believe).
Many people condemn the Catholic Church. I’ll admit that I don’t understand where the heads of its leaders are at most of the time. However, the Church has also done some great things. Not every priest, bishop or laity, etc. within the church are child molesters (I assume that the vast majority are NOT) and not every person of influence within the Church has gone out of his way to try and sweep these events under the rug (although it may sometime look that way from a historical perspective). My biggest beef with the Catholic Church is that I believe that the prevailing attitude of its leadership, toward those who exhibit any kind of sexuality that is not strictly “heterosexual” — is harmful to LGBTQ persons (both, within the Church and otherwise). The “hate the sin; love the sinner” attitude is unacceptable to me and quite honestly, I feel sorry for anyone who considers him- or herself a practicing Catholic who identifies as LGBT or (by the Church’s definition, one with a same sex attraction). I don’t pity them; I simply feel empathy and sorrow for that person because, in my opinion, there is no way for an LGBTQ person to reconcile his/her sexual orientation with orthodox Catholic beliefs and still get the most out of their life, secularly OR spiritually (but that is my opinion and I know there will be some reading who disagree; that’s your prerogative). Setting aside the Church’s attitude toward sexuality, however, I recognize that it is responsible for a great many good works also. Helping those in need, hospitals, schools, etc. It isn’t as cut and dried as many would like any one issue to be.
There are those who say I should be behind Barack Obama simply because I’m gay.
Please, get a damn clue already. I am happy that Barack Obama has accomplished “some” of the things he has but I still do not respect the man for attempting to side step Congress at every opportunity. We have a system of checks and balances for good reason; Barack wasn’t elected to show contempt and disregard for that system, to do whatever the hell he wants on his own. Because of this, I’m glad that I did not vote for him in the last election – and I have no intentions of voting for him in the forthcoming one either. (I’ll probably end up writing in somebody who isn’t affiliated with either of the major parties as the Republican candidates are all assholes also, inasmuch as I’m concerned.)
The point is, as I have been saying ALL ALONG, there are good people and those we consider to be bad among ALL of the categories of human beings. We would do well to remember that before giving in to the temptation of making “unfair, ambiguous and sweeping generalizations” of people just because they happen to share “one” thing in common.
Namaste and peace be with you,