Friday, February 20

Leveling the Playing Field - Part 2

It looks like all the flattery didn't buy us a reprise; Jeff's already disputing facts and getting his panty hose in a knot. So for the record, b/c I like to run this ship free of errors (much like the NYT), let me state that Jeff didn't vote for Bush the second time and he regrets voting for him the first time. But it does sound like he'll support Palin in 2012 :)

So why should you care Jeff is my brother? Well, frankly, it doesn't matter. But if you're like me, his comments sometimes make you want to go screaming from the room and jump in a vat of boiling oil. He's that infuriating.

The funny thing is that his wife says that he is this critical of Democrats also. He loves to pin them in corners and argue just as vehemently. Their liberal friends think he's a card carrying conservative while I think he has become a bleeding heart liberal.

So the question becomes is he a Republican or a Democrat? I really have no clue. I do know he voted for Obama and that he likes paying taxes and wouldn't mind paying more if the government could use it to help more of those living in poverty. But he also voted for Bush both times and he supported the war. For a while. Now he's not such a big fan of it. Like a lot of Republicans.

So what is he? I'd say he is something that we are lacking in our country: an independent thinker.

We need more independent thinkers. We need people that aren't locked into boxes with donkeys or elephants on the outside. People that ask the hard questions. People that are innovative and creative problem solvers. People that just don't regurgitate the party platform and blindly support a candidate just because they are part of the big party machine. We need people who are willing to challenge the status quo and not afraid to back down. People who are critical thinkers.

Yes, I'm going to say it: We need more thinkers like Jeff in the world. Now do I always agree with him? Nope. Almost never, in fact, when it comes to political matters.

But I hope he'll stick around and continue to push us to defend our positions and ideals, not so we can make a believer out of him, (b/c that sooo ain't going to happen) but so we can become well-versed in the facts, better develop our positions and then be able to articulate them persuasively.

That's what I notice missing the most from the conservative side of the fence: people who can persuasively articulate their position. We rely too much on our emotions to make our point and we come across as slobbering idiots. If you want to whip a liberal in an argument, you'll never do it with emotion and platitudes. They only respect and respond to fact driven conversations.

Hopefully Jeff is here to stay. I once mentioned he should blog with me and we'd come up with some clever name like "Polar Opposites" or "I'm a little bit Country...And he's a little bit Rock N Roll" but he mumbled something about having a job and supporting his family.


So until he finds religion and decides he was created to be a political blogger, we'll just have to get our kicks from him in the comments.

And, if you ever think Jeff's being too hard on you, just throw in a "Palin 2012" or "the only place I get my news is from Fox News" and I guarantee he'll go running from the room and dive head first into a vat of boiling oil.

So who wants to come over for Easter dinner this year!


Jeff said...

Again, for the record, I did NOT vote for President Bush the second time and regret my vote for him the first time.

I also had serious misgivings about the war which quickly turned into all out opposition when it become clear how flimsy the case was for going to war, how Cheney and Rumsfeld lobbied for war (facts be damned), and how badly it was mismanaged from the start. I'm still stunned that it required a wallop in the 2006 elections for President Bush to fire Rumsfeld. His stubborn refusal to fire Rumsfeld years earlier is probably responsible for thousands of U.S. and Iraqi deaths/casualties.

People make the argument that President Bush was just one politician and that I shouldn't hold that against Republican ideology. President Bush, as bad of president as I think he was, is only a symptom of a much more serious problem deep within the Republican Party. My vote against him was less about him and more about what's happening in the party.

Putting allegience to some mythical ideology over a committment to understanding issues with a respect for independent non-partisan sources has nearly killed the party and has alienated most of the party's genuine thinkers--you know, those "elites" from New York and other cities and universities where people love gay people and hate God and America.

And then you have Sarah Palin. Oh my word. And to think I thought it couldn't get any worse than President Bush. I'm looking forward to "Joe the Plumber for President".

Jeff said...

But I love you anyway, sis.

happyathome said...

The Republican Party has taken a few wrong turns in the past several years, from national level right down to small town. I would have to say right now we are at an all time low with a major overhaul needed to be done.

What seems to be the hardest part is to find interested and qualified people to run for offices. Running for office takes a lot of time, money and for lack of a better word 'gumption'. It is upsetting when you have a canidate who would do a great job and does not get elected due to being outspent by the opposition. This is obviously not targeting any party but a broad issue of campaign finance that needs to be reformed desperately. How much did both Presidential campaigns spend on this last election? Could that money have been spent in a better way? I am sure of it. And who were the contributors? We know we can find out but I would bet not all of them were "joe the plumber".
As for being a Republican, I still hold my values of less government and lower taxes, all other issues I vote on what I feel is the best canidate. And if that is Palin in 2012, so be it! :-)

Jeff said...

Small government and low taxes is a perfectly fine starting point, but that doesn't mean smaller and lower is the answer to every question in every situation.

For example, in 2001 when President Bush inherited a budget surplus of over $100 Billion, should the government have used that money to pay down the debt, shore-up Social Security, improve infrastructure, better fund the SEC and save up for a rainy day, or should it have given taxpayers (mostly upper-income taxpayers) a $1.35 Trillion tax cut? I remember listening to Rush Limbaugh and Shawn Hannity back then. They railed against Democrats for wanting the government to keep the American people's money and ranted that we had to starve the government beast. What they failed to mention is that the government IS the American people.

It's not about lower taxes or smaller government--it's about responsible taxes and responsive government.

happyathome said...

Wow......I got no arguement on the campaign finance from you? So I am thinking you cannot argue it.
As for responsible taxes, that is also as vague as lower taxes. The definition variies from person to person, depending on needs and values. Less government is not necessarily smaller government either! Responsive can be within less government.

Marnie said...

I'm curious by the label "liberal." Do you think Democrats equal liberal or do you think I'm a liberal Democrat rather than a moderate Democrat? In your mind, what makes a Democrat liberal? I've always considered myself a moderate Democrat.

Ok, back to work.

Stephan said...

But what's a moderate Democrat? Is it anything like a conservative Democrat (you know, Volvo with a gun rack)?


In the end it does not really matter what we label ourselves, there are elements in both parties that have tainted the meaning of being in either one.

There was an interesting talk at TED about the differences between liberals and conservatives:

I do not think he is right on all points and I certainly do not fit the mold (I'm creative and want people to be treated fairly) but it's an interesting discussion piece.

Jeff said...

Great website. I've heard of TED but didn't realize the lectures were available online.


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