It always struck me as odd that one would both be a "free thinker" by any definition and a conservative, mainly because conservatism has a hard time applying tradition to change, but do so anyway. Free thinkers are more up for good ideas than conservatives.The closest thing we have today would be folks like you, Les, who are able to mix libertarianism and conservatism with some liberalism and progressivism thrown in here and there when necessary. I don't think you're alone, at all, but I don't see a movement leader out there for such a constituency. It's too bad, really. I remember how whenever Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul would put their heads together, Capital Hill had to take notice. With your constituency there is hope for compromise and getting things done, two things we do not have right now. Among some who call themselves Free Thinkers, there are "classical liberals," libertarians, objectivists, but they can often be very dogmatic themselves, insisting on an odd assortment of radical changes that most people either don't understand or don't want when taken as a whole. They're not really "conservative." Even the "classical liberal" thing is a bit of a canard. What does that mean? "Thinking from a few hundred years ago?" They were pretty radically liberal then and it would stand to reason they'd be such now.Besides, "conservatism" today is a thorough projection of a few magnates through the lens of the Bible Belt. It's a cesspool. William F Buckley must be weeping in Conservative Catholic Heaven (it's actually a restored plantation cum frat house).JMJ
If you subscribe to this precept - Chicanery and corruption are the default condition of the human species - then you will fathom the depth of my anger and rage. In violating centuries of Constitutional tradition and protocol, the GOP has fundamentally changed the rules of democratic engagement from contest to conquest.Furthermore, if you accept chicanery and corruption as a fundamental moral defect, then my concern applies to Democrats in equal measure. Yes, Democrats - who are no less guilty of gamesmanship and self-serving vanity that grants special privileges to key constituents. There are corporatists and oligarchs on both sides of the aisle! When one party breaks ranks, the other party is sure to follow. The demise of democracy is turning into a bipartisan effort.
For the most part, you are making some pretty good points with this series of posts, Les. The elephant in the room (party mascot connection intended) is FreeThinke... often a subject of these posts. You won't find less of a free thinker than him. He gets an "E" grade when it comes to Free Thinking.....and that's as good of an explanation for his handle as any.Jersey: Missing from your description is any mention of changing one's views given their experience, learning new facts, and the rest. Would you include this? Have you changed your mind on any of the major issues in the past 10 years, or even 20? i know I have. Les and Will have too. I think that's a very important part of it.If you are truly using your mind without prejudice (quoting from the graphic), then surely that mind will be changed at times.
Excellent points JMJ.No one political or religious ideology has all the right answers. Ideas are not the exclusive domain of either liberal, conservative, libertarian, or objectivist ideology. Any person or group who believes otherwise is an ideologue and simply has a closed mind(s).No idea or ideology is EVIL per se, only those that advocate the use of force to impose the ideology on others against their will. This applies to both political and religious ideology.It is obvious that society must have rules and disciplines or it will simply devolve into anarchy and chaos. Striking the ideal balance between maximum individual liberty and maintaining a proper social order is the responsibility of government. A concept that seems hard for some to grasp.My greatest fear is that the ideologues of the conservative socon and neo-con right will prevail in their relentless effort to impose their values on all of us. There was a time the far left needed push back. The pendulum has sung too far right ad thus the need for push back against it.And so it was, is, and always will be...
Well, dmarks, on most "major issues" I haven't had any chance to see anything new that would change my mind. For instance, if a truly national healthcare system was actually put in place, and it didn't work, then maybe I'd have a chance to change my mind about that. Or, if we suddenly decided enough is enough already with the military empire, and we dramatically reduced the size of it, then I'd have a chance to see if it's actually a good idea or not. Same goes for more progressive taxation, or Keynesian investment, or gun control, or a host of other things we just haven't seen, so I really just haven't had the opportunity to have my mind changed in the first place. I mean, look, I'm always up for new ideas, but when all you see is the same thing over and over, it's hard to become convinced of the whether some new idea, never tried, is good or not.Unfortunately, my mind has changed in a few things over the past twenty years, but only because reality beat the hope out of me. I always considered my self a staunch supporter of Israel, but now I think Zionism was a monumental historical mistake. I was pro-death penalty, or at least on the fence, but was convinced by libertarians that it was a terrible idea.On less cynical notes, I became convinced, not too many years ago, that corporate taxation, is nothing but a sneaky regressive tax designed to look progressive but only shifting the tax burden to consumers. I became convinced that some forms of "School Choice" are in fact good ideas, though only for urban areas, really.Les, you are right about the pendulum, but the Right simply doesn't see it at all. They still see themselves of endless martyred victims of over evil progressive overlords. They just aren't on the same planet as the rest of us anymore.JMJ
Jersey: Regardless of disagreement on some issues (which wasn't the point, anyway), I now see you are not "set in your ways". That counts for what I was getting at on free thinking.(An aside on one of the issues I named. I'm fine with school choice urban and rural. But it must be to improve education, and NOT a back door way strengthen/re-introduce segregation. I remember a proposed school choice plan for the Metro Detroit region, which by design excluded the overwhelmingly black kids from the city of Detroit itself. I easily saw that as a non-starter, and not any sort of program I would support at all.)
Granted. Now, are there any Progressive FreeThinkers today?Self-described 'liberals' are an extremely intolerant, dogmatic crowd. Their latest hysterical rants on the ridiculous and legally-ignorant 'arguments' that the GOP are traitors and should be charged under the Logan act is just the latest exampled of people becoming unhinged when their political heroes and their doxies are threatened. But they do provide high hilarity and unending entertainment.Very little free-thinking goes on anymore on any side. That subset of atheists who laugh at those who believe in God and call our scriptures fairy tales are not Freethinkers either.The crowd you have been running with, Les, love to stroke one another and consider themselves open-minded, but just like everyone else, including those they despise, they are not. Challenge their dearly-held dogma, and they'll spit on you.We are all capable of freethinking from time to time, but when you get into the political trenches, freethinking will get your guts carved out or shot in the back.Focusing on the issues instead of personalities can at least provide an opportunity for debate, but certain characters on the right seem to live in the left's head rent free, 24/7. I struggle to find a media mouth on the left who attracts as much attention from the right, the way Limbaugh or some others get the left stirred up. Sarah Palin has zero influence and has done nothing but shoot off her mouth since quitting as governor of Alaska, but she can send the leftwing loonies into a frenzy with one tweet.Our own FreeThinke possessed the same ability to get in you guy's heads. Maybe people on the left simply enjoy trafficking in personalities and attacking the other? I don't know, if I were FreeThinke, I'd be proud of all the attention paid to me. But anyway, this isn't a criticism of your side, just thinking out loud. I don't begrudge you and your confreres your opinions or your preference for personality-based blog topics. There is a place for attacking your political enemies, and even though I am on the right, I probably find the GOP almost as distasteful as you do.If any of you want to discuss the issues of the day, you are always welcome to stop by Western Hero and comment. It's a free-speech arena, where the only filters are on certain vulgarities.
Below is an excerpt from FreeThinke's recent post. I'm glad you run in his circles and confer with him. Hate filed and vindictive he is FAR from a Freethinker. His kind need a time machine so they can go back 1776 and relive history.Keep the earwig company Silver. He seems to have you buffaloed. In case you've not noticed -- and I've long been sure you had -- I just LOVE irritating the you-know-what out of the Libitches and Libasturds. I agree there is a de facto conspiracy among a hugely powerful coterie of Elite Internationalists who have no allegiance to anything but MONEY and to THEIR ACCURSED SELVES, but the false-conservatives who play the role the STUPID Party are insufferable, but the so-called Progressives, who pay the role of the EVIL Party with consummate skill and uncommon verve are the villains we really LOVE to HATE.Metaphorically tweaking their noses and kicking them in the shins gives me no end of pleasure. It's downright SOUL SATISFYIN' in fact. };-)>
Hey Silver, thanks for stopping by. I shall give more thought to your comment and respond thoughtfully. One quick comment; FreeThinke is a pompous fraud. As for personality based focus, the reactionary crowd at FT's and other far right wing sites I refuse to take seriouslyMore later.
Given the observational evidence there exists by far more FreeThinkers in the liberal sphere than conservative. I am in complete disagreement with respect to Cotton and the actions of the 47. I have no issue with Senators of either party taking issue with any administration, at home. What Cotton and the others did was irresponsible and it damages America, if that escapes some so be it.Conservatives in lions share are as steeped in dogma as liberals, if not more so and they can be as rude and closed minded as they accuse liverals of being.I agree focusing on issues can provide opportunity for discussion, if both sides are honest and respectful out of the chute. I have found conservatives especially are disingenuous and very often go on high alert and start discharging spears. IE: many conservatives do not what honest discussion, they want their hyperbole to be heard and accepted, period. Conservatives like "FreeThinke", the man who penned the mirror series, ought to look in the mirror more often. Sure, he can be as proud as he wants to be. I' m sure his choir will join together to sing his praises. BTW, FT does not get into my head. But I'm pretty sure I've got into his head.Leftwing loonies? Sure, there are some of those. The rightwing has there rather large share as well.I have no party. Why? Because they are both lying entities. The difference? Conservatives are just the bigger of the two these days. Have been for at least 14 years. I'm an individual, I move to my own tune and cadence, I resist authority and those who would impose their values on me. Doing so is the agenda of the consevative neo-con, socon, and Tea Pot wing of the republican party. When this nation comes apart at its seams there will ample blame to do around. Just right now the biggest push back must be directed towards conservatives. It is the pendulum effect. I'm sure you get it. Many don't on both sides of the pendulum.Talk about all scream all the time, I can barely watch Fox News anymore.
They did it "at home.". What are you talking about? Were they supposed to only whisper it in Obama's ear?Or maybe they could have visited our enemies as Democrats have done? Point is, when the other party disagrees with the president, they write letters, etc. The Logan Act screaming from the left is ridiculous twaddle. An open letter is not "private communication." Also, the State Department issued a ruling awhile back determining that senators and congressmen are also "the government," and no one has ever been prosecuted under the act.You still watch Fox News? I turned that off years ago.FreeThinke and more famous conservatives are indeed infesting your consciousness. This post has revealed that to those who visit here. Maybe if you and your confreres focused more on the issues? I'd love to read some libertarian content here.And your very first statement? It is an unfounded assertion. You've provided no evidence. Go to one of the leftwing blogs and ask to submit a guest post on the wonders of Ayn Rand's philosophies. Anyway Les, I wish you all the best in shaking that damned FreeThinke earwig from your head.And my invitation stands. We relish opposing viewpoints at Western Hero. It spices up the dialog and we all learn from it.
Hmm. I turned off Fox News too.
Response as I anticipated.Exposing FreeThinke for what he really is, which is anything bur a FreeThinkers is not him getting into my head. I called a spade a spade. End of storyBTW, assertions exist in your prior as well.Wish you continued blogging success. Might even stop by again one day. Ya just never know.
PS: Tell FreeThinke he's welcome to stop in here anytime. If he has something of value to share.
PPS: BTW, there is a reason Ayn Rand backed away from and did not embrace libertarisnism, it is because its natural endpoint us anarchy. But you already knew that didn't you,
dmarks, consider my occasional vists to Rupert's propaganda enterprise as looking for a bit of comic relief.
Reminds me of Susan Jacoby's book, 'Freethinkers-A History of American Secularism', where it is noted:"Jacoby's account begins with the pre-revolutionary colonial boys and their concern for peace and justice on earth. It ends with the Texas theocrats (like George W. Bush and Tom Delay) claiming to be doing God's work. She details how we got to a world of politics dominated by concerns over evolution, abortion, stem-cell research, flag burning, and same-sex marriage, while the real and significant issues of our day are ignored or given a make-over by conservative contrarians whose job is to rewrite history, science, or whatever else stands in the way of a fact-based account of reality. "Source: http://skepdic.com/refuge/jacoby.html
Humans are strange creatures BB Idaho and methinks the Tea Party and modern day reactionaries are the strangest (and possibly the dumbest) of them all.
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