I’m generally more of a reader than a participant when it comes to online discussions, so my activities last night come as something of a surprise. I went off on a comment made to an article posted on newsvine (
link The article discussed is no longer posted online… author inexplicably deleted it earlier today – 8/12).
Since I put so much effort into my reply, I didn’t want to waste it on the bowels of the internet… so I saved it here. Regular readers (both of you) will find nothing new here, so feel free to skip it.
Here it is…
Here’s what I find interesting… we cry about taxes and scream that government is wasting our money, so we cut back. Then, when government fails, we shake our heads and bemoan incompetence. Perhaps government fails because it is underfunded, and poorly tended. Is it not possible that the feeling seemingly prevalent in conservative circles that “government is bad” is a self fulfilling prophesy?
As a liberal, I don’t think government is evil. I may not speak for all of us, but I don’t think I’m alone. Here’s what I do think is (borderline) evil… the way my government is sometimes mis-used, as I feel it has been by the current, Republican administration. Mind you, I don’t feel all Republicans are evil, and on several issues I happen to agree with many of them.
As a liberal, I don’t think government should have “power” over our lives, I think it should serve us… in unique circumstances where private industry can not. Defense and infrastructure are obvious examples (to me anyway). Health care is less obvious (to some), but perhaps just as necessary. I don’t equate this service with power over us.
As for the David Limbaugh article (who, incidentally, I knew from the start was not Rush), I take umbrage with the suggestion that liberal values are purely the result of being beholden to special interests. I am a liberal, and I am not a politician. I believe in gay and lesbian rights. I believe the war was a mistake. I believe the free market is not the answer to every problem, and exacerbates some (re: health care). I believe it does not create a level playing field for all, relative to merit. I believe in some kind of atonement to make up for centuries of abhorrent treatment of minorities (some of which, to a lesser extent, continue today). While you, Mr Limbaugh, and many, many others may disagree with me, it does not necessarily make me or the people I vote for cynically beholden to “special interests,” it makes me (and my chosen representatives) principled… in so far as my actions are consistent with my view of morality.
Conversely, I find Mr Limbaugh’s apparent (and successful) attempts to convert Liberalism into a kind of stigma: unprincipled. There are more people out here than you may think, who agree with Democrats in office… liberal or not. We’re not evil because we believe gays and lesbians should be treated decently. As such, our views should… at a minimum, be treated with respect, and not evoke the brandishing of the “liberal” label like it’s an insult, like a child calling someone names.
I hate to speak for some of the other commenters, but I suspect this may be at the heart of their dissent. Do I believe special interests can wreak havoc with our political system? Absolutely. Do I believe Democrats and Republicans alike can be the culprit. Again, absolutely. Because I believe both parties are ultimately the culprit, neither can claim to be the sole arbiter of justice. Therefore, a Republican can no more decry a Democrat’s desire for wanting to limit the role of “special interests” than can a Democrat of a Republican.
It is for the reasons noted above that I find Mr. Limbaugh’s comments rather shallow, and without merit.