But I'm having a really hard time relating to people who get overly emotional about their politics. I know I used to, and there are things that I still feel very strongly about (in fact, probably most things), but I just don't see the point in getting angry at another human being because they vote differently.
Perhaps if I lived in a country where people were dying for their rights, but I'm not--my forebears already did that for me. They did it to secure a chunk of land where people would be free to disagree and discuss those disagreements civilly. To find common ground. They even wrote a big ol' Constitution guaranteeing our rights to do so, providing an amazingly flexible framework to secure those rights and freedoms for generations to come.
It comes as no surprise to most that I'm generally conservative, at least fiscally. I believe that people will succeed or they will fail. Irrespective of outside influence (i.e., welfare programs), the same people who would have failed on their own will continue to do so with help.
I believe in Capitalism and voting with my dollars.
I also believe in personal freedoms, and here my views (evidently, though I don't understand how) become quite liberal. Leave people alone to make their fortunes, their mistakes, their LIVES. Gay, straight, bi, whatever: live & let live.
But all too often I see real-live grown-ups getting pugilistic over this nonsense. Gay? NOT IN MY BACK YARD! Capitalist? UNFAIR AND I HATE YOU! And in the end Godwin's Law becomes more and more quickly proved: if you don't agree with me, I'll call you a Nazi. Cute.
And what do you say to that? "Yeah? Well you're a Nazi, too!" The argument is stupid, trite, and frankly irrational. And yet I hear it on things that both political spectra believe.
Don't-Ask/Don't-Tell is an amazing example of political ass-hattery. When it was instituted, the Right was up in arms. How dare this crazy liberal president dictate policies on sexual orientation to the military--it'll never work! Now? How dare these crazy conservatives defend the policy--it doesn't work! But...but...I really haven't heard anyone other than the mouthpieces defending the policy. So...we all agree. Right? But why can't we just say, "Hey, we agree: this policy is teh dum"? Is it because that would show weakness in the face of our political adversaries? 'Cause I gotta tell ya: that argument is teh dum.
So I call myself a conservative, right?
But yeah: the Tea Party shit has got to go. Seriously: it's embarrassing. I know there are some good people out there who have similar beliefs to my own, but the Glenn Becks and Sarah Palins of the world really make it look quite silly, as if all conservatives believe only that Obama isn't a citizen, Global Warming isn't real, and evolution is just a fancy myth perpetrated by the left.
The Boston Tea Party was a revolutionary decision that halted trade and had life-or-death consequences. That's why it worked. There was risk. This crap is just a media frenzy, and for all the wrong reasons.
It's lazy political action, like yelling at people on Facebook. If you want to make a difference, quit yelling and start talking.