I know you are, but what am I?

I landed on a conservative page the other day and started reading the comments.  There are those among them who believe that we’re the intellectually lazy and information deprived ones.  I’ll honestly admit I don’t get that.  I get my information from a hundred different sources.  Sure, there are ones to which I will not expose myself, but that only makes sense.  When a person’s profession seems to be making shit up, or being paid to disseminate what someone else made up, they’re not what I’d consider a decent source of news.  While they may accuse us of following in lockstep, I’ve seen very little evidence that this is the case.

Twelve years ago I considered myself a moderate.  I was a firm believer in the 2nd Amendment, believed government needed to be restrained, and felt willing to give newly elected George W. Bush the chance to prove himself to be worthy of his office.  As it turned out, few Republicans are worthy of their office.  Then again, I suppose even myopic, xenophobic, knee-jerking assholes deserve representation.  I just wonder if they need so much of it?  Seems like a lot of really loud assholes given free voice these days… in the so-called “liberal” media.

My wife told me that some friends had asked if I was a dyed in the wool Democrat.  I laughed at that.  I suppose it’s too much for someone to read everything I’ve written on the subject.  I am a Liberal first, a Democrat second.  I consider them the only game in town, as such things go, at least until someone shows as much tactical sense and forethought as the damn religious nuts and tea party types who hijacked a part of the Republican electoral machine and put their own maniacs in office.  The pro-business wing knows that the super-religious wing is not exactly viewed favorably, and that’s just not good for business.  People who work in a PR infected world understand how bad it is to have your brand tainted.

But the Democrats?  Near as I can tell the only serious attempt to inject new blood, a new paradigm, into the Democratic Party, is on the part of returning veterans who are pretty much saying “oh, fuck this shit.”  There’s no movement of bright young progressives ready to show the people what they’re about.  Why aren’t they trying to prove to us that we’re all far more liberal than the media suggests?  (And we may be.  But no one is really trying to do anything to prove it.)  If you want a more progressive party, why aren’t you actually moving to push them that way.  And, no, I don’t mean screaming about it, or writing scathing blog posts.  I mean putting your ass and your reputation on the line.

There are those on the left, as well as on the right, who say we need a revolution.  Sure, the left is talking peaceful, for the most part, while the right isn’t necessarily talking about going that route.  While the right suggests 2nd amendment solutions, the left continues to push for 1st amendment resolutions.  If we keep talking about it, it will get better.  And, yes, that does work over time.  Certainly the forward leaps we’ve seen in gay rights prove that, even if we do have so much farther to go.  And, frankly, I’d like to see an America where misogyny was seen as being as outrageous as racism, or homophobia is beginning to be.  Maybe it’s because we’re used to it, but our media regularly discounts the contributions or needs of women.  It should be as big a scandal to have a senate panel about women’s health composed entirely of men as it’s a scandal that the IRS allegedly targeted specific groups based on political beliefs.  (Justified or not).

I’ve found very few conservatives I would debate.  Why?  Because we don’t keep to the same rules.  My rules require personal engagement.  I don’t want to hear what someone else has to say about it,  I want to hear your thoughts… and if you agree with those people who say this or that, fine, but I want to know why.  What function of your intellect makes what they say more reasonable to you than any number of alternatives?

Yes, I know, I expect a lot.  I expect truth, I expect reason, and I damn well expect a person to have the ability to explain their own point of view.  I’m not much for shared revelation.  I don’t care if you think someone else is the messiah.  It is your perception that is of more use to me, not theirs.

Opinionated, stubborn, cantankerous, gimpy, cunning, observant, sardonic, and skeptical.  I’m also starting to bear an odd resemblance to “The Dude,” which is… interesting.