Thursday, September 2, 2010

Clowns To The Left Of Me, Jokers To The Right...

These days, I follow Balloon Juice more closely than any other political blog. Why? Because it's the only blog I know of where on any given day, I can read no fewer than two new posts, more often three, and find myself saying out loud, "THANK YOU." It's the only blog I know of where everyone who contributes on a regular or semi-regular basis seems to grasp not only just how fucked up this country is, but how both the progressive clowns and the teabagger jokers out there are doing little beyond exacerbating this problem as well. I touched on this issue earlier, mostly out of frustration and a growing disgust with fellow liberals in general.

That was a couple weeks ago. However, little has changed since then. The only reason I still call myself a liberal now is because I don't know what else to call myself. I'm going to keep voting the way I've been voting, right along with the proud liberals -- none of that has changed, and I doubt it ever will. It's just that trainloads of other left-leaning voters have this knack for rubbing me the wrong way. And I may have figured out why.

See, ten years ago, I called myself a conservative. Whether or not I was, I don't really know for sure -- I think I've always been more of a libertarian than anything else, just one who started leaning more and more to the left during the Bush years. Whatever. What I do know is I developed behavioral patterns common among the sensible right-leaning people before starting my right-to-left political migration: wary of strangers but not hysterically so, doubtful of the idea that humans are intrinsically good but hopeful that they are, wanting to viciously shatter the skulls of people who habitually piss me off but refraining from doing so because I fear the inevitable consequences -- you get the idea. (Small wonder why John Cole would think the world of Tunch.) This is the way my mind has always functioned, the way a self-described conservative's mind functions. I know it, I used to be one. In practice, I am a liberal. But internally, I am a conservative. And always will be.

I think this is why I not only don't get along with too many liberals these days, it's why I don't want to get along with them, either. I'm just not like them. My solidarity with them begins and ends at the voting booth, and maybe that's the way it ought to be.

My 2 cents...


  1. This makes sense to me. I've always been left leaning in most areas, but skeptical of big idea utopians of any side. Radical plans, even with wonderful intentions, can have awful results, so I considered myself a conservative for a while. Then I saw what the movement conservatives and republicans actually stood for (late eighties/early nineties) and was a democratic leaning independent for twenty years. The George W. Bush reign forced me to pick a side and I became a democrat. But I don't find myself feeling a great affinity for much of the liberal or progressive blogosphere. Even when I agree with the policy, I am appalled by the sturm and drang of the process. (Note: I am not calling anyone a Nazi.) I appreciate that there needs to be activists that push hard, but personality wise that is just not me. It is a weird type of cognitive dissonance to which I have not quite adapted.

  2. I'm not much of an activist, either. Tried it for a while, just didn't suit me. I think you have to have a certain measure of fanaticism in you for that, and there is none of that in me at all. That, and I don't care much for fanatics -- it seems they never know when to give it a rest.

    I'm a pragmatist more than anything when it comes to politics. The health care reform debate proved that to me. None of the possible proposals were good -- I wanted the public option right along with the rest of the lefties, but I could see that it simply wasn't going to happen. So I went with the least loathsome choice: get the bill passed, flawed as it is, now before we lose this chance for another friggin' generation, and work on fixing it later.

    I'm still waiting for the fixing to begin...

  3. Your pragmatism makes sense, Jim. I, too, started out as a conservative--definitely on the extreme end of right--as a teenager and fortunately grew out of it in college in the 60's. Since it was the 60's, my evolution took me to the far left before I settled in as a democratic socialist, or something like that. I think living across the spectrum adds a perspective that you don't get when you live in one way of thinking your entire life.


This is a First Amendment zone, but I do use word verification now. If you don't like that, well, this is also a Fifth Amendment zone. Take your pick...