Monday, March 19, 2007

Of Liberals and Conservatives

--cross-posted at my personal blog--

Does this blog title make any sense? Anyhow, for the past few weeks I have spent more time than usual with some Republicans. Though I live in Idaho, most of my friends and acquaintances are Democrats, a few are Socialists, and a few are independents. Unfortunately, this has made it far too easy to demonize Republicans. Without having multiple human faces to attach to the Republican ideology, I've caught myself, far too often, strongly disliking Republicans (except for family members and a few friends who I love and adore). I have forgotten that there are Republicans who care about the poor, who don't advocate torture, who are concerned that the War in Iraq was a big mistake, who aren't happy with George W. Bush, etc...and many of these Republicans I've spent time with even voted for some Democrats in November!

I've been thinking lately about a small transformation that has taken place the last few weeks as I've spent more and more time with some great Republicans. I've found myself less hardened-meaning when someone tells me they are a Republican, I won't automatically write them off as stupid, because many Republicans aren't stupid. Hell, I was a Republican for 21 years and while I feel that I am more informed, more mature, and more educated than I was as a Republican, many Republicans are far more informed than I, their maturity exceeds mine by leaps and bounds, and I can't even begin to approach their intelligence and education.

I guess what I've learned is that it is important that we try to surround ourselves with diversity. Not just a diversity of race/ethnicity, sex and gender, religious preference, sexual orientation, educational levels, socioeconomic status, and anything else we can imagine, but political beliefs.I've found this keeps me more honest, more focused and in a place where I continually analyze what I believe and why I believe it.

So, my Republican friends, I thank you.

"Mankind will endure when the world appreciates the logic of diversity."
Indira Gandhi

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Lessons Learned While Fleeing Utah

First of all, to all those who love to make fun of my poor spelling and grammar, I again offer you a chance to contribute to the blog. Enjoy!

Second, this will be a fairly conservative post. To all the Democrats on this site, I try to not turn this into my personal conservative forum. But, from time to time I reserve the liberty to indulge.

I spent the weekend at a friends wedding, and due to the extended periods of driving involved, I had the opportunity to take a break from my daily routine and think about other things. I decided that (as Joe pointed out) since I haven’t written anything for sometime, I would give a few highlights here.

First, I don't think that Nancy Pelosi was a wise choice for Speaker of the House. When the Republicans won control of Congress, Newt Gingrich demonstrated effective leadership of the Party while in the minority does not necessarily translate to effective leadership when in the majority. While the Democrats had some success during their "first 100 hours", their recent actions are showing significantly less coordination and, quite frankly, leadership.

Last Friday the Washington Times published this article, detailing the internal confusion about the most recent piece of legislation concerning Iraq. Of course people make mistakes, not every Congressman can always remember every detail of a particular piece of Legislation. But this is a major piece of legislation with major policy implications, one would think that the Democratic leadership would have made sure that their members were both informed, and supportive of the Legislation. This little tirade raises the question: if they couldn't get a nonbinding resolution passed, how do they expect to pass the current bill to force a troop withdrawal?

I personally think that the Democrats in Congress are falling apart. Now that their campaign promises are out of the way, they are beginning to factionalize, and their majority is only significant if they vote as a block. With minimal effort the Republican's can block most of their legislation, and will continue to do so until the Democrats prove that they can function as a group. All of the conservative accusations that the liberals had no alternative plan, but were demanding change simply to demand it are being proven right. For some of us this is a good thing, but if the Democrats want to maintain their hold, they had better get their act together.

I was overjoyed to hear the news from Washington D.C. While the issue will be appealed, I was happy to hear of this victory for responsible citizens everywhere. I am of the personal opinion that any weapon short of landmines, rocket launchers, and chemical/biological/nuclear weapons should be legal for law abiding citizens to own and use. I hope the higher courts will uphold this preservation of rights, and strike down similar laws in other parts of the country (I'm looking at you San Francisco). Hopefully the aforementioned disorganization by the Democratic Congress will bring about a swift end to this little number.