I’m done with the lies. I’m fed up with the misinformation and half-told stories. We’re entrapped in a system that posits the youngest generation alive against the oldest generation, each telling each other they’re leading to the destruction of the human race, throwing around labels like “heterosexist” and “homophobic” and “bigot” and “ignoramus” without even knowing what they mean, and that they hold many of the same traits which they throw labels at other people for having.
Let’s get some things straight. Liberals and conservatives lie, all the time. Independents lie, all the time. Presidents lie, Senators lie, Representatives lie. They all say things that they hear coming out of their mouth and instantly know they’re screwed for. We’ve gotten to an age where politicians are held to an extraordinary level of precision that not even the most righteous individual can handle. Anthony Weiner sent inappropriate texts to a woman across the country; Ted Haggard had gay sex with speed in public bathrooms after his anti-gay rants on his huge bully pulpit. Obama caved to right-wingers by adding “god” back into the Democratic platform.
Let me ask you – what does it say about us that we need a transcendent being for our rights? Can we not simply establish universal human rights that are owed to everyone simply because they are human? Can we not spend so much time going after people, instead of going after their ideas?
The incredible lack of the philosophic method in public dialogue, on TV, radio, and even written word astounds me. We are always told that liberals and conservatives alike simply get together and agree on a huge range of issues, that typically, not that many people would agree with on that many levels. You’re not going to convince me that so many people, millions, that call themselves liberal or conservative, agree on the incredibly wide range of issues that we are currently discussing (and even the ones we should be discussing but refuse to). That’s because it’s not gay marriage, or economic freedom, or abortion combines us, it’s the philosophy behind our sentiments that combines us. And that’s the great thing about philosophy, the fact that we can share the same philosophy – but disagree on issues. It then becomes an issue of degree, not of dichotomous principles.
And that’s what it comes down to between liberals and conservatives – it’s all different degrees of the same basic principles. Conservatives want more economic freedom; liberals want more social freedom. And that’s where we see the similarities – the conversation is about freedom, and the philosophic implications of freedom in different sectors of social life, and whether or not freedom is a universally acceptable virtue that should be implemented with no impediments (as the Libertarian faction would advocate). That is the conversation that needs to be had.
It’s time for the media to stop shying away from the label of “provocative.” What is the media supposed to enshrine but provocativeness? The greatest compliment you can receive is that of being a “provocateur.” That word is reserved for the most brilliant minds that brought us the most radical, influential thought in the history of our species. Interracial marriage, women’s suffrage, the American Revolution, all came from those that would be considered provocative figures in American and world history.
Look at the gay rights debate in this country today. We have to factions: the “people are born gay” and the “people choose to be gay” war is one of the most vibrant and contested debates in this country. And what’s sad is not only that the media chooses to shy away from that debate, but also that they fail to do what only they can do: tell the world that both sides are essentially wrong.
We must get over the time when liberals see “Gay gene found” on a headline and conservatives see “Study shows people choose homosexual behavior” on a Fox News segment and they don’t read the study, don’t even read the article, and then say “Well scientists have proven me right.” Just like with candidate’s budget bills, we have to read them. No longer are the days when we can count on any independent organization to provide the basic truths of these issues. We must find them for ourselves – and we should have always had to find them for ourselves.
A homosexual preference is determined by a genetic predisposition to the homosexual orientation, with sufficient environmental factors to bring out that trait. It’s just like cancer – plenty of people that don’t have lung cancer have the gene that predisposes them to lung cancer, just as plenty of legitimately straight individuals do indeed have the gay gene.
Once again, the media and the ignorant elite have framed the question and the debate in the entirely wrong context. We should be discussing whether or not the government, and society, has an interest in legislating against or having any kind of preferential treatment for those that either are not predisposed to homosexual tendencies, or those that are that have had nonsufficient environmental factors to bring out that trait in their sexual drive and behavior.
On the same topic – homosexuality, and more specifically those that legitimately have a homosexual orientation, are by definition mutated. The liberal elite love to throw up their arms and scream “bigot” when someone says that homosexuals are mutated. But it’s amazing to me not only that liberals, who typically believe in evolution, deny the claim while conservatives who detest the theory of evolution use the very language and process in discussing their opinions on homosexuality. In evolutionary terms, homosexuality is a mutation – and undesirable one at that when considered in the strictest scientific terms of evolution. We cannot procreate – we actively work against the main goal of any species as set out by Darwin’s theory of evolution.
But once again, the question and the debate are framed entirely wrong. The question we should be asking, the inherently philosophical one, is whether or not we have any right or reason to legislate against or hold any prejudice against those that are mutated. Most people by now have seen at least part of the Xmen series. Is that not a movie entirely encompassed by the philosophical debate of a species reaction to and protection against mutations, good or bad? Is the question not whether or not one is mutated, but the inherent worth of that mutation along with its effects on the general population?
I’m sick and tired of liberals labeling conservative values inherently evil or undesirable, and conservatives labeling liberal ideas as aimed towards the destruction of tradition and civilization as we know it. Liberals by definition move for change, for robust growth not only economically but socially. Conservatives on the other hand fight for the status quo, a slow, cautious growth oftentimes guided by principles that they believe should be universally accepted. Either way – the debate once again should be had on a philosophic level; a discussion needs to be had of the rate at which society and culture should change in order to maintain value and worth of those who want to change faster, and those who want to remain the same. The question in order is change, and the implications of the rate of change, not whether or not change is universally good or inherently dangerous.
Liberals hold honest beliefs, that they truly believe to be “virtuous,” if you allow me to use such a vague term. But what we need to realize is that conservatives do the exact same thing, they honestly believe that homosexuality is a dangerous phenomenon, and a strong military is the way to global security and a laissez faire economy will benefit everyone, even the poor. And this is what people are getting at when they say that liberals and conservative in today’s polarized political sphere, are essentially the same. They develop their ideas in the same way, with the same general goals in mind: the prosperity of the country and the continuing influential presence of the United States in global politics.
But there is a difference, a very important difference in liberal and conservative values, and once again, it comes down to philosophy, specifically agency. Conservatives give their beliefs authority over other human beings, while liberals typically look at their beliefs and say that they are deeply personal, and hold no authority over other human beings. That’s not to say all liberals act that way – for every Sean Hannity there is a Bill Ayers.
Now many will say that liberals do indeed hold their beliefs to have authority over others, especially when it comes to money, to the economy. They say that we want to take peoples money, that people deserve all the money they get. The RNC convention was based on “We built it.” Well yes, you built it, but let’s not forget you wouldn’t have a company without the employees, and that corporate taxes are concurrent claims on a company’s funds for the services that the government provides that make the company profitable and secure: roads, bridges, police officers, fire fighters, and even the printing of the capital that you cherish so much, which they can’t believe is a no-cost process.
Here’s the difference between liberals and conservatives, basically: liberals want more social freedom, less economic freedom; conservatives believe in less social freedom and more economic freedom. So let’s have the conversation, explicitly, for once: what is the difference between social freedom and economic freedom? Should they both be fought for because they simply have the word “freedom” after it? And that’s what makes it a philosophic question. It addresses the role of “freedom” in a liberal republic.
Social freedom involves an unlimited resource. Conservative talking points against gay marriage don’t include the ridiculous idea that there are a limited number of marriage licenses and thus we should give preferential treatment to heterosexual couples.
Economic freedom is radically and fundamentally different. Economics deals with what is definitively a limited resource. Liberals love to ask conservatives how the gay couple next door being married affects you, which is a fair question. But why don’t we also ask, “Do you recognize any impact your enormous tax return has on those that have much less than you?” If they’re honest, they’ll say that yes, it has a direct effect. Because it deals with money, and every dollar you own is part of an aggregate resource, specifically how much money is there in total, it has a direct effect on every other person that is even remotely involved in the economic realm, which everyone is.
So I am now calling on the media, specifically the “mainstream media” which receives so much criticism from the right-wing. Simply because a fact appears to support a liberal or conservative position, doesn’t mean that reporting that fact makes your business any less credible.