Where Do You Stand?

One of my blogging friends recently posted the contents of a newsletter she received from her Conservative congressman. In her post, she pointed out that she didn’t vote for this person — nor would she — as she strongly disagrees with his political platform, which she described as follows:

He is anti-women’s rights, anti-LGBT rights, opposes the use of renewable energy, has an “A” rating from the NRA, wishes to repeal ACA (Obamacare), supports maintaining a “numerically superior” nuclear arsenal, supports Trump’s border wall and a ban on Syrian refugees, supports a “Judeo-Christian” national code of morality, and more.

From my perspective, this person pretty much comes across as a poster child for hardcore Conservatives so I’m quite sure I wouldn’t vote for him either.

In the political arena, I suppose I would be considered more “liberal-minded” as I tend to have more of a live-and-let-live attitude towards life. In fact, I find it rather appalling when some individuals insist their perspective on life should be mandatory for everyone. It seems that allowing individuals to be who they are according to their own conscience and desires is somehow verboten.

FLASH! We are not robots. None of us has been programmed to live according to any one particular paradigm.

I am not saying that liberal-leaning individuals have all the answers. In fact, I feel many of them go overboard in their viewpoints as well. What I am saying is we are all individuals. Each of us possesses a brain and a conscience. Each of us is a product of our upbringing and life experiences.

In other words, the opinions and outlooks we have formed about the world we live in is very personal — which is why I believe it becomes a mockery to individual independence when politicians (on both sides) attempt to control the lives of others by passing laws that favor one part of society over another.

It’s a bit unnerving to see how the divisions in this nation’s political realm are gradually ripping communities apart. Insults and name-calling are commonplace, and there have even been incidents of violence. The possibility of a civil war has been mentioned by some. I dread to think it could go that far, yet the many signs of unrest are distressing.

I admit I don’t have all the answers. There is certainly evidence a nation will fail without some sort of governing body, but I do wish ours could be a bit more egalitarian.

I suppose, as the saying goes, this too shall pass. But sometimes I wonder how bad it’s going to get before then.


16 thoughts on “Where Do You Stand?

  1. Thanks for this, Nan. Many of my views are nuanced and I don’t fit neatly into the sharp left/right divide we have today in the U. S.

    I was just reading this morning a good N. Y. Times article “Our Culture of Contempt” https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/02/opinion/sunday/political-polarization.html He points out that vigorous debate of the issues is a good thing, but *how* we do it matters; it has to be healthy debate.

    As McGowan says about marriage in his book, the thing that will really hurt us is *contempt* — this increasing divisive belief that “we” are good/worthy and “they” are evil/worthless. I see it everywhere these days, from both sides, and it is worrisome.

    I love Lincoln’s inaugural quote: “We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection.” I’m really worried that we are losing the ability to think of ourselves as “one nation,” and debate and disagree without discounting the worth and personhood of the ones on the other side. I honestly hope we’re not headed for civil war.

    Liked by 2 people

    • From the article you suggested, this remark stood out to me: One in six Americans has stopped talking to a family member or close friend because of the 2016 election. It’s a pretty sad state of affairs when one man can be so polarizing. But unfortunately, it speaks of the times we’re living in.

      I do hope something happens in the not-too-distant future that gets us back on somewhat of an even keel. However, I feel it would be unwise for me to hold my breath.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Hello Nan. While I can agree with you in the most part, I do disagree on legislation that controls the worst abuses in human nature toward each other and to promote the overall good of the people. I am talking both in the individual and corporate world. I am talking controlling greed and discrimination. I believe in laws strengthening the wall of church state separation. As you know I am progressive in my outlook, and also I am willing to let others do what they wish in their lives as long as they harm no one else doing it. I like the idea of having a really good reason to restrict the personal actions of consenting adults and I see very few of those. I support a social safety system with goals that look after the people in the country even if it requires higher taxes on corporations and large sums of wealth. I think we can learn from history on that score. We have a lot going for the US but we can learn from other countries that have programs that work. LOL, guess I sort went all on a rant. Hugs

    Liked by 4 people

    • You’re welcome to rant all you want, Scottie. The way things are, I think we all need to blow off some steam now and again. That’s sorta’ what I was doing in my post … just a bit differently than you. 😀

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I went on my rant on someone else’s WP site last night, so I vented some of my recent vehemence already. Scottie just reminded me of the one hippie law we made in the 60s, “Be who you want to be, do what you want to do, as long as you don’t hurt anyone in the process.” That’s anyone, as in including yourself.
    “I will do unto others only that which I would allow others to do unto me”–my version of the golden rule. It is personal, it involves responsibility, choice, and sincerity.
    I hate to admit in the past 3 years I have not followed my own life rules at all times. That is on me. Unfortunately life is no longer as clearly defined as it used to seem to be. It is up to us to bring that clarity back. No one else is going to do that for us!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. If history provides any guide, and I believe it does, then this is what it tells us:

    1) That the cultural polarization we’re seeing is not just limited to the U.S. and that it is pervasive throughout the western world.
    2) That this pervasive cultural polarization has reached a point of crisis.
    3) That in any societal crisis pitting relatively equal opposing forces against each other, any outcome is possible.

    For these reasons. we better be smart and act wisely right now. In Antebellum America, the U.S. government stood firm against Southern Secession and slavery which preserved the Union at a cost of about 750,000 souls. In Interbellum Europe, the German government acquiesced to Nazism and fascism which caused the deaths of about 60 million people worldwide as well as devastation on an unprecedented scale. Whatever we do or don’t do, there will be a cost. What cost are we willing to pay?

    Liked by 4 people

    • What cost are we willing to pay? I think we would all prefer the minimum, but the way things are going, I fear it’s going to be much more than many of us can afford.

      The outlook is grim.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. In other words, the opinions and outlooks we have formed about the world we live in is very personal — which is why I believe it becomes a mockery to individual independence when politicians (on both sides) attempt to control the lives of others by passing laws that favor one part of society over another.

    I understand the general spirit of this post, but I guess I am not sure I agree completely with the above statement. Can laws favor everybody? I mean certainly the Civil Rights Act wasn’t very well received by a some portion of the population. In a society, I guess I don’t see how individual independence can be maintained through the passage of laws. Ideally laws are supposed to set some reasonable societal boundaries to individual freedoms. Like you’re free to hate black people but you still have to serve them in your business if they come in.

    I guess I’m less interested in what ideas individuals come up with. People are free to believe the Earth is flat or 6K years old, but when they start lobbying for it to be part of education, I’m going to have a problem. As far as this conservative politicians platforms, I’d have no problem with any of it, if any of it was rooted in some sort of evidence, beyond what people feel about it. If a wall was the best way to stop illegal drugs, and keep out illegal immigrants, then I’d actually be for it.

    I also question how much of our worldview is very personal. It might feel personal, but the way people’s worldview has been captured by the attention economy on social media and the internet, and before that other forms of propaganda, there seems to be always some significant sized group of people that is manipulated into the worldview of those that hold or are seeking power.


  6. Uh, re “supports a “Judeo-Christian” national code of morality” I sure would like to see such a thing, were it to exist. I wonder if they included anything from Leviticus (the punishment for blasphemy is death, stoning disobedient teens, it is okay to abuse slaves as long as you do not kill them, etc.)? Has anyone made a list of the things that are abominations and the punishment for them?


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