Saturday, May 16, 2009

Listening to the Right

By most standards, I'm a flaming commie liberal. I support equal rights for all human beings, oppose the death penalty, oppose war, support a woman's right to choose (even while disliking abortion - yes, I can live with the ambiguity), favor banning guns, believe in decriminalizing drugs, and a whole mess of other liberal and libertarian stances. But I am not a Democrat.

I believe in the most freedom for the most people, in the most compassionate way possible. That means universal health care, lower taxes on the poor and higher taxes on the rich, free education, and clean quality food for all people.

All these things tend to be "liberal" values, but the Democrats are not liberals, at least not the politicians. The Republicans are even worse. But there are things they hold as truths that I also value.

I believe in personal responsibility, the community as the foundation of values, that we cannot legislate equality any more than we can legislate morality (they seem to forget the second part of that), that freedom of speech applies equally in all areas not just to speech we agree with, and that sometimes (very rarely, one hopes) we must use violence to protect the weak.

When one favors one position more than another (such as liberalism), it's east to simply read those sites that support ones own beliefs - The Nation, The Progressive, In These Times, Huffington Post, and so on.

But to be well-rounded, it helps to read the other side, the conservative blogs and magazines. Here are a few that I find useful, even though I tend to disagree more often than not:

Big Hollywood (conservative forays into the culture wars)
Taki’s Top Drawer, edited by Taki Theodoracopulos (libertarian)
Weekly Standard Blog
Reason Magazine (libertarian)
No Left Turns
National Review Online
American Thinker (not always conservative, but mostly)

Anyway, for anybody who is interested, these sites are a good start to what the right thinks - and I have avoided the painfully wingnut bloggers such as Michelle Malkin, Little Green Footballs, and the rest - they are not so much conservative as ignorant.


tinythinker said...

I know what you mean (generally speaking); however ...

*personal responsibility
*the community as the foundation of values [It Takes a Village anyone?]
*freedom of speech applies equally in all areas not just to speech we agree with [Bush era "free speech zones" well away W's hearing distance?]
*sometimes (very rarely, one hopes) we must use violence to protect the weak.

...since when are these strictly or even primarly "conservative" values?

Yosh said...

I have never understood how the right is pro-life but for the death penalty, and the left is pro-choice but against the death penalty

bemused soul said...

What do you think you would classify yourself as, if not Democrat or Republican? Or would you classify yourself at all?

william harryman said...

Bemused Soul,

Some people use the term post-partisan. But I believe only in a politics of compassion, and whatever offers the most compassion to most people is cool with me.


william harryman said...


agreed, but the right tends to claim those values (along with smaller govt and lower taxes) as their domains, and the left allows them to do so much of the time