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Old April 12, 2009, 06:30 AM   #51
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I'm a simple, ordinary old man and for me the answer to the OP is pretty basic.

Conservatives/Libertarians tend to blame the individual for the deficiencies of the individual.

Liberals tend to blame outside forces for the deficiencies of the individual.

For example, conservatives tend to blame the person pulling the trigger of the gun for the outcome of "pulling that trigger". Liberals tend to blame society or the person selling or manufacturing the gun for the "pulling of that trigger".

This difference in basic outlooks can apply to almost any question the OP asked about IMHO (i.e, except gay marriage).

I fall heavily into the conservative camp. I believe strongly that we all hit the "crossroads" in our lives at some point in time and we have to make a choice. The choice is that of the individual.

As far as the constitutional liberal.... just depends on your basic outlook on individual versus collective rights IMHO. I believe the constitution was written to enhance and protect individual rights, liberals disagree with me.

Edit: Do I think my way is clearly the correct one and I know this for sure? No.

Last edited by RDak; April 12, 2009 at 06:47 AM.
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Old April 12, 2009, 11:44 AM   #52
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RDak - You have a very clear picture, and that individual rights form the true path to freedom.

There has been a disconnect taking place over time, that somehow relates collectivism to some sort of bastardized democracy. Most folks don't understand, or choose to ignore, that democracy is nothing but mob rule, and our founders worked very hard to insure that we didn't suffer the same fate as all democracies in times past.

We need only to look at the French Revolution. Their concept of "Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite" caused a bloodbath among what the revolutionaries considered enemies of the state. The tyranny of Marat and Robespierre were direct results of a revolution feeding on itself. Their deaths were the results of their actions.
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Old April 12, 2009, 01:32 PM   #53
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I'm always amazed at the number of ignorant people that look to government as if it were some magical entity possessing a bottomless well from which to ladle money.
The majority of our countrymen are largely ignorant about politics in the dictionary sense of being uninformed. A recent poll (sorry, but I didn't save the link) showed that a majority of Americans think the trillions of dollars for the current economic bailouts come from some magical repository of money set aside by the government. Such political ignorance means that two things dominate the political landscape - fringe issues and group identification.

Firearms are my passion and hobby. I recognize that the RKBA is a fringe issue because the vast majority of voters are just not interested in firearms. If I could find politicians who were consistently for less government in all areas except firearms, I would vote for such politicians. But I have not found politicians who are consistently for less government, so firearms issues usually drive my vote.

Our country has two main political parties that absolutely agree on one thing - that they do not want serious competition from more political parties. To that end, they have jointly created barriers to other parties' ability to effectively enter the arena. With only two real choices, the main parties do not really have to be different; they both favor more government, with a little differentiation at the margins. The two main parties have claimed various fringe issues to which they give more or less attention. After dividing up the fringe voters, the parties appeal to the masses of the politically ignorant on the basis of name identification; "vote for Candidate X because he is a Democrat" or "vote for Candidate Y because he is a Republican."

My view of the law and civil rights is that there should be as few laws as possible to enable and ensure our civil rights. Lately, my litmus test (other than RKBA ) for politicians has become whether or not they support the repeal of laws. Maybe it is the nature of the beast, but the function of government seems to have become producing ever more laws. Whenever politicians actually support eliminating existing laws (and not substituting replacements). I take close notice.
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Old April 12, 2009, 02:28 PM   #54
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GC70, I liked the first three paragraphs so much I passed it on. Hope you do not mind.
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Old April 12, 2009, 05:21 PM   #55
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This board is offering me contact with dozens of differing viewpoints and some great discussions have been had so far. It is definitely opening my mind a lot, and giving me a lot to think about.

I plan to learn a lot here, and really appreciate the maturity everyone has here. It's much easier to get engaged into a conversation that may actually teach you something about the world or yourself, when they don't put up walls and are willing to talk about stuff that they already have an iron clad core belief about.
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Old April 12, 2009, 06:02 PM   #56
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GC70 wrote:
Firearms are my passion and hobby. I recognize that the RKBA is a fringe issue because the vast majority of voters are just not interested in firearms. If I could find politicians who were consistently for less government in all areas except firearms, I would vote for such politicians. But I have not found politicians who are consistently for less government, so firearms issues usually drive my vote.
Firearms happen to be a hot-button issue, because abuses of that right happen to be more visible, and usually more deadly. Other rights which get suppressed, are usually much more quiet and reside under the radar (or outright ignorance) of the so-called media.

In 1992, Bill Clinton managed to get Congress to pass a tax hike, which was retroactively applied to January 1, 2003. Not one newspaper took him to task, nor did one lawsuit get filed over the apparent violation of Article 1, Section 9 (ex post facto clause).

As you so astutely mentioned, both parties are merely carving up the middle, with a few fringe arguments giving the appearance that there are substantial differences between the two.

This past spring, I was so upset with the apparent selection of John McCain as the Republican candidate, I wrote to the RNC, advising them that I could no longer support them or their candidate apparent. The only thing I received in return was a form letter asking me to make another donation.

With the loss of this past Presidential election, and further erosion of power in Congress, Republicans choose a liberal RNC Chairman from Maryland! It proves your point succinctly.

This morning, Fox News mentioned that an increasing number of Republicans were referring to themselves as more conservative than Republican. One can only hope that this is a harbinger.
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Old April 15, 2009, 05:53 AM   #57
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Wow! My opinion of the contributors to this forum has gone up as a result of reading this thread. There's a lot here that I could comment on, but won't because there just isn't enough room. But I'll add a few things.

One, I don't care for labels so much and they have been used a lot in this discussion. For one thing, I think labels are often false. That is, someone calling themselves conservatives might not be as conservative as they are reactionary. On the other hand, no one here seems to be particularly revolutionary and I'm not even sure if there are any progressives. No offence to anyone.

Another thing is that labels generally imply more than is true about a particular group or individual at a given point in time, even though it may often be accurate enough.

One point not discussed so much is the idea that the far left and far right (or simply, the left and the right) are not representative of most people but rather that more people are somewhere in the middle, presumably the silent majority as someone called it. I fear that is not the case at all. While there may be many who are uninterested and uninformed about political matters, that doesn't place them in the middle. That puts them somewhere on the outside. In other words, for most people, most voters anyway, issues are seen as black/white, either/or. For better or for worse.

Most things aren't, like it or not. Nationalized health care, for instance. There seems to be the general assumption that if the federal government somehow implements a nationalized health care system, then private health care will somehow disappear. Well, it might but there are certainly plenty of private schools to send your child to if you don't like government run and therefore socialized public schools.

The word socialism has been used a lot here as if it is something bad. One might be a socialist but if you aren't, does that make you an anti-socialist?

Here's something else to ponder. Someone called me at home a few years ago asking me to attend a "support the troops" rally on the national mall (I live near D.C.). I asked her (It was a woman calling) to describe what it was. Was it a recruiting rally? Was it a bond drive? The caller was at a loss.

Well, I don't know about gay marriage but it seems to me that if you wanted to have a law to protect marriage, it would be about making divorce illegal. But I don't think these things through very well.
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