Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Ask, And Ye Shall Receive, Pilgrims!

This is for Two Dogs, Snuffy, my RL friend Nicnerd, and others that are trying to make politics in America a completely binary proposition, with no in betweens. (I know conservatives dislike shades of gray, but come on guys, some realism please?) Before I start, I want to direct your attention to my previous post about what these terms mean to me *first*, or you may not fully see the big picture of my argument. Yes, on those issues were nearly all Democrats from both wings of the party are united, I am probably behind them, like abortion, minimum wage, Social Security, and so on, but on issues that tend to split the liberal and moderate wings of the party, I am usually on the moderate side.

So, Two Dogs and others wanted examples of where I disagree with the generally accepted "liberal positions" on some issues. I'll happily entertain that. First and foremost probably at the moment is the war. This has been a very complicated and contentious issue. Liberals have tagged the very existence of the war as one of the main issues over which they hate Dubyah. I have not. As I mentioned here, I have significant issues around the war as far as general hubris and arrogance. Was there some deceit? I don't know for sure. Certainly not out of the question, but that's not my main concern. Saddam is gone, and that's good. I *do* wonder if sacrificing a couple thousand of our people is going to be worth it in the long run or not, but it's way too early to say. The people that protested the war beyond those first couple months are kind of a motley bunch, no not a Mötley Crüe...

Second, on gun issues, most liberals believe that guns should be strictly controlled. I do not. I am for only the very most basic of laws in this regard. Unless it's a bazooka or a flamethrower or something, as I always say, then people should probably be able to own one. If it's a gun that can kill dozens of people in less than a minute, that should probably require a license, as I believe most of those types do already. I didn't like the "Assault Weapons Ban" because it banned a bunch of guns that are not at all "assault weapons", as Nicnerd pointed out when we were at lunch one day. There were many handguns included in the ban, and some odd stipulations with components that seemed strange. It was a good point. Also, this nonsense about suing gun makers is total garbage. Unless the product is defective, or if the company was *covering up* a known danger (like the tobacco industry, and as some auto makers have done at times), then they should be immune. Same for fast food restaurants. Nobody forced you to eat all those burgers, and unless the restaurant is lying or covering up nutrition info, they should also be immune. This segues nicely into the next point.

Third, I generally like tort reform. Liberals do not, mostly because they see it I think as "the man" keeping them down or something. I believe that medical malpractice and otherwise should cover *real* damages as normal of course, but that punitive damages should be capped per person. It should be a high enough cap to make anyone think twice about being unethical, but not so high that an insurance company loses a month's worth of profits on one case. These kinds of double-digit millions in punitive damage settlements are what makes the rates increase, and makes medicine and everything else more expensive for everyone.

Fourth, and last for this post anyway, but there is much more, is how issues are approached. (I didn't even mention economic issues in this post by the way, and I tend to be very centrist on those as well, probably slightly right of where I am on social issues.) As I mentioned in the earlier post about it, I'm not sure if this is a valid way of measuring it, but how I present my case and what I think about the other side is different from my liberal relatives in the Democratic party. This one can very much apply to conservatives as well. Many liberals and conservatives see the other side as immoral, evil, or worse. There is a lot of colorful language thrown around, with lots of name-calling, and "the sky is falling" hyperbole. This is not to say that I am not passionate about many things, because I am, but I also am not an alarmist or a doomsayer as extremists all tend to be.

So there you have it, you asked, and you received, my conservative sparring partners. Now don't tell me I never gave you anything!


Two Dogs said...

We can pretty much right off your "centrist" views about the war in Iraq. What you point out here is the exact thing that all liberals are saying. There is no question about how things will turn out because the war has been over in Iraq for a long while, they have held free elections and terrorism is at the lowest point it's been in two years. Bush was right as I have shown own the other place.

Gun control is a good gauge of most Liberal's points of view because they have never met a gun that they like. I must say that you could still argue the point that you CAN be liberal and still think that the Constitution and its subsequent admendments are a good thing. And I own a flamethrower, but no handgun.

A liberal would always be FOR tort reform however they would probably be on the wrong side of the issue. I just think that if we did away with the monetary awards completely it would be better. If you prove that a company was guilty of some type of wrong doing, throw someone in jail. Quit with this money thing, it just seems stupid.

And I totally agree with your last point, the vast majority of liberals have no reasoning behind their opinions that fail every test of scrutiny. The way to get your liberal point across is to fall into name calling and the like. I guess what I am saying is that for every cogent, rational, conservative argument, there is an unwashed, bead-wearing, grungy, hippie-type liberal cursing at your children.

Erik Grow said...

We've made good progress in Iraq, but the story is still being written. If it turns into a Shiite theocracy like Iran the minute we're out, I wouldn't call that a good trade-off for the nearly 2K or whatever lives we will have lost during that time by the time we are out. You must have completely ignored the part where I said I was not opposed to the war if you think my position is a liberal one.

So on gun control I guess you see reason. You have a flamethrower? That frightens me on many levels, but then again I'm not going to be breaking into your house. I guess I'm not concerned.

The only problem with your tort reform idea is who gets stuck with the medical bills. Putting them in jail seems like a good idea in addition in some cases, but putting one hundred people in jail isn't going to pay medical bills, and neither of us want a family to be forced into welfare. Regardless, the ones against it in the Senate are the liberal stalwarts, so take from that what you will.

You utterly missed the part in the last paragraph where I said liberals and conservatives are equally good at incoherent ranting. Look at Limbaugh and Coulter.

Two Dogs said...

I have never heard Ann Coulter ever say anything that was remotely incoherent. Rush is a different story. Obviously you have never listened to Ann or read any of her books.

The Left has Eleanor Clift, 'nuff said.

And I would say that Rush is middle of the road, not very conservative, but not liberal either.

Erik Grow said...

Did you say Rush isn't very conservative? He is practically the definition of conservative! I begin to wonder from the things you say whether you have an accurate idea of what the country thinks as a whole. You say that the country is generally very conservative, but you live in a state that is one of the most conservative in the country, Mississippi. Is this skewing your view perhaps, and making it seem like I am far more left of where I actually am?

After all, you say we're a generally conservative country, but W won with 51% against a guy widely considered to be very liberal. What does that tell you?

nicnerd said...

I hate to be the one to break it to you Erik, your view on Iraq is left of center. It is not liberal, but certainly not centered either.

With regard to firearms, your “solution” is licensing and registration. Isn’t that the first step toward confiscation? I know that you will say that I am being paranoid. Is history not on my side here? This is an easy issue to part with the liberals on, I think it is one that the liberals have a hard time selling to their democratic base. In the 1994 elections it really screwed them and I think they know it. Aside from a few nut cases that are hopelessly socialist, most democrats (even the liberals) are afraid to touch this issue.

Think that I agree with twodogs on tort issues. If they have done something wrong, send them to jail. Huge civil award only beget greed and corruption.

If these are your most moderate views, I dare say you are pretty liberal. I have been telling you that for years, I am not sure why you are reluctant to admit it to yourself. You are a liberal weenie, and I am a right wing nut job. :-)

Erik Grow said...

Well, if our friend Larry is a moderate Dem and you can find no issues that I differ from him significantly on, I don't know how you can come to any other conclusion. I also am not in favor of licensing everything. Just things that we already have licenses for, the military weapons.

nicnerd said...

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

INFRINGE - To hinder; to destroy; as, to infringe efficacy; to infringe delight or power.

Is obtaining a license for a constitutionally protected right a hinderence?