Friday, January 6, 2012

Liberal, Conservative, Libertarianism

No, I am not necessarily always moderate.  Some of my views lean heavily in one direction, or another.
This post will illuminate how I approach my decision making.  The perspectives that I choose.
In sociology, we study the various perspectives to look at a problem.
Then we use all the perspectives together to find the best solution.
We look solidly from one perspective.  Then we look solidly from another.
We keep learning by seeing a structure of society from all sides and then making the most in depth thought possible before a decision.

Often, I end up somewhat centrist.  And a position of mine may end up quite moderate.  But, that is not nuanced enough to understand my approach.  I may be centrist in that I take a highly liberal idea and find a conservative libertarian way to carry it out.  I end up with a solution that looks somewhat centrist, but I may fully adopt a liberal, or even a progressive position on one side of an issue and run with that - tempered with a conservative side of the issue.

Here is my philosophy:

I am not some bleeding heart.

While I believe that at some times people truly need a hand up and solid support.  There is often a time when they need just as severe a push from the safety of the nest.  They need to fly on their own.

My problem with conservatism is that in the extreme they don't see how sometimes people need a hand.  

My favorite example is a fox news female reporter who was adamantly against maternity leave, especially if states funded it, because it was a giant handout to her.  Well, a while later, she had a baby - and there is a video of her raving about her maternity leave.

Well, the Republican party tends to attract privileged people.

They want small conservative government (though in practice they just enlarge in other ways) and they don't like the social safety net.

Well, that is until they need it themselves.

So, when you hear someone rail against a part of the safety net ask them… what if you actually needed it?  You are against it now, but you have also never needed it.  What if the person who needed it was you?   

My problem with liberalism is not the ideas.  It is the execution.  Liberal as an ideal is a belief that by working together we can overcome obstacles, achieve goals, and achieve greater results.  The military… is filled with Republican leadership, but as an idea it is a highly liberal one.  By joining forces of 50 states we can form a much stronger military.  By doing so we have formed the strongest military in the world.  Well, I believe we can do that on many fronts.

What is my problem with the execution?  If it is all too much heart.  Some situations eventually require tough love.  I want liberalism that gives someone a helping hand when they fall on their face, solves real national problems, and then finds a way to bring people back to conservative self reliance… as well as libertarian lack of involvement of the government. 

Consider the FDIC.  The organization that backs your bank deposits in case a bank fails.  Well, what a great solution.  It prevents runs on banks.  It is a national solution.  Liberal in that we solve a big problem by working together.  It is conservative in that banks have to pay consistently into the FDIC fund to help cover the costs.  So, it isn't just blindly funded by tax payers.  It is liberal because it is a national solution.  It provides stability and comfort.  It is libertarian because it only provides comfort in the background until we need it.  And it is a fantastic example of a public and private partnership.  A liberal working together approach  that is handled conservatively and helps the individuals stay financially solvent - individually - as national crises hit - and we never see it until we need it.  So it is libertarian and not involved in our lives. 

Do we let our hearts bleed and go all the way liberal and take care of everything for someone.
Do we say, "I am conservative!" Stick to an ideology at all costs.  And say… we should handle all things by ourselves!!
Do we say, "I want government out of everything… I am libertarian!" Or, do we consider carefully where the government can be a true help.  Scale liberal programs to be a bit conservatively launched… and figure out where the government should step back. 

What if we did that with our military?  And said we will handle this all ourselves individually?  Hmmm… mightiest military in the world?  Or, wild west? 

What if we said, lets give unemployment forever!  Why would someone work?  See unemployment is a great idea, but taken too far… it prevents someone from working.   The impending deadline... knowing the unemployment check is about to run out... is what drives someone to panic and make their life happen.  The objective is to give people enough time so that their dizzying fall has ended and they can now see the world around them and function sanely.  Then, slowly withdraw the net that caught them.

Liberal, conservatism.  Progressive, moderate.  Libertarian federalist.  These are all shades along a spectrum.  Each viewpoint should not be used as a label to define us that all must stick behind.  These are types of viewpoints we should use as a tool to see from every vantage point when making complex, nuanced decisions.  

In other words.  You will find me agreeing with "liberals" and "conservatives," to an extent on every issue.  Then you will find an edge where the ideology went too far.  And another perspective provides a stronger solution.

These are tools for viewing from multiple perspectives!  When you hear someone labeled as a liberal, or a certain bent... consider that that is the wrong use of that tool.  Begin to use these tools to look at all angles to form your opinions.  I will post tools later that illustrate the spectrum as it exists, so you can see how things really slide around and should not be stagnant.  


When you see something like that, you can bet they are:
1) Pandering to a base
2) Hiding half their real views
3) Exciting that base to go more towards the extreme
4) Dividing the nation because it will be harder for people to work with that person.

When you see someone acting like that trying to impress with how stuck they are to an ideology, walk away from them.  They are not open for conversation.  You will get talking points.  No matter what you say, you will not convince them of anything.  In the face of facts to the contrary of their beliefs, you may actually strengthen their beliefs.  At this stage - it is beyond logic!  You are better of dialoging with a brick wall.    


Benjamin Corey Feinblum
ps.  Remind me to find an example from of a committee hearing in Congress from decades ago where all the perspectives were working together in cooperation to find the best solutions.

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