When it comes to political ideology I consider myself to be a Progressive; a "realist" who sides with his conscience first, party ideology second. I enjoy debating the issues of the day on a most regular basis-- preferably with people who hold contrary points of view. I have a good friend who happens to be a Libertarian, and we debate policy and the like quite often. This past Saturday I accompanied him to a rally in front of San Francisco's city hall-- Ron Paul was the key note speaker. There were a couple of hundred people in attendance, along with a handful of signs, such as, Audit the Fed, Socialism Sucks, and Freedom isn't Free. The rally opened up with Matt Gonzales (Nader's Veep), followed by John Dennis (the challenger to Pelosi's seat), then Ron Paul. I must admit, Matt Gonzales gave a speech that I found myself clapping to more often than not-- this I wasn't expecting. John Dennis, on the other hand, opens up with a couple of shots at Pelosi and the Federal Government, then goes on to say, "we're not here today to talk about politics." Well, you just did sir! He even had a Jan Brewer moment while standing at the podium; albeit, a much smaller version, but there was a "oops, I lost my place" moment. I didn't find him to be too energizing, or original for that matter. It's the same cookie cutter candidate that we're seeing all over this country-- the anti-incumbent kind. Ron Paul took to the podium ushered in by a hearty applause-- this I expected. He spoke about bringing all our troops home-- citing a noninterventionist philosophy of our Founding Fathers and the huge strain on our treasury. He spoke of legalizing pot-- to much fanfare. He spoke of reducing taxes, corporate tax cuts, and offshore corporate tax havens. He railed about how government is too big-- too much a part of our lives. To which I say, it is a part of our lives, this is why I'm here at this rally!
But what brought me to write this blog, my first blog EVER might I add, was the fact that as I walked away from the rally with my friend, I found myself wondering why can't we to move this country forward, together? From what I gathered from this rally, we (me and these Libertarians) seem to have more that we agree on than differ; that the contentiousness between us should really be nonexistent. We can never agree on everything, but we can agree that we have enough in common to move this country forward. In fact, I found myself in agreement on several of the positions that were taken at the rally; yet I'm a Progressive, so therefore we should be at odds with one another, correct? I mentioned this internal conflict to my friend and expressed to him that I am unsure how to reconcile these differences, because I do feel we need to remove ourselves from these "foreign affairs;" we do need to eliminate corporate tax loopholes. In fact, I would suggest that by making these corporations and the uber rich pay their fair share, we could reduce the taxes of most of all Americans-- eliminating the tax liability for the poorest among us; we do need to legalize pot-- for multiple reasons. So I asked him why we can't seem to govern together, but he was an empty well of answers; leaving me to contemplate this as we strolled to the Irish Bank for a pint and some food. Then yesterday, as if God himself was listening to my thoughts, sent over the airwaves (via the Thom Hartmann Show) a possible answer as to why I can agree with some of the positions of the opposing party... LIBERALTARIAN!! Could it be? Could I be a Liberaltarian? Of this, I am unsure; however, my strong progressive views will always trump a moderate perspective. But I could see myself being okay with some things as long as it were to be a scratch my back and I'll scratch your back form of compromise.
Anyway, thanks for saying Liberaltarian while on the air Thom!! It just may be the answer to my question of how to reconcile these two philosophical differences.
PS. You got me up, you got me out, and now I’m active-- playing tag with whomever will play. Thanks again Thom!!