Friday September 13, 2002

Political Labels: Call Me Anything

I heard someone describe my Web site today as "liberal." I was seized with the urge to strangle the person, but concluded that would be inappropriate. She's actually a nice person. But I hated to be called that.

She said something about having seen something I wrote on a Web site, but it was scratched off, or taken off, with some pronouncement that we won't have something like this on here. I didn't recognize the name of the Web site, but I got the feeling from her it was very conservative. What happens some times is people stick my stuff up on really conservative sites like gun control sites or, and people like what I am saying, but they will insert a disclaimer or someone will write in and say, "Look out, this guy is a leftwinger." And I think, how did I earn that label?

"Liberal" just sounds like a wuss, or a nerd. Or it evokes the image of one of those Democratic legislators who are really just high-priced PR reps for major corporations, just like the Republicans, only for different corporations.

I can tell the difference between specific political positions, but I can't tell the difference between conservatives and liberals in this country. There's really only one party, it's the money party, with different clubs within it. The trouble the conservatives have with me is I'm way more conservative than they are. I'm really conservative. Like Jeffersonian conservative, and that's Jefferson in the ideal, as a democratic revolutionary thinker, not Jefferson incarnate as a slaveholder and Indian killer.

I'm a Jeffersonian conservative because I believe in democracy, not aristocracy. I believe the unit of democracy should be people, not money. I'm a Lincoln Republican because I agree with Lincoln that what we should be fighting for -- no matter what Bush and Ashcroft call patriotism -- is government of the people, by the people and for the people. I'm a Teddy Roosevelt Republican because I don't believe a few major corporations should rule the country and I don't believe they should be able to destroy the environment. I'm a Barry Goldwater conservative because I think the illegal activities that came to be known as Watergate and Iran Contra are appalling and unacceptable.

The Reagan-Bush crowd uses the banner of conservatism as a marketing tool, and it is very effective because the notion of conservatism is very popular. It's very attractive and reassuring to people. I'm talking about genuine conservatism, not this phony brand name adopted by the new Republicans. Conservatism could be defined many ways, but these guys with their deficit spending and corporate giveaways to the oil and war industries and whoever else is in the clique, are not fiscally conservative. They are anything but conservative. They are plunderers. They are big spenders for their big contributors. So that definition of conservatism is definitely out. I have them beat by miles on that. And fiscal conservatism is the kind of conservatism that people are most attracted to. But it ain't happening here. Actually Clinton was much more fiscally conservative than the Bushies.

And given that they participate in this circle of bribery in which big corporations give thousands to politicians who then manipulate legislation to give them millions back, I don't think you can call them morally or socially conservative. Bribery, stealing, and corruption of government are not moral activities, not to mention foreign military adventures in which innocent people are killed for profits for corporations like the Carlyle Group. So no, they don't fit the definition of morally or socially conservative.

I don't want to go over all the lies, corrupt practices, covert activities and mass murder these guys are responsbible for right here. There's plenty to see every day if you have your eyes open. Although they observe conventions that may sometimes be seen as the trappings of morality -- like staying with the same wife and not getting caught fooling around, not smoking, wearing nice suits, even being seen in church on occasion, they are not morally conservative people. This is again a matter of public record, though the major media is essentially in denial of the more offensive information about this criminal history of the guys in charge.

I found something I had written posted on a site that championed the porn industry. I didn't write if for that site and wasn't involved in its causes, but it was apparent by them posting the piece that we agree on some things in the piece. So tell me, is the porn industry conservative or liberal?

The old political labels -- Republican, Democrat, liberal, conservative -- divide and confuse people. They make people think they are opposed when often under the surface and the doubletalk of politicians, they have more in common than in conflict. I think the standard political labels are obsolete and should be thrown out, except as period pieces and historical curiosities.

So call me anything, call me a fool, call me what you will.

But please -- just stay cool.

-- By David Cogswell

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