Thursday, October 29, 2009

Conversation with a ??Conservative??

The following is from a Facebook conversation that started with a discussion on the Matthew Shepard hate crime bill. I didn't change any of the dialog, I eliminated last names to protect the innocent and not so innocent.

Lisa: re: Obama signing hate crime legislation: If you think spray painting "Die Niggers" on the side of an African American family's house should carry the same punishment as spray painting "I love Jimmy" then I say, thank GOD he signed the legislation.

Difster: It's about prosecuting people for their mindset during the commission of a crime. Isn't every murder a hate crime? Every beating? Should someone who murders someone because they're gay get a bigger punishment than someone who murders someone because they cut in line in front of them? No, I don't think so. Also, there's all this stuff just about saying stuff that could incite violence. In Canada churches get warned, fined, etc. just for stating what the Bible says about homosexuality. Is following the Bible a hate crime? Criminalizing thoughts is stupid.

Kevin: Would this particular example fall under either the 1969 United States federal hate-crime law or the Matthew Shepard Act?

Difster: The Matthew Shepard Act is likely to put a chill on some free speech.

Steve: It's a Big Brother type bill. How do you prosecute something someone thought about? A church were I previously went, the pastor Emeritus was warned by a Canadian pastor to mail his material instead of bringing it over the border. Why? The Canadian border guard was going to confiscate his material.

Steve: As usual, the politicians and press (esp. liberals) think that Matthew Shepard was killed because he was gay. Utter bullshit. The accused even stated that he was killed because they wanted his money for thier drug habit. To them he was an easy target.

Difster: Besides all that, there should be no such thing as a "Protected class" of people under the law. Everyone is supposed to be treated equally under the law.

Steve: This may sound like a shocker to you all, but hate has had a factor in murder...ever since Cain and Abel. Just because someone chooses to be a certain way doens't make them above the law. Democrats are great at creating hate between classes or groups.

Difster: Basically, if I shoot someone in the head and don't say anything and then turn around and shoot a gay guy in the head and call him a faggot before I do that, I'll get more jail time for murdering him. In what sane world does that make sense?

Steve: Remember Larry, this law was about being the nanny state and making people FEEL good. It has nothing to do with right or wrong.

Rick : When they came for the Freedom of Speech, I said nothing. When they came for the Freedom of Religion, I said nothing. When they came for the Freedom of the Press, I said nothing. When they came for the 2nd Amendment, there wasn't enough people to help me fight back.

Jerry: "There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live—did live, from habit that became instinct—in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized."

Paula: Just another reason I can't stand obama. It makes me sick. So, if I kill a pregnant woman, I'll get less punnishment than if I kill a gay guy. Seems completely rational to me...gotta go throw up now. Can someone please remind me what country I live in?

Difster: In some states, you'll get charged for two murders but will likely serve concurrent sentences. But if it's pregnant LESBIAN you'll really be punished!

Mike: I really enjoy your thought provoking comments and observations Lisa. It's refreshing to see a politically aware person that can weigh both sides of an issue and come up with a position of understanding and compromise that is sustainable in a culture as divided as the United States has become. It would be very nice to see you become active in local politics in Nashville, I think you could make a big difference and actually address the concerns of ALL people, Liberal, Conservative and Independent.

Difster: Mike, not to rain on your parade here, but there should be no compromise when it comes to liberty, theft by the government of what I earn so it can be given to someone less productive, not to mention free speech and gun rights being squeezed out daily. Compromise? Diverse? The principles to which I hold apply equally to everyone, culture and diversity don't mean a thing if people are not free.

Difster: Don't put words in my mouth. Bush presided over more destruction of our liberties than Clinton (who I was no fan of) did. And Clinton destroyed our liberties more than Bush Sr. before him. You think I trust either party to preserve or restore our liberties? Not a chance. WE have to take them back for ourselves, our so called representatives aren't going to do it for us. When a politician advocates the three principals in the following link, I'll vote for him:

Mike: and to make it perfectly clear, I didn't take a position one way or another. I simply complimented Lisa for having the ability to weigh both sides of an argument and come up with a position that addresses both sides needs in a sustainable dialouge. I did not even address the issue of this thread. I did however suggest that Lisa get involved in local politics because I believe she could make a difference as a leader. I am sorry that you feel my compliments to her put you in a position of defense. I have respect for your personal opinions and I am willing to listen to them and compromise if I see that I have been under a false impression. Being open minded probably contributed to me wanting to compliment Lisa on her open mind. please accept my apology for putting you on the defensive.

Difster: What I took issue with was the notion of "a position of understanding and compromise that is sustainable.." What does that even mean? Sustainable? For who? Who defines that? I don't want someone defining what is sustainable for me. Did you read the link I provided? I've never heard anyone but a left-liberal use the word sustainable in regards to policy, environment, etc. The left-liberal mentality is antithetical to liberty because it means you don't get to control the lives of others through taxation, regulation, "government provided compassion," etc.

Mike: I'm actually a republican war veteran

Difster: So what does sustainable mean? Define it for me. I'm not trying to be difficult, I truly have NO idea what that is supposed to mean.

Mike: Sustainable as I used it in the message to Lisa was intended to suggest that continuing talks between conservatives and liberals will give the United States the opportunity to work in a proactive and long term fashion towards being a productive and functioning society. Again, sorry for causing confusion.

Difster: "continuing talks between conservatives and liberals will give the United States the opportunity to work in a sustainable fashion towards being a productive and functioning society."

I still don't understand what you mean by sustainable. Continued talks are not productive since the underlying philosophies are completely different. A compromise of conservative philosophy results in compromised conservatism. How does that work in favor of the American people? Liberalism is always about compromise, they shift and change and believe whatever is expedient. Conservatives (and libertarians like myself) are supposed to have a principled set of beliefs that are not open to compromise because they are in fact the foundations of a productive, functioning society.

Mike: I agree completely with your first point.

R.C.: So that's why they lock up the spray cans at the hardware store!

Difster: I appreciate that. And I apologize if I mistook you for a liberal, I've really only ever heard a liberal use the word "sustainable" in a political context. To me it's a slippery word that can mean whatever someone wants it to at the time. That's what got my hackles up. But really, dialog between conservatives and liberals is useless, conservatives need to push the liberals aside and do what they were elected to do. If they had been doing that, they wouldn't have suffered such a crushing defeat at the ballot box. The GOP continues to move left out of some bizarre need to appease anyone but their own voter base. I guess there are plenty of reasons I don't consider myself a conservative or a Republican anymore.

Mike: I exercise my right of freedom to not be labeled as a liberal or a conservative. I have a personal set of beliefs that straddle both party positions. Like many Americans today, I am under-represented by the politicians I am given as choices to vote for. It is my hope that a new generation of leaders like Lisa can take power and address the concerns of all Americans regardless of their political affiliation or set of beliefs. As a very dedicated conservatie republican Army Officer I held the belief that the right to free speech was worth fighting for and dieing for. Not just my right to that free speech but, the rights of radical left wingers I knew hated everything I stood for and probably hated me as a person. My service wasn't out of fanatical fascism but instead, service to our freedom and our peoples rights to free speech. Today I have no party I can call my own and no true representation of my beliefs, I certainly didn't move to San Francisco to be represented by Barbara Boxer or Nancy Pelosi. I moved here because it is a city that embraces freedom of expression, freedom of political views and freedom of individuality. While most of the nation points to San Fancisco as the bastion of liberalism and the seat of anti-americanism... most of us here don't feel that way at all. I live here because it truely is the land of the free and the home of the brave despite what the media portrays us as. My neighbors are architects, engineers, teachers, biochemists and office managers, hardly the bible burning, anarchist, conservative haters that many would have you believe live in this city. My original message to Lisa was the hope that her open mindedness could benefit local politics and I believe that is true. Otherwise we would only have a one party system and one candidate to vote for in every election if there was no point to having opposing viewpoints in government.

My point is, labeling anyone or any group discounts the individual contribution they bring to that group. I was a conservative republican that believed in violent defense of the freedom of speech. This view was very different than my fellow conservative Army Officer peers shared and yet, I am quite certain that my defense of that freedom was the right reason to join the army and the right reason to fight in three conflicts over. Not too many of my peers would have agreed and yet, my service was just as valuable as theirs. I believe there is room for individual beliefs within a group and I certainly believe that we should all have the freedom to exercise those beliefs within the framework of the law. If that is no longer the case then we need to re-draft the bill of rights to reflect what our society desires and potentially split into two nations that are unwilling to compromise their beliefs. That would be a sad day for us all in my opinion.

Mike: I like how I have her entire career and political future all mapped out and locked into stone as our champion of freedom... props to Lisa for staying out of this while I make a fool of myself plotting her future...LOL

Difster: A point about labels. Labels are useful. You labeled yourself in several different ways. You labeled yourself as a conservative, a Republican, an ex Army Officer. Then you say we shouldn't label because it discounts individual contribution. We must have labels, that's how we communicate ideas. Sometimes those labels are overbroad or misapplied but that goes with the territory. I label myself as a libertarian (small L, not big L) yet there are things about that philosophy I find fault with. Without that label, I would have to explain everything I believe to anyone that asks whereas a neat label such as libertarian covers enough ground to be understood.

You said: "It is my hope that a new generation of leaders like Lisa can take power and address the concerns of all Americans regardless of their political affiliation or set of beliefs."

Mike, that's impossible. The concerns of one group are different than that of other groups and all too frequently those concerns are diametrically opposed and both cannot be satisfied. Furthermore, you will never get even most people to agree on one set of principles or the other. This is exactly why we need a VERY LIMITED government so that those opposing groups have very little power to implement their agenda on the rest of us. The tendency, throughout history is always toward more control and less freedom

You said: "I certainly believe that we should all have the freedom to exercise those beliefs within the framework of the law."

Which law? The law as it's enacted or the law as it's supposed to conform to the Constitution. Many of our laws are unconstitutional yet they remain. Most government agencies are unconstitutional. Show me the Constitutional authorization for HUD, FEMA, Dept. of Education, Dept. of Transportation, EPA, FCC and most of the other alphabet soup agencies that are not specifically permitted in the Constitution. But if by the law you do in fact mean the Constitution and what it specifically authorizes, then yes. But please recognize that even the law is often times very, very wrong.

You said: "If that is no longer the case then we need to re-draft the bill of rights to reflect what our society desires and potentially split into two nations that are unwilling to compromise their beliefs. That would be a sad day for us all in my opinion."

The Bill of Rights has NOTHING to do with what society desires. My rights do not emanate from society, my rights are natural and come from God despite the desire of society. This is not a trivial point. But if we must split in to two nations in order to restore the liberty we are due, that would not be sad at all; I would rejoice. But it would be sad that anyone would fight for or choose a society of control and a burdensome government over real liberty.

Personally, I don't want open minded politicians and leaders. I want people who clearly and emphatically take the side of liberty over notion of compromise, public opinion or the desires of society (mob-rule).

Mike: I still agree very strongly with the point you raised, "Continued talks are not productive since the underlying philosophies are completely different."

Great point and we agree 100% on it.