My Political Stance Today

This morn­ing, a conservative-​​leaning friend of mine asked me where he could get some unbi­ased infor­ma­tion about Obama, because all he sees is the hate mail for­warded around. He thought maybe he should give the guy more of a fair shot than that. I am so ingrained in “lib­eral” news sources that I had a hard time think­ing of any. I sent him to PBS and The New York Times as prob­a­bly less biased places than, say, Daily Kos and Talking Points Memo. It’s moments like that when my faith in human­ity is restored.

I’m a lot more mod­er­ate in pol­i­tics and tem­pera­ment lately. Take for instance, my per­sonal stance regard­ing Obama him­self lately, which is prob­a­bly shared by many. He’s not as lib­eral as I would like. His drone strike pro­gram scares the crap out of me. I think ulti­mately the Affordable Healthcare Act will be noth­ing but a stop­gap solu­tion because prices will con­tinue to rise astro­nom­i­cally. He didn’t close Guantanamo.

Despite the way he was sold in his first elec­tion, I think he’s just another politi­cian who does some things I approve of, and some things I don’t. Mostly what I want in a pres­i­dent now is a politi­cian who can hold back the tide of crazy that comes out of Congress.

Of course, those issues prob­a­bly make me seem as lib­eral as can be.

I’m a prag­matic envi­ron­men­tal­ist these days. I want to pre­serve as much wild space as pos­si­ble, to do what we can to mit­i­gate the effects of global cli­mate change (I know we can’t stop it), but I also want to make sure every­body has heat in the win­ter. I am prob­a­bly not okay with drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, but South Dakota, Texas, every­where else, drill where you can. I don’t want oil rigs in Yellowstone either for the same rea­son. I want some places left unspoiled, if for no other rea­son that they can serve as a reminder to what the world was like before we screwed it up. This puts me in the weird posi­tion of being slightly pro-​​nuclear, and pro-​​fracking (just not any­where near me, NIMBY). I care deeply about wildlife, but I know that we have to bal­ance the issue. Even just 10 years ago, I was prac­ti­cally in-​​line with Greenpeace.

If my gen­eral polit­i­cal stance can be summed up in one word, it’s “exhausted.” I’m tired of the fact that Democrats and Republicans are so deeply divided that com­pro­mise is rarely an option any­more. I’m tired of the “we have to hate the other guy 100%, or our sup­port­ers will think we are weak” bull­shit. I hon­estly don’t care if south­ern states cede any­more. I some­times won­der if America is now too big and too diverse polit­i­cally to func­tion. I would like the states to exper­i­ment more polit­i­cally, go in dif­fer­ent tan­gents. We’re already see­ing some of that in places like Oregon and Colorado.

But maybe if more drift to the mid­dle, we’ll be okay. I don’t expect peo­ple to give up their deep­est prin­ci­ples. While I can com­pro­mise on a lot of things myself because I’m just tired of the fight, the one thing I won’t com­pro­mise on is health care reform. The cur­rent sys­tem ruins too many lives close to me, and forces peo­ple to make too many bad choices about their employ­ment just because of the fear of total finan­cial ruina­tion over being sick. On that issue, any­way, I remain deeply, deeply liberal.

So that’s my annual polit­i­cal blog post. Now back to the usual top­ics of web design and sci­ence fiction.

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