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.