I have a lot to talk about, but I didn’t want to post anything political just before leaving for Gulf Wars, and I have more to talk about, but this just came up.
I’m a big believer of freedom of choice, and as such I’m against government because it by definition reduces choices. If something governs you, it takes away your choices.
So I can’t argue with a friend’s choice. It is their right to make the choice that they did. However, I too have the right to make a choice, and my choice is to disagree with theirs.
So clarification. This person and my politics are very different. That difference does not affect the fact that I think they are smart, intelligent and worthy of respect.
Sadly, in a political conversation, I made a point that referenced both the point they had made in the discussion and a point they had made some months ago and in so doing I have aggravated them. I have aggravated them to the point that they have said they will no longer comment on political matters.
It was never my intent to aggravate them. Let me make that clear. I respect them and their opinion, but just as I do not expect people who disagree with me to let me slide, I felt they had essentially proved the point in question and I used their own words to support my argument.
The point is this. If you hold one party or another to a different standard of expectations simply because of the party affiliation then that is inherently hypocrisy. Sure, we all do that to a certain extent by trying and hoping to find the reason for misbehavior by the side that we identify with, but that does not excuse it. The only exception to this is if you hold your *own* side to a higher level of expectations. For example, I hold fyrdmen to a higher level of expectations than I do men-at-arms or those who have attained greater rank.
Anyway, if you did not think Bush should have gone into Iraq because he was led by the influence of oil and did not have enough world-wide support, that is perfectly within your rights and is a reasonably defensible argument.
However, if you do so, then you *must* at least question Obama who used military force in a nation with more oil reserves but with less international support.
My opinion is that freedom is worth fighting for, and freedom is not simply the province of Americans. People in Third World countries should be supported in their attempts to attain freedom. The United States will *never* truly be at peace until *everyone* in the world has the right to choose their own faith, speak their opinion, influence their government, and has the chance to feed and clothe their families. Anyone who believes that we should not attempt to at least influence places that treat their women like second-class citizens or who execute gays because of their gayness simply because they’re not living in America should, in my opinion, reconsider what it is to be pro-gay or feminist. A gay person is deserving of the same respect as a human being whether they’re from San Francisco or Teheran.
Because of this I was in favor of action of some sort in all of the places where the population stood up to a dictator, be it in Egypt, Iran, Libya, or now as it seems, Syria.
But I digress from the main point. I’m not sure I agree with Obama’s tactics in Libya, nor do I agree with the timing, but I agree with the intent. Please note that I do so despite not being a fan of Obama.
Don’t like violence in the political sphere? I agree. Stand up and yell at all those who threaten politicians, especially if they are in your own party threatening a political opponent. Yes, Democrats, this means chastising those labor unions supporters who have issued death threats against Wisconsin Republicans, especially after making such a big deal out of the Giffords’ shooting when there did not seem to be anything other than a random idiot.
Don’t like rallies that include bigots and bullying? I agree. Yet, if you ever said or thought that the Tea Parties were bigoted and violent and chastised them, then you *must* chastise the labor union activists in Wisconsin who acted in a violent and bigoted fashion. By the way, there’s visual proof of Wisconsin rally misbehavior while there is none that I’m aware of from the Tea Parties (please point me at some video if I’m not correct).
Imagine the outcry if a Republican had said in multiple political speeches that the Democrats should go to the “back of the bus.” Obama said that about Republicans just before the election. Where was the outcry? I was insulted on a variety of levels, not least of which was the lack of objection by my liberal friends. By not commenting, they essentially accepted the idea that I, their supposed friend, was a second-class citizen. I don’t think that they actually think so, but it bothered me nonetheless. I certainly don’t think that this person who prompted this post or anyone who disagrees with my political opinion are second-class citizens, and I will have words, and more than words if need be, with anyone who says that they are.
As part of this, though, you *must* consider the choices that shape your opinions. I don’t care what your opinions are. They’re just as valid as mine. However, all that I ask is that you are consistent in your expectations.
So while I hope my friend continues to discuss politics because I value their opinion, more importantly I hope they take a moment to reflect on why they make the choices that they do and avoid choosing a position simply because of the D or the R.
Because whether or not they voice their opinion anymore, their opinion matters, which is why I choose to disagree with their stated position to not comment on politics anymore. More importantly, however, if they make choices in the future to hold Republicans to higher standard their own Democratic Party, even if they don’t voice it, then they have allowed politics to make themselves a lesser person.
This is true for anyone who chooses to let their own side slide, including myself, and though we all have the right to make that choice, I consider such choices tragic.