Wednesday, November 05, 2014

The Angry Moderate Blues

I know it's a fault of myself when I sit here and look at the world and think "what the hell is everyone else thinking when they can't see what I'm seeing?"  I know people will have their own life experiences informing them of what choices to take.  I know people will have their own opinions.


So here I am, fuming at an electorate that damages itself by voting for partisan Far Right hacks, suffering yet another bout of Angry Moderate Blues.

Yeah, Moderates can get angry... We certainly feel the blues.


I get the occasional troll on this blog - rare, considering the few comments I ever get - and I got a couple of them during my post of the Sample Ballot for the Florida midterms:

Wow - you are exactly what is wrong with America today. An ideologue that appears to have no clue about what made America great - diversity. Clearly you hate the Republicans more than you love America. Too bad. As an independent thinker, I prefer to vote based on substance not on ideology. Unfortunately neither party has many options when it comes to people of integrity, which is what many of us really want.

Getting called an ideologue is a new insult, but getting accused of not knowing about diversity is a twist. Considering I've posted my support for gay marriage, the free and open practice of all religions, my horror at seeing Blacks and Hispanics and Women getting treated like shit by the authorities and the overlords... Best I can say is that the guy posting that never read the whole of my blog, and thus didn't realize I am all about the diversity. Also, that I *do* love America: he must have missed the posts I add of the 4th of July, the celebration of Gettysburg and Woodstock, the occasional cultural milestone of Americana.  He's the one without a clue (psst, bro: next time READ THE BLOG BEFORE YOU INSULT THE BLOGGER)...

The next one was pretty straightforward:
I'm voting Republican straight ticket you useless liberal.

That's been the standard insult I get from the trolls.  You don't see most of them posting because I do have an administrative setting to filter all Comments.  Not for pure censorship, mind: It's because for a few years I was getting hit with Chinese Spam.  I'm not kidding.  The Chinese were spamming me, and I was like dudes I can't read Mandarin I can't tell what it is you want me to buy, stop it.  Anyway, I have the filter so I see a couple of Comments once in awhile in my Inbox and check them out.  Most of them are Anonymous, which tells me all I need to know about how cowardly they are, and they're pretty much calling me a libtard/librul/marxist/socialist of some kind.  I don't post those because 1) they don't contribute to the debate and 2) Anonymous posters are cowards.  I posted those two above because at least they put a name to the insult.

It's not that I'm bothered by the insults: Hell, I survived Tarpon Springs Middle School.  I've heard worse.  What bothers me is how wrong they get it by insulting me by something I'm not: Liberal.

For one thing, it's not an insult.  It's no more insulting than calling someone Conservative (if you try to insult me as a Conservative I'm going to look at you funny and give you the same retort).  The second thing, I've always considered myself a Moderate:

...Moderates support competency. We support things THAT WORK. If it doesn't work (example: THE WHOLE BUSH ADMINISTRATION) we don't support it. So there... Moderates recognize not so much the NEED for bipartisanship (or compromise) for the SAKE of bipartisanship. Bipartisanship and compromise between opposing factions are welcome when the end result will be something THAT WORKS...

If I look and act like I'm a Liberal, I'm really not. I'm looking and acting like someone who hates the Republican Party, by extension the whole of Conservative, Far Right ideology that has consumed that entire party.

And I hate the Republican Party because I used to be a member:
Actually I'm former Republican and I prefer to consider myself a moderate. I'm one of those dreaded RINOs you and yours drove out of the party. My hatred for the GOP is more despair at how broken and dogmatic it has become.
Calling me a liberal just shows how out of tune and extremist you've become, 'cause everything in opposition to you can only be a "socialist" or a "marxist" or a "liberal". All complexity of issues boiled down to just the hate.
Well, now you know why my ranting here on the blog is so one-sided against Republicans: because I came from there, it's all you had to teach me and I learned it from you. The only difference is I hope my hate for you will protect the rest of the nation and the world from your ruin.
When I first registered to vote I was a Republican.  I came from a Republican household - I've mentioned that more than once, especially about how old-school my dad is about Nixon - and so grew up in an environs of respecting such conservative principles as skepticism, desire for limited government, acceptance of liberal capitalism, and an overall avoidance to any aggressive radical change.

But by 1992 I noticed the party getting meaner and darker.  Not just a response to the rise of Bill Clinton as a political entity but just to nearly every issue.  Social conservatism went from being about compassion and charity and more about ostracism and pushing Christianity as a political force rather than a social foundation.  Economic conservatism went from respect for regulatory protections of the Eisenhower era to mass deregulation and unbridled laissez-faire.  Political conservatism went from diversity of opinions to adherence to dogma.  All of it wrapped into one big package of Fear-Mongering against the Other.

The key moment was Pat Buchanan's speech to the 1992 Convention.  Railing about a "culture war" and that "Clinton and Clinton" - fueling the Far Right fear that Hillary was going to be a Co-President of feminist intent - were going to destroy "God's America," Buchanan created a political identity of Republicans being hard-Right ideologues.

That moment - and the end of Bush the Elder's one-term tenure - began the purity purge against RINOs (Republicans In Name Only) as the extremists began targeting Moderate Republicans to push out and replace with more extreme, more Far Right candidates.

There were efforts to try and stave off the Club for Greed types that backed the purge, such as Main Street Republicans, but by today those moderate groups within the GOP are minorities - 46 Representatives out of 220-plus House Republicans, just 3 Senators out of 52 - within the ranks.  The purity purge by now has pretty much claimed full control of the Republican Party.

I did what I could to stay Moderate within the ranks meself.  I wasn't happy with the party's growing enthusiasms for the death penalty, massive deregulation in spite of historical evidence that deregulation was reckless, a pursuit not for small government but NO government, voter suppression efforts (yes even in the mid-1990s they were pulling that shit), and an eagerness by the leadership to pursue fiscal corruption that would make the Gilded Age look reformist by comparison.  While the Democrats weren't angels either, I loathed what the Republicans were revealing themselves to be.  I wasn't thrilled either by how the Republicans were crafting some fantasy-world dogma revolving around idol worship of Reagan and demonization of non-believers.

By about 2000, when Bush the Lesser became the candidate of choice (and despite his "compassionate conservative" platform he was the candidate of the purist ideologues) I pretty much gave up.  The disaster of the 2000 election results - and watching Republicans riot and get away with it in the Dade County elections office - sealed the deal.  I switched my party affiliation to No Party (I briefly flirted with being a Modern Whig back in 2009, maybe 2010, but that went nowhere).

The thing about becoming NPA (No Party Affiliate).  I still can't bring myself to make a full switch to becoming a Democrat.  It's not that I don't fully support Democrats - I have to, because they're the only actual alternative to the Republicans - it's that having been burned by one party I'm not keen on getting suckered into another.

What you see here on the blog when I rail about Republicans - when I cry all "FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DON'T VOTE REPUBLICAN" - this is an act of an Apostate.  Word for the day, kids: Apostasy is the renunciation or denial of a religious (and nowadays political) group that the denier once joined.  It's at the point where anything the Republicans are for - a horrifying Far Right conservatism that is more radical and destructive than actual anarchy - is something I would strongly argue against because I dread the party's true intent (usually having to do with ripping off taxpayers and blaming others for the impending disasters).

I'm at heart still a Moderate.  I don't want Small Government (or the No Government of the Tea Partier mindset), nor do I want Big Government: I want Effective government, one responsive enough to ensure people's rights and safety, yet streamlined without bureaucratic knots.  I want fair taxation (if that means bumping up the rates on the billionaires 2-3 percent and the economic models prove its effectiveness, so be it) based on the burden, not the rate.  I want deficit reduction but not at the expense of massive spending cuts that would harm families and children.  I want government to stimulate the private sector into genuine job growth and wage increases while ensuring that the market doesn't overreact to the costs of such moves.  I believe in Jesus but I don't want to shove Christ into our public schools, nor do I want Creationism - a foolish attempt to make the Bible literal fact rather than spiritual truth - overwhelming our sciences.  I don't buy the War on Christmas because there's still 300 million people in America who are not being forced at swordpoint to celebrate Saturnalia.  I know we need a strong military but I hate the wasteful spending (we bought a fleet of airplanes for billions and pretty much turned those planes into cheap scrap metal!).  I respect our need to forge strong alliances with foreign nations, but we don't need to bomb everybody into submission.

If that stuff makes me "liberal" then you've got a problem with your dictionary, 'cause I'm still Moderate.

I'm just an Angry Moderate.  Which isn't a contradiction in terms.

Note: Rude Pundit pretty much explains why the 2014 midterms went the way it did.  Part of it tribal BS, part of it ignorance.  All of it self-destructive.

We are as a nation voting not for the right reasons.

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