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Topic: An attempt to engage serious discussion

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  1. #1

    An attempt to engage serious discussion

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    Hi All,

    I live in a battleground state so I've seen both sides. I voted for two Republicans on November 2nd (Senator and state legislator) so I'm not completely opposed to what the elephants have to offer. I am opposed to much of the Bush Administration's more radical policies such as huge deficits and banning gay marriage.

    I would like to invite some of the conservative members of this forum to engage in discussion of the following issues;

    Religion/morality
    Resource utilization
    Limited government and small business
    Federal deficit

    and maybe for good measure I'll add privatizing Social Security.

    So here are my viewpoints on each of these.

    1. Religion/morality. Spirituality is a wonderful thing, the feeling of living a good life and of leaving the world a better place by teaching your children well is a powerful motivator. However religious views run the gamut from Fred Phelps saying, "God hates fags" to the Unity and Unitarian Churches which welcome all seekers regardless of sexual orientation. Our constitutional Bill of Rights states that no law will be passed "respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." To me that means that Fred Phelp's church shouldn't be allowed to make their views on homosexuality the law of the land. It's pretty clear that a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage will never pass and I would agree that the Bill of Rights doesn't give marriage rights to gays. But there are situations every day when good people (who play on the "other team") are unable to visit loved ones in the hospital or help determine the course of care because they are not blood relatives.

    I'm married with two kids and attend a church where about a third of the congregation enjoys an alternative life style, i.e. we have more than a few 2 Mom families. I believe it is incumbent upon us as a society to find some mechanism for these good people to be able to support each other in times of medical crisis. The objections I've heard to such from the right are based in irrational fears. Those religious institutions that have had problems with sexual abuse have been those which hide and condemn diversity of sexual orientation. My 14 year old son is in a confirmation class that's being taught by 2 gay men and 2 straight men and it seems what he's learning is not to be afraid of differences in orientation. To me that's a good thing.

    2. Natural resource utilization; George Bush is an oil man and to the right it seems the solution to the problem of limited natural resources is find more. That has worked OK in the past. But despite the fact that greenhouse gases are accumulating in our atmosphere and the 1990s was the warmest decade on record, the scientists on the right say we cannot conclude that one caused the other. OK, but it seems that something is happening and we should be cognizant of the fact that we are increasing climate risk in ways we don't understand. Perhaps fostering use of more efficient vehicles would be smart?

    Then again the sleeping giant is awakening, they are selling a lot of cars in China. Competition for crude oil is heating up and the era of cheap energy is over. Finding more oil now will bring resources that are too small on line too late to be much help. The market may have beat ,our government to the punch, with crude over $50 a bbl sales of large SUVs and trucks are down significantly. I think our country would have been better served by a government that encouraged research into alternative fuels and higher efficiency vehicles because then we'd have more products available now. Instead there's 6 months to a year wait to buy a Prius.

    3. The Democrats have not been viewed as a friend of small business. They have been too sympathetic to labor unions to have credibility with most business leaders. The times really have changed here and the middle ground must be found to ease restrictions on small businesses in order to foster job growth. Big companies can always hire a lawyer, it's the little guys who get crushed by regulation. Still job sites need to be safe and health care is a growing issue for the working poor.

    4. It seems President Bush hasn't seen a spending bill he didn't like. If the definition of liberal is a political leader who runs up big deficits then Bush is the most liberal President we've had since FDR. The debt we are running up now won't be paid off by my kids, maybe my grandchildren. Privatizing Social Security will require another $1 Trillion of federal debt to implement. That is madness to consider at this time.

    The one thing that seems to come out of these views is that the Bush Administration is very poor at planning. They've botched the war in Iraq, they didn't plan for the oil shortage and they've run up enormous deficits. So why are conservatives glad this guy was reelected???? More important what can be done to improve their performance? It seems Bush feels he has a mandate to do whatever he wants and he hasn't demonstrated a willingness to work with the left to craft legislation that finds a consensus. He has been a divider not a uniter.

    My $.02, your thoughts,

    Steve Chandler
    http://www.audiostreet.net/stevechandler
    http://www.soundclick.com/stevechandler

  2. #2
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    Thumbs up Re: An attempt to engage serious discussion

    Thanks for starting this thread. It's alot to chew on, so I will try to compose a complete answer as soon as I can.

    I would ask that in answering this thread we remember one thing. Whether right or left, most of us are here to find answers to some of todays most troubling questions. If we keep the debate friendly and conduct ourselves with mutual respect (where it is deserved) and good will, then we are more likely to discover these answers.

    I look forward to comments.

    Christiaan

  3. #3

    Re: An attempt to engage serious discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by pantonality
    The one thing that seems to come out of these views is that the Bush Administration is very poor at planning. They've botched the war in Iraq, they didn't plan for the oil shortage and they've run up enormous deficits. So why are conservatives glad this guy was reelected???? More important what can be done to improve their performance? It seems Bush feels he has a mandate to do whatever he wants and he hasn't demonstrated a willingness to work with the left to craft legislation that finds a consensus. He has been a divider not a uniter.
    Thanks for the refreshing and introspective posting here. An excellent and gentlemanly approach for answers and I commend you sincerely.

    I too fall to certain measure as you do, because of time for the moment I'll tackle the last bit first and go from there when I can come for air.

    "Planning" for war is never a "do-able" thing - by nature it's chaos and always flat-out a nightmare for every side. The best generals in the world (on all sides of the aisle) have stated dryly: "war is hell" and there IS no planning. You can only do what you can to stop the killing and plotting to (VERY KEY 2 WORDS) kill against those whom are doing it against you. No war to the best of ANY historical writing ever went "well". The most chilling and HORRIFYING one was the 2 atomic bombs dropped by a democrat in this country. Was the cause just? I believe it was, but the women and the children!?!?!! As was once said in a movie: "The horror - the horror!"

    As for the oil shortage - WHICH ONE? There have been soooo many in the last 30 years - remember the oil lines in the 70's? I had just received my driver's license and in PA at the time only license plates that ended with a certain number could get gas on certain days. 11 times me and my 16 year old boney, knuckle headed buddy's had to PUSH my car to a gas station and LEAVE IT THERE until the day came I was allowed to fill it.

    My answer - nuclear energy, hybrid vehicles, solar panels at the source (the home) - of which I have and works beautifully. Drilling where feasible (Anwar Alaska comes to mind). Remember YOU and ME - right this very second are using oil & LOT'S OF IT! - to run our computers and charge them to respond on this thread, 'cause it ain't getting charged by a squirrel in a cage on a wheel.

    Deficits - I've said this before and I'll say it again and add something: we've had them before and paid them - more than once. Do you own your home outright? Few of us do - we carry a "mortgage" (just for fun look up the Latin definition of that word) and it's a HUGE deficit but by definition NOT THE END OF LIFE AS WE KNOW IT. The entire world carries mortgages.

    Now the added part: This spend spend spend thing is where I have the biggest problem with this administration. The spending needs to be slashed. Period. And you are so very correct to be concerned about it. Adding more to it (socialized health care etc..) will make it worse. The strain by SS coming up will be nasty and privatizing a small chunk over a recipient’s investment life is VERY doable. I WILL post charts when I have time to prove this too.

    Now as for why or IF should Bush work with the left?!?!? When Ted Kennedy's done calling him Hitler or a liar? They had their chance. With all the hate and venom and filler busting and adjudicating from the bench and obstruction from the left in the last four years!?! TIMES UP! And the majority of the voting public - despite ALL THE KINGS HORSES AND ALL THE KINGS MEN that tried to stop him in the media and politic'pendeum and the EU and other countries INFESTED with scandal with the UN and their involvement with Iraq - the clock has run out on all of them and so has America's voting patience.

  4. #4

    Re: An attempt to engage serious discussion

    Here is my .02. I voted for Bush even though I don't like politics or most politicians and think they are mostly crooks.

    1. Spirituality is a wonderful thing. Agreed. I am a Christian but I don't want a lot of other "Christians" on my side, and I hate the religous right and I don't care about their personal moral views. Church and state need to be as separate as possible.
    Homosexuals should not be allowed to be married. I am sick of them defining themselves by their sexuality. ( I don't define myself simply by saying "I am not gay") I have friends who are gay and they know that It doesn't really make a difference to me. They are my friends. They are aware, though, that I am incredibly annoyed by some "flamers" that are around them and I don't appreciate the effeminate actions for attention. But more importantly, I don't think they should receive the same financial benefits that married men and women receive. As far as being able to visit someone in the hospital or whatever, that issue should be persued in some other form than marriage. People should be able to visit their friends/lovers if possible, but the definition of marriage should not be changed in order to make it happen.

    2. I believe we should do everything possible in order to find and use alternative methods for energy besides oil. The simple truth is that some day there won't be any left. People need to realize that and that only. Only so many plants and animals have died to make it over millions of years. I actually mentioned that to a lady at work one day and she got a funny look on her face. She honestly thought God just made pockets of oil in the earth so we could have vehicles. Unbelievable.

    3. I don't have enough information to comment on this issue.

    4. I voted for him for a couple reasons which I'm sure will be slammed by others.
    --He is not as conservative as I'd like him to be when it comes to gun issues but he was the best there was too offer. And like it or not. I think it is an important issue.
    --I am happy that Sadaam is not in power anymore even though Iraq may or may not had anything to do with the bombing of the World Trade Center.
    --I don't make much money (I live in North Dakota for God's sake) but I don't think it is the governments job to support people who won't get off their tail and work, and I think that Democrats are most likely to support people like that. I could be wrong. Just my opinion.
    --Lastly, on the lighter side, I like to make fun of pot smoking, drug using, peace loving hippies, and I don't think I could get away with it if I voted for a Democrat.

    It is nice to hear from someone who actually seems logical and has his head on straight even though i might not agree with you on anything or everything.

  5. #5

    Re: An attempt to engage serious discussion

    1. Gays have the same rights everyone else has. Anybody wishing to jointly own property, tranfer property, etc, should have a right to do that without restriction so long as all parties involved are in mutual agreement. However, since Marriage has a concrete meaning, it is simply not possible for them to be "married" without redefining the word. I don't see why they cannot and should not have the ability to realize all the same property and visitation-related rights as anyone else, however.

    2. Where there's a need, the free market will eventually fill it. Supply and demand will see to that. Oh, and the Globe is not Warming. Look at the actual temperature record yourself and stop listening to leftist activist psuedo-scientists. I'm a 12-year subscriber to Popular Science, but I can tell you that even publications such as it often put political agendas ahead of hard science. The clearest recent example is their contention that "The Day After Tomorrow" could really happen and is based on real science.

    3. Regulation of business beyond the realm of fraud will only harm the economy. Fraud is theft and is therefore a legitimate concern of the State. Beyond that, however, the government should keep out of business.

    4. Spending is out of control, it must be curtailed, starting with pork and socialist programs such as welfare (corporate and otherwise).

    5. Social Security: Math is innescapable. Social Security isn't working. Either benefits will have to be curtailed, or taxes will have to be raised DRASTICALLY. It is a mathematically unsustainable system and must be phased out. We cannot ignore reality forever without paying the price.

  6. #6

    Re: An attempt to engage serious discussion

    First off, thanks to all who have responded. It's obvious that there is wide diversity of opinions even among the conservatives.

    Regarding the gay marriage issue. I realize this one is a hot button. The GLBT lobby wants full marriage rights and that isn't going to happen, nor do I think it should. Why, it clouds the issue of parental rights. What happens when you have 2 Moms and a Dad involved? I do believe that some mechanism for recognizing long term homosexual relationships would benefit society, but we don't need to call it marriage. BTW to Danimal, the flamers used to bother me, but I realized they aren't acting out for attention, that's just who they are. At that point I could just say to myself, "Better them than me."

    With regard to energy policy, there seems to be consensus that actively pursuing alternative sources of energy is a good thing. I read somewhere recently that folks in eastern Kansas were opposed to a wind energy farm (I think it was the Wall Street Journal). I've seen a wind energy farm here in Iowa, it's not pretty, but it's not ugly either (the turbines aren't the nice white ones you usually see in pictures). It makes me feel kind of good that we're capturing energy from that brutal cold wind blowing out of Alberta (yeah, thanks Canadians). So why don't we begin lobbying for more effort in this direction? If our representatives know that it's not just lefty wierdos that want it there may be action.

    It seems most are also opposed to deficit spending. The only question is where to cut costs. Most on the left will tell you that social programs have little left to cut and the biggest expenditures are in the military, debt service and social security. It would be impossible to cut debt service and neither military cuts nor social security cuts would be politically expedient. So which will it be, or do you pursue the other option raising taxes, or the most popular option lie to the public that tax cuts will yield greater revenues due to the increase in the economy?

    Brady we've discussed Social Security and you've made your point. In a perfect world I might agree with you that it's unnecessary, but ours is not a perfect world and if you really want to choose between having your parents live with you or in the poor house then by all means eliminate social security. That was the choice faced by many in the early decades of the 20th century. The ballooning federal deficit is building a house of cards of the nation's economy, do you really want to bet on the stock market for your only source of income in your senior years?

    I see this as a good start, would any of our friends on the left like to join in (respectfully of course)?

    Steve

  7. #7

    Re: An attempt to engage serious discussion

    I'm way too outraged, mad, depressed, and disgusted to be civil right now.

    Sorry. Maybe after some time has passed I'll be able to, but right now the best I can do is bite my tongue and only hurl moderately obscene insults.

  8. #8

    Re: An attempt to engage serious discussion

    1. Gays have the same rights everyone else has. Anybody wishing to jointly own property, tranfer property, etc, should have a right to do that without restriction so long as all parties involved are in mutual agreement. However, since Marriage has a concrete meaning, it is simply not possible for them to be "married" without redefining the word. I don't see why they cannot and should not have the ability to realize all the same property and visitation-related rights as anyone else, however.
    Agreed. I think what a lot of people have forgotten is that the original meaning of marriage was not focused on whether two people happen to be in love or not, it was focused on providing an effective mechanism for having and bringing up children.

    This all grew out of the natural, biological bond between parents and their own offspring, and the recognition that it made sense to structure society around that bond, so that future generations could grow up strong, secure and loved.

    Now I hate the kind of Christian right that tries to extrapolate from this that the conservative nuclear family lifestyle is the only possible valid one, and that everyone outside of that is therefore doing something immoral. That's garbage. Gays aren't hurting anyone by being gay.

    I can see too that many gay couples could make fantastic parents, and as there is a need for good people to be adoptive parents, they should be able to adopt too.

    But, as a father myself, I don't think adoption can ever be the same thing as biological reproduction. That's not to say it's not as "good", or not as worthy of support. Just that it's not the same. So why blur both language and social organisation by pretending it is?

    Personally, I also see the point in the line peddled from the other direction. Marriage is over-rated, and seems to be one of the main causes of unhappiness throughout our society. Why on Earth do gays WANT to have access to something that only serves to make most straight people miserable? (Tongue PARTLY in cheek!)

  9. #9
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    Re: An attempt to engage serious discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Batzdorf
    I'm way too outraged, mad, depressed, and disgusted to be civil right now.

    Sorry. Maybe after some time has passed I'll be able to, but right now the best I can do is bite my tongue and only hurl moderately obscene insults.
    My sentiments exactly, as nothing less has been taken from us than our fundamental right to vote. John Kerry won the election, but he will not be the next president. The democracy experiment (ever struggling, ever aspiring) has had its time, but that history is now over.

  10. #10

    Re: An attempt to engage serious discussion

    Its interesting that this is an attempt at a serious discussion. The amount of self importance the White Americans, British and Australians give themselves is actually very amusing from my point of view. Maybe because i am viewing this discussion from 1000's of miles away.
    Nothing has really changed, the only difference now is the system is failing you, and there are more loosers. Now instead of the people in Central America or some other minority getting his humanity abused the average Joe in the USA is getting his turn. Reality is finally beginning to hit the American people, Captialism and democracy are being exposed for the sham twins they have always been, someone always has to pay, in the past it was others, the Native Indians, The Vietnamese etc. You all took advantage of the ride up, but is was pure self deception, talk of ethics and morality cant hide the truth any longer, not that it ever could for those who were honest enough in the first place. The elites have the power and they have openly declared war on you, the constraints of the past are gone,they have taken your vote with complete confidence, because they now know their is no possible resistance to their power, as they say we make reality and you follow.

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