Occasionally I get soundly rebuked from a reader who calls BS on my moniker ‘ Beyond Left and Right’. Clearly, some readers insist, I am most often conservative and why don’t I just fess up and admit it. I thought it may save time if I respond to this once.
I have lost readers who contended that I was too liberal, and I have lost readers who contended I was too conservative. I really try not to think in linear terms whether left, right or center. I sometimes fail. I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but I like finding new questions.
I find many positions held by so called ‘conservatives’ unpalatable. I supported the Ground Zero Mosque, because we either have religious freedom or we don’t. We do not experience freedom only when it is inoffensive. I am skeptical of simplistic solutions whether it is the Balanced Budget Amendment, a return to the gold standard, or harsh immigration reform. Tort reform or mandatory sentencing is an intrusion into many sacred courtroom procedures. The Courts should rule on laws, not create them; but likewise, the legislature should not be adjudicating cases they have never heard. Our legal system has specific officials placed to exercise judgment. They are called judges.
I tend to think like an economist and I do not find that sound economic principles are party specific. Calvin Coolidge, John Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton all cut taxes and increased revenues as a result. (Clinton raised income taxes and cut taxes on dividends and capital gains- a strategy that would generally be associated with the GOP.) Richard Nixon devalued the dollar and used prices controls, Johnson overspent on an expensive war and the war on poverty, a similar criticism as the one leveled at George W. Bush.
Even the words ‘liberal’ and ‘conservative’ themselves have changed. When Hayek first published his Road to Serfdom in the United States he included a forward to address the difference in the use of the word ‘liberal’. The Classical Liberal of Europe believed in small government and individual freedom. Liberal , as commonly used in America today, has come to be more aligned with a large government largely engaged in redistribution.
But I stand behind the position, ‘Beyond Left and Right’, for several reasons. Most people I find do not readily fit a binary description, but some will seek to determine the political ID marker before they consider the idea. An idea is acceptable more because of who said it than what is said.
It is my contention that ideas should stand on their own merits. If an idea has to properly fit a label before you can consider it there are probably millions of other blogs you would be happier reading. While I welcome corrections, intelligent comments and criticisms, I do not accept name calling, negative presumptions, or personal accusations, , and will simply delete such comments and followers. I do not engage in arguments or debates online. Life is just too short.
I do not claim to be fair and balanced, nor do I seek to give equal time to an idea just because it is the opposite of the one that I propose or support. Just because I think that the earth revolves around the sun does not mean that I am narrow minded if I do not consider with an equal number of words a proposition that the sun revolves around the earth.
While I have clearly stated opposition to the current president and his administration, it is because I think his policies are awful and counterproductive. I totally reject accusations that my opposition makes me a racist. I find such shallow accusations a reflection of an intellectual vacuum. When there is no logical argument left to make the racism charge is the next step.
This blog is simply a notebook where I record ideas and observations, mine and many others, that I think are worthwhile. Thanks to all the old and new readers and I welcome and appreciate your comments, at least the civil and constructive ones.
PS: I use the Rebel Yid Facebook Fan Page to bookmark worthy articles as I find them. Sometimes I later incorporate those items into blog posts, but often I do not. You will therefore find additional postings on the Facebook page than you will in the blog itself.