Follow-up to previous essay
| I recently had an interesting exchange with a self-described conservative, who had questions about my previous essay, I'm not a "liberal," but I'm liberal
It was a pleasant exchange, in which I believe we both learned a little from each other. But one interesting takeaway I got was that the author expressed an unwillingness to believe I am in favor of hurting people. The sentence was followed by a comment about abortion, which led me to believe that prior to my response to the email, the sender presumed that I am in favor of abortion, i.e., hurting people.
I don't know anything about the sender other than the person identifies as a conservative and opposes abortion. But what I do know is the thoughts expressed in one paragraph of the email are consistent with things uttered by other conservatives I know, a few personal friends and associates with whom I've spoken face to face at one time or another. They include former Navy friends, a couple of beer buddies, and people I've dealt with professionally. They all are, or were, nice people I have enjoyed sharing lunch with or hanging out with after work.
For the most part, when conservatives in my orbit talk, I don't get much out of them regarding what they believe and why they believe it. Typically, it's a regurgitation of conservative media talking points, criticisms of Obama and Clinton that have been uttered ad nauseam, or some myth about liberals/Democrats that have been out there since Reagan was president.
All that said, I want to clear something up regarding abortion, which seems to be the single, most consistent issue that conservatives opine about.
I'm not a registered Democrat, but I think I speak for most liberals - presidential candidates notwithstanding - when I say they've been misled.
We don't want people to have unlimited, unrestricted access to abortions. What we want is for conservative politicians to end their war against Roe v. Wade.
The Republican party has been relentless in pushing one law after another to whittle away at the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that women have a constitutional right to choose. I can post something about a Democratic candidate's proposal for election security, and a conservative's comment will list items A, B and C about why they don't like Democrats, and then add something about "killing babies." Secondary to that is, "They better not take my guns."
They call themselves pro-life, but I have a hard time believing preservation of life is the foundation of why they want abortion banned.
Maybe if they could convince me they're as compassionate about the living as they are the conceived, I could understand. But when they support a party that denies climate science, I can't. When their zeal to keep Central Americans from entering the United States leads to children held in camps and their parents deported, I can't. When they complain bitterly about "food stamps" but then speak against raising the minimum wage, which would reduce the number of people who qualify for food stamps, I can't. When their solution to school shootings is putting guns in the hands of already overworked and underpaid teachers, I can't.
Nothing I say here is intended to praise Democrats or hold them up as perfect. It is simply to question the logic that to be liberal is to favor things that hurt people at a time when conservative policies appear to be driven by intent to inflict pain or by indifference.
That hasn't always been the case, but it certainly appears to be the norm today.
Oh, and I guess I'm not that good of a liberal. I just took the Washington Post's updated questionnaire to see how I compare to the remaining Democratic candidates for president. The best any of them did was agree with me 12 times out of 20 questions.
But here's the kicker. One question asked whether federal funding for abortions should be restricted. I said "should."
None of the candidates agreed with me.