In discussions about politics at work I often confuse whoever I am speaking with if they’re unfamiliar with me. They don’t see where I’m coming from. Most see the political spectrum as left, moderate, right. You’re a bleeding heart liberal or a greedy heartless conservative. Black and white is how they see the world, and try to fit me in their box. They believe everyone has to be led, and disagree on who should. My rebellious wolf nature, tempered with my pragmatism, confuses them.
I try to explain my views in easy to digest words and seem to confuse them more. I state that I’m a fiscal conservative, social liberal. That means to me that the government runs a balanced budget with a bare minimum of programs and agencies. I also believe in freedom of choice, except I make far less exceptions than a lot of people.
Where I split ways with liberals is where though we agree on freedom of choice, I also believe in personal responsibility for your choices, actions, and words, no safety net social programs for everything. Only for those times where you genuinely hit a stretch of bad luck and need a hand. Where I split with conservatives is that I think outside the box, and tolerate choices I may disagree with.
Perceptions and Power
Many think that conservatives want to force their values on others and that liberals want to tell you how to live because you’re to stupid to make your own choices so the government has to do it for you. That’s 2-D thinking, look beyond that, think 3-D. The examples I laid out above about the left-right perception has a common theme.
Control. You’ve now taken a pure thought and twisted it for your gain. The beginning of tyranny. Those in this realm are my enemies in the battlefield of the minds. They’re the shepherds, and those they pander to, and follow them are sheep. It’s any way of thinking that forces another’s Will on someone that I disagree with, though I allow a few exceptions such as self-defense and justice/vengeance.
Most of society believes someone has to lead, and are perfectly willing to abdicate their authority to someone else whom they’ve never met. Even those in the middle of the road, the moderates. They like the status quo, sheep who don’t bother to think at all or move left and right, up and down, depending on the situation. Moderates can be like black sheep, though this part of the spectrum isn‘t the exclusive home of that flock. They question more, not locked in a certain ideology, some thinking that governmental/religious control is needed to keep the extremes in check while willing or not realizing that the chains they’re binding others with, entangle them also. While the others are more towards libertarianism. They want both sides to have more freedoms, more tolerant, and more responsibility. Wolves prowl the entirety of the political spectrum, sheep do not. They gather in the areas where some measure of control is present.
Where Do People Fit
You have two extremes, anarchy or totalitarianism. In between these, freedoms are lost, and control is gained. Some believe in freedom of choice, but on various degrees. Pro-choice, you can’t tell me what to do with my body, but turn around and say that others have to pay for their healthcare. Some believe that you should have economic freedoms, but you can’t marry someone of the same sex. It seems most people have various degrees of self-righteousness.
I noticed a lot of people agree on:
That’s more freedom, but they disagree with:
- Gay Rights
- Free Trade
- Letting People be responsible for themselves in old age
- Letting People be responsible for themselves, period
- Legalizing Marijuana
That’s less freedom, more control. And a few are undecided on marijuana legalization, corporate bailouts, free trade, and personal responsibility. On two issues they either agreed or disagreed, no maybe, was gay rights and a national ID. This shows me there is a battle for power. Most everyone thinks they know better than you and you shouldn’t have the choice. Either for their gain or belief that you should get in line with them. Those I speak with are selfish and/or meek sheep, shepherds/wolves in sheep’s clothing, or wolves in wolf’s clothing like myself.
The former two can’t or won’t comprehend that I won’t bow or get in line. I believe in freedom with responsibility as its counterbalance. Though not a anarchist, I’m not far from it. I realize the need for a structure to protect others from tyrants on personal, business and governmental level. And we are far from that today. This is where I stand, where do you?
© Vance Gatlin 2010