Liberal Here, Conservative There
Wednesday - December 12, 2007
A MidWeek reader began a recent e-mail to me with “I do not always agree with your often liberal views ...”
“Liberal views” is true if he is saying I’m usually at an opposite pole from Michelle Malkin, Rick Hamada or Jerry Coffee.
But defining liberal is harder with every year of the changing political climate. Traditionally, it meant more accepting of social change. Conservatives were more prone to say “What’s wrong with the way we’ve been doing it?”
I guess I’d call myself a tilting-to-left centrist. I’m for changes in the social contract but I know that takes time, and I have to make compromises along the way.
I’m for working people because I come from a factory family and worked to support myself since I was 15. But I also have a sense that some unions too fixed on wages and benefits have destroyed the jobs they seek to protect and have alienated some of the public they need for support.
I don’t want to impeach George Bush. I just want Jan. 20, 2009, to arrive as quickly as possible.
I want clean air, water and land, but uber-environmentalists disturb my sense of what’s reasonably doable.
I vote all over the place - certainly more Democratic than anything else, but I’ve never shied away from voting for a worthy Republican. I’ve not voted for a Libertarian or a Green because in America that seems to be a waste of a vote.
I’m for all-must-pay-in (not the Barack Obama opt-in) national health insurance and preferably with a single payer, the government. Physician and Outrigger Hotels & Resorts chairman Richard Kelley asks: “Knowing how well government handles driver’s license renewals, motor vehicle registration, immigration, border security and public education, do you really want it involved in delivering your health care through a giant government-run HMO?” I don’t want government running the HMOs. I want government negotiating medical and drug fees and making all the payments.
As for that state Childrens’ Health Insurance Program, why set family income levels? If an applicant can convince an examiner the family cannot afford the care, then cover the kids. What’s $35 billion when we’re talking $200 billion for one more year of war?
We should extend medical insurance to illegal aliens already here, but that’s only doable by limiting it to those who register with the government during a six-month window for legal residency or citizenship, show they are employed, paying all taxes and have no pending felony charges or felony convictions.
The Social Security cure is to extend the taxation beyond the current $97,000 income ceiling - tax everything that’s earned income. Do not distribute SS to anyone over a certain annual gross income, perhaps $200,000. But reduce the SS payments to ordinaries? Fred Thompson killed his presidential ambitions with that suggestion.
States should get out of the marriage-licensing business and become simply recorders of unions.
I recognize the local political will is there for the Akaka Bill, so I support passage while trusting in the Supreme Court to knock it down later as bad law.
I’m not sympathetic with those beach-homeless who could work and rent or live in shelters but won’t. I’m no bleeding heart for those in criminal courts who alibi that “the system caused my problems.”
I waffle on the death sentence. Basically, I don’t like it because it’s uncivilized and it can kill an innocent person. My waffle is when there’s overwhelming evidence of guilt in heinous crimes such as mass or child killings or a rape-killing. My gut takes over from my brain and I admit that weakness. (Giving the condemned a final meal of choice strikes me as the ultimate silliness in rituals.)
I was stunned when Gen. Peter Pace, former chairman of our Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that gay sex or even hetero sex between unmarried people is against God’s law.
I was dismayed to see former Pacific Command Adm. Tom Fargo being a common shill in Honolulu magazine with an ad for his Wolf Outdoor Grill.
I greatly appreciate our Marines, so I was appalled when Mayor Hannemann read off their ranks as “lieutenant corporal” instead of lance corporal at the Honolulu City Lights ceremony. Mufi never served.
I don’t approve of checking kids’ school lockers without cause or drug testing teachers without cause.
I do approve of mandatory drug/alcohol testing of pilots, bus, boat and truck drivers who can kill us.
Where does all that put me on the ideological measuring stick?
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