For much of my life I considered myself a conservative…then a libertarian. Now over the past 6 years I’ve been acting like a liberal, although I’m really a centrist or maybe I’m just bipolar.
I believe what makes America so great is that with the conservatives pulling to the right and the liberals pulling to the left, America ends up walking the middle path. If the pendulum were allowed to go too far to the right we would be in danger of becoming a Fascist nation. If we were pulled too far to the left we would be in danger of becoming a Communist nation.
Have you noticed that during the primaries we see and hear all the far right and far left ideas but when our presidents are elected most of them are just left or just right of center? If you look at the reality of Obama I think you will find that he is a centrist. Calling him a Socialist is laughable. And I think you’ll find that Romney is also a centrist (surely, the man responsible for Romney-care is no conservative). Since one of those men will probably be president, you can be sure, nothing very radical will occur after the election. That’s also why with all of our pissing and moaning nothing ever changes too much no matter who’s been in office.
The middle way is where to be. Buddha described the middle way as a path of moderation between the extremes of sensual indulgence and self-mortification. This, according to him, was the path of wisdom. The “right” and the “left” need to respect the fact that we need each other to keep this important balance. We are not enemies. We are very important cogs in the machinery of true democracy. We can argue for our beliefs without degrading the other and making up stories or at least we should try. We must be the example. We must be the role models. We must each of us make the personal commitment to discourage the fear-mongering, the demonizing, and hateful speech about those who don’t share our beliefs.
The other day I looked up the meaning of Liberal and the definition said: a. not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry.
b. Favoring proposals for reform, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; broad-minded, concerned with individual rights.
It seems that we need more progress, reform and tolerance. And we sure can use less bigotry. That just feels good to me. Maybe that’s why I’m acting so liberal these days.