In 1974 President Nixon resigned from office in disgrace. You know, Watergate. At that time in my life, I parroted the family line "He didn't do anything that everyone else wasn't doing, he just got caught".
(Not Dan Aykroyd)
I realize now, that that was not a proper response. Nonetheless, I wasn't really old enough to have formed my own opinions. I am now old enough, and not surprisingly, no longer share the exact opinions of my parents.
On the national level, I voted for the Republican presidential candidates through the first George W. Bush election, then voted for the Libertarian candidates in the next two elections, because I liked their ideas about personal freedom without a "Nanny State" watching over us all. Since then, I've come to believe that the Libertarian ideal would not work in practice, mainly because we DO need government, some of us more than others, and that it seems mean to me that a country as great as ours would not help the less fortunate.
In the last election, I voted for Barack Obama, not because I think he is the greatest man out there, but because I found him to be better than his opponent. Frankly, I was also well sick and tired of the outright lies being spread against the man, instead of actual logical discourse about policy disagreements with him.
But that's not the point of this post.
A week or so ago, I self identified as a Liberal (ooh, the horrible "L" word. Doesn't hearing it just send shivers down your spine? No? Me neither). I started thinking about it though. I'm really not liberal. Probably slightly left of center, but certainly not liberal. In my opinion, what has changed is the definition of Liberal, and the definition of Conservative - maybe not the definition, maybe more like the connotation.
It seems to me that the Republican Party, or at least many of those who speak for the Republican Party, have shifted and distorted its message so much as to make it unrecognizable. I despise the meanness that comes out of the mouths of people like Sarah Palin, Sean Hannity, Glen Beck, and (throwing up in my mouth a little) Rush Limbaugh.
Don't get me wrong. I don't care at all for the smug, self satisfied, puffed up folks in the media who feel that everything the President does is wonderful, and that anyone who disagrees is an idiot. I will say that the level of outright meanness and bald faced lies that come out of the Fox Network eclipse that of its mirror image, MSNBC.
Anyhow - I take back my label of being a "Liberal", and replace it with my new label of "Old School Moderate."