Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Why am I a Liberal?

Please use this space to discuss why you consider yourself to be a liberal? What do you stand for? What does it mean?

Or what questions do you have for those who consider themselves a liberal?

67 Comments:

Blogger Jacob Danger said...

If the United States established its entire government on liberalism, never incorporating one iota of conservatism, would our government survive?

3:26 PM  
Blogger Caitlino said...

I am a liberal. I believe we need socialized healthcare, where all people can be helped regardless of their financial standing. I believe in a woman's right to choose because abortions should be decided by the individual. We do not need unwanted children on this earth. I believe the government needs to control business so it does not get out of hand and steal people's livelihoods, i.e. Wal-Mart and Enron. I believe that immigration should be fixed, but we should not kick all immigrants out of the country, nor should we waste our time building a silly little wall. I believe that all people regardless of gender should have the opportunity to marry whomever they want because as a government we aren't supposed to rely upon what the bible says. I believe all people should have equal rights, regardless of race, gender, age, or social class, and I believe we should look to the future for new answers, instead of relying upon tradition to carry us through a tough time.

3:26 PM  
Blogger Caitlino said...

Jacob- that is a really good point. You have to combine all views of how the government should work in order to create something effective, I just happen to believe that my views are best!( And I think that is how most people seem to look at politics and government, that only their views matter and that theirs is the only right way.)

3:30 PM  
Blogger annab said...

Agreeing with Caitlin everyone wants their idea and beliefs could dictate every part of the government and I think that defining political parties is just the start of understanding the endless opinions. And while I consider myself Liberal I also side with Conservatives on some issues. So I'm not necessarily saying that I want our government to be entirely Liberal, because as much as i hate to admit it, I do not always agree with every decision defined as Liberal. I consider myself a Liberal because that is the school of thought that most of my opinions reflect.

4:41 PM  
Blogger nathana said...

Regarding Caitlino's comment:

When did conservatives say they were against equal rights, regardless of race, gender, age, or social class? It is only liberal propaganda that says conservatives are "anti-rights". Conservatives are for rights as well and the only debate is how best to uphold them. I don't think that anyone is entitled to favoritism from the government due to race, gender, age, social class, hair color, opinion, facial hair, national origin, height, size, religion, age, shoulder width, acne, finger nails………….I think we get the idea.

5:10 PM  
Blogger lreiker said...

I believe I am a liberal because I like change. Change is good in the government because there are lots of flaws in the plan that is already made out, which become more apparent overtime with a changing society, and the change needs to reset us on to better courses. We can't just stay the same, and sit back and follow the old rules just because they've always been there, while things could be improving. Circumstances change.
I agree with most everything that caitlin said about pro-choice abortion, social healthcare, stopping stealing corporations like Wal-Mart etc. We really do need to take action on a lot of things and our government system is very inefficient, also we are all just sitting back and letting them try to take away our rights. ex.(right to bare arms, abortion, privacy)

5:21 PM  
Blogger SuzanneC said...

I classify myself as a liberal because I think the government needs to be more open to change, especially for our current healthcare system. I am also pro-choice. I believe that women should have the right to choose to have an abortion, and gay marriage is something the government has no right to ban. Our government should protect our freedoms and rights, not take them away.

7:04 PM  
Blogger emilyf said...

ok so i will ask you the same question i asked the conservative blog. i am still a little confused on the difference between conservative and liberal. i understand the smaller issues but what about big issues. in general if you had to stereotype a liberal what do they believe. Thanks!

7:05 PM  
Blogger sarahb said...

Caitlin and other people have said a lot of the things that I belive in so I wont repeat them but to sum it up, I believe in equality for all and change because the world we live in is constantly changing

7:47 PM  
Blogger Caitlino said...

Sorry, I guess I did make a generalization. I am not trying to depict conservatives or republicans in a heartless way, it just fit with what I was saying.It seems to me that for the most part, people are really open to new ideas and ideas from the other "side," while the party throws the propaganda around about the "other side being evil". However, I am going to step out on a limb and say that conservatives do show signs of being anti gay. If everyone could have all the same rights..why cant gays marry? The fact that they cant do so is an infringement upon individual rights dont you think?

8:56 PM  
Blogger alex_anley said...

I think that I am a liberal because I believe in equality among everyone. I think everyone should have equal opportunity to vote. I believe that taxes should pay for things like healthcare, welfare, public education, and other public services. I think welfare is important because not everyone comes from financially stable families. Those that want to change their future but can't should be open to help from the government to give them a jump start so they can become independent and support theselves. I think healthcare is critical because it is everyone's right to have medicine and doctors available to them so they can conduct healthy lives. Caitlan is correct when she says it is a women's right to choose because we truly do not need any unwanted babies, good point.

As far as the economy goes i think the wealth in this country is distributed very poorly, I do not know how to fix this problem but it is certainly an issue. I think the government should better regulate monopolies and the way that taxes are being spent.

Looking at the definition of liberalism, I feel I connect well with cultural liberalism. I think putting ages on laws CAN be stupid and a waste of time. I think it is ridiculous that there are being people sent off to fight a war and then when they get home they can't even drink a beer. But more importantly, culture liberalism reflects acceptance and promotes people to tolerate all other kinds of culture and ideologies that are out there. People should stop wasting time labeling and start accepting.

***and by saying this i am not saying conservatives are against equal rights***

10:01 PM  
Blogger brooksk said...

Caitlin, what do you propose would be a good first step to "fixing immigration"? Or in a general statement, what should the United States do overall to try and "fix" this problem? Do you see immigration as a problem in the country? If so, how and why?

10:25 PM  
Blogger Amanda G. said...

Caitlin and Alex,
do you know how many "unwanted babies" go to this school? Are you seriously telling some people that we didn't "need them"? Wow. That's pretty harsh.

10:42 PM  
Blogger KerryL said...

I agree with the liberals...I believe our country is in desperate need to reform healthcare, give equal rights to everyone, and abortion. Gay marriage first... who is right to say that a gay couple should not have the same benifits as straight couple? This whole issue is like the civil rights in the 60's. Many are going to look back on the opposition to gay marriage and figure out how ignorant they truly are. Also, the government should not have the power to determine whether or not a woman should have an abortion. No, abortion should not be used as birth control. However, how would a teenage girl react to getting pregnant if the government made abortion illegal and her family didn't support her? She would have an abortion illegally. Is that safe for the pregnant woman? No. Not at all.

As the song by Pink and the Indigo Girls goes,

"What kind of father would take his daughter's rights away?
What kind of father might hate his own daughter if she were gay?"

9:05 AM  
Blogger Caitlino said...

Brooks- I wish I had an answer to immigration, but I dont. I think we have to start looking outside the box for solutions, but I have not yet put enough thought into this subject to have any real answers for you. I think that immigration should be supported legally, but illegal immigration hurts both our country, as well as the immigrants. Most of these people live quiet lives, trying to scrape by working three jobs and supporting a family. They are constantly living in fear of being caught or found out, although for the most part, our 12 million(or whatever the number is) immigrants are not hindering society in any significant way. However, we have to find a way to regulate the influx of immigrants, while not cutting out all Mexican immigrants from the picture. They are a major part of our society and our economy, and we have to honor the good things that they do for us. There are problems with illegal immigration, like anything else we deall with in this country, and we have to find a beneficial way to fix it.

9:05 AM  
Blogger Caitlino said...

Amanda- Abortion may not be something you support, but you have to accept the rights and freedoms of others to do things like have an abortion. I have a solution that cuts out abortion almost completely, except in extreme cases. We as a country need to stop fighting about abortion and start giving money to organizations like Planned Parenthood. Birth control must be widely available to anyone who is sexually active, so they dont have to get an abortion after they "mess up". If birth control was more widely available, I feel we wouldn't have as many unwanted pregnancies. We have to start at the source of the problem. I respect your moral values of opposing abortion, but the rights of an individual cannot be sacrificed just because they believe differently than you.

9:13 AM  
Blogger newman said...

I completely agree with what Suzanne C said. Our government spends way too much time limiting our freedoms and telling us how to live our lives. The government should not have a say in whether a woman wants an abortion or not and that marriage is only between a man and a woman. Our government needs to take a step back and give the people more freedom to make their own choices. However, on the issue of immigration, I beleive that this country was founded on immigrants from Europe and such coming here for a better life. That said, I think that as long as there are enough jobs for natural born Americans, in general our country can only be bettered by people seeking a better life from south of the border. To conclude, I entirely agree with Catalin O when she says that you must combine all views of government in order to be somewhat effective.

1:25 PM  
Blogger Amanda G. said...

Caitlin,
I agree with you in saying that we need to provide more financial support to birth control and parenting programs. But what did you mean when you said that you "have a solution that cuts out abortion almost completely, except in extreme cases"? Could you ellaborate on that? Thanks. And I agree with Steven M. on the conservative blog about the abortion thing. I have to run... so if you could read it... it might give you some insight into where I'm coming from.

2:54 PM  
Blogger brooksk said...

Caitlin, I think that your answer was well-stated and I would have to agree with you 100% on both your statements about immigration and abortion.

4:06 PM  
Blogger alex_anley said...

I was never intending to offend anyone when I was talking about it being the womens right to choose because this world does not need any unwanted babies. I was just referring to the fact that there are tons of mothers in this world that abandon their babies because they never wanted to get pregnant in the first place. I think this is a terrible thing and it makes me really sad to know that there are a lot of irresponsible people out there that are unaware of better and safer options and no I'm not just talking about abortion. There is adoption and also several shelters recover abandon babies. I know I could never personally get an abortion if the situation were to arise, I just think it is someone elses opinion whether or not they can go through with it.

4:11 PM  
Blogger Caitlino said...

Steven has a nice point about that, but I am not extremely religious, so it is hard for me to just trust that things would be ok for a child who is unwanted because God might fix everything, because I dont think it always works out that way. My solution was that we as a nation spend more time and money looking at birth control and how to make it readily available to those who want to be sexually active so there are less problems with abortion. In some areas, birth control seems taboo, and that has to be changed. People must be able to step up to the responsibility of keeping themselves safe in the beginning, and we wont have to continue the bitter abortion debate, because cases where people dont use birth control and become pregnant wont happen as often as it seems to today.

4:27 PM  
Blogger alex_anley said...

Caitlan- I definitely see your point. That is definitely something that needs to have more emphasis in this country is the idea of practicing safe sex so the situation does not arise.

4:36 PM  
Blogger kkyle said...

I tentatively raised my hand in class on Wednesday as being a liberal/democrat. The fact is that I dont know a lot about politics and the sides that both Republicans and Democrats take on certain issues. After going through this blog I finally understand that i'm probably a moderate that leans more to the Democratic view on issues. I believe that abortion should remain legalized. If a parent believes that they can't take care of a child the way they should than they shouldn't subject their child to a lifetime of not being cared for. If abortions became illegal it wouldn't stop parents from diposing of their child in a more disturbing way. However, i'm probably more conservative in my views on immigration. I don't believe that illegal immigrants should be granted amnesty. However, I believe that all legal immigrants should not be persecuted, or segregated. Also I think that the US government should allow more people yearly to enter legally. The fact is that entering a country illegally is just wrong and subjects that person to a society that will take advantage of you whenever they can.

6:19 PM  
Blogger Amanda G. said...

I agree with you, caitlin and alex. I think that the government should do that as well. You'd think people in government would be smart enough to go to the source of the problem (perhaps too much unsafe sex) instead of reiterating its debate over abortion over and over and over again. I have my beliefs, but I have come to realize that in the case of abortion... it will never be solved. It is too polar of a discussion. I wouldn't have an abortion and I would also advise others NOT to... but I can't control everyone and that's where freedom comes in (which is something liberals and conservatives agree on). No one wants to tell anyone else what to do. It's just a question of WHO is being hurt, a baby or a mother?

7:05 PM  
Blogger alysons said...

I believe that I am a liberal because I am very open minded and want a change in this closed off society. I agree completely with what suzannec, alex_anely, and caitleno have said.

I do not feel that the government has the right to oppress our decision about abortion or gay marriage, just because the government is filled with a bunch of conservatives who cannot accept anyone that is different does not mean that the rest of America has to follow. We each were given rights, whether it was on the day we were born in this country or the day we became citizens, we are all Americans and we all deserve to be treated with equality.

I feel that welfare and health care is something that we need to pay for in taxes because our economy has a growing number of homeless people daily; not everyone is able to pay for the medical attention that they may need to save their lives some day. Just because some people were born into a family that was not as well off as another or have made poor choices money wise, does not mean that we can exclude them from being able to receive the attention that they need.
On the subject of immigration I am quite torn. I think that everyone deserves a chance to improve their lives in the land of possibilities. Although I am concerned with the rising number of our citizens who are unemployed, as well as the massive businesses that are quickly infesting the world and destroying the smaller businesses. The gap between the rich and the poor needs to somehow become slimmer, I mean Brandon Davis said that Lindsey Lohan was only worth an estimated $7 million dollars and is “poor”. I consider $7 million a hell of a lot of money and I am way better off than many, many people in this country. And if poor to Brandon Davis is $7 million I wonder what Bill Gates considers poor? The gap is just increasing too rapidly and while job are constantly being lost to those who will work for under minimum wage. But on the other hand immigrants are beneficial to our lives; if there were no immigrants, then we would all be working at Burger King and would most likely be exceptionally unhealthy. I do not know how to solve the immigration problem but I feel that the United States needs to put a plan in action that has nothing to do with constructing a wall or a highway to Canada.

7:48 PM  
Blogger Kenny, The Asian said...

this is a question for the liberals. But, first i assume that if you are saying you are a liberal you are one of the folks thats main goal is to preserve idividual rights and maximize freedom of choice, that is it that is your soul goal that is what i assume if you say you are liberal. so my question for you is how far are you willing to go with freedom? you cant be governed and free. it just doesnt work. also, when you preserve individual rights how far are you willing to go with that? do you know that there is no right that the government can't take away from you. what are you protecting?

9:25 PM  
Blogger IsaW-H said...

What do you mean by your question, Jacob danger? Couldn’t the same question be asked but with conservatism instead?
Just because I am a liberal doesn’t mean I don’t respect or consider a conservative opinion to be valid. I think its all about balances and as many view points as you can get the better.
I agree with what Caitlin said, that sums me up.
I understand your point nathana, but some of the conservative policies do infringe upon equal rights. Isn’t not allowing gay marriages, certain aspects of our health care system and some of the illegal immigrant policies discriminatory? Also, I find a lot of the defense from conservatives (not all conservatives) for certain issues are religiously based. Isn’t that also violating upon the right for freedom of religion?
Well regarding you’re question about stereotypes emilyf, I think that might hinder you more then help because some of the problems people get into with politics stem from all the stereotyping that are not necessarily true. Liberal stereotypes tend to be more along the lines of hippies, commis, radicals, bleeding-hearts, just so you know.
So basically I could write books on how I feel about abortion, healthcare and immigrants because they’re something I feel very strongly about but then my comment would be way to long and quite honestly I don’t have the time to sit down and belt it out right now.
But to answer the rest of Mr. Meyers’ questions, to me a liberal has to do a lot with change and open-mindness. I get these adjectives from what I’ve seen both sides stand for. Liberals tend to be the ones all for an open education, one lacking censorship. I think that’s something that’s extremely important. Liberals tend to be the ones who accept differences in other people. I know that sounds harsh but take a look at the things that conservatives stand for. Gay marriage, is a support of differences, so is the immigration issue. Yes, it is a problem I admit it. But did you know the majority of illegal immigrants are not even Mexican. Nope, they’re people whose visas have expired, people who blend in among us, look more like us. It is an ugly and racist issue. For example, a young man, Mexican but completely legal, was born here in fact, gets pulled over by a cop. He’s slightly mentally retarded, so he has the mental capacity of a child so he behaves like one. He can’t remember his phone number nor can he really understand what's going on. The cop takes him in, the station persuade him to sign a paper admitting he's illegal and he is deported to Tijuana. His mother never saw him again. Illegal immigrants for the most part are not evil criminals. I would know, I have met several families and I have always been touched with how hard-working and humble they are. But I digress.
I’ve been raised to respect and appreciate differences from all aspects, to take things with an open-mind and not be afraid to change if something isn’t working and for me those values tend to correlate more closely with being a liberal. I think acceptance is a key word.

9:32 PM  
Blogger J.Mirzayi said...

I'd probably pick Democrat because I think they may be a little closer to beliefs even if not in actual practice.

I don't really know enough about everything across the board to make a educated decision about these things. There are issues in which I identify conservatively and there are others liberally.

I think there should be less gun control, less drug control, less immigration control, less abortion control, more available birth control for teenagers, more education, a better defined no-nonsense separation of church and state, better protection of forest land and the environment. gay marriages for all, lowered drinking age, removing ourselves from the Israel/Palestine situation as well as the Iraq situation.

But, like I said: I say these things but I know relatively little about most of those subjects. and identify Democrat sorta just because really.

9:41 PM  
Blogger JeffN said...

I am socially liberal. I am pro-choice when it comes to abortion because I feel that it is no ones right except the individual to choose the lifestyle they want to follow. I feel that the government should not be involved in gay marriage because if two people love each other, than there is no reason that they should be pulled apart from one another. I believe that adequate healthcare is something that all humans deserve no matter what their financial standing may be. And I acknowledge that illegal immigration is a big issue that is currently facing our country and I think we need to find a way to give people a chance at a life worth living without kicking them all out of our country and building a wall to keep them out.

Pertaining to economics... I don't know enough about our economy to make a judgement on how I feel so I'm more ignorant at this point than either Fiscally Liberal or Conservative.

But my view on politics is that if we allow partisianship to get in the way of government, then politicians accomplish nothing. I have been able to experience municipal government first hand and one of the first things I noticed is that once the election is over, in a municipal setting, party affiliation almost never comes into play. Now I'm not naive enough to believe that it is possible to run a party-less government. People disagree on policy. It is the human condition. But more bi-partisian legislation and cooperation in the national Congress would certainly foster better communication and allow the government to accomplish a lot more for the people they serve.

9:43 PM  
Blogger Collin L! said...

I consider myself a liberal because i believe that the government should not dictate the personal aspect of citizens lives. Like who he, she can marry, or if if a pregnate woman can get an abortion. I feel that if abortion is nessecary, then it should happen, however if there is an alternative method, ie: adoption, then that should be taken into acount before the procedure is completed. I believe that healthcare should be a right, every citizen of the United States should have health care regarless of the social class to which they belong. I think that the enviroment is ignored time and time again, I believe that we should make drastic changes to the infastructure of our economy to better suit the tiny fragile enviroment that we live.

10:13 PM  
Blogger nathank2 said...

@ amandag.

do YOU know how many "unwanted babies" go to this school?

10:32 PM  
Blogger mckenna said...

I consider myself liberal because I don't think that it's another person's job to tell people how to live their personal lives. It's understandable if their decisions are going to negatively impact a large amount of people but concerning rights... how often does that happen? It's not like there are that many people out there waving their arms claiming they have the right to kill people. Government can provide structure but when it invades people's lives, that's pushing it. I believe that women should have the right to choose whether or not to have their child; gays are just like us and people should be able to love and marry who they want; and it shouldn't matter if you're rich or poor you should still get treated the same if a medical emergency takes place. That's why I'm liberal.

10:47 PM  
Blogger Zbsnowboards said...

I'm liberal because I'm open minded. For instance, the issue on gay marriage should not involve the government. They should be allowed to get married. I don't know why people make such a big deal out of it. People have the right to make their own choices. The government shouldn't dictate so much, that people cant' make their own decisions.

11:20 PM  
Blogger katherine igoe said...

I would say I’m a liberal because I’m all about pro-choice. Everyone deserves the same rights if your ethnic, gay, straight, man, woman or anything else. Even though abortion is such a cliché to bring up, I feel that woman have the right to choose whether they are fit to provide for a family where the child would be safe and wanted or if they know for a fact that saving the life of the child would be having the abortion. My opinions on immigration at this point have been skewed. Coming from a house of Republicans, I get myself caught in the chaos of building the wall. However, I agree with most liberals that the wall would be a waste of time.

11:21 PM  
Blogger MollyG said...

Okay, so first off, there's the issue of how we define liberalism. There's the dictionary definition and then there's the realistic side that actually exists in politics.

I tend to lean liberal in most social issues, I believe in equal rights for all, blah blah, it's all been said. I think I would probably lean more conservative (theory) if the actual conservatives didn't focus so much on moral laws.

I believe that government should be kept small. The larger a government is, and the broader its reaches, the more opportunity for inneficiency and corruption.

I also believe that laws should serve to protect the rights of the individual, and as long as their actions don't harm another individual, then it should be allowed. Issues like gay marriage bother me, because it's simply allowing people to do something among themselves. Getting married harms no one, no one is forcing people to marry people of their own gender. There are so many things that a government simply can't stop regardless of laws. Drugs, for example, such a waste of time and money to break in and arrest some pot heads eating dorritos. Money can be much better spent. Who knows, maybe if we can legalize drugs , regulate them and put insane taxes on them, a few things can be solved. Healthier stoners (no more antifreeze in the cocaine), more money for much needed social services, cops doing real work, fewer columbian terrorists and drug trafficking rings, more puppies...

When stupid laws are made, time gets wasted, money gets wasted and people simply find creative ways to bend laws. Every person on this blog has jay-walked, probably 50% have consumed alcohol. Most laws that are made to be broken are the moralizing laws. Things like drugs, gay marriage and flag burning. They don't prevent anything, they just annoy people and lead them to find even more creative ways to protest. Creating laws based on a single religion in a nation like this is purely selfish and unlikely to to any good.

I think that state and local government should have the most power. It is unrealistic to think that a bunch of old men in DC can think of laws that can magically be applied to every situation in this massive country. The concept of a president seems odd to me, since no matter what the poor person does, only half the country will ever really agree. To give someone as much power as a president has, when only half the country voted for him, is pretty silly. If smaller government can be achieved, laws can be more accurately sculpted to the needs of the community. Compare two communities in say, Kennebunk Port, Maine versus Biloxi, Mississippi, now why do we have a single group meeting to decide the laws and budgets for both of those communities. It's hardly surprising how innefficient the government can be. Also, if government is smaller, people will feel more empowered and get more involved in local politics. Plus, perhaps, in an ideal world, it would take at least some politicking out and let the lawmakers work logically.

This is not to say, however that we should eliminate national government. National government should deal with national security, prisons, interstate highways, and some economy.

Taxes should definitely be collected. I don't think they need to be astronomical though. Taxes should pay for things like education, roads, and safety regulations such as the FDA. But, I differ from most liberals in that I don't think taxes should pay for welfare or healthcare. A national system just offers too much opportunity to make rules that simply don't work on a local level. If we can get independent companies to deal with things like social security and healthcare on a state level, I think things can work a little better with the actual needs. And those organizations can use the profit from regular people to get the less fortunate people covered.

So, to sum it up, I'm pro-efficiency, anti-moralizing.

12:51 AM  
Blogger janessan said...

Wow, I just read a whole lot. But unfortunately, I'm going to add some more. I believe I'm liberal. But it’s funny how liberalism can be perceived depending on the area that you are in or from. Going to an extremely Catholic school, it’s shown me both sides of the spectrum-conservative and liberalism. When I went to All Souls, as probably Kenny can attest to, if you differed on the conservative way at all or if you did not believe Reagan was a demi-god, you were liberal. Which may seem odd to everyone, but that’s how it worked when the Church is the solitary and final discussion-making ruler. So when I came to Arapahoe, I was more moderate conservative posing as a liberal. But somehow, the more I learn, the more I seem to reject the ideas implanted in my head since birth. So that’s my little story...But here is what I believe.

I believe that abortion is awful but necessary and should be kept legalized. I hate to revert back to the "unwanted babies" statement that was so much controversy. But to a point it’s true. When kids are unwanted or orphaned, a lot of times they turn to crime. (I am not saying everyone does.) Also, if women could not get an abortion, then some may resort to very dangerous abortions: induced by either themselves or by someone who does not have a degree. And it would not only kill the baby but probably also really hurt the mother and the mother's organs. Also, it has something to do with rights. What right do people have to tell a person what they should do with their bodies and their decision?

Along the lines of rights, I believe that people should be allowed to marry whomever they choose whether or not they are gay or heterosexual.

I know that abortion and gay marriage will probably never be solved primarily because it conflicts with people's beliefs and goes against the "Bible". So I believe that the Church and especially the Bible should stay out of politics and government. And I know that some people will deject this statement as quickly as they read it. But it seems like people don't check their religious beliefs at the door and instead of following what would be best for a community of people and their area, they concentrate on their religion. And that brings to a lot of heated disagreement to topics.

I would also like to commit on some of the things that Molly said. I would have to absolutely agree on that we should eliminate stupid laws that a) contradict each other b) laws that waste lots of money and time. Also, I love Molly's comment on how government should be smaller. There is so much diversity in different areas of the United States. And a bunch of rich, old men have too much power in DC. I think that it should be more concentrated on local and state governments. Maybe then the laws can be directed towards the people instead of the powerful's own agenda.

Sorry that was so long but that probably makes up for not talking yet.

3:09 PM  
Blogger KerryL said...

nathan and amanda-
who cares how many unwanted babies go to the school?
they are alive and their parents decided not to have an abortion even if they werent unwanted. most will never know the difference.

as many have said, including myself, i believe that i am liberal. abortion is an issue that is really hard for me to see the prolife arguement. yes, it is immoral for some people. but what if you arent christian? im catholic and i have to sit through their lectures about the murders of unwanted babies. they will be unwanted when they are older also!

i think the government should not have the right to choose a woman's choice. abortion should be legal. and if its not, it would happen anyways, illegally, probably hurting the pregnant woman.

the similar thing happens with immigration... a wall will not do anything at all. people will just find another way to get into the country. a wall would just waste our tax dollars and wouldnt serve any point. something else needs to be done to help the illegal immigrants. a wall wont help anyone, its just like ignoring the problem. immigration should not be ignored with a wall. its just going to haunt us in a few years when there are no jobs left and the hospitals are filled with illegal immigrants with no social security and insurance, taking our jobs, and not paying taxes. it needs to be dealt with soon.

4:35 PM  
Blogger nathana said...

In response to the gay question I do agree that Republicans and Conservatives have taken it way too far and have started to be anti-gay. I agree that we should not look at this from a perspective of personal beliefs. Let’s analyze it from a government’s perspective. Why do people legally marry? Mostly because the government will give you tax breaks and similar privileges. Why does the government do this? Because married people have and raise children, which is something the future of the country depends on. Why is gay marriage different? I think the answer is obvious. What does the government owe gays? If nothing then why should they benefit from a legal marriage? I do agree they should be able to visit in the hospital, but that’s a separate issue and it is narrow minded to think that marriage is the only possible solution to this problem.

10:18 AM  
Blogger nathana said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10:25 AM  
Blogger nathana said...

On the abortion issue, it is hard to take the “we have unquestioned moral high ground” stance when you argue that these babies are unwanted humans, thus killing them off is a right. You do realize that this argument rings of fascism. I prefer the prohibition argument where you contend that abortions will happen anyway if they are illegalized and because it’s under the table it will only be more dangerous. Frankly though (to put it in a blunt and unintelligent way) the “it’s my body” argument is stupid and holds absolutely no water. You make it sound like you’re removing a wisdom tooth or something. It is in “the body” but is clearly a separate entity.

10:27 AM  
Blogger Lily said...

I think that people are letting their morals get in the way of what they know deep down as a human what should be done for abortion. I mean, you may think it's morally wrong, but you have to got to open up your eyes and see all the possibilities that would happen if it wasn't legal.

6:03 PM  
Blogger nathana said...

lily-
What horrible possibilities are you reffering to, and don't morals have at least some role in government? Are not our rights a list of things it is immoral to take? Would not it be immoral to take money from the poor and give it to the rich? The goal of government is to achieve "good" and "good" is defined with morals.

7:08 PM  
Blogger nathana said...

It IS possible to debate what is moral and what is not. Just because it is an opinion doesn’t make it off limits. That being said, (being a conservative) I believe that the government should let people make the decision of what is moral for themselves. However, “your rights end where mine begin”. Anti-abortion should be about whether or not infants have rights. That is what must first be established. If they do, we can conclude that a woman’s right to choose is overpowered in the name of protecting another’s right. It is only when rights overlap that I approve government limitation. That is why illegalizing abortion may very well be justified. Okay now I’m sitting and envisioning a society without abortion………..remind me again what’s going to happen?

7:24 PM  
Blogger Lily said...

My comment was erased, how sad!

Okay, I do think morals are very important and they do play a factor into politics. But sometimes we have to look at the big picture. But let's face it-politicians care more about the now than the future 18, 20 years down the road. They will vote in favor of the woman because she is a potential voter NOW and they will care more about her rights than her baby's rights 18 years from now. They want the votes now because they could possibly be dead two decades from now. So while I would really like to see no abortion in the world (I would advise people not to do it, but I know I don't control anyone's actions) I really do think that it is better to legalize it. If it was up to politicians, they'd choose the mother. So when the day comes when we choose a president who thinks in this way and appoints someone to the Court who cares more about the future rather than the right now, it will be legal. And if it was illegal, as many people have already said, then women would still try to find a way around it. In the end, two lives might not exist anymore rather than the one that might be saved. And think of Prohibition-wasn't it so effective? It was so much worse during that time period than now when it is legal. More people would consider abortion if it was legal because that is just human nature. I know it's not the same thing, but there are some similarities. So yes Nathan, I would like a society without abortion...but since humans did find a way around it, it will not go away.

8:19 PM  
Blogger Hikingout said...

Before I pose a question, I would like to comment on how recent the question of abortion is within society. Before the 1960's and the advent of dependable birth control, most children were not planned and would be considered "mistakes" by today's standards. Although abortions have almost always existed, it is funny how abortion has only become a hot issue now.

Anyways, I would like to pose a question for discussion that I would like to see debated by people other than myself, the idea of pacifism (of course I posted this on the liberal blog). I by no means intend to stop your debates on abortion, illegal immigration, gay marriage, and liberalism, but I want to open another avenue for discussion that I feel could become quite interesting. I have no intention of being an active participant in this debate, only a curious observer.

In the last speech before his death, Martin Luther King called the United States, "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today," (It is fascinating to see how much of King's later work against economic disparity and violence as an institution are hidden behind his civil rights activities). WIth this in mind, I ask if violent action can be ever justified by a nation, even in the (supposed) act of preventing more violence? Just something to think about. A full copy of King's speech is available at http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/45a/058.html. It is wonderful to see political debate alive again.

As a footnote, I think you will all be surprised once political parties and platforms are analyzed (I think next semester). MollyG, you are more conservative than you think.

11:41 PM  
Blogger janessan said...

That is an extremely interesting post. It seems like, there are so many different examples and situations that can make one answer seem stupid and the wrong idea. I personally, like the philosophy of pacifism. Taking a look at Socrates' theory, that the person who you think is the enemy and the "bad" guy has reasons and justifications for his own actions. (There is more to it, if anyone could furthur explain it, I don't know how to put it). But when you go into war, so many lives get taken on both sides that probably could have been avoided. (Not in all cases). It's hard to determine for all situations becuase they are all different.

Going to lily and nathan's discussion of abortion. (Which is a extremely risky topic to discuss and has a lot of personal feelings within the topic). However, when nathan said that the "infant" has rights. You can percieve that in two different ways. Some people believe that within the first couple of months it is not really a living, breathing human. Becuase it does not have a heart, brain, or lungs or really any vital organs. So techniqually, if you go by that, they are not human yet. And then some believe that they are human from the moment of conception even though they don't have a brain or heart or etc.
You can think of it what you want and disagree but I'm pointing out the opinion of quite a few people in the U.S. And I would like to go off of Lily's comment of Prohibition. We all knew how well that worked out? This situation is sort of like it. When things are illegal people like to rebel. Thats why teenagers love to drink. Its illegal which makes it risker and therefore fun. I'm not saying abortion would be fun if made illegal. But it would be responded probably by an increase in abortions and since it would be illegal very dangerous abortions. Which would probably result in two deaths the infant and the mother. So what I want to know is do you want to scarifice one life or two? Its a hard question and thats probably why there is so much debate about this topic.

9:17 AM  
Blogger nathank2 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3:10 PM  
Blogger nathank2 said...

Lily - I think it is interesting that you think that the government shouldn't make abortion illegal because it could get worse if they did. If our government is afraid that the people are more powerful than the laws, and therefore they won't make laws, our society is going down a bad road. That is like a parent saying that they will not tell their kids not to drink because if they tell them not to it will be worse. I can tell you that things don't go so well when parents do that.

It is the responsibility of those in power (government, parents, etc.) to be able to make laws and enforce them, and not kowtow to the followers.

3:13 PM  
Blogger nathana said...

First of all I would like to point out that I also brought up the prohibition argument so rest assured I have considered it. Second of all, it might surprise you to know that I agree a clump of cells is not human. The only issue I have is that it is VERY dangerous to draw the lines. Is it internal organs that make us human? The factor I think has not adequately been brushed upon is consciousness. You should argue that only a conscious being can be considered human. But then I ask myself “is a sleeping person conscious”. The answer is no. However, a sleeping person has the capacity to BECOME conscious. Were it not for a Supreme Court that stretched the constitution to fit their personal beliefs (which is the job of Congress NOT the court) more abortion would be illegal right now. On the subject of pacifism I think that while no one should be a complete pacifist, American culture has too little of it. It may surprise some that a conservative like me strongly disagrees with the decision to invade Iraq. I think we were closer to the way we should be when we had a policy of isolationism. (the key word here is “closer”) Would terrorists have a reason to hate us if we had never been involved in the Middle East? While some will say that they just hate freedom I don’t think that would motivate murder on their part even if it were true. The world has always been messed up, so there is no point in poking it. It is like the economy. Though there are exceptions based on time period and specific circumstance the general rule of thumb should be to leave it alone. Some countries have had their development severely hindered by western games. Countries will develop when they are ready. Imagine England invading America and forcing an end to slavery in the early 1600’s. Would we welcome them as liberators?

5:37 PM  
Blogger nathana said...

It is like untangling a slinky. The more you mess with it the more tangled it gets. Fixing our own country is challenge enough.

5:41 PM  
Blogger nathank2 said...

As an American I think it only fitting to turn to television for the answer. Dr. Gregory House puts your conundrum of drawing the line very well.

" The nice thing about the abortion debate is that we can quibble over trimesters but ultimately, there's a nice clean line: birth. Morally there isn't a lot of difference. Practically, huge."

It seems like id you are having trouble coming up with a line birth is a very logical one to settle upon.

6:14 PM  
Blogger MollyG said...

I'm liking the fascinating comments. For one thing, NathanA's comment is one of the very few logical arguments I've heard against gay marriage. But then I must ask, can't the gay couples adopt the unwanted children who were not aborted? I've heard the argument that it is best for a child to grow up with both a male and female rolemodel, but, it's still better to grow up in a gay household than in 27 different foster homes, isn't it?

Also, the issue of birth control is interesting. I've been finding that contradictory to my socially liberal standings, I find most abortion to be illogical. Women today have ways to essentially have as much sex as they want without pregnancy by more methods than I would care to list. Also, adoption is widely accepted and is becoming more and more possible. I don't see why abortions should be happening at the degree they are, but I realize that outlawing abortion won't stop it. My solution is to just stop abstinence only education. If women knew about contraception methods, adoption options and the possibility of just leaving an unwanted baby at a hospital, we can find fewer babies in subway bathroom trashcans. Of course, the government couldn't entirely outlaw abortion, in the case of rape of medical need, it should be a legal option. But in most other cases, I think it is wrong to snuff out another life regardless of how inconvenient it may be. If you don't want to get pregnant, be more careful, and if you do get pregnant, consider your options before taking easiest way out.

And hikingout, I think you're right. As I said, socially, I'm relatively liberal, but when it comes to actual government, I am definitely much more conservative. The only problem I have with actual conservatives on the political playing field is the fact that they 1. Don't stick to actual conservative theory and 2. Pull religion into politics. Conservative has taken on the meaning of right-wing religious leader. And, I believe that religious laws have no place in government. But in theory, I am definitely much more conservative than I am in real life.

11:20 PM  
Blogger janessan said...

It seems like we are trying to discuss an issue which is not black and white. But instead grey. As Meyer said at the beginning of the year, politics is grey. And yet, everyone is trying to discuss these topics, ideas, discussions as black and white. But they're not, they're grey. As Molly, so perfectly put, abortion is not absolutely necessary. There are a lot more options for women to take, adoption, prevention, etc. But unfortunately, that grey area comes in to play. And it must be left legal becuase of those specific cases of rape and medical need. But I think that girls should be taught more about prevention and adoption options. So as to lessen the amount of abortions. But unfortuanetly for you nathan, it is going to left legal for those specific reasons, the gray area.

On a side, off-topic, random note, I love House! So I was exticted to see a quote from him. thanks nathank2.

And nathan, I like your agreement about not going into other countries. But I would like you to explain a little furthur for me. Do you want the United States to follow what Washington wanted us to do, i.e. isolation? Or do you mean just not interferring with other countries and their domestic issues.? If you like total isolation. Then do you relieve that most of the products that you can come to know and love including high tech equipment and chocolate are foreign and we would never have recieved them if we had a policy of isolation. And then it comes up to another issue. Where do we draw the line? I think we all agree that we like trading with other countries. But also, the Geneva Convention stated that if a country is experiencing a genecide that you need to go in. And the United States signed it. And so we go back to gray area. Nathan, you are trying to discuss this like it is black and white but there are so many situations that would make it void.

10:51 AM  
Blogger janessan said...

sorry on my second paragraph. It should be agruement not agreement.

10:53 AM  
Blogger nathana said...

You are absolutely right Janessa. Isolation was not the proper word. I meant that we should not intervene, but I am a huge advocate of international trade and non-intrusive relations. I think I overstated my point when I used that word. I agree that there are grey areas in abortion that I didn’t touch on because I was trying to make the point that there should be much fewer. However, in response to nathank2, I don’t see why birth is a good line just because it’s simple. I’ve got an equally simple line and thus, by your logic, equally valid. Conception. But as Molly and Janessa said, the issue is more complicated then that. I do agree that a mother’s risked life is extremely valid. The mother is a US citizen and thus takes slight priority. Some may say that position contradicts the logic that the infant is completely human. However, the bottom line is that we should save the infant if at all possible. If we followed that rule I believe that the intensely grey sections would be a little clearer.

P.S. don't appologize janessa, it is important to establish common ground.

5:14 PM  
Blogger nathank2 said...

I left conception out because you agreed that a few cells weren't human so logically the line drawn would have to be later than that.

7:50 PM  
Blogger nathana said...

I never said I agreed with that line. (maybe I do maybe I don't)I just said that if simplicity were your criterion then it would be just as valid.

9:04 PM  
Blogger nathank2 said...

you said "it might surprise you to know that I agree a clump of cells is not human" so I assumed that you meant that a clump of cells was not human. Maybe I misunderstood you.

9:15 PM  
Blogger nathana said...

I said that cells alone do not make a human, but that I didn't feel good about people setting man-made boundaries of any kind. Thus I was arguing that it would be better simply not to go down the abortion path at all. I was merely stating that a few cells are not human. However, they will BECOME human before birth. Remember, I described sanctity toward anything that has the capacity to become conscious. You took my quote out of context. I will not give a “perfect” line because I feel that would not be any human’s place. However, my main point is that simple lines are not good simply because they are simple.

11:37 PM  
Blogger nathank2 said...

OK, but if you believe that abortion is wrong, which I'm gathering that you do, then you have to draw a line somewhere. And you have conveniently ruled out conception and birth. I don't necessarily believe in one or the other I was just using those simple lines to try to get you to chose one, but clearly you don't want to make that decision, which I respect.

7:43 PM  
Blogger nathana said...

I could give you a line, but I am slightly undecided in that regard. Again, avoid it whenever possible is all I believe for sure. I will tell you that I prefer the line of conception over the line of birth.

4:28 PM  
Blogger Lily said...

I'm curious to know where liberals stand on economic issues since my class hasn't really discussed it all that much. Any takers?

7:22 PM  
Blogger MollyG said...

I would prefer the government not spend money on things like luncheons and hunting weekends, but then again, most people would agree. I want more money going to schools and community projects (useful ones) and less money going to things like a giant wall around the border. Essentially, I want money spent wisely, rather than keeping a prisonner in a cell for three years, train him to do something useful with his life so he won't come back and waste more tax money sitting in prison. I would rather have money spent on fixing roads than arresting and trying potheads. I would rather have state institutions control the funding for schools and roads and such, it can be more customized to the community's needs.

I don't think taxes need to be massive, but promising cuts as a campaign issue is stupid. Taxes should just be used more wisely.

As I said before, I'm anti-stupidity.

10:45 PM  
Blogger janessan said...

I like molly's statement, "I am anti-stupidity." And I would have to say, I'm anti-stupidity as well.

It seems like while we spent so much time on the topic of abortion, which will probably never be solved. We forgot all about everything else that liberals believe in.

I personally hate taxes, probably because I don't see how and where they are going. If I knew that the taxes I was paying were efficiently helping schools and other public service projects such as roads, buildings, parks, etc. I probably wouldn't mind paying them even if taxes went up. But people see only short-term affects and they want money in their pockets instantly. Also, the stupidity of the government, losing millions and billions of dollars. And then using tax money the wrong way. It's absurd.

So while the abortion conversation was interesting, to say the least. I think we drove it into the ground. And we should move on and talk about how we could fix our tax problems, environmental issues, and other pressing problems that we may be able to find solutions for. Or at least find other people's opinions on them.

1:11 PM  
Blogger Lily said...

So since I haven't been playing lately because I've been busy with college stuff, which candidates are promising these tax cuts? Do you think that will affect the way you vote?

6:28 PM  
Blogger mollyl said...

No I don't believe it will affect the way I vote. Taxes is not that big of deal for me probably because I am not hit with huge income tax like our parents are. I could care less about taxes at this point in my life because I have not expierenced the hardships or annoyances they cause. It may affect my vote when I am older but in this election not at all. I am more concerned with health care yet I am still in the dark about it a little if anyone could put a few semi-unbiased facts out there I would really apreciate it. But As of now I believe that the government should offer a health care plan to every citizen poor or not. You may choose to not want to take that plan because you might not get to choose your doctor but it will still be an option.

8:45 PM  
Blogger janessan said...

Molly, I understand your statement about not worrying about taxes yet, because you don't have to pay them.

But I think, that statement is a little naive. Just because the little amount of taxes that we do pay, don't affect us right now. Doesn't mean that the choices that are made about taxes won't affect us later. In fact, here is a great example. Once you get paid, there a quite a few taxes taken out of your paycheck. Including the federal tax, a social sercuity tax and quite a few others. But wait, hasn't experts already predicted that social security is going to be non-existent by the time our age is ready to recieve it. So the government is taxing us for a program that won't even be around for us. And you made a point about health care. But if we randomly start taxing people later on, it probably won't work. It takes time and a lot of money to set up a program like one that you are calling for.

Sorry for singling you out Molly, but it seems like the mass population believes that it doesn't matter, if it doesn't affect them right now. Everyone loves instant gratification. And most people forget to view the long term affects of their worthless toiling.

8:39 AM  

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