Location: Granite Falls, North Carolina, United States

I'm an ordained United Methodist minister no longer pastoring churches, a former media producer with skills ten years out of date, a writer trying to sell my first novel, and a sales associate keeping body and soul together working for the People's Republic of Corporate America. I'm married to the most wonderful woman in the world, who was my best friend for 17 years before we married.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Liberal vs. Conservative

Generally, I dislike these labels. They usually substitute for the thought process. If we can pigeonhole a person with a label like that, we can dismiss what they say rather than engaging the idea. As I've probably quoted before, Sydney J. Harris said, "The first one who starts throwing labels such as 'liberal' or 'right-wing' is the one who has lost the argument on its merits and is now falling back on name-calling."

Still, once in a while it's useful to define terms. I remember reading back in the 1970s that if a conservative saw a man drowning 50 feet from shore he would throw him a 25-foot rope and urge him to swim the other 25 feet for the good of his character. Whereas, if a liberal saw a man drowning 50 feet from shore he would throw him a 100-foot rope, then drop his end to go off and help somebody else.

To that I would add, if a neocon saw a man drowning 50 feet from shore and there was a rope nearby, he would take that rope and give it to a CEO to use on his yacht.


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