A question posed on a local forum brought to light some interesting points. (The question was changed up a bit for identity purposes): Why do conservatives seem to believe that outlawing guns won’t prevent gun violence, but outlawing marijuana will prevent marijuana and why do liberals seem to believe that outlawing marijuana won’t prevent marijuana, but outlawing guns will prevent gun violence?
I’ll paraphrase the answer that was given: Because both sides are comprised of folks who want to grow the state and assert more control over our lives for our own good. The hypocrisy comes in when screaming for complete freedom about one issue, while screaming for government intervention about another. Most people choose a position based on whether it’s the “right” (or left) thing to do regardless of logic or facts and this creates a contradiction. Both political camps have one thing in common: Total partisanship benefits only our leaders. It is them and them alone who gain power while we lose freedom.
I’ve questioned my GOPness since 1996. Why do I still stand with them? Am I really a Republican or a Libertarian? Maybe a Goldwater or Eisenhower type conservative? Why do I agree with them on some issues but not on others? None of us are perfect and most of us have some mild form of hypocrisy when we live our lives, but should this be an excuse to have it bleed into our political beliefs as well? There are many issues I found where I don’t stand with the usual right-wing stances on things like immigration and marijuana. I had to literally stop myself from knee-jerk responses I’ve heard from the right, looked at the situation, weighed the consequences of my answers and see where I really stand on the issue. I’ve done it on everything from gun control to seatbelt laws. A good example is marriage equality for gays. The right side doesn’t want to recognize a gay couple as being married for reasons mostly based on their religion. The left side says they do, and a lot of that stance is based on their hatred of the right’s religion. Here’s my question: Why in the blue hell are we allowing the state to decide what has traditionally been decided by faith??? (But that’s a different issue) I’m a Christian and I stick to the Christian definition of marriage between a man and a woman. That being said, I also believe in the founding principles of this nation which says ALL OF US are endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights. If the state is going to interfere in religion, then they need to do so equally in regards to tax status or the right to make life and death decisions, estate issues, etc. After all, this country’s laws are based on the idea that all of us have these rights. We are not supposed to have laws that favor some citizens over others. (*cough, cough, CONGRESS, cough*) But before you flip out and start calling me a dirty hippee-commie-atheist, I have found a flip side to that coin: The same LGBT community that wants marriage “equality” are the same people calling for “hate crime” legislation and special protections under those laws as well, thereby making them into a separate class. Can’t have it both ways, kids. This contradicts calling for marriage “equality” because again, this country is based on the ideas that all of us have these rights. We are not supposed to have laws that favor blah, blah, blah and so on. I still disagree with them getting married as a religious belief, but that’s my business to decide and not the states’ nor is it the place of the LGBT community to try to pass laws that make me think otherwise. When it comes to being free in matters of the state, you either are, or you aren’t. There is no middle ground of “semi”-free. In this country people should be completely free to make this choice (and most others) for themselves, why? Because it is not the place of the state to impose moral restrictions on others. That leads to tyranny.
These answers may surprise many of you who see me as a voice for the right. Believe me, I was just as surprised by my answers. But when it comes right down to it, it’s tyranny I hate, not liberalism. (Although the two often walk hand-in-hand.) It took a lot of prayer, introspection and self reflection to get to that point. In the wise words of Winnie the Pooh,
Think about the issues and where you stand. Think about why you stand behind them. These questions are important and define the direction our nation and our society goes. They require serious reflection before we give answers. If each one of us stopped and actually looked at the question and weighed the consequences of our responses with an open mind and an open heart, all of us may be surprised by the answers we get……….. the ultimate result being: we might be able to see common ground between the right and the left, and even better: unite against scumbag politicians who would keep us divided into partisan camps for their own good.