Chandler, Arizona, United States

There's an old saying. If you don't want someone to join a crowd, you ask them, "If everyone were jumping off of a cliff, would you?" Well, I have. So my answer would be "Yes". True story.
Profile continued . . .

Socially Liberal and Fiscally Conservative-- You Know, Right in The Middle

Saturday, January 18, 2014

this entry brought to you by nine inch nails, "in two"

A friend and I were talking about politics the other day. She's great and I love her to death, and if she's reading right now she knows that. But she had this political position that, frankly, makes me nuts. My friend says she's socially liberal-- she's an atheist, into gay rights, anti gun (although not nearly as much as me, which is fine), but "fiscally conservative". Which, to her, means she's in the middle.

Uhm, can I introduce you to "The Democratic Party"?

Really, I don't even know what "fiscally conservative" even means. And I'm not being facetious, I mean "fiscally conservative" is a position that is undefinable. Politicians say they're "fiscally conservative", but do nothing but promote more and more wars, they promote filling jails, and demonize Medicare even though it saves us money. Since Ronald Reagan, "fiscally conservative" Republicans have run up a deficit the likes of which have never been seen, had it turned into under Bill Clinton, only to have lose it completely and have the biggest recession since the Great Depression. So while the conservative party-- the Republicans-- are all over the "social" part of conservative, they run the "fiscal" part of conservatism like religious zealots. They'll give their tax cuts to the rich even if it destroys the entire world, because they have faith that it'll work. So I don't know what "fiscally conservative" means for a politician.

But I have even more of a problem with the term "fiscally conservative" when it comes to rank-and-file voters.

When you're talking to a person who says they're fiscally conservative face-to-face- the first thing they talk about is welfare. And you say, well, would you cut welfare? No, they wouldn't, but there's too many loopholes and too many people take advantage of the system. Well, sure. But that's not a platform. That's an idea. Would you cut medicare? No, of course not. Would you cut education? No, of course not. Would you cut the military? Most people say yes, they would. Most people agree at this point that we're spending too much on the war and that we're not getting anything for it but dead bodies. Most people wouldn't cut it as much as I would, but if you just talk to a person, they generally agree that we spend too much on the military, even if they're pro-military.

So you're for fixing loopholes in welfare-- oh my god, how fucking bold-- you're for leaving medicare alone, you're for cutting back on the military. Guess what? That's not "in the middle". That is a Democrat.

Somehow we've gotten this point in our stupid fucking society where pretending, whether consciously or not, that you're in the middle of all sides is somehow a virtue. You're Mrs. Fucking Reasonable over here. When in reality, all major decisions have been made by people picking sides. Civil rights didn't get passed by people saying "I'm all for equal rights, but you know, Jim Crow is just super convenient." America didn't get founded by the people who said "Well I hate King George and being taxed without representation, but I really really like English Pudding." Nobody sees The Swiss as being the heroes of World War 2.

The problem with the term "fiscally conservative" is that it means absolutely nothing. Its like the term "pro life". The problem is that the opposite is not "pro death". They're not pro life, they're anti-choice. The opposite of the term "fiscally conservative" would be "fiscally liberal", which is another way of saying "fiscally irresponsible." Who would admit to being that? When someone running for office says they're fiscally conservative-- IE, "fiscally smart"-- the only response is to out-fiscally-conservative your opponent. Another example would be "tough on crime". The opposite of "tough on crime" would be "super forgiving of crime", and there's no such thing. "Tough on crime" means nothing. All of these terms are just things that sound good but in practice can't mean anything by definition.

The problem is that one party actually is fiscally conservative, utterly and completely to a fault, and the other side constantly says they are fiscally responsible while repeatedly doing things that make no sense fiscally, like shutting down the fucking government. You can't be in the middle between those two. You cannot be in the middle of "we are actually pretty damn fiscally conservative and honestly our platform helps the country in tiny baby steps" and the party that literally shut down the government. That sounds very, very dogmatic, and I don't mean it to be. You can be halfway between "fiscally conservative" and Chris Waites, the guy who thinks everybody should pay more taxes and we should shrink the military by about half and legalize drugs and reduce the prison population by one third at least. But you can't be in between literally the conservative party and the insane party and still be Mr. Fucking Reasonable.

with love from CRS @ 12:30 PM 


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