Originally Posted By: Senator Hatrack
I am seriously thinking leaving the Reader Rant. Why? Because I am the only active classical liberal here. There are better things to do with my time to than to try and debate a bunch of modern day liberals who seem unable to accept anything they disagree with. The modern day liberals here are proof that they are not as open minded as they think they are.

Two of my favorite Republicans...not famous, are my all time favorite PoliSci prof and the other, my next door neighbor 30 years ago. Neither tolerated the lack of disagreement. It was fundamental to our discussions. Civil discussions (why I came here originally) with little attempts or acceptance of bullshit.

I credit my late prof, Doc Castor, for instilling the “don’t try to baffle me with bullshit” credo. If you have a point of view, state it, back it with facts not prose. If you have a legitimate factual argument on the point, make it. Politics, like life, is in no way black & white. Don’t wrap yourself around an absolute unless it is an absolute fact, and we all know the differences. Opinions, leanings, ideas, theories, and the like, are not facts. They are points of view regardless of how strongly they are held. If you are honest and “open” be willing & able to debate either point of view. Doc, RIP, thank you.

Carl, my neighbor, and I would sit on his back deck sipping beers til 3 in the morning, discussing the (what seems tame now) politics of the late 80s and the history that got us to that point. We both were well aware of our point of political view, both well aware of, and honest about, the flaws of the people and the parties we strongly supported or opposed. We had so many honest, calm, civil, quiet political debates...always ready to return to them and always with friendship maintained. And we always had fun figuratively jabbing each other about our politics.

It’s not hard to have those types of dialogues when people base the foundation on honest, factual debate. It does none of us in this world any good to only talk to our like minded choirs. It does none of us any good to run to those choirs when meeting a folk from the “other” choir. Bluster isn’t dialogue. And those who are decrying the lack of open mindedness are usually not willing to listen or allow their own input to be questioned, while fully expecting others to be fully questioned, deconstructed & reconstructed.

I am a socialist, a capitalist, liberal, progressive & conservative, a pragmatist, an idealist & a realist. And I believe that is what this country is & needs to be. There is a mix of political philosophies which made & make this country what it is. We aren’t & shouldn’t be what we were 240 years ago, 150 years ago, or 50 years ago. It is without doubt that people in the space 100 years from now will look back with a collective “WTF!” and wonder. Hopefully those same people have enough honest historical facts at their disposal to appreciate the context of our times, the way we should appreciate (not glorify) the context of what we now know as history, and understand why some rationale should still be beneficially exercised and some should be exorcised.

A lot of us like to think of ourselves as more saint than sinner, but we are not purely either and more in the middle of that spectrum than we like to admit. Same for our political thoughts. We are neither righteous idealists or evil “other guys”. We know the unpragmatic flaws of our own thoughts if we are being honest with ourselves.

This is a Ranting place, ain’t it?
- - - Bob