The Alabama Moderate

Painting the Red State Purple.

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Where’s A Conservative When You Need One?

Posted by ALmod on October 19, 2005

No article this time. I don’t need one for what I’m about to say.

My mother and I have long disagreed in our political views, but I refuse to be labeled a “liberal” just because I voted Democrat in the last election. So when my mother referred to me in front of her friends as a “liberal” and to herself as a “conservative,” I felt the need to correct her misuse of both terms.

You see, like most Americans these days, my mother automatically equates the word “liberal” with “Democrat” or “radical.” She also equates the word “conservative” with “Republican” or “values-based.” Even if that was correct, she’d be wrong. The various definitions have absolutely nothing to do with each other. Republicans are not always conservatives or values-based. Democrats are not always liberal or radical. A lot of us are what I am, which is moderate.

While a lot of Democratic beliefs are liberal and many Republican beliefs are conservative, most who represent the said parties are not liberal or conservative as their parties define them. In fact, I’ve found them to be the exact opposite of late. “Conservative” means that a person believes in small government and decreased spending. “Liberal” means that a person believes in big government and more spending. Nowhere in that definition does it include “radical” or “values-based.”

While I would like to see some radical changes in our government, I’m still a values-based person. Not to mention, the “radical” changes that I’d like to see would be more conservative than liberal, but not too far-stretching on either side.

My main beef is the national budget, which is why I have such a huge problem with the current presidential administration (or anyone supporting them) calling themselves “conservatives.” They have done more to increase big government and spending than any so-called “liberal” that I’ve ever witnessed. (As a matter of fact, it was a “liberal” who actually gave us a budget surplus during the 90s.) But then a “conservative” took over in 2000, and all of a sudden, a budget surplus was a four-letter word. The more we spent, the better, it seemed.

So I ask. Are there any true conservative Republicans out there? I’d vote for one right about now.

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5 Responses to “Where’s A Conservative When You Need One?”

  1. Arlen Crawford said

    Can I muddy the waters a little bit? From your text, it almost sounds like you’re a fiscal conservative but possibly a social liberal, which would somehow create a moderate.

    I think that Bush is desperately trying to be a fiscal liberal as evidenced by his consistently submitting budgets to Congress which call for more spending for the lower class. His administration has spent more on the lower class and entitlements (by far) than any administration in history. (His spending PERIOD is out of control, although I would take issue over your characterization of Clinton’s “so-called” surplus, which was primarily projected.)

    And I believe that Democrats are by and large consistently social liberals (perhaps you are the exception and moderates are easily the political minority) as evidenced by the Harriet Miers nomination. I have no idea whatsoever if she is qualified, but the fact that she’s an evangelical Christian and a church goer have caused the far left (Democrats like Schummer, Kennedy, Feinstein, Boxer, Biden and in this case, possibly Clinton) to automatically oppose her. Sure, she’ll have her day of explanation, but most Democrats already oppose her because she is religious and thus the perception that she will vote to overturn Roe vs Wade (and she very well could) at the first opportunity.

    But I do remember a time (I’m a bit older than you) when going to church was a character trait to be emulated and admired. Now it’s perceived as a threat by most Democrats and all social liberals.

    That’s why liberals are perceived as having a more of a secular-based philosophy than a vales philosophy.

    CUTE picture by the way.

  2. The Alabama Moderate said

    Actually, I’m an evangelical Christian. Methodist, to be more specific– just like the president. And I also consider my political views as more values-based, so you probably wouldn’t be able to define me as a “social liberal,” either.

    The problem is that, thus far, the president and his administration haven’t lived up to my moral standards. He may have spent a lot of money on the lower class, but he’s spent far more in pork projects to his cronies in the upper classes. Lying to the American public, smear campaigns against war heroes, and betraying your country for political gain are not the Christian values that I was taught.

    My faith is one of the many reasons for my being such a fiscal conservative. Proverbs was written by a very wise man named Solomon. You may have heard of him. Go and read Proverbs 22:7. Now tell me that a budget deficit is a good thing to have. (By the way, there are over 200 Biblical passages dealing with personal finance.) The message of “spend, spend, spend and don’t worry about debt” that the government is sending to our kids is actually contradicting the one that the Bible tells us we should be teaching them! And what kid hasn’t been known to say that he regards the President of the United States as a role model?

    You mentioned Harriet Miers, and I felt like I needed to say something there. If you haven’t been reading or watching or listening to the news lately, the majority of the attacks on Harriet Miers have been coming from the right, not the left. Miers was actually one of the names suggested to the president by a majority of Senate Democrats. (They compiled a list of suggestions before John Roberts was nominated, stating that they would not oppose the nominees on the list.) But this didn’t stop Ken Mehlman from sending out an email to the RNC base saying that Democrats promised to oppose Miers before she was named. Mehlman’s claim was a flat out lie, by the way. You can go to http://www.factcheck.org for a full article regarding the email. In fact, Miers has received a great deal of praise from the left, including Senate Democrat Leader Harry Reid, who said, “I like Harriet Miers.” I don’t see anything vague about that quote that might suggest otherwise. As for me, I’m not sure what to think about her. Just like everyone else, I don’t know much about her. I’m mostly just happy to see that O’Connor will be replaced with another woman.

    I’m starting to believe that the RNC leaders desperately want a fight so that they can say that the Dems are being destructive to the democratic process. Unfortunately, the Dems don’t seem to be cooperating. In fact, ever since Republican Senator John McCain and his band of merry men struck a compromise that killed the “nuclear option,” most Senators seem to be getting along quite well. (Now THAT’S how grown-ups should act!) And McCain’s latest proposal even passed with a 90-9 vote! (All nine “nay” votes came from Republicans.)

    And from what I have noticed, being a Christian is something that is still valued by voters and legislators. That is, of course, unless these “liberal Democrats” see themselves as a threat. A very clear majority are of the Christian faith, no fewer than the Republicans. And we’ve had Christian presidents, too. In fact, we’ve had 43 of them consecutively. Where’s the hate? Now you could say that a lot of people say one thing and live another, but if they were really going after the Athiest voter base, why on earth would they pander to Christians?

    Of course, one may also note that certain Christian privileges are being taken away, such as prayer in schools. This isn’t being done by legislators. It’s being done by lawyers and courts. Of course, a simple constitutional ammendment could be voted on and ratified that would put an end to all of this. The Republican and Christian majority in the Legislative and Executive branches has had the ability to do this for a very long time, now. And an ammendment would overrule any court decisions, even the Supreme Court. So why has such an ammendment not even been proposed by the legislative left or right?

    I think that what you are describing as attacks on religion is more of a cautioned approach to religion. It is one thing to personally practice Christian beliefs, but there is a very real and very jusifyable fear in making them into laws. Considering the horrors that took place during times when our beliefs WERE law, I can see how one might look at history and question it. How much power to these religious leaders is too much? How far will they go? They are still human, after all, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Historically, religious leaders have proven to be no exception. Remember the Taliban? Remember the Inquisition? I am not so sure that I’m willing to risk that.

  3. Arlen Crawford said

    Let’s examine your comments:

    >The problem is that, thus far, the president and his administration haven’t lived up to my moral standards. He may have spent a lot of money on the lower class, but he’s spent far more in pork projects to his cronies in the upper classes. Lying to the American public, smear campaigns against war heroes, and betraying your country for political gain are not the Christian values that I was taught.< No doubt that Bush has spent poorly and the Mike Brown debacle is good evidence of the crony charge (by the way, wouldn’t Miers be a crony?) I don’t know if he’s spent more on pork projects, but I do know he has spent more on the poor than ANY administration in history. If by lying to Americans you are referring to WMDs, then Putin, Blair and their intelligence agencies, along with Clinton’s must also share in the blame because they all came up with the same info. And even the Senate initially agreed on the WMDs. However, if you are citing something else, I would be interested to know. (Please keep in mind, I’m not DEFENDING Bush; I think he’s incompotent. But I do believe in being fair.) As to betraying the country for political gain, that’s a pretty serious charge. First, I don’t know what’s to be gained politically in a second term. And second, do you really believe that if he were a traitor, the mainstream press would stay silent? >My faith is one of the many reasons for my being such a fiscal conservative. Proverbs was written by a very wise man named Solomon. You may have heard of him. Go and read Proverbs 22:7. Now tell me that a budget deficit is a good thing to have. (By the way, there are over 200 Biblical passages dealing with personal finance.) The message of “spend, spend, spend and don’t worry about debt” that the government is sending to our kids is actually contradicting the one that the Bible tells us we should be teaching them! And what kid hasn’t been known to say that he regards the President of the United States as a role model?< Okay. Regarding Solomon’s passage: A federal budget deficit (which I intensely oppose) is somewhat different than personal debt. I believe that the verse you cited does not mean you should never borrow. I think that it warns never to engage in debt without knowing your ability to repay. If you can sustain a loan by meeting your obligation, it can be a good thing, i.e. real estate investing. However, if you can’t repay, then it’s an albatross around your neck. And the borrower must concede that until the loan is repaid in full, he’s obligated to the one who loaned him the money. Federal deficits (at least to me) are entirely different matters and that is because a small group of elected officals in our country take total advantage of businesses, individuals, and small countries to
    advance their agendas and for buying votes for continued political as well as personal gain. Bush will have to one day account for how he conducted his government, if not before Americans, before God Himself.

    Regarding Miers, you are correct in stating that she has been panned by most Republicans. And I almost fainted when Reid said he liked her. However, the far left Senators that I listed in my first comment are on record as being dissatisfied with her documents, questionaires and perception that she would vote to overthrow Roe vs Wade (which you’d think the Republicans would like.) I honestly am not educated enough on her to think either way, but I’m sure the hearings will enlighten me. But I also believe that she is a crony.

    I believe that the secular far left wants our country to be like Holland: no judgement for anything and almost anything goes. By far left, I mean organizations like the ACLU and people like Michael Moore. Let’s legalize drugs, euphanasia, support sexual anything as an expression of the first amendment and remove any symbols regarding religion (symbols that remind them of what is basically sin and the potential judgement that traditionally originates from sin.) Am I wrong?

  4. The Alabama Moderate said

    You are correct when you say that others are also guilty of lying. I never said that they weren’t. But Bush and his administration were the topic of my discussion, not others. Although I can’t say that many of them lied about reasons for war. Senate hearings later revealed that select information was given to the U.S. Congress during pre-war meetings with the administration. So I don’t know that they would have bought it as much had they been fully informed.

    And I would consider revealing a covert CIA operative’s identity in 2003 to be a betrayal of this country’s trust. And yes, I do believe that the mainstream press would remain silent. Especially when entire networks are owned by major defense contractors. It’s funny, though, that I have seen blurbs about the Downing Street memo and the Valerie Plame case on the NBC Nightly News, but not until it was old (VERY OLD) news. And I’ve seen nothing about the Congressional meeting that actually discussed Articles of Impeachment for President Bush. The only place I have seen it reported was on CSPAN (which shows these meetings) and the BBC. Bet you will never see it on the network news.

    In fact, I’ll say again that the best reporting I’ve seen thus far has come from (of all places) Comedy Central. That’s sad. Very sad.

    Okay, so I get the fact that you are a Christian. So then do this for me. Give me one passage in scripture that says debt is a good thing. Show me where God uses debt to bless his people. You won’t find it. The attitude that debt is a tool is a MYTH. It’s amazing how, if you talk to most self-made millionaires about how they came to be millionaires, they will tell you to stay away from debt. It’s a lie that keeps the poor people poor and the banks very, very rich. The concept is simple: Live on less than you make, save and invest money, and you will build wealth. And the government makes no money. So where does the money come from to pay off this deficit? Money is money, and budgeting is budgeting. Debt is debt. Just because it’s the elected officials doing it doesn’t change the simplicity of the concept.

    So now we the taxpayers owe ourselves money. Let me say that again. We owe ourselves money. That can’t be good.

    Yes, those senators are “dissatisfied” with her answers to questionaires, but then, so am I at the moment. Her answers are simply too vague. But none of them have outright said that they oppose her no matter what. Perhaps they wouldn’t want to lose the Roe v. Wade ruling, but then they may find that her stance on other issues far outweighs that. To call in the towel this early would just be stupidity on their part.

    My personal stance on abortion is the same that the president holds. I’m against it except in cases of rape or incest or where there are health concerns. I wouldn’t personally go through with it EVER, but I can’t judge those who do. As a method of birth control, I find it not only morally reprehensable, but also insulting. There are far more less risky and less costly means of birth control to have to put your body through that. Women should find the suggestion of abortion as birth control to be degrading at best.

    I think that your assumption about the “secular left” is wrong, because that way of thinking would ultimitely lead to anarchy. If you really want to see a party hell bent on personal freedoms, take a look at the Libertarians. That’s a scary group. I think that the far-lefters are more interested in freedom of choice. It can be good in some situations and bad in others.

    For example, I’m actually all for legalizing medical use of marijuanna. Probably because I have family that has suffered from cancer. The benefits of using the drug could help a cancer patient hold down a meal and relieves, and it does have less side effects than the medication currently given for this. The argument is that marijuanna would be easier to use for recreation, but then the same can be said for other prescription drugs. The trick is government regulation, which would easily be able to distinguish which crops are legal and which are not. There are far more addictive and distructive drugs that are legal.

    Euthanasia is a tricky subject, because we don’t allow our terminally ill pets to suffer, yet human beings must. At the same time, life in any form is sacred to me. I just don’t know how I would lean unless I was in that situation.

    But sexual ANYTHING? Come on. We know very well that these people are not at all supporting pedefiles and rapists. The real issue here is with homosexuals. That’s one of those things where you have to ask where personal choice and responsibility should end and law should begin. I know what the Bible says, but then I also know what it says about lying and lust. Are we going to fully legislate those, too? It just doesn’t seem fair. Some of the best people I know are sinners. In fact, all the people I know are sinners. If there is no victim in the matter, it may be best to leave it as a personal choice. You don’t have to agree with their choice. Just let them have one.

    I actually like Michael Moore, even though I rarely agree with him completely. Although he does put a left-sided slant on everything, he’s fairly organized in the way that he presents his case. And he’s pretty good with the humor. He has some interesting views on a lot of issues, and I think that he has a lot of good points. Like I said, I don’t always agree with him completely, but I don’t think that he’s done anything to deserve being demonized by the right. The man has no real power, and he’s just speaking his mind. I’d be more concerned if he were elected to office than if he made Farenheit 9/11.

    The ACLU and some other organizations have gotten to the point of ridiculousness. I’m not a huge fan of lobbyists and special interests, anyway. I don’t think anyone ever agrees with these groups completely.

    But there’s a reason you don’t hear much from the moderates these days… I think it was Jon Stewart who joked that it wouldn’t be all that compelling to sit outside the White House in protest and shout, “Be Reasonable!”

    Either way, it’s lunchtime. And my pregnant tummy overrules my need for healthy debate. See you on Monday.

  5. Arlen Crawford said

    >You are correct when you say that others are also guilty of lying. I never said that they weren’t. But Bush and his administration were the topic of my discussion, not others. Although I can’t say that many of them lied about reasons for war. Senate hearings later revealed that select information was given to the U.S. Congress during pre-war meetings with the administration. So I don’t know that they would have bought it as much had they been fully informed.< My point was that if Bush lied, then so did everyone else. But I don’t think EVERYONE lied, or intentionally mislead people. I believe they honestly believed that the WMDs were in place and thus reacted to the information that they had. Obviously, the information proved to be wrong. >And I would consider revealing a covert CIA operative’s identity in 2003 to be a betrayal of this country’s trust. And yes, I do believe that the mainstream press would remain silent. Especially when entire networks are owned by major defense contractors. It’s funny, though, that I have seen blurbs about the Downing Street memo and the Valerie Plame case on the NBC Nightly News, but not until it was old (VERY OLD) news. And I’ve seen nothing about the Congressional meeting that actually discussed Articles of Impeachment for President Bush. The only place I have seen it reported was on CSPAN (which shows these meetings) and the BBC. Bet you will never see it on the network news.< While Karl Rove is an integral part of the Bush administration, I think it’s a healthy leap to blame Bush with “a betrayal of this country’s trust,” especially when Rove has not been indicted and if he is, yet to be convicted. The BBC is hardly a stalwart of objective journalism, though it’s hard to argue with CSPAN. The fact of the matter is that Rove-Plame is basically a non-story outside of DC and this is why it dropped like a rock last summer. The only reason that it is currently revived is because Rove has been testifying. >In fact, I’ll say again that the best reporting I’ve seen thus far has come from (of all places) Comedy Central. That’s sad. Very sad.< You could make a case for it being humorous, but I’ll concede (and even agree) with your point. >>Okay, so I get the fact that you are a Christian. So then do this for me. Give me one passage in scripture that says debt is a good thing. Show me where God uses debt to bless his people. You won’t find it. The attitude that debt is a tool is a MYTH.< < You are correct in that you’ll never find a scripture that says debt is a good thing. (But you’ll also never find the word “rapture” in the Bible nor “God in 3 persons, blessed Trinity,” two aspects of faith of which I deeply believe.) I believe that the word “debt” as used in scripture is generally a bad thing, but almost always referring to individuals, not nations. But as I understand the Bible, debt basically represents the failure or inability to repay as in “forgive us of our debts as we forgive our debtors.” Additionally. debt is a requisite for the majority of homeowners because most of them have a major one, a mortgage. But the basic difference here is the financing of an asset that does not depreciate or lose value. Therefore, debt to acquire appreciating assets or to provide business capital for investment CAN be an effective tool if used properly. But I agree with you in principle that debt for depreciating assets (almost anything that you use a VISA card for) as a tool is a myth. >It’s amazing how, if you talk to most self-made millionaires about how they came to be millionaires, they will tell you to stay away from debt. It’s a lie that keeps the poor people poor and the banks very, very rich. The concept is simple: Live on less than you make, save and invest money, and you will build wealth.< Generally speaking, this principle is fundamental and sound. >And the government makes no money.< The government collects taxes, which is revenue, which is money. In theory, the government should supply its citizenry services in exchange for those taxes levied, but that another discussion altogether. >So where does the money come from to pay off this deficit?< Obviously, not collecting ENOUGH taxes and spending more than you take in creates the deficit. >Money is money, and budgeting is budgeting. Debt is debt. Just because it’s the elected officials doing it doesn’t change the simplicity of the concept.< I totally concur. >So now we the taxpayers owe ourselves money. Let me say that again. We owe ourselves money. That can’t be good.< < Again, I totally concur. >Yes, those senators are “dissatisfied” with her answers to questionaires, but then, so am I at the moment. Her answers are simply too vague. But none of them have outright said that they oppose her no matter what. Perhaps they wouldn’t want to lose the Roe v. Wade ruling, but then they may find that her stance on other issues far outweighs that. To call in the towel this early would just be stupidity on their part.< It’s my belief, contrary to what you will read in the press, what the Democrats in Congress say or what the Bush administration says, that there IS a litmus test (always has been for the past 22 years in my opinion) and that test is a 2 part question: a) what is your personal opinion of abortion and b) where do you stand on Roe vs Wade? Bush says he never spoke to Miers regarding abortion and if he’s lied about ANYTHING (and I believe he has), that’s got to be number one. I don’t know how you would work with someone in your inner circle for 10+ years and NEVER broach the subject. And the fact that she’s an evangelical Christian should be a pretty strong tip off. Conversely, most Democrats support abortion and will not support a candidate who supports the abolishing of such rights. But they may shroud in mystery other reasons WHY they cannot support the candidate. This was why the Roberts nomination was so clever, yet the hard core, far left, voted against his nomination and I think that included Senator Clinton. >My personal stance on abortion is the same that the president holds. I’m against it except in cases of rape or incest or where there are health concerns. I wouldn’t personally go through with it EVER, but I can’t judge those who do. As a method of birth control, I find it not only morally reprehensable, but also insulting. There are far more less risky and less costly means of birth control to have to put your body through that. Women should find the suggestion of abortion as birth control to be degrading at best.< I totally concur with you again. I think that only God can rightfully judge a person’s heart in this matter. >I think that your assumption about the “secular left” is wrong, because that way of thinking would ultimitely lead to anarchy. If you really want to see a party hell bent on personal freedoms, take a look at the Libertarians. That’s a scary group. I think that the far-lefters are more interested in freedom of choice. It can be good in some situations and bad in others.< Perhaps. It would not be the first time that I have been wrong. >For example, I’m actually all for legalizing medical use of marijuanna. Probably because I have family that has suffered from cancer. The benefits of using the drug could help a cancer patient hold down a meal and relieves, and it does have less side effects than the medication currently given for this. The argument is that marijuanna would be easier to use for recreation, but then the same can be said for other prescription drugs. The trick is government regulation, which would easily be able to distinguish which crops are legal and which are not. There are far more addictive and distructive drugs that are legal.< I actually agree with you on this one as well. >Euthanasia is a tricky subject, because we don’t allow our terminally ill pets to suffer, yet human beings must. At the same time, life in any form is sacred to me. I just don’t know how I would lean unless I was in that situation.< CNN.com reported that doctors discussed mercy killings for certain patients during Katrina. I think THAT’S scary. >But sexual ANYTHING? Come on. We know very well that these people are not at all supporting pedefiles and rapists. The real issue here is with homosexuals. That’s one of those things where you have to ask where personal choice and responsibility should end and law should begin. I know what the Bible says, but then I also know what it says about lying and lust. Are we going to fully legislate those, too? It just doesn’t seem fair. Some of the best people I know are sinners. In fact, all the people I know are sinners. If there is no victim in the matter, it may be best to leave it as a personal choice. You don’t have to agree with their choice. Just let them have one.< My fault, I should have been clearer. The ACLU is defending the NAMBLA, a child molester group, http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=18029 , and that was to what I was referring. You are correct when you state we are all sinners. I would not condemn the homosexual because that is not my place and I truly believe adulterers are sinning in the same manner, just with a different gender.

    >I actually like Michael Moore, even though I rarely agree with him completely. Although he does put a left-sided slant on everything, he’s fairly organized in the way that he presents his case. And he’s pretty good with the humor. He has some interesting views on a lot of issues, and I think that he has a lot of good points. Like I said, I don’t always agree with him completely, but I don’t think that he’s done anything to deserve being demonized by the right. The man has no real power, and he’s just speaking his mind. I’d be more concerned if he were elected to office than if he made Farenheit 9/11.< I think that Bill Maher can be humorous as well. But he offends me when he says (constantly) that people who believe in intelligent design, the Bible (specifically John 14:6) and most things spiritual are ignorant followers of some superstitious religion. >The ACLU and some other organizations have gotten to the point of ridiculousness. I’m not a huge fan of lobbyists and special interests, anyway. I don’t think anyone ever agrees with these groups completely.< I know that I don’t. >But there’s a reason you don’t hear much from the moderates these days… I think it was Jon Stewart who joked that it wouldn’t be all that compelling to sit outside the White House in protest and shout, “Be Reasonable!”< Another reason is because there are so few of them. They don’t have a color. It’s either red or blue states. >Either way, it’s lunchtime. And my pregnant tummy overrules my need for healthy debate. See you on Monday.< Enjoyed the written joust.

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