Liberals... You hear that word touted around often enough on cable news; and endlessly re-hashed time and time again by those who suckle on the teat of mass-media. But what exactly IS it to be liberal?
Wikipedia defines liberalism as...
Liberalism refers to a broad array of related ideas and theories of government that consider individual liberty to be the most important political goal. Modern liberalism has its roots in the Age of Enlightenment.
Individual liberty? Not a bad concept, it's kind of hard to argue against taken simply as that. One could make the argument that individual liberties embody the concept of 'freedom'. Another word that cable news throws around often; but what does it mean to you?
I would like to call myself a liberal, in the vein of the previously given definition, but the word has been sodomized so thoroughly I'd hate to classify myself with that label. Because I'm not your cookie-cutter 'liberal' as has been portrayed on the media. I know that there are many, many self-titled 'liberals' that do pretty much whatever 'good little democrats' do. You know, be anti-gun, pro-choice, environmentalist, anti-nuclear, pro-welfare, pro-taxes, et. al.
Now, don't think I'm only accusing the 'liberals' of being cookie-cutter citizens, the same is also true of so called 'conservatives'.
Wikipedia defines conservatism as...
Conservatism is a term used to describe political philosophies that favour tradition, where tradition refers to various religious, cultural, or nationally defined beliefs and customs.
Basically wanting things to remain the same. Status-quo, all of that jazz.
Also associated with theocracy, monarchy, and despotism among others.
I respect that some hold tradition near and dear. And I aknowledge their opinions as valid, whether or not I agree with them. I do not share this philosophy, as I will make no secret. But I have to wonder if it serves the person who supposedly follows this principle's needs as a citizen? A large portion of this nation's conservative population is among the lower-classes. A demographic that should yearn for change (not endorsing Obama by any means, I dislike the man, myself) more than any other demographic. I understand that pride has a great deal to do with it, but where should pride end and reason begin?
I'm not speaking strictly in republican/democrat terms, I detest the bi-partisan system and believe that people should vote strictly of issues, to hell with red states/blue states. But it seems like the major issues in elections have something to do with what OTHER people should do with their lives, and not much on how the VOTERS life could improve. Abortion, gun control, gay marriage, death penalty, religion, etc. Are all hot-button topics that sway elections, yet the issues all have one thing in common... controlling how other people live.
Negative campaigns abound... What ever happened to the concept of social eudaimonia?
Wikipedia defines eudaimonia as...
We're constantly turned against eachother, democrats vs. republicans, conservative vs. democrat, pro-war, anti-war, pro-choice, pro-life, pro-gun, anti-gun, white, black, immigrant, native, male, female it goes on and on...
Vote for, and express your desire to further your own personal happiness, and to hell with everyone else, let them do what makes them happy, too, so long as it doesn't infringe on your right to happiness. Life, liberty, and the pursuit thereof...
Nothing of much substance gets accomplished domestically in this country anymore. This country's people have been neglected. Place the blame on the war, foreign oil, whatever else you can think of, it doesn't matter; because it's OUR fault. It's our fault for being at eachother's throats on issues that have little to nothing to do with our personal well-being. It's our fault for putting these issues at the forefront of politics. It's our fault for being too pissed off, proud, and blind to know what's good for us as individuals.