Sunday, August 22, 2010
My brother is a libertarian. I am a liberal. You would be right if you guessed that there is much about which we disagree (in another forum we are debating whether a free market can exist at all without government intervention). But we agree on some things, too, and our disagreements are respectful. This may be because we are related by blood, but I think it's because each of us knows that the other arrived at his beliefs after much thought and honest contemplation of the facts. I'll admit that I have a litmus test that I administer when I am debating politics with someone. If you can't tell me why you dislike/disagree with Barak Obama without using the words "Muslim" (he isn't), "Not a citizen" (he is), "Socialist" (he isn't), "Hitler" (C'mon), "Wall Street Bailout" (he agreed with it, but it was not his idea. It began under President Bush and was widely believed to be necessary) then I am not interested in that "debate". My brother would, rightly, feel the same way if someone couldn't articulate why they liked Obama. Debating is fun and healthy; reminding someone that they used to hate Obama because they hated his long-time Christian pastor, directing them to where they can find his birth certificate, showing them where they can find the definition of "socialism", and reminding them that neither the Wall Street bailouts nor deficit spending were invented by Obama is not.