Political Labels: Conservative vs Liberal – Side Notes

 

Side Notes

This is the first post in my “Side Notes” subseries of the broader “Political Series” of posts on this blog. “Side Notes” will be for when I give my flat opinion on an issue that I don’t believe requires a great deal of dissection and debate.

Is it odd that my first post after the “Rights and Role of Government” post is in the “Side Notes” subseries, rather than something like the “Economics” subseries or the “Race” subseries? Yeah, maybe, but I feel this particular topic should be addressed before going forward. Let’s get started, shall we?

Where I Stand Final

There is something pleasing about putting things in a box. By putting something in a box, you know what it is and where it is. It is either safe and treasured, or it can be forgotten and stored away in a closet. It is compartmentalized. Its contents will not mix with other materials. It is clean. Things can’t get messy, and pieces won’t become lost.

This is not too dissimilar from what we feel happens when we define a concept or term. By putting a box around something, we feel we have solidified it in some way. We have control over it. Fortunately or unfortunately, that is not how language works. Instead we find that the box is made of cardboard, and our concepts and ideas are liquid and leaking through.

So when it comes to terms like “Conservative” or “Liberal,” we may feel we have put a really solid definition on these that are immutable. They aren’t messy, surely. There is always air space between them. If a politician or a policy fails to fit the definition, then that just makes them a bad “X.” However, that just doesn’t work. The definitions of these loaded words change from person to person.

When you think of the spectrum of political thought, the two terms that tend to represent the different sides of the middle point are “conservative” and “liberal,” and they are also often referred to as “right” and “left” wing. But what exactly do these two opposites mean?

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Rape Victim Healthcare and Anti-Civil Service Stupidity

Good evening ladies and Gentlemen! Welcome to the Healthcare three ring circus!

Okay, seriously though, I’ve got an issue or two to rant about (they are relatively un related.) And I will also give a brief rundown of my personal situation as it stand today.

First, let’s get the boring stuff out of the way…

Personal:

Everything’s pretty swell. I’m really looking forward to visiting Katie over Thanksgiving (I might see real snow for once! 😀 ) The family is fine. Ben seems pretty good, what with hanging out with his friends and all 😉 Kimberly is still struggling over the issue of my friend. Of course she is still resisting the “be blunt” option for fear of hurting his feelings. (He’ll be okay! Just drop the “Let’s be friends” hammer now, while you still can harmlessly, and he will be over it within the month!) Mom and Dad are doing good too, though Dad seems busier than usual, running off to investigate exploding churches and whatnot.

Work:

Tutoring is going well, if busy. I mean busy. Two days ago I couldn’t even come up for air, much less have time to do anything but help people. And now there is tonight. Quiet. Must be the weather. Media meanwhile has been keeping me hopping. Last weekend it was vespers at the Gardner’s place (meaning I drug media equipment to a Professor’s house and back) and this weekend I’m going to be juggling four different program requests in different buildings that all happen just about one right after the other. *sigh* At least I get paid for it.

School: I just recently wrote and edited my paper on the Apocalypse of Adam in contrast with Genesis. It was cake. At this point, all I have to worry about in terms of papers and such from any class are the four remaining articles in Feature Writing. Thankfully I have one interview done for my next article, and hopefully Professor Yates has informed Christina this very afternoon that I’ve been trying to get a hold of her since last week. I hope. I need more than one interview to make this article work. Simultaneously, I need to get some statements from some student workers. *sigh* I might go ahead and just knock out an article about the Rough Writers and National Novel Writing Month so I know I’ll have something for the next due date, and let the KJCR article have the necessary time it is taking to come together, rather than forcing it out. It’s got me a little worried. Speaking of a Rough Writers and NaNoWriMo article…

Writing: I have done almost nil toward preparing for NaNoWriMo since my rewriting and chapterization of Jaine. Now that I have all my papers in Origins of the Bible done though, I might just be able to do something about outlining the latter portion of the book. November is going to be one heck of a month.

Entertainment: In entertainment news, my God of War Review has so far gained the stunning heights of three views! No, really, I am proud. That’s the highest rating of any of my reviews thus far! I have since moved on to Uncharted, and what I’ve played so far has been pretty awesome. There haven’t been any major set pieces yet, though the environment itself is fantastic. It really does feel like an Indiana Jones adventure, even if it doesn’t star Indiana Jones. You can look forward to a review when I complete it.

Oh, and I’m almost done with Scribblenaughts. Just one more world to go. I’ll save any more comments for the forthcoming review except for this one quip, which will likely be my subtitle for the review: The only thing you can’t write into reality in this game are good controls.

Okay, now that the preliminary rundown is done, let’s let the show begin!

Okay, I’m going to first bring your attention to This Article.

If you read that article you will find a story about how rape victims are frequently denied healthcare because they took the (reasonable) precaution of anti-AIDS medication. Oh, they can also deny them healthcare because of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD). Essentially they look at the health records, see that the individual has taken the medication, or that they have symptoms of PTSD, and they reject the individual, calling the problems “Pre-existing Conditions.”

There are a number of ways this is a totally screwed system. Let’s start with the obvious: How the hell are these people defining pre-existing condition? Of course what’s wrong here is they don’t have to define it properly. They don’t care if the individual was raped or if they made bad sexual choices. They just look as see that they’ve taken HIV meds at some point and say, “That slut doesn’t deserve meds. Yay! We don’t have to pay out!” This is hyperbole of course. But the fact remains, these companies treat every case as if that person is the one that made bad sexual decisions, and they make these blanket actions based on profitability. This is one of the major issues with our Healthcare system. It is based on turning people away, not fulfilling needs.

A lot of conservatives have raised cries of dissention over new proposed health bills based on the idea that if such a bill were passed, it would mean the government decides who needs treatment and who doesn’t. A.K.A. they might turn someone away for no good reason. Guess what? It’s already happening! And it’s happening in our consumerist and capitalist system! At this point I think I’d rather trust the Government (which I have a say in) rather than in privately based CEOs who want to make a couple billion bucks. Now, I know all CEOs aren’t like that. It is too easy to paint with a large brush. That is partisan politics. But according to the article this is an industry wide practice. Where are the good CEOs looking out for the consumer? Mr. Conservative, provide one for my moderate sensibilities, please!

Of course what both Conservatives and Liberals are fighting against is really human nature, only they paint the other political side of the isle to be the only ones with a plan susceptible to this fault of humanity. The fact is, both side’s plans could backfire if the people with the executive power(private or government) decide to serve themselves. (What say all you Objectivists out there? Face it, there is not a real Objectivist in this world unless they are lechers too. Maybe this will be another topic discussion later?)

Of course that is just the Healthcare side of the article. There is another facet in this dark gem. Rape Victims are Raped again by society, and then hidden away in dirty closets. These people are victims. These are the people who need and deserve care. These are the people Healthcare is supposed to help. Who cares if the rape victim does or doesn’t contract HIV? They should be given coverage.

Society also doesn’t help them in the case of pregnancy. Under the circumstances I find it hard to blame a victimized woman who decides to abort such a child, even though I am ultimately against it. It is wrong to punish a child for the sins of his father, but it is also wrong to punish the mother by forcing her to make do with her situation and take care of an unwanted child. Where are the funds and resources for victim mothers? Where are the governmentally subsidized adoption agencies paying for all the red-tape who are willing to help the sudden-mother if she chooses to give up the child? They do not exist. We are content to slap a woman for being raped, and then we call her depraved for choosing to abort the child. Society is a cesspit of hypocrisy.

It would be bad enough if we just ignored their problems, but we go a step further. Rape victims really are victims twice. First they are assaulted physically, and then they are rejected by society. This doesn’t just happen in healthcare. This happens in all walks of life. Rape victims are shunned in school, in the workplace, in places of worship, in communities and especially within families. I think most other belief systems would define this kind of treatment as wrong. This isn’t me just speaking from a Christian perspective, even though I definitely have that. What are we doing?

Obviously I think we should do things differently.

Now, the smaller, unrelated piece of rant comes to us from my very non-friend Glen Beck, who is denouncing Hollywood’s efforts to encourage volunteerism in the citizenry by including such themes as civil service and helping the needy.

Really? Really!? This is what Conservatism has come to? Damned if you do, damned if you don’t? I know it’s a bit much to expect logic from somebody like Glen Beck, but isn’t this a bit ridiculous? What is Hollywood supposed to encourage? Violence and Sex? Oh, wait…

So he assumes this is a communist plot by Obama. Quite the leap in logic, of course. But this also brings up the question: When is he going to denounce various religions as communists for encouraging the same thing? When is Mr. God-Bless-America going to come down on Christians as Commies?

Well, never of course. It has nothing to do with real political ideology and everything to do with partisanship. Everything is Obama’s communist plot to take over the world and control your miiiiindz! Except what Glen Beck likes, of course. Never that.

Oh the double standards. How can anybody take people like him seriously?

Okay… I think that’s enough for today. I had better stop before a vein pops.

I hope you all have a most excellent morning-evening-night! Good-bye!

–          Edward L. Cheever II~