Friday, March 13, 2009

Who Knew I Was Ultra Right?

I'm not ultra right, and can barely stand the hotheads, wingnuts, liars, and frauds who are. I don't watch or listen to these goofs, except a minute here, a minute there, or maybe if I'm stuck in a waiting room. Even then I'd rather step outside in the below zero temperatures than to be subjected to it.

So these people like Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, there's nothing to me. I can't say they're dead to me because they were never alive.

But I read something today at Daily Kos -- maybe I heard something about it a few days ago -- that these clowns, who think they speak for average Americans (c'mon, they're elites if anyone is), "surround us," whoever the "us" is supposed to be. Me, I guess. So I clicked on the link at DKos, and guess what? Their "principles" are mostly common sense stuff that almost anyone could find agreement with, at least according to their own standard of "at least seven" out of the nine.

I suppose actual atheists would disagree with the one about God. For me, God is not a problem whatsoever, and it'd be my true opinion that even atheists could interpret that, if they knew about it, in a broader way, like with Paul Tillich, being their "ultimate concern." But set that aside.

Here's the list of principles and a few nudges from me.

The Nine Principles

1. America is good. - Yes, I think America is good. But what is America except "We the People"? And it's clear that the right wingers, like everyone else, don't think all Americans are good. Their political opposition, the people they're against at this very minute, and of course prisoners, murderers. Not everyone is good. As a concept, America is good, but there's no reality without the people and living up to your values. I've never been anywhere but America. I've always believed in the place. That doesn't mean everything is unambiguously "good." But by and large, sure, America's not just good, it's great!

2. I believe in God and He is the Center of my Life. - If you believe in God, follow the highest values. Don't make excuses, but apply yourself to the highest things and stay on the path.

3. I must always try to be a more honest person than I was yesterday. - It's good to have the motivation toward self improvement. I would have phrased this "principle" slightly differently. Rather than just centering in on honesty, they have the "12 values" following, I would have concentrated this statement on those values as a whole. Such as "I must always try to live out my values more and more." Honesty is great. I love honesty, tempered with mercy, but honesty in business, dealings, etc., of course. As for this principle I don't want to be saying I wasn't an honest person yesterday, though.

4. The family is sacred. My spouse and I are the ultimate authority, not the government. - The word "sacred" bothers me in terms of the family. It seems like "sacred" is a word that should be used for God more and us less. Maybe "central" would be a better word, but I catch the drift; it's good. As for "My spouse and I," a lot of people don't have a spouse, and we know better than to say generally that we're "the ultimate authority." Because it depends on what it is. We're the ultimate authority on where we're going to live, where we're going to go to school, what our kids are going to read at home, etc., and on lots of other things. But the government obviously has authority over us. We can't park our car in the middle of the street. We can't proclaim ourselves divorced and have it be legal. We can't shoot our neighbors. We can't secede from the union, the United States and my family.

5. If you break the law you pay the penalty. Justice is blind and no one is above it. -- Of course I agree with this. It somewhat contradicts number 4, because you have to assume it's the government who's making you pay the penalty, unless vigilante justice is what they have in mind here.

6. I have a right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, but there is no guarantee of equal results. - Of course that's true.

7. I work hard for what I have and I will share it with who I want to. Government cannot force me to be charitable. - Of course that's true. Obviously government can force you to pay taxes, since there are laws (see number 5). And if you break the law you pay the penalty. But as for normal charity, number 7 is good.

8. It is not un-American for me to disagree with authority or to share my personal opinion. - People on the left said this for eight long years about the Bush administration. But in those years it was judged unpatriotic to disagree with authority. And sharing one's personal opinion could even get you death threats. I remember an idiotic restaurant that had a sign that said they wouldn't serve anyone who ordered "French fries." It had to be "Freedom fries" or no fries for you. It was Bush who said you're either with him or with the terrorists.

9. The government works for me. I do not answer to them, they answer to me. - I've said this repeatedly over the years. Everyone seems to forget, whether the president is George Bush or whoever, that he is our employee. He is in office to serve us.

I basically have no problem with the principles. They seem to have a "rough draft" quality to them and could have been phrased better, but hey!

The "12 values" are less ambiguous, more definite. They are:

* Honesty
* Reverence
* Hope
* Thrift
* Humility
* Charity
* Sincerity
* Moderation
* Hard Work
* Courage
* Personal Responsibility
* Gratitude

Each one of these is an excellent value.

And I'm not ultra right. So if they're looking for agreement by "surrounding" us, they got it!

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