Saturday, February 20, 2010

Your Political Compass

(This post is purely Secular. But you get to take a fun quiz...for your "Enlightenment." So you got that going for you.)

#1. I no longer affiliate myself with any party or label. I have learned the hard way that to be Biblically Consistent, I have to be Politically In-Consistent.

#2. I want to state for the record that when it comes to politics these days, while I still truly love to watch the game being played, I am pretty disillusioned with the over all state of things. I get the dry-heaves anytime I hear any sort of "Political Talk Radio" being played...wether it's on the Right of the Left, and I cannot stomach the mean-spirited, over-simplified, self-serving, egotistical, gloriously ignorant, verbal farts that come flying out of the mouths of these talking heads who simply love to stir the pot for money.

#3. On a personal note, what troubles me the most is how so many of my fellow Believers are routinely...and sometimes willingly, deceived, by secular politicians and those same talking heads, into thinking that Jesus is on their particular side. (I had no idea that the Kingdom of Heaven was a Democratic Republic.) Honestly, where is a Believer's allegiance supposed to be first & foremost?

Right now on NPR there is a discussion going on about what defines someone as a "Conservative." So far, only people who would define themselves as being aligned with the Right, and the new Tea Party movement, have been interviewed. Anyway, it's funny that such a thing should come up, because this was something that I have been thinking about since yesterday...well, more like politics in general I suppose.

In a discussion the other day, I heard a commentator bring up the idea that perhaps defining people by the terms Liberal or Conservative no longer properly applies. The commentator pointed out correctly that, under George Bush's first term with a complete Republican lock on both houses, he/they spent money like a drunken sailors. In fact, not since the LBJ administration, has anyone caused the government to grow as much as the Republicans did under Bush. (I mean, these guys actually out-spent their arch-rival, Bill Clinton, by almost 2-1)

Yet, for some reason beyond all logic, Bush is held up as a model Conservative. Personally, I find it hysterical that all of the Republicans were Born-Again as being fiscally conservative with in 5 minutes of Obama being elected. I mean, where were these people while Bush was in charge? Oh wait...they were there with him helping to balloon our National debt. (Wait, wait, don't say that out loud. Glen Beck and Limbaugh won't like it. Let's all blame it on the new administration instead, and pretend we didn't actually do it ourselves.) Technically, all of that reckless spending & growth of government makes Republicans & Conservatives to actually be incredibly Liberal fiscally. (And now they want me to believe them?)

At the same time, Obama is held out as some evil, socialist, Neo-Communist, who bleeds daily from his left-wing heart. Never mind the fact that in his first year in office, Obama has launched more missiles into Pakistan to hit Al-Quaida than Bush did in 7 years. Technically, this would make the Obama administration rather Hawkish...i.e. Conservative.

There is a website that I really like called "The Political Compass." I used to use it in my classroom when I taught Civics. It's out of the U.K., so some of the wording is slightly different from the U.S. If you go to it, you can take a very cool test that lets you know where you sit politically compared to the likes of Gandhi, Hitler, Reagan, Milton Friedman, Stalin, etc.

The point of this website is to show that since the end of the Cold War with the communist empire of the Soviet Union, the old labels that we use no longer apply. I mean, what makes someone a Conservative anyway? What if he/she favors guns, legalized pot & gay marriage, but no abortions what so he/she a Conservative? What if someone believes that a government should support the arts at over-all tax-payer expense for a particular neighborhood, but also insists on tax-breaks for all of the local businesses in that same neighborhood, so as to stimulate economic development...are they a Liberal?

PLEASE do not buy the easy & simplistic answers that the various talking heads on the radio vomit out. Remember, these folks make their livings stirring the pot and getting you all worked up. I may be wrong, but I am of the opinion that most of them would say whatever they could to get you to buy their books and support their sponsors.

One in particular always gets me going. He is the Father of the whole radio flatulence movement. I won't say his name, but you can probably guess. I used to listen to him A LOT...until I realized a couple of things about him. #1. He is a military Hawk, which is interesting since he really & truly is a draft-dodger from the Vietnam Era. (Fine, when it's someone else's kids on the lines.) #2. He preaches against drugs, while he himself is an active addict. (Don't kid yourself that he beat Oxycontin with one moth of rehab...NO ONE does that!) #3. He wants to defend marriage in the U.S. against gays, while he is either on his 2nd or 3rd...I can't keep track anymore. #4. He once tried to explain the whole Israeli/Palestinian situation to me over the radio by saying, and I quote..."People! It's all there in the Book of Acts." (Wow! That was the moment I shut the radio off.)

The point I want to make is that people need to understand that there is a whole lot of nuance to this life. Politicians very often try to make everything Black & White so as to get your vote. People on the radio will say even more outrageous things if it will help get them ratings. Instead of being a sheep, think for yourself...which MEANS actually listening to the viewpoints of others who disagree with you. You will never know where you truly stand until you listen to those you disagree with.

So, go to this site and take the test. (Just go to the top where it says "Take the Test.") In fact, lets have some fun. Send me your results. I think you can even do this over Face Book. Until you do, please shut your pie-hole about you being such & such. I will just assume that you are an ignorant cow, grazing in the pasture of the extreme politics you have decided to let lead you.

How's that for a challenge?


P.S. If you want to know where I stood after taking the test, I am in the second photo. (It's weird. My answers change every time I take this thing.)

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