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The Bush Imbalance

My brother-in-law has recently taken to reading some of my blog and we have begun discussing politics. One topic of discussion was where we stood in the political spectrum. He says that from the content of my writings, I seem to have a pretty liberal viewpoint. While I don't doubt I do have some liberal tendencies from time to time, I would prefer to think of myself as more of a moderate with a leftward lean. My brother-in-law casts himself as the opposite, a moderate with a lean to the right.

I tell you this because of an incident he recounted to me in which one of his posts (which has since been deleted) prompted a rather heated exchange with some conservatives. The reason he became interested in my blog was because he saw it as a possible haven for posting some of his more liberal opinions (more on this later).

Hearing about this got the gears in my head turning and I began to realize that what happened to my bro-in-law has really become endemic of the political discourse in this country as a whole. It might best be characterized as The Bush Imbalance.

Consider that the past six years of Bush II have been some of the most divisive in perhaps our entire history as a nation. The policies put forth by this administration have shifted us far from where we once stood on well established and accepted norms. Be it preventive war, indefinite detention, torture, warrantless wiretapping, all have been called justified by Bush and his neocon allies. We have come to accept that the President will do as he pleases, no matter how many object to his policies. And it is that opposition which now dictates one's political orientation. It is no longer about whether you are conservative or liberal. It is about whether you are for or against the neocons and their agenda. But because any opposition will always be characterized as the "liberal" view, people who once considered themselves squarely in the conservative camp have now found themselves being called moderates at best and liberals at worst for expressing this opposition. It's not that their views have changed necessarily, it's just that the policies of the Bush era have shifted the accepted norms so far toward radicalism that it has thrown the scale out of balance. (Side note: Tim F. has a great post about shifting "the window" of acceptable policies)

Thankfully, the neocon dream may be coming to an end now that reality has begun to intrude upon their reverie. And though there will always be those who try to make this dream come true, we must work hard fight it and regain our equilibrium.

First, when did you get married? I read your myspace profile and there was mention you were married?


Second, what's wrong with being liberal and people knowing it?

Liberalism is good; it's decent; it's moral and empathetic.

Embrace your inner lefty and enjoy it!

First off, I've never been married. Not sure where you read that on my mypsace.

Anyway, of course there is nothing wrong with being a liberal. The problem stems from this imbalance. Bush's policies have been so radical that any opposition to them is automatically considered by diehard supporters to be the truly "radical" stance. Liberalism has become a taboo word in our society, in part because of Bush and the media.

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