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Dec 21

An “Off-the-Chart” Liberal Speaks Out

In Brief—The author lists seven of his views that some may consider unconventional. Readers are invited to weigh them against their own views and submit comments.

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Definitions—

Liberal is defined as not being limited to established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas as well as free from bigotry, and also as favoring proposals for reform, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others. Simply stated, broad-minded.

Conservative is defined as favoring traditional views and values; tending to oppose change. I think it is reasonable to put it as clinging to an imagined but mistaken comfortable past.

Unconventional or Radical?—

A conservative Republican friend recently identified me as a Democrat. In rejecting that partisan identifier, I told him that I not only wasn’t a Democrat, I am certainly not a Republican because they scare the socks off of me. I’m definitely not a Communist because it’s too rigid and doctrinaire or an Anarchist because I think government is necessary. Though I once considered myself a Social Democrat because humans are social animals, I no longer identify with that party. I agree with the Green Party’s efforts, so I’m willing to identify with that but, in fact, many of my beliefs are simply so far from the mainstream—although I could be wrong—that I can’t really identify with any political party. I see myself as “Off-the-Chart.”

So what do I mean by “Off-the-Chart?” Probably the best way to explain it is to state some of my views.

Atheism. I’m an atheist, but that is just one small part of who I am. I’m also a human being. I’m an old man. I’m a Caucasian. I’m a lawyer. I am many things, but in the minds of many, I am an ATHEIST, probably the most maligned group in America. Such a view is illogical and unconstitutional as well as irrational and immoral. The fact that atheists find no evidence of the existence of a supernatural being who’s supposed to be good, all-powerful and all-knowing is all that matters to many. More than half of all Americans believe that atheism is wrong. That is just plain irrational. I firmly believe that all of us must be judged on our actions, not on our beliefs.

Abortion. Numerous religious believers and, indeed, the Republican Party are working to restrict a female’s right to make decisions about her own reproductive health. They want to force their beliefs on all of us despite the Supreme Court’s holding that abortion is a constitutional right.

Here’s what I think: any female should have the right to decide whether she should have an abortion. It must be not only safe but readily available at any hospital or reproductive facility. Disapproval for any reason should not be a hindrance as long as the female deems an abortion appropriate. Furthermore, there should be no disqualifying reason…None.

Marriage. Appropriately, anybody, regardless of sex, should have the right to marry. I think that since marriage is a contract, it should be treated as one. As long as the parties to the union are consenting adults and sign the contract, it should be legal. I think that the laws of all states and the federal government must treat all couples the same. Furthermore, I think plural marriage should be allowed as long as all the parties are consenting adults and in agreement. Put another way, I think marriage is unnecessary as long as the parties treat it as the contract it is.

Drugs. I think that any person should have the right to use mind-altering drugs as long as the user is fully aware of his/her action, the drug is unadulterated and nobody else is hurt. This includes marijuana, hashish, psilocybin, cocaine, peyote, heroin and other Schedule I drugs.

Death With Dignity. Some people refer to this as “suicide.” I think that any person, sick or well, should decide for himself/herself whether continued life is unbearable and should receive professional assistance in dying by a quick and painless method. A thorough and unbiased education on the ramifications of the action should be a part of the procedure. However, only the person involved should be able to make the decision, free from coercion or the interests of others including the state.

Death Penalty. Although several states have now abolished the death penalty as cruel and unusual punishment, the entire country should abolish it. It has proven inadequate as a deterrent, there is the danger of executing an innocent or incompetent person, it’s expensive and there is no more premeditated killing than that carried out by the state.

Education. With college and university tuitions rapidly rising and student debt crippling young people, why do we charge tuition at all? Several European countries charge college/university students zero tuition. My position is that if America is to be competitive in the future, students should pay NO tuition at all.

Furthermore, America should guarantee that all students regardless of their race, sex, economic status or where they live must be alloted the same amount of money per student, the same number of high quality teachers and teaching staff per student regardless of state. Religion can be taught only in a totally neutral manner with information on all world religions and agnosticism/atheism. Sex education should start at a young age, be mandatory, age-appropriate and medically accurate.

Conclusion—

These are just the most prominent views of many that came to mind. I consider them logical and rational even though they may be considered politically unlikely. If you disagree, as some of you will, or if you think other subjects should be included, by all means express yourself. This blog is DeBaytable.com for a reason. Your views are important. After all, I can’t kill you and eat you.

4 comments

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  1. Dave Meyers

    My thoughts…..stay with me now……

    Atheism; The young child narrowly escapes being run over by a train. “Thank you Lord”, cry the parents. “You are most wonderful and merciful”.
    The young child is struck and dies a horrible death as the speeding train fades into the distance. “The Lord has taken him, he’s in a better place now, our God knows best”.
    Either way, believes can justify the existence of God. So no real proof is needed for them.
    I will grant you that the world as we know and understand it is so complex and so mysterious, yet constructed with a certain order, that it is hard to dismiss something other than a random accident. Yet, other than the possible historical Jesus, NOTHING else that supports the God story has left a shred of evidence or can be proven…..and the Bible doesn’t count. It’s a book of fables!

    Abortion; Who’s choice is it, if not the woman’s?

    Marriage; Live and let live. No more needs to said. But understand….50% or more of these ‘contracts’ will fail…..just sayin’.

    Drugs; If you feel you need drugs and understand the risks…go for it. But don’t expect society to pay for your upkeep.

    Death With Dignity; Yes.

    Death Penalty; No.

    Education; Yes.

    But, perhaps we can sum all of this up in one other example:

    God, if you exist, why did you allow me to enter this marriage. Why did I ever have children with this person? I can’t get through the day without my Valium. I just want to die! I’d gladly take the electric chair to get out of this ‘contract’. Get me out of this one God and I’ll become a Republican….…If I had only been smarter and just found a way to go on with my schooling.

    1. Don Bay

      You summed it up in fewer words than I used, so I will attempt to do the same…as much as possible.

      Atheism— Tons of research reveals that solid proof showing that a true believer’s false belief is likely to be reinforced when confronted with absolute proof that his/her belief is flat wrong. In view of this, those who believe in a supreme being will feel that regardless of proof to the contrary their belief is justified. Belief in a human, historical Jesus (or Moses, for that matter) is likewise without credible evidence, but a true believer will cling to the false belief.

      Abortion— You are right that the decision must ultimately be up to the woman regardless of her reason.

      Marriage— It’s a contract between two or more people and should be treated as such. If those entering into the contract want a religious ceremony, that’s their choice and will presumably be reflected in the contract. You are right in guessing that the marriage might not be “until death do us part.” This can be dealt with in contract terms, too.

      Drugs— Everybody should be provided with legitimate, up-to-date information of the benefits and detriments to their using the drug. Assuming the person is sane and still wants to use the drug after being fully informed, I have to give thought to society’s responsibility if the user winds up being a burden/harm to society. Initial thought is that society is better off supporting the user than having that person fall through the cracks and wind up living under a bridge. In a sense, it’s a cost/benefit analysis. I come down on the side of compassion.

      Death With Dignity, the Death Penalty and Education finds us in agreement.

      Your tongue-in-cheek summation raises issues (like children) that haven’t been dealt with, but it sure reflects the mind-set of the true believer.

  2. Jim Newton

    Unconventional or Radical?— How about right on?

    1. Don Bay

      Well, there’s one vote for “unconventional.” Thanks, Jim. I’ve been wondering lately if my unconventional views are simply politically unacceptable or harbingers of the common sense that’s just around the corner. Ten years from now, what may seem unconventional today may be middle-of-the-road and not at all unconventional let alone radical. Fingers crossed that it is the latter.

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