Learning my “left” from my “right”
So I just signed up for The Forum at CNN.com, made my badge, and realized that “leaning left” and “leaning right” have more to do with the respective parties’ positions rather than their traditional meanings. On Homeland Security, it seems that this disconnect was the most stark: I am shown as “leaning left,” when my reasoning behind opposing the PATRIOT Act, a border fence and warrantless wiretapping stems from strong beliefs in civil libertarianism (with a small ‘L,’ not to be confused with the Libertarian Party) and fiscal conservatism. The disconnect is also pretty strong on the issue of the economy, as I oppose the Bush tax cuts on the grounds that they are fiscally irresponsible given the government’s expenditures.
I am a registered independent much for these reasons–I was raised in a very Republican family, but the Republican Party no longer holds the positions of traditional conservatism in government that I was raised to respect. The Democratic Party now seems to take the positions that uphold many traditionally conservative ideals, however I still disagree with the Democrats on some of the philosophy upon which some of those positions are based. This is just a matter of a difference of means to achieve the same end, though, hence why I can support Obama, not just as a ‘lesser of two evils,’ but as someone who has a long-term vision for America that is actually in line with my values.