I recently had a discussion about the note alongside my picture in my sidebar, which says "I used to be a liberal, until I learned to think for myself."
I've come to the conclusion that there is no one answer to the discussion, which led me to explain how I used to be a "kool-aid drinker." Taking my information straight from the news and information sources I had in front of me rather than seeking to verify truth, I simply believed what I was told. Not only did I take my information straight from the local and national news on TV as well as the newspaper, but I bought into all the ideology preached to me by my favorite Hollywood stars and Rock and Roll performers.
Now I have a different approach. I listen to and watch different information and news sources than in the past. I do not believe everything I hear from any source (including Fox News and talk radio), and I don't dismiss everything I learn from "liberal" media either (even CNN and MSNBC get it right once in a while). I have come to understand that there is good and bad to be had from both sides of the political aisle. I now consider myself an independent leaning Conservative, but most of all I am an independent thinker.
Sometimes I have a tough time enjoying some of the music I used to (U2 is a perfect example) because of some of the ridiculous stances these performers take, and I have not gone to see a movie in a theater for over ten years, because I refuse to support Hollywood. Call me a hard-liner, call me closed minded... I'm fine with all of the names. I have chosen a different value system in my life because I understand how important personal responsibility is. I've lived a life without personal responsibility, and now I am consumed by it - sometimes to a fault.
So to bring this discussion full circle, the following is another part of my conversion from liberalism.
I never lived the life as described in the following letter, but I never thought much of it and didn't really allow myself to understand the ramifications brought upon an entire society by the actions of people who lived lifestyles as described below. I didn't get it that if people were living off the government, what they were really doing was living off of the honest work of people like me.
Mind you - accepting assistance because you really need it, when you are truly making an effort - completely different situation. I'm glad the government has support systems for people at a certain level, because the truth is in today's society it is difficult to expect things to be exactly as they were at the time of our founding.
So I was reading Don Surber's blog tonight - he's an interesting read and is on my blog roll, check him out sometime if you never have. Anyway... he offered the following post that included the following letter to the editor, written by a medical doctor.
I know this has made the email rounds and is a few months old, but I believe it's worth the rehash.
The letter, verified by Snopes:
“During my last night’s shift in the ER, I had the pleasure of evaluating a patient with an expensive shiny gold tooth, multiple elaborate expensive tattoos, a very expensive brand of tennis shoes and a new cellular telephone equipped with her favorite R&B tune for a ringtone. Glancing over the chart, one could not help noticing her payer status: Medicaid. She smokes more than one costly pack of cigarettes every day and, somehow, still has money to buy beer.
And our Congress expects me to pay for this woman’s health care? Our nation’s health care crisis is not a shortage of quality hospitals, doctors or nurses. It is a crisis of culture — a culture in which it is perfectly acceptable to spend money on vices while refusing to take care of one’s self or, heaven forbid, purchase health insurance. A culture that thinks “I can do whatever I want to because someone else will always take care of me”. Life is really not that hard. Most of us reap what we sow. Don’t you agree?
STARNER JONES, MD
This letter describes perfectly the greatest sickness that we have in America today - the Progressive agenda.There is an entire group of people who would love to have nothing more than an entire society of people who live their lives in that exact fashion. Progressives entice people with sound-bytes and catch phrases, and bring them to believe that they have the answer to all difficulties life brings. Conceptually this makes it very easy for the agenda to entice new followers - who doesn't want life to be easier?
However, should the day ever come that the Progressive movement ever actually takes hold of America, there will not be fancy sneakers and cell phones amongst the common class - there will be servitude, poverty, and despair. Progressive leaders see themselves as better... elite, if you will. Arugula, not a pick-up truck.
Life is not always easy, and sometimes the most difficult challenges life brings also offer the most valuable lessons. Experience breeds confidence and knowledge beyond anything a book in a university has to offer.
We have witnessed this week an amazing turn in our political landscape. The Progressive agenda has been struck a great blow. Scott Brown's election was a clear referendum on the elitism of the people currently in power in Washington. Air America today ceased programming and filed bankruptcy. A large part of McCain - Feingold was found unconstitutional by The Supreme Court, and freedom of speech was given a new lease on life. "Health care" may actually be dead, at least at the level that does not require reconciliation.
We have only just begun to witness historic events unfold. If we were to look at politics as a boxing match, American freedom and Conservative values have been throwing good body blows, with a few jarring jabs. However, we have a very formidable opponent, and we must maintain the offensive. We need to get our opponent - the Progressive movement - on the ropes and set them up for the knockout punch.
Lace 'em up...