When you get right down to it, beliefs are certainly odd. As Bill Hicks said, just believing something doesn't make it real. It's all in how you were brought up or how your viewpoint was shaped by your environment and your life experiences.The point I'm trying to get across is that though I hold strongly liberal points of view, I strive not to make idols of what I believe--these collectively explain, in my opinion, the way things really are and the way things ought to be. So as I have confronted the opposition conservative platform of John McCain and listened to the variety of factions within the Democratic party, I am left with more questions than answers. Perhaps this is not that surprising.
I stand behind my strong opinions, but I always entertain the view that I could be wrong. Saying this does not imply that my faith in my own judgments is extremely weak, but rather it denotes that I have come to the conclusion that absolutes are few in this world. It is tempting for us to wish to live in a black and white paradigm, but I believe that the concept of shades of grey is the most accurate portrayal of the complexities of human existence, including political theory.
The same motifs we have always seen during every election cycle for the Presidency will be out in full force from now until November. We have seen them already and will seen them for the next six months: Experience versus Trust. Change versus Fear. Hawks versus Doves. And so on and so on.
The real answer is somewhere in between these polar extremes. So it is up to us to re-frame the paradigm. To be sure, many of the brightest, sharpest minds have been hard at work attempting that very same thing. And, be it known, I acknowledge their efforts and have even co-opted some of their ideas into my political canon. I've learned quite a bit from fellow bloggers and will continue to do so. I do know this---if we work together for a common goal, our power is limitless and massive. However, if we argue over semantics and nit-pick, we won't accomplish much of anything.
And in truth, if we were all completely honest with each other, we would concede that none of our theories are perfect. But so long as we debate them in a spirit of mutual respect, then all will be well and good. Nothing is as stale as an idea that no one bothers to debate. So long as people are re-honing and improving someone's pet idea, then we can correctly infer that this idea must have some relevance and resonance to the present day. I am as bad as anyone of getting my feelings hurt when someone dares to point out the flaws in my beloved argument, but I too need to heed my own advice and take criticism not as a mean-spirited swipe, but a desire to improve upon it.