On most political issues, I find myself hearing opposing viewpoints that are at the extremes, and very often hear that I can't be in the middle, that "riding the fence" or not taking one side or the other is just chickenshit.
That's bullshit, and I'm here to say it out loud, asshole.
My political viewpoints may not agree with yours. I'm okay with that, even if you are a shiny, happy idiot. I can see points from both sides and very often find a middle ground that can satisfy arguments from both sides, some form of compromise that can optimize a solution. In other words, I don't follow dogma.
I am neither democrat or republican, neither liberal nor conservative. I tend more to the left than the right, but I am also libertarian in a lot of my views (not the political party Libertarian, but the principles of minimal involvement and simplification over complexity, personal responsibility, and in general living your life with minimal outside restriction).
For example: I am pro-gun. I was a member of the NRA when I was younger, I have used a lot of firearms recreationally (as in target shooting and hunting), and I am firmly for concealed carry permits. I do believe that any gun owner should have mandatory training and licensing should include a competency test (like a driver's license), and that a concealed-carry permit should require further training and stricter competency testing (along with real jail time if you carry without the permit). I also believe that any firearm should be a titled property and registered, and any sale of a firearm should involve a title transfer, even if it's a personal sale. I like guns. I think that used responsibly and with a great deal of respect, guns are a wonderful thing.
I also don't allow them in my house. The reason for that is pretty simple: accidents happen, and firearm accidents are potentially pretty damn deadly. It's pretty damn difficult to accidentally beat yourself to death with a club.
(That being said, I do have a rather wide range of clever devices that can inflict harm or disable someone should the need arise, and frankly I can be a sadistic sonofabitch if you threaten me in my own home.)
I've tried staying away from abortion as an issue because it is so polarized between Pro-Life and Pro-Choice, and tempers flare a lot when the issue comes up. Between those two viewpoints I am conflicted. I do believe that a woman has the inherent right to her body, and has overriding vote on what happens to her. However I also believe that life is something sacred and should not be discarded without serious thought and consequence.
But you know, I can combine those two concepts comfortably. My stance is that we should work on eliminating the need for abortions at all.
No woman has an abortion recreationally. It is a painful experience in every way. I think if it were possible to end the need for abortions, it would make just about everyone happy.
So how do we eliminate (or at least drastically reduce) the need?
How about education, easily available contraception, and family planning?
Gosh, that does sound like Planned Parentood, doesn't it?
I'm not talking about promoting promiscuty. Teach abstinence as an avenue. It is a sound choice for prevention of pregnancy, and has a 100% success rate (well, except for that one time). But teach other methods, because abstinence-only education does not work. Teach responsibility. Teach consequences. Teach sex education in schools and make it as mandatory as english and math.
Yeah, I know. Not everyone agrees. And it won't eliminate unplanned pregnancies, or uninformed ones. But it sure as hell beats the New Dark Ages.