Politics have really never been my strong suit, but it is certainly the season. Most of my friends are on the liberal side of the fence (some more than others). I tend to be more socially liberal and fiscally conservative; it's relatively easy to be fiscally conservative when you've had to pay your own taxes for a while as opposed to having them withheld from your paycheck. Writing several polykilobuck checks a year for "nothing" (as opposed to say an automobile or a spiffy high-end movie camera) wears thin after the first twenty times or so.
The hard part is being a social libertarian. That is not the same thing as a political Libertarian, as most political Libertarians tend toward the conservative side and deal more with fiscal issues than social ones. My view has more to do with issues of civil liberties than that.
I'm not a card-carrying member of the ACLU. I'm not really a card-carrying member of anything but possibly the Wedge co-op, which used to have an ATM from my credit union but no longer does, so I rarely go there anymore. I'm just not that much of an activist.
I started listening to conservative talk radio a while ago. Bear in mind that I really dislike most of the radio stations in the 'Cities, primarily because of the corporate nature of their chosen playlists. The music that I like and gravitate towards tends to be more eclectic than the pablum that is played by pretty much everybody, and more edgy than what gets played on The Current. Don't get me wrong, the occasional Sherpa Mountain Flute Medley is fine, but I'm more bent toward Rammstein and Soul Coughing, VAST and Rhea's Obsession. Talk radio was a nice alternative in that it provided some mental stimulation of my political views: when someone was presenting a view that disagreed with mine, I was forced to articulate why I believed what I did. I believe that this actually makes me a more open-minded person, and I have an understanding of what convictions I do have. And I do have a hidden appreciation for Rush Limbaugh: I don't agree with a lot of his views, but I like the way he presents them. The man is a master of radio presentation, and Marshall McLuhan aside, if you can separate the medium from the message, there's a lot to be admired.
But I may have to stop now. Jason Lewis has taken over the evening drive shift on KTLK, and though Jason can be entertaining, he's taken spin to an entirely new level that would give Karl Rove vertigo.
Tonights example: talking about the demise of congressman Mark Foley, he was saying that the problem was primarily that he was gay, and that gays are inherently perverts. To back it up, he was throwing out statistics that the majority of congressional scandals that involved teenage boys also involved male congressmen (as opposed to female congressmen).
What. The. Fuck.
If we can consider the actions of Rep. Foley to be in the rather broad category of "sexual predation" (and it arguably doesn't belong there as it was not egregious), or more likely sexual harassment, the inappropriateness of it has nothing at all to do with whether he was going after an underage boy or an underage girl; it would be wrong in either circumstance.
Furthermore, the overwhelming majority of sexual predators (or harassers) are male, regardless of the gender of their targets. The statistics that he was throwing out would more properly serve to define all men as being "inherently perverted", which is I think closer to the truth than any statement about homosexuality being inherently perverse.
I have friends who are homosexual, and damned if they aren't some of the best people I know. Then again, most of the people that I consider to be friends tend to be good people: people with personal integrity, people who help others, people who take responsibility for their actions. For the most part anyway-- we all falter at times-- but the few people that I know who are right assholes (or who have been) are to a one heterosexual.
Frankly, I find it distasteful to even have to make the comparisons. I'm pretty open to "non-traditional" sexuality. I consider myself to be an ethical hedonist, which essentially boils down to this:
If everyone involved is consenting, informed, and responsible, I'm all for it.
There is a simplicity there that can be a bit awkward; there is an unspoken boundary in my mind that a partner must be a living human, or perhaps aliens capable of spaceflight. Generally I don't find a need to delve into whether a corpse can be considered as an inanimate object and therefore excluded from the consent rule, or whether yiffing is considered as interspecies sexual behavior. For now, let's just accept those boundaries, mmmkay?
Back to the point: I agree that he has the freedom to say these things. Much as he would agree that I have the freedom to change the channel and listen to some cool blues or some avant-garde '80's rock instead.
So long, Jason.