Just like anyone else, my interests expand as I get older. Unlike most people, though, they don’t necessarily change; I just add to the pile of time-sucking obsessions, like movies, television, baseball, music, comic books, hockey, and for the last year or so, politics. I’m still in the process of determining a solid perspective on where I stand, but I love the Al Gore “raging moderate” quote from way back when.
I want to figure out the most perfect (although I understand that nothing is absolute) political ideology for me, and I think it involves a more literal understanding of the word progressive. To me, it seems like most places, be they the liberal Salon or the conservative National Journal, think of progressives as the farthest left as you can go without being overt socialists, the kind of people who constantly rage against the world’s injustices no matter what kind of social change happens in their lifetime; it may be important to realize everything is always a work in progress, but at least learn to celebrate when you win.
I think a little differently on that matter, as my version of progressivism would involve a moderate, left-of-center approach, gladly accepting the progress at the root of the word and not caring about how things get done so long as they do. A lot of data analysis should be included, as well. Oh, and way less screaming from both sides of the spectrum.
For example, in the current gay marriage debate, I couldn’t care less whether the Supreme Court decrees the United States as a whole must accept marriage equality or simply strikes down the Defense of Marriage Act and makes it a states’ rights issue — which The Dish’s Andrew Sullivan suggests might be the best way to go, as it would allow for a slower, less culturally shocking integration of the idea to more conservative states, which would conceivably help reduce hateful backlash. If either happens, fine. Good. Go for it.
There are plenty more issues to discuss, and as I try to figure my best way forward in political thinking, I invite you to join me, debate, and converse. You can make fun of my relative inexperience with the topic if you want, but calm, reasoned discussion is what will help. So let’s dip our toes in these waters.