Republicans==Democrats, Republicans!=conservative, Democrats!=liberal

I would probably fit into some of the stereotypes for a right winger:  totally into low taxes and smaller government.  I start to go off track though, because for me, that includes dismantling the military-industrial complex, ending pointless wars, not getting into them in the first place, and just maintaining our actual national security (which wouldn't take a whole bunch, the US is like Russia -- ain't nobody gonna be able to occupy this much space).

But I don't really want a government that tells people how to live, who to marry, violates privacy, has any say in reproductive freedom, etc. etc.  Typical lefty issues.

Anyway, just throwing this out there -- it seems that Republicans and Democrats really are the same, or at least 95% or so, and neither group really represents me well.  As for our current administration (you know, the same one as the last one with a new face), I think Glen Greenwald has written about the best summary paragraph ever (totally defines awesome) of the Obama administration's continuation and extension of the Bush legacy:

http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/08/10/gibbs/...

So I'm wondering -- am I as alone among atheists as I am with everyone else?  I basically consider myself a green libertarian, which makes me a bit soft on property rights issues in the eyes of hardcore libertarians, but I like a pretty world where the costs of production are not handed off to unsuspecting neighbors.  As far as Republocrats and Demoplicans go though, just six of one, half dozen of the other,  so I am rather bothered with the assumption that Republicans are conservatives and Democrats are liberals.

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I personally believe labels in politics are a horrible thing. In my opinion everyone should consider themselves independent. While many people's views will be the same as a group's views, I bet most people have issues they differ on compared to any party. When you are only given a few options as far as which party you align yourself with, it gives the canidates within those parties heavy lines they have to tread.

An example might be you are conservative but you believe in gay marriage. I would love to see the canidate that can gain the support of the republican party in regards to that platform.

Also as far as republicans being conservative I would urge you to look at government spending vs presidents since the 1970's http://zfacts.com/metaPage/lib/National-Debt-GDP.gif

No one is perfect when it comes to politics. I didn't vote last presidential election since I was going to vote for Obama in Indiana. I assumed that my democratic vote would be a wash in this state, but I found out that I was wrong. One of the bigger lessons I have learned I guess.

Kelly:

...military industrial complex....

I heard the early drafts of Eisenhower's talk referred to a congressional military industrial complex but he didn't want to get Congress angry so he dropped its name.

...is there a Green party in the U.S.?

America needs a Green Party. In recent elections two people have run for president as Greens. Had one been elected they would have had no allies in Congress and been very lame ducks. When the Greens have people in local and state office, training for national office, I will register with the Party. I'm 85 and probably won't live until the Greens get wise. My wife and I were agnostic and each had reason for having no kids.

...some good reading material (by academic historians)....

Heather Cox Richardson's To Make Men Free: A History of the Republican Party.

For non-believers, Kevin Kruse's One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America.

Am I a Democrat? No! Republican? Definitely No! Libertarian? Never, although my beloved son is! The one individual name I claim for myself is an atheist; not the soft kind but the hard variety. A hard atheist believes there is no god, never has been a god and never will be a god. The word known as "god" is a construct created on the minds of Homo sapiens to explain things for which he (male) has no tools to understand the complexities of the universe. He also creates the reasons for having power over others, especially females and children.

Joan, I'm with you on the atheists part. I have voted for the green party even though I knew it was futile. To avoid being called a republican l indentify as a democrat even though Bernie Sanders is my new hero.

I understand Sanders to be an Independent who in Congress "caucuses with" Dems.

He is out to the left of most Dems. On most issues I'm out there too.

I consider Dems and Repubs equally corrupted by money but the Dems are more humane. When both parties annoy me I say Dems are dumb and Repubs are cruel.

Tom, l freely admit to being a bleeding heart liberal.
I believe empathy is the reason. I wonder if some people are born with either to much empathy or a tendency toward cruelty?

The old nature versus nurture again.

My empathy varies, Kathy. It decreases when I'm stressed. With friends here where I live I sometimes say empathy is a nuisance. It comes back.

Did I tell you my dad was born (1904) and grew up in Newport? His name was Louis and his favorite trick question was "How do you pronounce KY's capital, Louisville or Lou-ee-ville?". He loved being able to say "Frankfort".

In a hiking group he met Alice (b 1906) and in 1928 they married. In the late 1930s her parents moved to St. Pete Fla. In 1947 Lou and Alice and five kids moved to St. Pete; she to be with her dad and he to go fishing.

Tom, my parents did the reverse. They moved us from the chicago area when we were young children. I must have been about eleven or twelve.
At least you got out. Do you ever wonder how your life would be different if they had remained in ky?

Kathy, I wonder that too! Is it "nature versus nurture"?

Tom, I like your statement, "Dems are dumb and Repubs are cruel."

Yeah, but I usually refuse to criticize Obama in front of Republicans. I don't want them to think I'm on their side. If I do criticize him, it's usually for the same reasons I criticized Bush. Dems are just Repub lite. Washington pols are almost universally corrupt.

I wrote over 12,000 posts on Democratic Underground, but I left because I finally figured out the site is toxic. Anything you post, even, "The sky is blue" will attract a troll who will try to piss you off. When I criticized Obama for not following through on his promises and for appeasing the Repubs, I got blasted by people I thought were my friends. They called me a racist and all I did was criticize his policies. It was then I realized Democratic Underground--much like Fox News for right-wingers--was a waste of my time and energy. Leaving was a healthy decision for me.

You are correct Kelly. The l is independent. And rare. Most people can't get elected without being affiliated with one of them. Bernie seems to be an exception. I can continue to hope.

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