Friday, September 26, 2008


Well, the debate tonight has spawned this crazy idea of starting yet another blog. I blog primarily at NeoConstant, a cooperative blog/journal that focuses mostly on foreign affairs. We present a case for aggressive, even hawkish and interventionist policies to end genocide, promote democracy, and keep America and our allies safe.

For a long time I identified as a conservative. I felt (and feel) very strongly that the War in Iraq needs to be won; that Afghanistan needs to not only emerge as a free and independent state, but that its neighbor Pakistan must end its harboring of our enemies, namely bin Laden et al and the Taliban. The Republicans seemed stronger in this regard than the Democrats. McCain has shown steadfastness in his support of the surge, the counter-insurgency, and so forth.

But recently something has changed in me, or in my perception of both the GOP, conservatism as it is approached by the modern conservative, and in the Republican nominee John McCain and his running mate, Sarah Palin.

I think it was Palin that sparked this, and the financial meltdown that began to cement it. I am not really a fiscal conservative, though I think there is too much wasteful spending. I'm certainly no tax & spend liberal, however. I think low taxes do create jobs--but I also think smart regulation and oversight is essential in today's complicated economy. I also believe in safety nets, and at least some form of socialized health-care that works alongside the private industry.

I'm not a fan of the Green movement, though I have nothing against alternative energy or fuel efficient vehicles. I don't believe that humans are the primary cause of global warming. This is not because I don't believe in global warming, per say, but because my belief in the scientific method won't allow me to simply accept this nearly faith-based global warming concept. So far, the evidence does not seem conclusive.

I believe in evolution. I don't know if there is a God.

I'm reluctantly pro-choice. I don't like it, but I don't like the alternative even more.

I don't feel at home with either Party, or with mainstream liberals or conservatives. I find that those I tend to agree with most are also independents--some who support McCain and some who support Obama.

I am a globalist. I believe in international democracy and unity through trade and mutually assured prosperity. I think that national sovereignty is vital, but that international institutions are also vital. The UN is broken, but that doesn't mean a new international body made up solely of democracies couldn't work.

I believe in capitalism and in free trade (though I'm no purist). I think a strong military is essential, but so are strong schools.

I think it's foolish to spend time trying to defend the institution of marriage given our rate of divorce (what is it, 50%?) If gay people want to enter into such an agreement, so fraught with failure, let them. I'm not at all about to spend my days and hours trying to deny freedom when there is so much pain and misery and so little freedom in most of the world.

I think we should intervene militarily in Darfur.

Some of my favorite blogs are Michael J Totten, Neo-Neocon, Little Green Footballs, Andrew Sullivan, Ann Althouse, But, I Am a Liberal, American Power, Jihad Watch, The Long War Journal...and there are many others...

Lately I have been drifting away from my conservatism and into a more fiercely independent framework--hence the title of this blog.

I have lost my faith in McCain. He doesn't even seem to believe what he himself is saying anymore. Who is this man? This fraud? Once upon a time I thought there would be no way on Earth I could support Obama because of his stance on Iraq.

Now that's changed, and I don't think Obama will pull us out precipitously. He's also fairly shrewd regarding the Afghan/Pakistan war.

McCain's choice of Palin has become increasingly disturbing. At first I thought it a good political move. Then her social stances started to bother me.

But her utter lack of foreign policy knowledge was the kicker. If McCain really does care to keep this country safe, why the hell did he pick Palin to be the veep? What was that all about?

Now I just feel betrayed. McCain is doing whatever he can to win, and the country be damned. Country first my ass.

The debate tonight was even more revealing. Both candidates dodged, but McCain hardly answered a single question. He was snarky, snide, and grinned impishly and arrogantly when Obama was speaking. He came across as condescending and grotesque. Sure, he was upbeat, as many conservatives will hasten to point out.

It was not a very good performance, though, in my humblest of opinions. McCain, if anything, didn't do terribly badly, but he needed a slam dunk to boost his numbers, and I think his attitude and presentation will only turn off independents.

More on the debate after I watch it again. My initial opinion though: Small win for Obama; big loss for McCain. And yes, that can be the case...