Spurred by several recent conversations, one particularly outstanding article on liberty, and the fact that every time I make the distinction between religion and spiritual awareness I lose subscribers, there are some things that need to be said.
By the way, this is going to get deep, just FYI.
I mean, we could be talking about the ongoing political circus, the White House launching its National Strategy To Counter Islamophobia, the latest migrant caravan invading our southern border, the fact that Oregon just dropped all graduation standards in the name of equity, how the Pope is rewriting theology to foment a paradigm shift that aligns with people’s “lived experiences”, the ongoing unraveling of the great covid cover-up, the neurological complications soaring among the heavily vaxxed population, or the current “renewable massacre” of climate projects that are “fundamentally broken”—but honestly, none of this is going to help us resist the global cabal, the onslaught of weaponized AI, or the political corruption that is bankrupting our country, fleecing the people, and fundamentally transforming America into a techno-dystopian Marxist hellhole.
No my friends, to overcome any and all of THAT, we need to turn our attention to deeper matters. In order to overcome the tyranny and evil of our time—and I do mean evil—we need to band together with other Americans who still value life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, even in the midst of the current chaos.
We need to stand and fight alongside people we disagree with.
To do so, we must move beyond the shallow dichotomies of the two-party system, fundamentally reject the mental cages of party platforms, and re-think how best to move forward. What does “justice and liberty for all” actually look like?
Well for one thing, it must be fundamentally rooted in mutual respect. Without mutual respect we have no functional relationship, and therefore the social fabric falls apart and our communities implode to nasty, contentious, bitter places to live.
Thus, it is in the name of mutual respect that I intend to defend those whom I disagree with. I do so out of respect for their humanity, in light of my own faults and limited understanding, in an effort to forge a path into the great unknown.
Is it possible for liberals and conservatives to work together to save our country?
Is it possible?
Before moving on, sit with that question for a breath or two. Can liberals and conservatives come together to save the United States of America?
If the answer is no, we’ve already lost. PERIOD.
LET THAT SINK IN.
Recently a friend—yes, a liberal friend, in the classical liberal sense—noted that I often remark about “liberty loving conservatives,” but seldom remark about “liberty loving liberals,” and prodded me for an explanation. Are there any liberty loving liberals out there? Of course there are. Are there a lot of delusional liberals out there? Of course there are. Can the same thing be said of conservatives? Of course.
People are people. People are different. Humanity is messy.
But humanity is majestic.
There is more that unites us, as human beings, than there is that divides us.
What we have in common is substantially greater than our petty differences.
As humans we are born free, with free will and the power of choice, with our own infinitely unique character and personalities, with our own set of preferences and proclivities, strengths and weaknesses, and a laundry list of personal problems.
And this is a good thing, is it not? Can’t we celebrate the fact we are not all the same? Isn’t the infinite diversity and complexity of our shared humanity a good thing?
Life would be pretty damn boring if it was any other way.
Now, with all that said, let’s flesh out some definitions, for the sake of clarity. What is a liberal? To move beyond shallow labels, I want to offer the exceptional insight of PhD political economist Toby Rogers, who undoubtedly has a deeper understanding of the term than I do. Dr. Rodgers, when not organizing grassroots efforts to defend medical freedom, pens his own Substack. In a meaty piece titled “Did Liberalism Fail?” he spells out the following definitions:
Liberalism has two branches — political liberalism and economic liberalism.
Most everyone likes political liberalism (or at least they did, before Covid):
Freedom of speech
Freedom of religion
Freedom of assembly
Constitutions, courts, the rule of law
Elections, government by the consent of the governed.
These are all huge improvements over rule by kings, pharaohs, or priests.
Political liberalism tends to produce economic liberalism:
The freedom to trade.
The right to private property.
The right to make money, the right to entrepreneurship.
Everyone is motivated by money to some extent (even if it’s not always the deciding factor). So politically free people generally demand economic freedoms.
What did we learn?
We learn that in the mind of educated liberals, liberalism stands for freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, the Constitution and the rule of law, government by the consent of the governed, the freedom to trade in open markets, the right to private property, and the right to make money via the entrepreneurial spirit.
Sounds pretty spot on to me. That sounds pretty American does it not?
To be sure, as Dr. Rogers makes clear in his essay, modern liberalism (which he calls progressivism) has deviated significantly from these norms. Many, if not most, of those who wear the “liberal” label today openly scoff at such values. In a strange and interesting twist, many conservatives have abandoned their values in much the same way—and all of this seemed to have happened at the onset of the pandemic:
In the space of just 75 days at the start of 2020, political liberalism disappeared from the United States, Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
- Freedom of speech? Gone.
- Freedom of assembly? Gone.
- The Constitution? Gone.
With nary a word of protest from the so-called liberals (what we now call “progressives”) in our society.
Economic liberalism disappeared shortly thereafter:
- The global economy was turned off in March of 2020.
- Multinational corporations (Amazon, Target, Home Depot) were given special status while small businesses were closed (many of them permanently).
- Property owners were barred from collecting rent.
- Unelected bureaucrats divided the workforce into “essential” and “nonessential.”
- Government took over the economy and flooded it with newly printed money, triggering a massive increase in inflation.
With nary a word of protest from classical economic liberals (what we now call “conservatives” in the US).
Why did liberals and conservatives both rollover and abandon their long held traditional values? Why did the majority of liberals, who ostensibly value free speech and the right to bodily autonomy, suddenly turn into raving lunatics who want to silence anyone who speaks out against the narrative and stabbed everyone with an experimental injection? Why did the majority of conservatives, especially God fearing Christians—who ostensibly believe “it is for freedom that He set us free” and “where the spirit of the Lord is, their is freedom” and “God has not given us a spirit of fear”—casually accept the closure of their churches and the separation from their loved ones?
In short, why were so many people—the vast majority by far—on both ends of the spectrum so quick to cower in fear of an invisible enemy and place their faith in the tyrannical state?
The answer is because psychological warfare works, but let’s set that aside for today.
Dr. Toby Rodgers was pressing into the unknown, seeking a path forward. He’s a liberal. I am pressing into the unknown, seeking a path forward. I am not a liberal.
I generally reject political labels and consider myself a political mutt. I am a fiscally conservative, socially conscious, politically independent thinker with a libertarian bent. I stand in the gap between conditioned party politics. I believe out of respect for my fellow human beings, I must accept that people are different, that people don’t agree, and that people have a right to do things their own way.
If I were to have a difference of opinion on any particular issue, I have a right to express that. I might have a desire to discuss and persuade someone to my way of thinking, but because we are fundamentally different, I have no ability to control or force another person to accept my worldview. That sounds fair, right?
I believe, perhaps naively, that the majority of people who consider themselves liberals, as well as the majority of people who consider themselves conservatives, can understand where I’m coming from and likely share this sentiment.
So what’s the hold up? Why all the bickering? Why the bitter political divide?
The answer is: we are being divided.
We are being conditioned, and have been heavily conditioned our entire lives, to align with party values and accept party platforms. This is a trap. Party values are not human values and party platforms do little more than enshrine societal divisions.
When a Democrat hears the word Republican, they instantly conjure up an image of some sort of racist, Christian, white supremacist, greedy capitalist. When a Republican hears the word Democrat, they instantly conjure up an image of some sort of baby killing, pink haired, butch gender queer, environmental whacko.
Neither perception is accurate or true… at least not all the time. Labels, which are just words, are linked to generalizations that immediately and severely distort reality.
People are people. People are different. There are evil people, but most people are good.
Most people are good.
Most liberals are good people. Most conservatives are good people.
It is absolutely critical to the future of our country that we learn to look beyond the labels, that we learn to resist and reject the conditioned response to such words.
Understanding that I am addressing a mostly Christian conservative audience—with a few intellectually honest liberals and smattering of libertarians lurking in the crowd—it is vitally important to realize that regardless of the labels, as Dr. Rogers just spelled out above, we share a basic and innate urge for freedom. That’s our common ground.
Now I’m going to press into the sticky.
Most people are good, would you agree?
There are good people who have abortions for valid reasons, would you agree? There are good people trying to reduce pollution and preserve the planet, would you agree? There are good people who are bonafied Bible-thumping Jesus freaks, would you agree? There are good people who are utterly agnostic and or reject religion altogether, would you agree? There are good people who are Muslims, Hindus, Taoists, Mormons, Baptists, Buddhists, Wiccans, Gypsies or Jews, would you agree?
Put differently, would you agree that there are people with vastly different belief systems, who are still good people, who share our desire to live as free human beings? Friends, despite our different convictions, I believe wholeheartedly that this is true.
Who the hell am I to arrogantly dismiss the different beliefs of everyone who believes something differently than I do? I may not agree. I may even choose to challenge some beliefs, to passionately debate any particular philosophical point—but at the end of the day, I must acknowledge that I am debating another human being.
I was recently enjoying a conversation with a liberal from New York City. One time I had a very enriching conversation with an Islamic man on a six hour plane ride. Last week I had a heart-to-heart with a hard-core feminist. In every case, despite vast differences of opinion, I was able to establish an authentic connection through mutual respect, forgo the political bickering, and establish common ground in our shared humanity. By doing so, the conversation was elevated in a meaningful way.
I share that just to prove that it’s possible. Not easy, but possible.
In defense of my liberal friends, here is one truth that very few conservatives would ever dare to say out loud: There are good people who do not believe in God.
There are good people who don’t believe the Bible. There are good people who don’t go to church. There are good people who don’t believe that Jesus Christ rose from the grave. There are good people who don’t believe the world was created in six days.
There are good people with radically different beliefs about where we came from, what happens when we die, and what the meaning of life is really all about.
If you cannot accept this fact, please feel free to unsubscribe—but before you do, ask God: has anything I’ve said been wrong? Did God not create the liberals too?
KNOW THIS: Life is good. People are good. People are different and we need to look beyond religion if we intend to get out of the mess we’re in. Religions divide us, as do politics, but the spirit of our shared humanity unites against a common enemy.
United we stand. Divided we fall.
I’ve spoke my mind, with humility, from the heart. Thank you for listening!