Thursday, June 11, 2009

Political Commentary I started writing in 2006 & never finished...

It was a cold, lonely night in early December, 2006. I was sitting at my computer. The time was roughly 3 a.m. I couldn't sleep and was wandering aimlessly through the Internet. Somehow I got to a column on worldnetdaily.com that was written by a man named Hal Lindsey. His column was about the differences between liberals and conservatives. From the tone of the article, you could tell that he was very conservative.

I usually don't get very political, but on this occasion I felt like writing something in response to this column. I wasn't sure at the time whether or not I was going to post this on my MySpace blog or submit it to The Concordian as an editorial. So, I opened up a Word document and started writing.

When I write something, I usually write it in one sitting. I may take an occasional break, but I will rarely close the Word document and come back to it days later. That's evidenced by the other blog I have in here about the 2007 editorial I never finished. I really have to be in the mood to write something or it doesn't get done.

That's probably one reason I really enjoy my Twitter account. I may have a thought or an idea, but I'm not passionate enough about it at the moment to blog about it. The Twitter account lets me go to my computer or pull out my phone and throw a couple quick thoughts out there. My blogs are more thought out, while my Tweets are a sort of stream-of-consciousness thing.

Back to my original point...

I started writing this piece about politics. I was writing about how I consider myself a liberal, but that I don't really fall into his definition of what a liberal should be.

This piece was also partly inspired by former Concord professor Dr. James Parker. He was a staunch conservative in his late-50's who loved Bill O'Reilly and loathed most anything liberal or to "the left." Class often turned into a political debate, and a dissenting opinion would often be met by Parker's comeback of "Well, that's how a liberal would think."

Dr. Parker could get away with things like that because he was an amazing professor. I've probably learned more from him than all the current Concord Communication Major professors put together. That's no slap against them or their abilities - they just aren't on the same level as Dr. Parker. He was so good at teaching that I - and several others - overlooked the fact that he brought up politics (and the Vietnam War he served in) way too often.

Here it is, in italics:

Liberals and conservatives. Two very different ends of the political spectrum, yet they have one thing in common: they both cause great debate.

What exactly is a liberal, and what makes one a conservative?

A recent worldnetdaily.com article by columnist Hal Lindsey attempted to shed light on what exactly is a liberal and a conservative.

"If you are a 'liberal, you favor abortion and you support homosexual marriage. You want to see prayer banned from public gatherings and you think all Scripture including the Ten Commandments, which form the basis of our system of law, should be removed from the public square," Lindsey wrote.

According to his biography, Lindsey is one of the most successful non-fiction writers alive today. He has written over 20 books, including "Planet Earth: The Final Chapter" and "Everlasting Hatred: The Roots of Jihad."

No, I haven't read them either.

Lindsey's quote is essentially me, but not quite as extreme. Allow me to elaborate.

Hillary Clinton was fond of saying "From the womb to the tomb" in regards to when a child is "alive." I say, "So what?" You can argue until you’re blue in the face about when life begins. But, I think that even if the 2-month-old fetus is alive, it won't know what's happening. Even if a fetus is alive, it won't know that the long blade thing being shoved up the birth canal is going to scramble its brain.

With gay marriage, I don't even understand why this is an issue. Just let gay people get married. It won't hurt anybody. If what they do between the sheets scares you, don't picture it.

The only way I differ from Mr. Lindsey's view of a liberal is that I think people should be allowed to pray wherever they want. I have no problem with religion and peoples' religious views.

Religion has never been a big part of my life, but I can understand if it motivates people. I don't have a problem with seeing the Ten Commandments in public. It seems like a good set of guidelines to live by. Killing people is wrong.“

"A liberal today takes comfort in the knowledge that even if America's citizens, legislators and Constitution get it wrong, somewhere there's an unelected judge that will make it right. Especially in the Supreme Court, which to the liberal exceeds the authority of the Constitution," Lindsey also writes.

Of course, if you are a Bible-thumper who wants the 10 Commandments in public, you should at least be able to name them. Congressman Lynn Westmoreland from Georgia was recently interviewed by everyone's favorite fake newscaster Stephen Colbert.

Westmoreland was talking about how we should have the 10 Commandments everywhere, which prompted Colbert to ask, "What are the Ten Commandments?"

Westmoreland managed to get out, "Don't murder, don't steal, don't lie," before admitting that he couldn't name all of them.

So, there's that. I don't know where I was going with it or what I was going to do with it after I was done. Looking at it after not reading it for nearly 3 years, I don't think it's very well-written. But, it was something I rambled onto a computer screen extremely late at night, probably on very little sleep.

Click here to see that interview Colbert did with Congressman Westmoreland. The 10 Commandments part is at the end of the 6-minute video, but the whole thing is pretty enjoyable.

Even when he didn't agree with something political, Dr. Parker loved debating politics. He was so excited when I wrote a political piece in The Concordian one time. It was in the spring of 2007, and it was actually a rebuttal to a piece Bill Lewis had written. It was Bill's freshman year and I hadn't even met him. But, he submitted a political piece to The Concordian and I didnt' agree with it, so I wrote a piece shooting down what he wrote.

The day it came out, I was in the hallway outside the Concordian office. Dr. Parker and the-then Mr. (now Dr.) Cory Williams were walking towards me. Dr. Parker got excited and said, "Chris! I loved that piece you wrote. I didn't agree with a lot of your opinion, but I'm so glad you wrote it. Cory, have you read this?" Williams said no. Parker continued - "Well, you need to. It's great."

I don't like to write about politics "in general." I like it more localized, which is why I enjoy writing about Concord's Student Government Association. It kind of operates like a government sometimes, so it counts. The Concordian kind of operates like a real newspaper sometimes, so you'd expect to see some political commentary in there occasionally.

I think writing about local government for a "real" newspaper would be fun. It beats interviewing high school football coaches (click here to see one of my Princeton Times articles I posted on "ihigh.com").

But, yeah, there's that. I don't know how many other "never completed" articles I have laying around. I may only have those two floating around in my archives. If I find anymore, I'll post them in here.

I'm also still working on a blog about my recent trip to my Grandpa's house in Ripley. The blog is going to be mostly pictures and videos from the trip. But, it takes A LONG TIME to upload videos into the blog, so I'm taking a half-hour here or an hour there and putting videos into it before I actually post it. It's a long work-in-progress, but I think the end-product will be interesting. And, yeah, if you read that sports article I posted, Princeton High's coach does talk about playing Ripley during the football season. They had a little rivalry going - Ripley beat Princeton two straight years, but they won't play again for at least another three years.

3 comments:

  1. Here's a picture of me & Kelly as we started our trip to my grandpa's -

    http://www.twitpic.com/6ypj0

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  2. Do you have any idea where Dr. Parker is now? He was one of my all-time favorite educators.

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  3. I'm not sure. I know when he left Concord in 2007 he went back to Florida. The last I heard in 2009-10, he was back in the Princeton area. I haven't talked to him since 2007.

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