Just a few days ago, on the last day of early voting in Texas, I finally received confirmation from iVoterGuide that the Texas candidate profiles were online. So here they are, including my own. If you're waiting for Election Day to cast your ballot, you can still read up on your choices (or find out what you got wrong when you voted early).
It was a pleasant reminder that, in my responses to their questionnaire, I pointed out that limiting the ideological spectrum to Conservative, Moderate, and Liberal is all wet.
When you consider your views on a wide range of issues from economic and social matters to foreign policy and immigration, which of the following best describes you overall?
The responses don't show that the question of ideological orientation was multiple-choice: Very Conservative, Conservative, Moderate, Liberal, Very Liberal. I'm fairly sure that there was not an "Other" option.
Socialists are mostly ultra-liberal, if you want to look at it that way, not just "very" liberal—"ultra," in its original Latin meaning of beyond. Libertarians don't really fit in the traditional, one-dimensional continuum; the standard Gary Johnson descriptor of "socially liberal, fiscally conservative" doesn't cover Libertarianism adequately.
To this American who grew up with the constant threat of thermonuclear war! it's encouraging to see Americans—especially young adults—willing to say aloud that they are socialists. Groups like the I find it shamefully and frustrating that "liberal" has become an uncomfortable label for true leftists. It's not that the definitions of "liberal" have changed all that much; it's that too many self-identified liberals are either tacit or noisy supporters of the American Corporate Empire and its military adventures.
It got me thinking: If "Socialist" were added as an option, a fair number of Americans, including some candidates for public office, would select that. However, I wonder whether the same is true of "Fascist." What percentage of Americans truly consider themselves fascist? The number of Americans who are fascist but don't know it would be much larger, I'd wager.
The Religious Angle
The group behind iVoterGuide is religiously oriented, mostly (but not explicitly) from the evangelical Christian perspective. So the questionnaire is loaded with topics important to evangelical voters. "Grounded in God. Rooted in research." is on the site's home page, and the group's backers are Christian-right foundations like American Family Action. There are also some pro-gun groups contributing to the mission, because, y'know, Jesus was all about exercising his Second Amendment rights.
So at first, answering their questions was a bit uncomfortable; however, I eventually reasoned that subscribers need to read a true leftist's viewpoints, whether those viewpoints changed anyone's opinion or not. (I'd bet on not.)
Bear in mind that I have no objection to worshipping the God of the Hebrews in whatever ways make sense to you, as long as your worship does not adversely affect others. Translating religious views into public policy is not only contrary to the First Amendment, but also a bad idea. If you use your religious persuasion as a weapon, denying those who don't adhere to the same faith the chance to marry whomever they love or terminate an unwanted pregnancy, we've got a problem and you need to stop that shit ASAP.
In other words, your Jesus is not my Jesus. I'm a devout agnostic, but I admire Jesus of Nazareth, mostly for the way his message has inspired seekers of peace and justice through the centuries. If the Jesus described in the New Testament was an actual, historical person, he was an organizer: an anti-authoritarian, anti-imperialist, anti-oligarchist, pro-humanity prophet and teacher.
There's a reason the New Testament is called the New Testament: It's not that the Old Testament rules no longer applied, but that the covenant between humanity and divinity had changed, boiled down to "Love thy neighbor as thyself."
Blogging Sporadically since 2014
Here you will find political campaign-related entries, as well as some about my literature, Houston underground arts, peace & justice, urban cycling, soccer, alt-religion, and other topics.