"Walk on road, hm? Walk left side, safe. Walk right side, safe. Walk middle, sooner or later [makes squish gesture] get squish just like grape." - Mr. Miyagi, The Karate Kid.
That may be very relevant to studying Karate, but in my experience it is completely the opposite when it comes to politics. I used to be very much on the Right side of the spectrum. Gays were evil, military service should be mandatory, and if you spoke out against America, you were pinko commie who needed to get out of my country.
Then I moved to San Diego, and found my worldview challenged at every turn by Liberals and Democrats who saw me as the enemy, and proceeded to try to convince me that I had it all wrong. I suffered so much verbal abuse at the hands of heavy-handed liberals that I began to question my own value system.
Eventually, I came to a compromise of sorts. I realized that gay people, while different than me, were just as human and worthy of respect and friendship as anyone else. I also learned that no matter what your political or social view, it wasn't right for everyone. No one view is perfect, and there are flaws in every argument for or against any given view. The fact is, socio-political views are very personal, and no two worldviews will be the same. But, that doesn't mean they can't exist together. What's right for me may not be right for you, but it doesn' have to be.
So, now I walk in the middle. I consider myself a Moderate Conservative. There are some issues that I still hold on to my core beliefs about. And there are some issues that I still feel the same way about as I did way back in the day. But I am much more tolerant of differing views nowadays (thanks in large part to my liberal wife, who actually made me think about why I am a conservative).
Do I still get harangued by flaming liberals for my views? Occasionally. I even get harangued by stodgy conservatives as well. But I just laugh it off, knowing that, in the big picture, they are the ones who just don't "get it."
Ok, so I said before that I wouldn't wax political on this blog. But this random thought just came to me the other day, so I thought I would share.
In other news, I was fired from my job last week, so I am trying to work on more writing as I also work to find more...er...work. I have started a few projects, and am cultivating a few ideas. Mostly fantasy and science fiction, though the historical tale of Agesilaus still lingers in the background. Goofing around with the Pathfinder RPG inspired a new character that has become the subject of my latest writing effort. We'll see where it all goes.