Midwest Liberal, West Coast Conservative?

Day 21: How California has changed my politics...

Back in Kansas City I’m considered a liberal and if you want to preface that with “pinko-commie” there are a number of people who wouldn’t disagree.

Fair enough; when you look at litmus-test issues I mostly turn blue.

I’ve reached the point in life where I don’t believe it does much good to tell other people what they ought to believe, but if you want to know what I believe, I don’t mind sharing.

Handgun control

I’ve seen way too many people do way too many stupid things (including me) to think giving a handgun to everyone who wants one is a good idea. If you want to protect your house get a shotgun and a Rottweiler and try not to shoot the Rottweiler by mistake.

You gotta draw the right-to-bear-arms line somewhere or people will be carrying rocket launchers into McDonalds.

After watching far too many movies (and I can highly recommend John Wick 3) most people have an inaccurate idea of what they’d be able to accomplish with a handgun in an emergency. It’s hard to make good decisions when adrenaline is coming out your ears and your hands are shaking like you’re trying to quit heroin.  

If you own a handgun (and I did at one time) I believe the chances of an accident far outweigh the chances that you’re going to turn out to be a Keanu Reeves clone.

True story:

One night we had our bedroom windows open when a violent thunderstorm woke me out of a deep sleep. I turned to my left and –outlined by a flash of lightning – saw someone climbing in our window.

At that point, if I had a loaded handgun in my nightstand, this story would not have a funny ending.

I jumped out of bed toward the intruder and promptly caught my foot in the covers, fell forward and managed to head-butt the intruder’s ass, who turned out to be my wife in the act of closing the window.

My head butt drove her head into the window frame and because of that I don’t think I’ve ever gotten the credit I deserve for at least being headed in the direction of what I perceived to be danger.

If I married some dude and at the first sign of trouble he ran screaming for the closest exit, I’d have second thoughts about his commitment to our relationship.

Which brings us to…

Gay marriage

In a word; who gives a shit?

(I know that’s a phrase not a word, but as I think I’ve already made clear: who gives a shit?)

If two people of the same gender want to get married, all I can say is good luck. Man-woman marriages are hard enough, so heaping on the hatred of redneck assholes won’t make being married any easier, but if you want to give it a shot be my guest.

You can comfort yourself with the thought that every redneck asshole who gets his BVDs in a twist about homosexuality eventually seems to get caught giving some other dude a blowjob in an airport bathroom.

“Methinks thou doth protest too much, dickwad.”

(OK, the most interesting thing about the above misquotation of Shakespeare is my computer having an opinion about the word “dickwad” and thinking it should be two words; dick and wad. Clearly, my computer is being a dickwad.)

Death penalty

Against it.

I don’t think killing people is the best way to convince others not to kill people and if you’re whining about how much it costs to keep some death-row candidate alive, get a price estimate on the lawyers’ fees for all the legal bullshit required to kill one.

Having said that, I’ve got no problem with 24-hour-a-day solitary confinement for the worst of the worst and you might try giving them their belt back and checking on their well-being in a day or two.

P.S. Totally not buying the Jeffrey Epstein suicide – way too convenient for way too many people.

Abortion

I promise to never get one.

But I also think it’s an incredibly complex issue and don’t think I’m in a position to tell anyone else what they should do when faced with an unwanted pregnancy, especially if the father is a rapist or the kind of guy who paints his face and shows up shirtless at an NFL game.

For my money, the Pro-Life people would have a much better case if they supported state-funded orphanages for unwanted children, stood outside Planned Parenthood handing out condoms and didn’t try to cut funding for the kids they insist have a right to life, but then lose interest in the moment they’re born.

One more time: I’m not telling anyone else what they should believe, that’s just what I believe.

And I believed I was liberal’s liberal until I got out here to California.  

I’m with you, but could you turn it down a notch?

The state of California is incredibly progressive and a lot has changed since I left here in the early 80s.

For instance:

If you buy 17 items at a grocery store the clerk will ask you if you need a bag and while I’m tempted to answer no, I’m working on my juggling act, if you admit you do need a bag, they look at you like you’ve also announced you used to be a member of the Manson Family.

Got it, way too many plastic bags in the environment – my bad.

Ask for a straw for your drink and you might get a paper one and I recently had a margarita that tasted like I was drinking it through a rolled up newspaper.

Once again, my bad; forgot to bring my own straw to the restaurant.

Driving a car has presented its own challenges: diamond lanes, metered on-ramps, no cell phones and figuring out how to make a right turn without driving through the designated bike lanes which I assume is some kind of crime punishable by having to listen to Jane Fonda explain the meaning of life.

It all seems a little Big Brother-ish, but generally speaking I support what California is trying to do.

But then I saw a story about some sports teams banning political signs because they don’t want any of their patrons to feel “uncomfortable.” Wait: when did they add the right to feel comfortable to the Constitution?

If some dude wants to carry around a sign supporting Trump, fine: just don’t block my view of the field.

Then I saw another story concerning genderless IDs.

So you’ve got to give the cops your address, but revealing which team you’re batting for violates your rights? Get in enough trouble and at some point you’re going to have to decide which side of the jail you’re going to, which I admit may be more of an issue for my family than yours, but it’s still an issue.

Until this trip I hadn’t really thought about it much, but your geographic location can also change your location on the political spectrum.

So after being exposed to some left-wing ideas that seem to go a little too far, if I want to feel like a liberal again, I think there’s only one logical choice.

I’m moving to Wyoming.