I don't know if any of you have been going over to Triablogue, but I have been treated over there to the harshest personal attacks I have ever received from anyone from Steve Hays. Compared to him, Steven Carr has been the model of politeness. To Hays, it isn't enough to say that I am backing the wrong candidate for President. I have been compared to Goebbels, called a Red Philosopher, a Baby Butcher's Best Friend, a poseur, a goose-stepping apparatchik for the left, a false philosopher and a false Christian, and even someone too stingy and selfish to help his own parents in their old age, since I said I was sure glad they got Social Security and Medicare when they advanced in age. He presumed that, all this time, I was a tenured professor, which, alas, I have never been. To him, this isn't a debate, this is a police interrogation. Anything you say can, and will be used against you.
I am quite sure I don't deserve this treatment. At the same time, I have to ask myself if I have done the best job I could, not merely for making the case that a Christian can support Obama, but really exploring the issues in a helpful way, encouraging critical thought, and not simply shooting at easy targets. This is a blog, not a set of publishable essays. I'm trying to open honest discussion, not speak the last word on matters of considerable dispute amongst Americans. In the philosophy of religion, I would like to think that my efforts have created a more civilized playing field, where people on both sides can discuss their differences. I may not have done so well on political matters.
I can't think of anybody in political history who has rubbed me the wrong way as much as Sarah Palin has. It may be my intellectualist bias; I expect my political leaders to have thought-through positions on issues. Maybe that's asking too much, I don't know. I know some would say that even if she doesn't have thought-through positions, at least she doesn't take the wrong positions. But from the first time she opened her mouth and tried to grasp the mantle of Hillary Clinton and the 18 million cracks in the glass ceiling, despite complete opposition to everything Hillary stands for, I have found this choice to be an insult to the intelligence of the American people.
Because I think Obama has health care right, the economy right, Iraq and Afghanistan right, and for a number of other reasons, I do support him for President. I'm not a simon-pure pro-lifer, but I would like to see more commitment to the value of unborn life than he has shown so far. Despite evidence that of pro-abortion extremism, I'd like to think that he is persuadable on, say, a partial birth abortion ban. (There's the audacity of hope for you!).
I'd like to see a grass-roots, bipartisan effort including both pro-lifers and moderate pro-choicers (the combination of these groups surely constitutes a majority in America), to get together to look for ways to minimize abortion. Maybe a Coalition to Minimize Abortion should be formed. Do a little community organizing. Because I think that with the current political deadlock, with "the right to life" and "a woman's right to choose" used as a means to get out the respective party bases, there is little chance of doing anything on the abortion issue that makes any progress from anyone's perspective.
Of course, if you think I have all the other issues wrong, this won't impress you. Fine. I do respect thoughtful conservatives like Bill Vallicella, in spite of my deep suspicion that the what has come out of the dominance of conservatives over the past 28 years or so has resulted in a lot of what I call corporate prostitution and the abuse of power. (These are subjects for more detailed discussion, of course). I don't think either party has a monopoly on good or on evil.