O.K.  I'm new, but motivated.  Sorry.  When I say "new" I mean new to this fine forum, new to progressive ideology, and especially new to the cataclysmic shift in my belief system regarding our government, our planet, and our future.   It's those very threats that forced me to re-evaluate practically every conviction I held, and good riddance to most of them. I rationed my trust for the icons of power, industry, and even my beloved science.  Is this a common way to find this incredibly lucid community?  In retrospect, I would love to have been inoculated with all things progressive from infancy, but I'll take what I can get, and be grateful!

   I intend to throw myself on the mercy of the court of progressive opinion because I think I can trust this community to be honest with me.  Let's face it.  If I can't trust you, then all hope truly is lost from the world.

   My progressive skills haven't been as easy to acquire as the gentle, consistent, appealing, diet of corporate entertainment, and avarice that consumed me prior to my epiphany. Corporate media insulates as it eradicates abstract thought.  Here though, I've read so many enlightened contributions to free expression and functional debate that it's a little overwhelming, but I intend to hang in there.  

   Forgive my ignorance, but may I ask if the label "progressive" defines a philosophy?  Is there a specific list of issues, defined by the majority, that progressives have positions on?  Is there room for alternative views, questions, and even dissent without violating principles of decorum and debate?  Why I'm asking is this:  I'm struggling with some deeply rooted convictions held over from my upbringing, education, and experience, and I don't know if these platforms will  disqualify me as a progressive, or undermine my credibility in my personal activism.  It's a little scary.  Will you advise me?

   The news, and opinion expressed in this community is profound, world changing, and life asserting.  Only a fool, or a liar would deny that truth, and hope, and commitment are not only available in these pages, but palpable.  How anyone could trust the corporate media after experiencing a community like this is inexcusable.  That's why I don't want to be segregated from the progressive community because of my stand on  issues I've been hardwired to believe in.  So, here goes...  

   Can a person distrust the political system, and still support  constitutional government
   and  law enforcement?  
   Can you believe in legalizing recreational drugs, but advocate abstinence?  
   Can you be anti-war, and against violence in schools and communities, and for the
   the second amendment?    
   Can the color of your friends skin be as abstract a concern to you as the color of
   your own skin, and still believe in prosecuting illegal immigration, and the criminals
   that abuse them. Enforcing the immigration laws we currently have to protect the
   beleaguered citizens already here. At least until our country heals from the trauma it
   has suffered at the hands of the elite, and we can offer new immigrants real
   opportunity instead of poverty and abuse.  
   Can you love kids, and remember (graphically) what it was like to be poor, and
   hungry, but see food stamps misused for soda, trans fats, convenience foods, or
   cigarettes as a wasteful misuse of our Nations resources while directly posing a health
   threat to the people the program is supposed to serve?  
   Can you be a disabled, dying social security recipient after contributing into the
   system for decades, and admit that the fraud, abuse, and over application of the
   benefits to marginal, clinically challenged, cases robs the truly disabled  of limited
   diminishing, resources?  
   Can you believe with your heart in the underlying need to petition, march, protest,
   lobby, and vote against the myriad corruptions we face, yet respect the rule of law,
   and avoid confrontational stances with police that only exacerbate the violence?  
   Can you abhor the elite's unethically amassed wealth, but acknowledge the need for
   entrepreneurial effort, and business for America to continue?
   Can you respect the cultures, and history of all the worlds peoples, and societies, but
   resent providing them with billions in "aid" annually? Especially when they use your
   sacrifice to manipulate, kill, and subjugate their neighbors.
   Can you agree that education is directly responsible for opportunity,  and know that
   the for profit system serves to enslave another generation of young people?  

   This list represents some major issues, and you can probably see how conflicted I am. Is there hope for me?  Am I being irrational? In a perfect world, and time, most of my argument wouldn't even exist.  Until then though, maybe with some gentle instruction, and patience, a symbiosis of my opposing values is possible, and I can continue to gain knowledge from smart, dedicated people like you.  After all, the only true constant...  Is change.



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