Tuesday, May 20, 2014

So, What Does Bilbo Believe?

Those of you who have been with me on this blog over the last eight years know - as I told you at the very beginning - that my interests are all over the place. I find almost everything fascinating (well, except the Kardashian family) and have strong feelings about many topics. I write each day about whatever is on my mind or whatever catches my attention.

I have a new co-worker, Jack, who is both a friend on Facebook (where I also post and comment on a lot of things) and a new regular reader of my blog. As we were chatting in the office yesterday before our staff meeting he suddenly asked me, "So, what does Bilbo actually believe?"

I was surprised for a moment, then realized he had a point. Somebody reading this blog or my Facebook posts would probably be hard-pressed to figure out what my bedrock beliefs are. Thus, as a public service, here are a few of the things Bilbo believes:

Look at the "About Me" block over there to the left of the screen. It reads in part, "I believe in courtesy, common sense, and fair play." Here are a few general comments based on those three fundamental beliefs:

Courtesy. There are Ten Commandments. The US Code (of laws) has 51 "Titles" subdivided into innumerable chapters, sections, subsections, and whatever. For all that, there's no better guide to good behavior than The Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. It's too bad that most people today follow The Leaden Rule instead: What's good for me is good, and screw the rest of you.

Common Sense. Don't go looking for it, especially in politics. 'Nuff said.

Fair Play. To many people nowadays, "fair play" means having everything arranged to their advantage, regardless of the interests of others. I've seen a very good example of this over the last few months, courtesy of someone I thought knew better.

Turning to politics ...

I cannot support either of the traditional political parties. Although I'm fundamentally conservative, I think the GOP and the rest of the political right has lost its collective mind and descended into utter stupidity masquerading as lofty principle. Having no rational ideas of its own, the GOP has decided that government should consist only of reflexively opposing anything the President and the Democrats do, even when those things make sense. The GOP has foisted off a massive swindle on the American public, selling out to big business, the wealthy, religious conservatives, and the partisans of its most extreme fringes. I think the Democrats have some good ideas and are more socially responsible than the GOP, but are as divorced from economic reality as any Republican and are unable to come up with a coherent program that ties good governance to the ability to pay for it. Neither party is fit to govern. Libertarians aren't a great deal better: it's one thing to have "liberty" and "freedom" as your principle objective, but what happens when one person's liberty and freedom to live and do as they please directly contradicts the views of someone else? There's a reason we have commandments, hierarchies, and governments: to impose the order on the chaos that unrestricted freedom brings.

If I had to pick a label for myself, it might be fiscally conservative and socially liberal.

I believe that a God capable of creating the infinite vastness of the universe and the endless diversity of life on earth is utterly uninterested in whether you worship Him (or Her) in a church, mosque, temple, synagogue, reading room, or forest clearing. Nor does He (or She) care whether men wear beards, how you cook your food, whether women cover themselves from head to foot, or what language you use to pray. I doubt there's a God in the traditional anthropomorphic sense of a benign, bearded, robed figure seated in the sky on a glowing throne, worrying about the fall of every sparrow. I do think there's some unifying elemental force behind everything we see ... just not a "God" in the generally accepted sense.

Those are a few of the things Bilbo believes. I'll share more of them with you from time to time in future posts. If you don't care, just come back on Saturdays for the cartoons, Sundays for the poetry, and once or twice a month for the latest Ass Clown Awards.

And if you disagree with me, or think I'm off base, start your own blog.

Have a good day. More thoughts coming.



Duckbutt said...

Thanks for clearly stating your views. They make sense in a confusing world.

Sort of my world view.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

I wish some emergent political party would somehow be able to combine fiscal conservatism and social liberalism.

Mike said...

(Haven't heard that in awhile have you?)

Atomic Dog said...

I second Mike's motion!

Kristen Drittsekkdatter said...

I'm liberal both ways.

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

I'd vote for ya Bilbo!!
And if Sense were really common more people would have it right?

KathyA said...

You forgot to mention you're a good friend, a excellent linguist, and a superlative punster.