Since joining America's Debate
, I've definitely gained more weight - though I'm not sure if the two are related.
Allegedly, you can't teach an old dog new tricks, but I've at least modulated and moderated a few of my positions since I started posting here (about two years and nine months ago!). I've become even less enamored of the Democratic Party and, though I hadn't thought it possible, much
less enamored with the Republican Party. I've certainly gained more respect for libertarianism, though I have not yet been moved to register with any political party (that's one trick I doubt this old dog will ever learn).
As a result of participating here, I've gained even more respect for the military than I already had, but far less respect for the way they're treated.
My position on the Second Amendment has become even stronger through debates - and I feel it should be amended to establish
the individual right (which I still don't think it does in its present form). The Fourteenth Amendment should also be revised to make it clear that it refers to human beings
and undo the worst act of "judicial activism" in our nation's history.
As evidenced by the above, I've had my feelings confirmed that the Constitution needs a bit of a re-write - though most of the revisions I'd suggest (making it clear
that a wall of separation between church and state was intended from the outset, for example) would never fly with the yahoos that currently run this once-great country. I'd also like to see the judiciary protected from a lot of the current assaults on their authority and, prior to a lot of discussion here, I'd never have dreamed that the Constitutional balance of powers would be something that would actually need
to be protected. Go figure.
I've also become a bit more of an isolationist - especially having seen what intervention can do in the totally wrong hands and the impact that it has had on the direction a lot of our political discourse has taken.
Most of my positions on social issues have remained fairly constant - though they've been considerably sharpened. One change, I suppose, is that I am now even more lukewarm about gay marriage - particularly since I think all
marriage is a pretty flawed idea - and has become an almost entirely failed institution. Who wants to emulate that?
learned that I have more political positions than I imagined. Who knew one could feel passionately about seatbelts and speed limits? I've also learned that the religious right is far, far
more dangerous than I ever imagined such an extremist minority could be.
One of the greatest insights I've had due to this place is that it is impossible to predict most people's views on anything. Just when you think you have some participant pegged as some sort of pigeon-holed partisan, they come out with something totally startling - sometimes refreshingly unexpected, sometimes a bit disappointing - but always stimulating. And, believe it or not, I think I've become a tad less judgemental of my peers.
Finally, as the last couple of years have seen a serious decline in media coverage of actual news and an even stronger shift toward corporatism, America's Debate
has become one of my most valuable resources in terms of cutting through a lot of the spin (even if it's only been a matter of seeing how ridiculous some of that spin is by watching it being parroted here) and finding alternate views distilled from elsewhere on "teh internets".
While my participation flagged a bit this year due to a variety of those "circumstances beyond our control", I have remained an avid viewer of the site - and would like to thank everyone
for making this place the oasis that it is - and Jaime and Mike for creating it in the first place.