How Often Do You Question Your Own Side?

The question in the title is more geared towards those who identify strongly with one of the two sides (political discourse in America tends to be bimodal) of the political/culture war divide. Centerists and the politically apathetic will be I’ll suited to answer I would asume.

How often do you find yourself disagreeing with your side? It seems that so much of what I hear from people I speak to, or read in discussions on the Internet, is knee jerk. And sometimes it’s especially asinine. I’d like to hear your examples.

I am a theist, (no I do not want to debate/discuss it). I attend Church of the (extremely leftist) Christian denomination in which I was raised, but would probably attend other churches I honestly find myself siding with atheists most of the time in debates. I repeatedly examine my own faith, and often read debates etc, find it still exists and journey onwards. I liken it to being left handed. I just AM left handed, and no matter what I do, or believe I am wired that way. If I must, I will enumerate my disagreements with Christianity, but really, I would rather not.

If peer group/philosophical bent in areas other than politics count, then all the time. As in, multiple times a day. Especially because I inhabit both “sides”. I’m an herbalist who is also a Registered Nurse. I’m surrounded by “alternative medicine” people whose minds are so open their brains fell out, and “Western medicine” people who are so rigid and dogmatic they deny evidence of anything that doesn’t fit their paradigm. Not a single day goes by that I’m not questioning or challenging someone’s claim, generally resulting in accusations of being a Big Pharma shill from one side and a loony snake oil peddler from the other. Often in the same day.

All the time.

I got to my current opinions and viewpoints by questioning myself and debating both sides constantly over the past several decades. So, I’m pretty firm in my convictions.

So, when I see someone who I am usually sided with take my personal viewpoint and exaggerate it or corrupt it, or just exclaim something extremely silly, I just sit back and sigh. It also helps to always keep in mind that the viewpoints that are transmitted are usually the most grossly exaggerated viewpoints, on both sides, because they’ll get the most attention.

Though I am on the pro-gun rights side of the gun control issue, I admit that I don’t have all the answers, and I wince whenever a highly-publicized mass shooting takes place. I just don’t think that the issue is as simplistic as the gun control advocates would like it to be.

I have my disagreements with some things on the left, but before I hand them out as free ammo to someone whose views seem in prior threads diametrically opposed to mine,
I’d like to hear some specifics and examples of how you publicly disagree and differentiate yourself from the lock-step of the people on your side first.

I hate the Republican-Lite bullshit of the Democrats, but any port in a storm…

I consider myself a liberal, but there are times when the left can be just an anti-science as the religious right. For example, the anti-vaccine movement has come largely from the left. I also have problems with the blanket rejection of GMOs - the idea that all GMOs are unhealthful and cause environmental problems seems absurd. With energy policy, there are liberals who seem to think that there’s some easy solution to climate change, and that we only continue to burn fossil fuels because of “Big Oil.”

I’m an atheist, but some of the arguments put forward by the anti-religion crowd are embarrassing to me. For example, I thought Religulous was a horrible movie, particularly the part where he went into a truckstop church and debated a group of truck drivers. I also recently saw a video in which Sam Harris used arguments against Islam that could have come from Bill O’Reilly.

I am also not a fan of Michael Moore. He knows how to put together a movie, but the arguments he uses are often dishonest, contradictory or just stupid. The central thesis of “Bowling for Columbine” is that the problem isn’t the easy availability of firearms but rather the racial history of the U.S., but at the same time he treated the fact that WalMart stopped selling handguns as a victory. In “Capitalism: a Love Story” he made the absurd statement that he wanted to replace capitalism with democracy (as if an economic system and a political system were the same type of thing). Moore also takes cheap shots at people - for example, Dick Clark in “Bowling for Columbine.”

I’m republican but supportive of the rights of gay people to marry and adopt children, so fairly often. I’m happy to have heard a lot less grumbling from others on the right about that recent supreme court decision than I anticipated. I’m also more in favor of gun control laws than your typical person who votes republican, so there’s that too. Oh, God, then there are birthers…

If you aggregate all my beliefs I would be labeled a liberal, but I don’t really see being a liberal as my “side.” So to answer the OP’s question, I question the liberal position very often. Especially the shallow version of the liberal position you see characterized by cable news shows.

I think a better question would be to ask if I question my own principles that form the bedrock of my beliefs. And the answer, honestly, is that on my own I hardly question them at all. It takes an outside source to challenge them for me to do some serious thinking.

I’m a socially conservative libertarian, but…

… I’m truly undecided about whether it’s a good idea to ban travel from the nations struggling with Ebola. I’ll even go further and say that, at least on the face of it, I see no ideological element to the decision. But, the left thinks it’s foolish to ban travel, and vice versa on the right. Essentially, people who like Obama agree with him and those who don’t, don’t.

… I’m more or less apathetic about gay rights. The social conservative side I tend to agree with are just too harsh in their condemnation. The libertarian side, at least some segment of the libertarian side, is almost far left in thinking it’s not enough to leave gay people to live their lives as they see fit, but that you should also laud them for it. So, that’s being out of lock step twice on the same issue.

when you are right what is there to question.


I am strongly left, and I understand the underlying reason for that posture, and the philosophy that drives it. I find the organized left to be just about as fascist as the right, and just as willing to distort objectivity to promote their agenda.

I find it bizarre that the most conservative of Americans are the ones most eager to liberalize the Middle East.

Every Damn Day.

“My” side is just as full of liars as “their” side. The difference is that when someone from “my” side talks, I like what they are saying, but when someone from “their” side talks, I don’t like what they say.

In either case (especially “my” side!), I have to remind myself that they are lying.

Less now than before because the GOP is fucking crazy nowadays.

I believe very strongly in God, guns and gay equality/rights. So yeah - whichever side you want to identify me with, I have to question it almost daily.

It’s a sad statement on American politics that every situation has to have two and only two sides. Left vs right, liberal vs conservative, D vs R. If you want your voice to be heard you have to pick one of those two sides and shout as loud as you can. So I guess I’m a centerist and shouldn’t have answered. Much like real politics.

My point of view has changed just about 180 degrees, and continues to evolve. This requires constant questioning.