Truth in Labeling

Since announcing my candidacy for Council (and during last year’s race for County Commission) a number of mostly anonymous bloggers and commenters have accused me of being either a liberal, or, shudder, an ULTRA liberal.

It’s funny how labels work. I believe in conserving fertile soil instead of paving it. I believe in conserving whatever fuel we have in hand and finding new sources that pollute less. I advocate water conservation (and even recycle my bath water for flushing). I would prefer that we regain the clean air we had in the past. I believe in taking care of my friends and neighbors and building my local community, eating local food and supporting local businesses. My basic ethical position is that we should each leave every campsite cleaner than we found it, and the highest praise I hope for when I’m dead is that I left this planet a little more livable than I found it. Therefore, I am called a “liberal.” Looks to me like I’m pretty conservative.

Those who believe we should buy Chinese goods at the cheapest prices and export jobs, eat South American and Californian food no matter what the environmental consequences, drill for oil and excavate mines in our wilderness areas, bulldoze mountain tops and pollute rivers to dig for coal, cut down the old growth forests, permit bankers to operate Ponzi schemes, privatize or eliminate the government functions that protect our health and educate our children, build bigger highways and drop environmental protections are called “conservative.”

What, exactly, are they conserving?

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