THE BLOG
02/09/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Let The Chips Fall -- Beyond Predictable Left/Right Ideology

Before you get your panties all bunched up and send me "how-can-you-say-that?" emails please note: the lists below are not lists of statements I necessarily believe to be true, but rather a (very partial) list of what you never, or almost never, hear from the right or left. And I hope you'll use your comments to add to these lists.

Why? Because the left and right talk to themselves/ourselves. We live in hermetically sealed echo chambers. If we wanted authentic debate we'd bring up things that make us uncomfortable, not just indulge in predictable "correct" stroking.

Left or right, we're experts at pulling our punches. And when paper tigers, and/or the "establishment," or the "other side" is attacked it's almost always in a way that will please one's readers.

Is always being stroked a bad thing? It's debilitating! It is also one more reason that the failure of the major newspapers is a tragedy, since most web sites are too predictably of the left or right. We all need to be challenged!

So... here are two (very partial) lists of things you won't read on right or left wing sites.

Some Things You Won't Read On Left Wing Web Sites:

That, Zimbabwe was better off under white racist rule than it is now under Mugabe, and it would be a huge favor for the British to re-colonize it.

That, as long as the progressive movement (through the Democratic Party) is in hoc to the teacher's union, we'll have second rate declining educational system that new buildings, higher pay and a computer-on-every-desk will never fix.

That, as long as the progressive movement (through the Democratic Party) is in hoc to the trial lawyers, we'll remain a litigious country unable to ever curb health care costs, let alone raise fearless children, given that even swing sets can't be built in a country populated by whiners abetted by lawyers ready to sue.

That, the sexual revolution was actually a bad idea, and that its leaders turned out to be not much more than a bunch of dirty old (and/or dirty young) masturbators whose personal (often misogynistic) lives gave the lie to any notion of actual liberation.

That, the post-Vietnam generation used that war and the all-volunteer system of military recruitment which followed it, to duck service to our country in a way that is both elitist and profoundly dishonorable, and hypocritically excused themselves by always finding fault in this or that war, or president, while the real issue always was: let the working class do the heavy lifting!

Things You Won't Read On Right Wing Sites:

That, for all the talk of honoring military service the conservative deciders' and influencers' own children almost never volunteer.

That, for all the talk of morality, right wing evangelicals get divorced, commit adultery, and have abortions like everyone else and would privately be horrified if the right to do those things was actually taken away, for all their Church Lady noisy sanctimonious public posturing.

That religious arguments against gay people are really just an excuse for a gut reaction against the "other," and no more logical than it would be to literally follow the biblical command to stone children to death who are disrespectful of their parents, proof again that even fundamentalists like to pick and choose what parts of the Bible they apply.

That, our support for Israel is really all about evangelical apocalyptic "End Time" eschatology, not what is good for America.

That your average upscale educated and creative gay couple make better parents than your average dimwitted working class born-again slobs who's idea of "child care" is using the TV as a baby sitter.

That if your daughter was raped and made pregnant, you'd be off to the abortion clinic so fast it would make your head spin...

Want to add to the lists? Please do! What don't you ever want to read on "your" site?

Make yourself uncomfortable. Let's start the New Year by putting everything on the table and explore all options to our history, prejudices, beliefs and superstitions, not just stick with what our ideological peer group finds acceptable.

Frank Schaeffer is the author of CRAZY FOR GOD-How I Grew Up As One Of The Elect, Helped Found The Religious Right, And Lived To Take All (Or Almost All) Of It Back. Now in paperback.