For the first time you disappoint me. If you are a seeker of truth then I strongly recommend you not place me in a mental box. I have made a career of seeing the world from other people’s point of view. That I am not on the extreme right of the political scale does not make me reside on the left. Your comment echoes those from my “liberal” friends. (Yes, I have self-described liberal friends.) I have made a point for the last decade or so of not condemning a person’s beliefs and perspective until or unless I have heard their personal defense of that view. Very commonly, in hearing “the other side” I have found elements of truth there that have changed my view.
No, I do not normally participate in or agree with the concept that those who disagree with my view are totally evil. Unfortunately, that seems to be a more popular with each passing day. It is easy to divide the world into “us” and “them.” However, when I have taken the time to sit down with the “them” and listen to their views and evidence, in many cases I see myself.
I once had a good friend, a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army who was a self-professed liberal (and a Democrat). When we were preparing to invade Iraq he (having just retired) lambasted the Bush Administration. He had just returned from two tours in Afghanistan and insisted that we were not only leaving a job unfinished, but that it would come back to bite us, and bite us hard. He insisted that we should have focused our attention on Afghanistan rather than withdrawing almost all of our resources from there to pursue a war in Iraq. I disagreed with him. He was right. I was wrong. He warned that Iraq would be like a tar-baby and as bad as Saddam Hussein was, the chaos that replaced him would be worse. More, he warned that we needed a semi-crazy dictator in Iraq to balance the religious fanatics in Iran. In retrospect, he was right. Finally he warned that if we dissipated our forces and energy trying to occupy and rebuild Iraq and pacify Afghanistan at the same time we easily could wind up losing in both countries. He told me that as odious as the Hussein dictatorship was, it was not an actual threat to the United States and the no-fly zone enforcement effectively left Iraq impotent to harm us. Afghanistan, he told me, was the threat. He said that we needed to focus a heck of a lot of energy on that country while the Taliban were disorganized and in disrepute.
I did not listen to him and he gave up on me in disgust. In retrospect, I can say he is and was right. When I fail to listen seriously to those with whom I may disagree, I lose the opportunity to grow. Certainly all of them do not have valid points, but most of them do.
In the end I am a Constitutionalist. Whoever has been elected President under the Constitution will have my support for any and all legal actions until the election season comes. I may then choose to support the opposing candidate. In my experience, particularly overseas and while I was working in the intelligence profession, impassioned opposition to the legal policies of a sitting President strengthens our enemies and disheartens our allies.