The Big Stick/Mike

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About

"Mike" is the owner and sole blogger of The Big Stick, a WordPress-based blog. When commenting on Blogger-hosted blogs, he generally goes by the screen name "Mike at The Big Stick", though he has also used the name "Progressive Conservative".

This page is mainly for the cataloging of Mike's views as expressed both on The Big Stick and in other public fora.

Related Pages

Views

Ideologies

progressivism

  • 2009/01/13/0850 Progressivism simply means seeking change. It means acknowledging that society isn't perfect, that it is in constant motion and that we can't just put the brakes on and pretend we live in Mayberry...we must progress or die.
  • 2009/01/13/1301:
    • It acknowledges that necessary change is a good thing.
    • Sees change toward an earlier state as satisfying the definition of "progress".
      • Example: Conservatives want stricter anti-abortion laws; liberals don't. This makes conservatives more "progressive".
  • 2009/01/14/1121: "Progress" is a sort of pendulum. It's a good thing that liberals start the pendulum swinging (because this is "progress"?), but then they take it too far and progress stops. Conservatives move the pendulum back towards the right ("trying to move things back towards an ideal solution"), thus reviving the cycle of "progress".

liberalism vs. conservatism

  • 2009/01/13/1301:
    • "I believe liberals are more inclined to throw money around versus a free-market approach on the right."
    • Benjamin Disraeli had it right: "In a progressive country, change is constant; and the great question is not whether you should resist change, which is inevitable, but whether that change should be carried out in deference to the manners, the customs, the laws and traditions of a people, or whether it should be carried out in deference to abstract principles, and arbitrary and general doctrines."
      • "I think a contemporary reading of this is just that we conservatives want change that doesn't seek to remake our society (because we think it's basically pretty good)."
    • "We also tend to think there is such a thing as an 'American way of life' however silly that may sound to ears on the Left."
    • "Of course our pitfall is often an aversion to change to the point where we make ourselves look foolish in the face of overwhelming desire for something new from the populace."
  • 2009/01/14/1121 Suggests "that conservatives rely on precedent as a guide while liberals rely on reason. That is not to say that there is no logic behind conservative policies, but we do not allow thought to overshadow experience."
    • Note: This implies that you can't use reason to analyze experience, and even that reason and experience are in conflict.
    • "Example: Conservatives believe that history has shown capitalism to be the best economic system. We rely on experience to show us that we should trust free markets and try not to interfere. Perhaps naively, conservatives say "Give it time, the market will correct itself." while liberals always believe they can reason out a better system so that this won't happen again."
      • Note: Implies that the basic structure of the market is, if not perfect, at least "good enough" and never needs adjustment in order to avoid instability. How does Mike propose to counter corporate meddling and evasions, in the name of "free enterprise", which actually makes the market less stable and less functional?
    • "Conservatives have a genuine fear of untested and untried ideas. Liberals, on the other hand would much rather jump in deal with the fallout later."
      • Woozle does raise the question of how you test your ideas if you're never willing to test them.
  • 2009/01/14/1121:
    • tradition (the question of how you tell which traditions to keep and which to let go):
      • "conservatives believe that changes made in schools during the 1960's were mostly okay, but now things have drifted too far." (doesn't really explain how)
      • "You might say spanking your kids is a bad 'tradition' to follow, while I think it's perfectly acceptable." (Doesn't explain why he thinks this.)
      • "I think we can both agree that a tradition of racial segregation in the South was bad."
      • "We might diverge again on the tradition of marriage being exclusively between one man and one woman."
    • "I certainly believe liberals are too fluid. That's why they tend to attract people of more divergent views than conservatives."

abortion

  • 2009/01/13/1301:
    • Conservatives want "progress" towards stricter laws; liberals want to keep the laws the way they are - "no wiggle room".
      • Note: This presumes that liberals would not like to see "necessary change" toward more liberal laws.
    • Offers the following compromise positions, both of which he says are offering more of a concession than liberals have been willing to offer:
      • "...there is a growing conservative voice (I would contend a majority) that is willing to compromise to achieve at least partial goals. For example, many of us are willing to make the Big Three exceptions(rape, incest, health of the mother) across all three trimesters."
      • "There is also a smaller faction of conservatives that might be willing to give up a first trimester ban in favor of 2nd and 3rd."
  • 2009/01/14/1121: "We went from no legal abortions to a free-for-all. When you look at abortion statistics, it's clear that it's being used as birth control. There HAS to be a compromise. Most conservatives no longer hold the rigid view of an outright ban or nothing. Liberals do not seem as flexible. If one side is willing to walk toward the other, I see that as 'progressive'."

Ground Zero Mosque

Obama's citizenship

  • 2010-08-16 "birther nonsense" ... "I try to ignore it..."