The Radical Moderate: Bruce R. Gilson's Homepage
Well, since this location was called "The Radical Moderate" those of you
who aren't already my friends may be wondering what the oxymoron is
for. The idea came to me when I decided that I'd move into the political
neighborhood on this website. I hold strong opinions on a lot of issues, but
some are what you'd call left and others are what you'd call right. And when
you add them up it averages out to just a little right of center.
- My political views
- My non-political interests
- My personal data
I am a registered Republican and
have only voted twice for a Democrat in my life. (However I've voted for Libertarians and other splinter-party candidates too, more
often than I've voted for Democrats!) I don't agree with every Republican on
everything, but by and large, I find myself on the Republican side when it comes
to an election issue. Republican candidates just usually seem to have more in
common with me than the Democrats do. Unfortunately, it seems the public saw
fit to return Clinton to office, but at least continued a Republican Congress.
I may not have agreed with every position that Dole and Kemp expressed, but I
found them a lot closer to my positions than Clinton and Gore.
One of the problems that I have is that the Republican Party, by the nature of
our two-party system, includes disparate elements. The religious right, for
example, is hell-bent on taking it over. Before the 1996 election, I was
enthusiastic over the candidacy of Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania,
who tried to take on the Religious Right, but was unable to get his campaign
going. We had to settle for Bob Dole, who was not of the Religious Right
himself, but was unwilling to fight them because of intra-party political
requirements, as a candidate. For the next election, I would really like to
see a candidate like Gov. Christine Todd Whitman of New Jersey or former
Gov. William Weld of Massachusetts, but neither of those two is likely
to be nominated.
Of course, if we had a different voting system, perhaps I'd
be in a party that differed from many of the typical GOP positions. But the
voting system here does favor 2-party politics. (See
Summing up my opinions:
- I am sort of in the middle on the abortion issue, believing
that there should be choice, but not only the woman should
have a say, since it took two to cause the situation.
- On gun control I am probably further left than most Democrats. I
feel strongly that nobody should own a gun except the police and the
military. The Second Amendment talks of militia, and
unless the NRA types want to really form a militia subject to the terms of
Art. I, Sec. 8, paragraphs 15 and 16, which gives
Congress the right to call them out and to control their supply of arms, they
are misconstruing the Second Amendment.
- On economic issues, I am of the right. The Government should
not use our taxes to fund all sorts of things that could better be done
privately. If no private company is willing to do something necessary,
the Government has to do it, as for example the formation in 1971 of Amtrak.
But much of what the Government does should be privatized.
- But the issue that sends me farthest away from the right is the idea that
the guardians of "morality" feel they have the right to impose their
morality on others. A person's private activities, and the activities of
people of any age together as long as all people involved consent, should
only be limited if it causes harm to someone else. I can't accept the Libertarian Party's attitude on drugs, for
example, because a drug-induced failure of a person's mind can cause danger
to others. But on issues such as pornography, unless someone is sent
it against his wishes, nobody is harmed.
- I believe strongly that the death penalty is the only appropriate
punishment for homicide, but I can not see any other crimes being made
Born in 1942, I've been on this planet for almost 57 years (my birthday is Sept. 9).
- I am interested in languages, both the ones
that people learn natively and others constructed to make international
communication easier. (For another article on the reason for construction
of interlanguages, by the same author but fuller, click here. ) For a few good
links, click to see my language page.
- I collect paper money, especially from foreign
countries. (If you've seen foreign currency, ours is drab by comparison! It was
not always that way; we used to have some
very beautiful currency. But at present, that is one thing we
don't do as well as other countries.)
- I am interested in trains, both intercity and rapid-transit.
And, since I do not drive, I'm interested in public
transit in general.
- I'm also interested in recreational mathematics. In
fact the number 3141 that I chose for this address comes from the first 4
significant digits of pi.
My IRC friends know me as "EZ-as-pi," though
on chat lines which permit long nicknames, I expand it out to "EZ as
3.14159265359" or the like (get the pun?) Even my art and musical interests are
- I am interested in games, but mainly abstract
board games and card games. I don't care for fantasy games at all.
- When I want to listen to music, it is the music of the early 1950's
that I like best. (For lyrics
of some of the big hits, there's another nice site.) My favorite singer is
Doris Day. Read
awards and nominations; it's an impressive list! I can't find a list of all
the songs she's recorded, but her albums are
listed on the Web.
I have attempted to construct my webpages in the spirit of Cari D. Burstein's
"Best Viewed with Any
Browser" campaign. I don't know about anyone else, but I feel that web
pages that only work with a single company's browser are counter to the spirit
of the Web, and I eagerly endorse the ideas expressed by Burstein.
Last modified May 17, 1999
PS I do not currently have access to e-mail, but please send comments or feedback to this address until I get re-established on e-mail. My friend will pass it on to me. Thanks.
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