By Dave Mulligan
I was pondering how it was that I ended up in this position where I so neatly and comfortably reside on the left side of the political spectrum. As I observe and even participate in the political process, I do it as a liberal Democrat. But what is it that brought me to this place on the Left? I’ll take an honest stab at that question and share my answers here.
I believe the primary driver for me in regard to my politics is how I view and how I treat my fellow man. And fellow woman. And children. My heartfelt position is that we’re all in this together. We’re here for a short while and I think we should have each others’ backs. If that means social programs ensuring that the less fortunate don’t starve to death, have a warm bed, a roof over their heads, and access to healthcare, then so be it. It’s the right thing to do and our system of tax collection and allocation should be able to afford it.
Those on the other side of the aisle? They generally — and by policy — see people in need as lazy or working the system, and they wish to end these programs. And they think those monies would be better spent on a military that costs as much as the next twelve countries combined. Shameful.
As a Lefty, I also feel we need to keep an eye on the environment as we develop and use new and existing technologies that make our lives easier. Transportation and energy generation are the largest polluting technologies. We have at our disposal the means to manage both much more cleanly and efficiently, but commercial interests on the other side of the aisle have significantly slowed progress, thereby continuing the poisoning of our air and our drinking water. As long as oil and coal remain in the ground, they’ll want to dig it up and burn it.
We’ve spoken about guns here several times and it’s another issue where the Left and Right differ greatly in our opinions. I’m driven by concern for the safety and welfare of our citizens — mainly our kids — and watch, in horror, the daily atrocities and mass shootings happening here in the US and nowhere else in the world. The reasonable solutions are so obvious, yet, again, commercial interests on the Right prevent a bought-and-paid-for Congress from stepping up and enacting any reasonable legislation.
There are a handful of other issues where the Left and Right remain at odds. We all know what they are. So, what is it that’s led me to find this place on the Left as my philosophical home? I truly believe it’s my conscience. It’s empathy. I believe it’s an inherent concern for the welfare of others. Welfare? Fascinating that that’s even a name for one of the programs in place to help out the less fortunate.
I’m proud of my place on the political spectrum. And I’ll continue to feel that living here on the Left is simply right.
Dave Mulligan is a local Reno resident of over 25 years. He is a published author (Mulligan’s Wake), television producer and a left-leaning political activist. He lives happily on the Truckee River and is the married father of three (his most important role, according to Dave).