Here's an observation. We go to a parish that is moderate to left as a general rule. My 16 year old made an interesting observation. There are Catholics who are liberal in the most modern sense. But after a discussion with his youth group last year, he noted that some Catholics say they're liberal, but compared to the liberal he sees in the world, he thinks they're mainly just anti-Conservative.
I went back and found, in one month, at least 26 posts on CAEI attacking those on the Right in ways that would make MSNBC blush, taking the assumption that the radical Left's worst appraisal of conservatives and American conservatism is true. I found no more than a dozen or so on the things you're passionately against. And none taking the worst characterization of liberals or liberalism that one might hear on FOX or from talk radio. In fact, you've gone on record lamenting liberalism's embrace of things like abortion since, as you have said, liberalism has so many commendable things to offer. And you openly admire and respect some of our most visible advocates of liberalism, including advocates of some of the things you are passionately against. You have a small handful of exceptions to the rule of conservatives being what MSNBC and Huffpost say they are, but that's all. Your worst rage and rhetoric is aimed at those holding to various ideals associated with conservative viewpoints.
So not a liberal in the modern, secular sense, though new readers could be forgiven for thinking so. Maybe not even anti-Conservative. But certainly some strange form of bleeding maize and blue while continually declaring your eternal devotion for the scarlet and grey.That is declaring yourself conservative with an overwhelming focus on the worst interpretations of those things to the right of center, with little comparable focus on those things to the left. Maybe a touch of the Nicholson? It should be noted that when something associated with the Left is hammered on CAEI, it is topic focused. That is, abortion, using gay marriage to smash liberty, things like that. The 'pelvic left' is as bad as it gets as sweeping condemnation, and usually only linked to particular issues, not echoing the worst assumptions about liberals in general.
Oh, and it can't be because of 'readership.' One need only see the high fives and praises given by a wide range of readers for the 'conservatives are what the left say they are' posts to see the readership is nowhere near dominated by people from traditional and conservative perspectives as perhaps it once was. Just something I've noticed. Not falling into party loyalty is one thing, and not a bad one. Not doing so with an overwhelming focus on only one of the parties is another. Bound to cause some confusion.
A reader, who for defending a more conservative viewpoint was banned from CAEI quite some time ago, responds like this:
This whole post is as silly as claiming that you can't be a southerner because of [long list of catholic features] even as you speak with a southern accent, use country slang, and all while eating a plate of grits and washing it down with a glass of sweet tea.
Signs you, Shea are a liberal:
1) Conservative commentators on this blog get rebuked and banned more frequently and over smaller offenses than liberal commentators, the examples are pretty numerous. (this comment will probably be deleted and/or myself banned in fact)I don't know. Again, if a guy is dressed up in maize and blue, season tickets to the Big House, and cheering on the Wolverines insists he's a Buckeye at heart, I have to accept it. The Church says I should take his statements with the best interpretation possible. And that means accepting that, for whatever reason, Mark still sees himself as a conservative. I don't know. Perhaps it's because conservatism has always been a mixed bag of various people 'conserving' different things. Don't know. Anyhoo, that's what's happening on the always conservative CAEI.
2) You're adamant about being centrist, often using as proof that there are people more liberal. Conservatives not only openly admit that they are, but the movement as a whole has instituted a wide taxonomy for it's members. (paleo, neo, reactionary, libertarian, anarchist, many more) If you can't find the proper label to fit you on the right, well then guess what! (you're centrist -> left) Liberals are far more self-delusional about their positions on the ideological scale.
3) Your very use of "thing that used to be conservative" is in the grand liberal tradition of "only good conservative is a dead conservative". And no, that's not a threat or any statement of war, just - as Jonah Goldberg has pointed out (http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/258873/liberal-bouquets-dead-conservatives-jonah-goldberg) - liberals love to talk about how conservatives which are dead and gone were "alright" and "good folk" even as they bashed them with as much vitriol as they do current living conservatives.
4) You accepts uncritically the liberal narratives of race (i.e. Republicans are always racist), economics (i.e. the New Deal helped end the great depression!) and parts of history.
5) You speak of "leaders and intellectuals of the right" without... well dealing with ACTUAL leaders and intellectuals of the right.
6) You simply use liberal slang and assumptions smoothly and without pause while never grasping conservative slang and assumptions, in fact you often criticize them not as an insider speaking from firsthand knowledge but as an outsider repeating what you've heard.
7) And the most obvious, as Thomas Sowell pointed out once, you argue and debate as if there are solutions to problems, not trade-offs and often the solutions are the same: government (the few times you've tried NOT having that be the solution, your idea is so silly one wishes you had just went full on leftist).
In summary, while in the great leftist land of Seattle you might practically be Ronald Reagan, in "flyover country" and the halls of actual conservatives, you're a liberal. Not too liberal, there are worst leftists out there, but you're still on the left.