I find myself agreeing with liberal positions a lot.
I also find myself disagreeing with liberals a lot, usually because I still agree with liberal positions when those positions are not used as material against conservative positions.
Often I find myself agreeing with a liberal position but disagreeing with the rationalisation.
For example, I support a socialised healthcare system although I prefer a split system where the necessary is provided by tax-funded public hospitals with waiting lists and everything else is provided by private health insurance that everyone can either buy or not buy depending on preference (and income).
That said, the reason I support a socialised healthcare system is not because I see myself as someone who wants to pay for other people's healthcare (if that were the case, I could just donate all my excess money to a hospital for that purpose), it is because I think that I don't want to be in a situation where I need expensive medical care but found myself unemployed with no insurance for the last few months or where I have to argue with an insurance company over the terms of the contract I didn't understand because I had no medical degree.
It is egoism and necessity that make me support a partly government-controlled healthcare system and it has absolutely nothing to do with "compassion" or consideration for other people. In fact I almost never ask other people to pay for my needs or wants out of "compassion".
I and the person who thinks he is being compassionate when he demands that other people pay for his healthcare are certainly not on the same side here.
I support gay marriage.
I don't do it because I believe that homosexuals are being discriminated by laws that define marriage as a union between man and woman, because such laws indeed apply to everyone and the fact that they enable some people but don't do anything to help others is, for me, inconsequential. Everyone has the right to watch football (association football) on television and I hate the sport and do not benefit from the fact that football is available on TV. Nevertheless, I have the same rights as football fans to watch it even if I want the ability to watch something else (Chess) instead.
No, the reason I support gay marriage has nothing to do with "equal rights" for homosexuals and heterosexuals because they already have equal rights. The reason I support gay marriage is simply because gay marriage makes people happy. (It also makes other people unhappy, but it wouldn't if they simply cared for their own business rather than other people's.) I thought about this long and finally arrived at the conclusion that my (or anybody's) religious beliefs have nothing to do with other people. My religion technically prohibits both homosexual conduct and belief in a son of G-d, but there is a large group of people insisting on the latter being true so if I can accomodate and tolerate them, I should be able to accomodate and tolerate the other group as well. My religion has nothing to do with any of those people.
Other people's happiness is not worth a lot to me, which is why I wouldn't call myself an advocate of gay marriage outside of it being one example of western freedoms that I am an advocate of. On the other hand I see no advantage in making other people unhappy. All else being equal I'd rather have happy homosexuals than unhappy homosexuals. So if there were a vote about legalising gay marriage I would likely stay at home and ignore it unless the opponents of the law became too holier-than-thou about the issue because that's when my "oppose religious fundamentalism" mechanic kicks in. I never know who the holier-than-thou crowd goes after next and I remember Pastor Niemoeller's words all too well.
Of course when I think that the gay marriage crowd would return the favour and speak up when religious nutters go after me and mine, I find myself largely disappointed which is another reason why I agree with liberal positions more than I agree with liberals. Lately the anti-gay-marriage crowd are far more supportive when it comes to defending western values against severe religious fundamentalism than most liberals are. That doesn't make me agree with their position, but it does make me value them more as people.
Which brings me to pacifism. Pacifism is the theory that if one side doesn't fight, the other will not go ahead and murder everyone they want while forcing the rest to work in labour camps. It works very well as long as other people risk their lives to defend the pacifists' right to ignore war.
Typically those who are "against war" are really only against defending oneself. I want to meet the "peace activist" who came home late one evening complaining to his wife that the demonstration against Hizbullah for shelling Israeli cities has been so crowded again. But no, to the average "peace activist" the bad guy is not whoever wanted and started the war, but the Jew or American, and no war not involving Jews or Americans is ever protested against by your average "peace activist". And I bet the only reason "peace activists" never speak up about the few remaining Jews in Arab countries whose houses are being firebombed on a daily basis is because those Jews haven't fought back but simple flee.
When Israel has fewer casualties than the attacker, "peace activists" do not applaud Israel for having built so many bunkers for civilians and organising emergency evacuation plans for every city in the country to protect innocent civilians but they demonise Israel for doing her job and losing fewer people while the attackers, who didn't care about "their" civilians and leave them in the line of fire become the "resistance" against the Jewish aggressor.
Liberal pacifists often tell me that Israel's Arab neighbours fear Israel but for some reason Israel is filled with bunkers and air shelters while the surrounding Arab countries do not even have an established warning mechanism for sudden attacks, almost as if they didn't actually expect Israel to attack at random moments. It is odd and it is one reason why I agree that peace is a good thing but disagree with liberals for whom "peace" is simply another word for not allowing self-defence or doing anything to prevent civilian casualties because doing so results in "disproportionate" numbers of victims on the other side.
Pacifism is a protected ideology, it only works if enough people don't believe in it. The only other ideology with that feature that comes to mind is "I ought to be the ruler of the world".
But worse than pacifism are projected ideologies, like environmentalism which invariably consists of demands that other people do or pay something to protect the environment.
Global warming, for all I can tell, and I don't understand the science behind it, is true. But I haven't seen many people argue for or against it who actually understand the science behind it well enough to explain it to me. Most liberals are convinced that signing a treaty that basically guarentees the right of the worst offenders to pollute as much as they want is somehow a weapon against global warming and that anyone who is against such a treaty is evil. Again I find myself in the middle. I agree with the liberal position but disagree with liberals.
I am opposed to teaching Creationism or any other religious tale as science. In this one issue I find myself agreeing with both liberal position and liberals, with the one caveat that at least in Europe liberals' support for Islamisation (they call it "multiculturalism") is slowly eroding the solid base we once had in Europe for differentiating between science and religion. Turns out fundamentalist Islam has all the problems of fundamentalist Christanity and then some.
I support Israel. I support a secular, even socialist, state in the Middle-East where Jews have a right to live and where homosexuals are not only not executed but can even be married (to each other). Extreme-left liberals immediately forget their ideals when it comes to Israel and support the "Palestinian Cause", which has always stood for nationalism, racism, homophobia, and now more and more religious fundamentalism.
I support building Jewish homes in Jerusalem. And I have yet to meet the liberal who is opposed to Jews living in East-Jerusalem (while at the same time denouncing segregation and apartheid, obviously) and who refuses to live in California because it was taken from Mexico in a war. Yes, yes, I know, California is now American and Mexico doesn't claim it any more; but you can be sure that Mexico would claim it if the US were not as militarily strong as they are today and if so many in the world had the same attitude towards non-Hispanic whites and blacks living in Los Angeles as they have towards Jews living in East-Jerusalem. I happen to believe that Israel should rule all of Jerusalem because only Israel can and is willing to guarantee equal access to all holy sites to all religions. Jerusalem should be ruled by a secular non-homophobic state that allows Arabs and Jews to live in the city. Jerusalem should not be ruled by a country that executes homosexuals and has a death penatly for selling land to Jews. It certainly shouldn't be ruled by a country that is governed by a group founded by former allies of Germany in World War 2. But oddly enough, many liberals feel that it should be ruled exactly by such a country.
Jordan annexed Jerusalem and no liberal screamed because Arabs were building homes there, let alone complained that they were expelling the native Jewish population. But when Israel returns Jewish homes to their original owners, liberals scream bloody murder. Neither are such liberals worried when non-Jews build settlements in disputed territory, creating facts on the ground. But none of that has anything to do with anti-Semitism, I am sure.
I supported the invasion of Iraq and I support democracy in Iraq. I do so for reasons that are completely liberal but not supported by liberals. I want a democratic Iraq that doesn't start wars with its neighbours. And I am not willing to ignore the fact that the old regime has done so for the sake of keeping that regime in power. I do not value stability over democracy and hence while I hold an actual progressive (anti-conservation pro-change) position, I am not a "progressive" as they understand themselves. I want to meet the "anti-war" liberal who even admits that there is something odd about Saddam having been supported by America but ending up with lots of Russian weapons. But that will probably not happen.
I want to meet the extreme-left liberal who protests the occupation of Kurdish land by Syria. For some reason that is never a problem, it's certainly not discussed by the UN all the time. The fact that Syria treats "her" Kurds a lot worse than Israel treats any Arabs doesn't mean anything because nobody has proven that the Syrian government is Jewish. (Or what is the reason?) And the Kurdish land was not occupied when Syria defended herself against an attack coming from the territory, no, the world just gave the land to Syria, to an Arab government.
The usual argument is that Syria is not occupying Kurdish land because that land is part of Syria proper. But that argument ignores the fact that such borders are completely arbitrary. If the UN permits Syria to rule over Kurds it doesn't mean that Arabs have a right to rule over Kurds, it just means that the United "Nations" have abandoned one of the nations they were createdto unite. The UN do emphatically not have the authority to condemn one nation to be ruled by another. All the authority the UN could possibly claim could only derive from member nations and since the Kurdish nation is not a UN member the UN cannot have authority over the Kurdish nation.
Israeli rule over the Golan Heights is not tyranny and exists only because Syria started a war and lost, but the UN sanctioned Syrian rule over Kurds but not Israeli rule over the Golan and hence the one is good and the other evil, and despite the fact that "progressives" should be opposed to imperialism, even if the emperor is an Arab government, and for punishing agressors, the standard reflex is to support the fascist, ignore his victims, and scream at those who happened to be succesfull in defending themselves. (And Arab rule over Kurds is imperialism. It's exactly what imperialism is.)
I think that Syria ought not to be listened to regarding questions of "occupation" until it no longer occupies Kurdish territory. But while this is a liberal position, it is not one extreme-left liberals would agree with and instead they argue, if they are moderate enough even for this, that Israel should talk to Syria about the Golan Heights (and this despite the fact that Israel already offered to return the Golan in 1968 and Syria refused even to talk; Syria still refuses to talk).
I support women's rights. But I also support women's rights in Islamic countries and I do not agree that we have to respect somebody's "culture" when that "culture" insists on murdering women for adultery or treating them like personal property. I welcome immigrants, but I insist that they do not bring their barbaric attitude towards women with them. I do believe that our western culture is superior to other cultues, I do believe that not all cultures have equal value, and I believe that the value of a culture can be judged by how the culture treats its women.
Support for women's rights and religious tolerance is a liberal position but it's not a position extreme-left liberals hold when they scream "racism" at people who oppose contemporary Islam's attitude towards women and other religions and don't want it in Europe or America.
I admire the Kibbutz movement. They build a functioning socialism without barbed wire or a secret police force. Yet when left-wingers in America and (more so) in Europe demand socialism they are not talking about their desire to join or create a Kibbutz and work hard and share the fruits of their labour with the community, they are talking about their desire to have other people work and pay for government programs of all kinds. The average socialist these days does not see the Kibbutz as a socialist example to follow but as a mechanism six million Jews use to oppress the 300 million Arabs around them. The sheer irony that so left-wingers have finally found a type of socialism they find oppressive is entirely lost on them.
Why is it that today socialism seems to attract the unemployed more than the employed? It was a workers' movement. Surely the unemployed won't benefit from a system in which, nominally, everyone is supposed to contribute according to his means, even it if means going without the pay that such labour would be worth on a free market? In Europe socialism is particularly popular in universities, where those who can afford not to work for ten years study and organise politically. Karl Marx, of course, condemned such behaviour and thought that it was just another case of some people living off the labour of the proletariat (i.e. those who work and whose taxes pay for the universities).
In Israel, the city of Haifa is sometimes called Haifa the Red because it was once predominantly socialist. This meant that Haifa was a workers' city and there was lots of activity and productivity and it was for a while the only city in Israel where people disregarded holidays and worked instead. I doubt that in Europe a city full of productive workers who work hard for the community and disregard holidays would be associated with "socialism". And that's my problem with socialism, or rather with socialists: while the principle of working for the community is cool, the attitude of having the community work for one is not.
So there you have it. I have finally offended everyone.
Conservatives, I don't like your positions.
Liberals, I don't like YOU, mainly because you abandon your positions as soon as you cannot use them to oppose conservatives.