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OSC, liberal Democrat?

If you're reading this, you probably know Orson Scott Card is a wee bit nuts on homosexuality, with calls for keeping it illegal so gay people are forced to be discreet, or changing the government by "any means necessary" if gay marriage passes, or talking about how only men can know what really pleases men. When it comes to the Mideast, he's not exactly any saner. He's also ranted about how Obama would abuse the Census to swing the election. He's also, I find, skeptical of global warming and blaming environmentalists for not eradicating malaria... actually he's praying for global warming so as to fight mysterious plagues. o_O Ranted about the media (and Obama) after the 2012 election.

So, kind of nutty, like a walnut orchard, and by now people tend to assume he's totally a right-wing conservative Republican who's racist and hates government and such. But they're wrong! Or at least, it's a lot more complicated than that. While most recently he sounds like a partisan Republican (though that same column criticizes the GOP for rooting out RINOs), for years he insisted he was a Democrat, just one who really cared about supporting the war on Iraq and, later, opposing gay marriage.

But hey, party identification is cheap, especially if you live in the South. Of course, he's a Mormon from Utah, so that doesn't quite work. Anyway, how about actual issues?

Criticizes Southern racism.

He's pro-immigration, sympathetic to illegal immigrants, even.

Pro-gun control, critical of the free market. Pro-minimum wage and -anti-trust laws and -taxes. Discovered a dislike for cars and loves the trains of Tokyo.

Opposes the death penalty and still supports gun control, and criticizes Ronald Reagan.)

More on immigration, though sounding more like a Republican partisan otherwise.

Chastises the GOP for not wanting in-state college tuition for children of illegal immigrants.

Supports a massive water pipeline at taxpayer expense; good idea or not, big new tax-funded infrastructure projects aren't a conservative thing these days. "Internal improvements", forsooth.

He might regret this, but in 2008 he was proud that "a man with a black African-born father and a white American-born mother could seek and obtain a major party's nomination, and run a campaign that was either victorious or very, very close to being so."

Obamacare? Not enthusiastic but not quite opposed. "I thought the Obamacare bill was bad law, but now that it has passed, I -- like a majority of Americans -- will not be impressed by anyone who talks about repealing it without keeping some version of the core benefits in place." He rants about Obama, but seems to understand why there's an individual mandate. (I can't find anything else he's said about it.)

On Obama halting the deportation of underage illegal immigrants, he shows his split mind: he thinks Obama's only doing it to gain political advantage, but it's a good thing to do be doing, and OSC advises Romney not to rescind it if he wins.

Mixed on unions, saying they were necessary, but their leaders are now overreaching, and endangering hardwon victories like the minimum wage.

"There are many things that "damage" the economy, yet are essential for us to be a decent nation to live in -- like taxes, for instance, and child-labor laws, and compulsory education. The benefits are not measured in money, but in decency and fairness to the weakest among us.

And the charge that the minimum wage "eliminates jobs" is exactly the point -- it eliminates jobs with wages that you can't live on. That was the greatest evil of free market capitalism during the industrial revolution, and the minimum wage guards against it. "

"Whether you're a serf to management or to union leaders makes little difference to the serf. And the sad thing is that breaking the backs of the unions will probably boost the economy and make everything look better -- for a while -- until management lets us see why we needed unions in the first place. And then we'll have to fight all those battles all over again. "

Praises Manhattan as the real root of America: "The idea of America was not born in Virginia or Massachusetts; its clearest path runs from the Netherlands to Manhattan. "

Still criticizing the GOP on immigration, as recently as March.

More on cars killing us and how we need more trains and public transport.

Though he thinks Fox is in the middle.

Totally unrelatedly, a thing on the evolution of software companies.

So: pro-union as an ideal if not their current form, pro-immigration, pro-minimum wage, pro-gun control, soft on Obamacare, pro-public transit, likes trains Tokyo and Manhattan, pro-taxes... not exactly Sarah Palin. Or Mitt Romney. Hell, economically and on immigration he might be to the left of *Obama*. Just don't let him near gay rights or foreign policy or environmental issues.

Now, I'm not saying you should buy his books, or read them. I'm not. Or like him, or think he's sane. Nor, contra my clickbait title, that he's a liberal. Buuut... he's not your stereotypical Republican or conservative. On more individual issues he does seem to be liberal, though he cares enough about the other issues that he's rabid about Obama and increasingly wanting the GOP to win, whether or not he calls himself one. He certainly wouldn't pass muster with the Tea Party if he were a candidate and still expressing that range of views. Hell, he probably wouldn't pass muster with the 'RINOs'.

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Damien Sullivan

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