Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Thoughts on Politics...

They say never to talk about politics or religion at the dinning room table. Do you know why not? Because it's to way to easy to get into a heated argument. Those are subjects that anyone can be passionate about, yet know one is ever sure who is right. So people can get into hostile debates about politics or religion with no real end. If you think arguing or debating is rude, you want to avoid those topics. Think about that... Whatever your politics are or religion is, can you be sure your belief is correct. If you think about it objectively, you can not be sure. Both subjects are based on faith and opinions that can never be truly validated to one point of view or another.

That being all said, it is another Presidential Election year and I used to love to follow government Politics. I have pretty strong opinions about government Politics and while it's considered rude to talk about Politics in friendly company, its okay to blog about it. So here I go....

I think most people are reasonable and down the middle somewhere in the political spectrum. I think we all have the same general goals in mind for the future. Those basic goals are a peaceful life, food on the table, a healthy body and a safe environment to live in. Now how we achieve these goals is where we disagree and that is what Politics is all about. How do we reach our common goals?

In the most general sense, the American system of Politics consist of liberals and conservatives. Also, know as the left or the right, respectively. Now lets take the goal of having peace. Both sides would agree that this is good for society. But how do we attain a more peaceful life? A liberal would say that we need more laws and rules to control peoples lives. A conservative would say that we already have enough laws and rules and don't need any more to complicate life. In a general sense, Liberals want change and Conservatives want the status quo.

Lets look at the goal of having food on the table. A liberal would say lets give them food or a welfare check. I conservative would say, lets educate them so that they can get a job and feed themselves. Liberals tend to like short term solutions and conservatives like long term solutions. Liberals tend to live and see life in the present, Conservatives tend to plan and worry about the future. Now both want the same end result. No one should be hungry, but the solution is vastly different and you can argue endlessly to which direction to take.

I tried to take a balance approach. I try to look at both sides and make my own decisions. This can be extremely frustrating to some people, since I might seem to never make up my mind. but I don't make snap decisions, but I think it is necessary to try at look at the complete picture before making any decisions. This is why I love the study of Politics. You can be passionate about either side and yet never be right, but its fun to discuss and challenge each other as long as you have respect for each others point of view.

I consider myself a libertarian. Fiscally conservative, but socially liberal. If you are not sure what a libertarian is, then click on it and look it up. It's hard to define all your beliefs to one "label" but libertarian most closely matches my point of view. I will outline a few of my basic core beliefs and you can decide what I am.

I believe that governments primary role is to protect its people and property. Government should have a very limited role with its people lives and should let them live in freedom. Government should enforce the rules but not control your lives. People should be allowed to live as they wish, as long as they do no harm to others.

I believe that governments and people should be fiscally sound, meaning they should not spend more money then they have. I believe issues like health care, welfare, and social security should never have been apart of government. People should be in charge of there own health care, welfare and retirement. Whenever you have a large organization or bureaucracy handle things like this, it is inefficient and costly. People should be trusted to handle there own personal affairs.

Government does have a role in law enforcement, defense and building infrastructure for the common good. Things like maintaining a stable currency, build roads and enforcing the law should be the primary role of the government

I think the capital punishment is wrong (death penalty). If it's against the law to kill, then how can the government break its own laws? I think all drugs should be legalized and controlled like tobacco and alcohol. There should be education to teach people the harm that they do, but we do not need to be wasting our efforts on enforcing laws that mostly effect individuals. If some wants to do drugs in there own home, then let them. As long as it doesn't effect my life, then I am okay with it. I am pro-choice. Women should be allowed to decide what they want to do with there bodies. While I would hope that no baby is killed, we are talking about an embryo that has not really experienced life. The worst thing that would happen is that a baby is brought into this world to a mother that isn't truly ready for it.

I believe in long term solutions that address the root causes. I do not believe it short term fixes. I don't like the idea of government "hand-outs" or bail outs. There was a saying by Jesus Christ, "Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime..." What ever solution is suggested, it should always look into the future as much as possible.

All this being said, who do I want for President this year? That is a tough challenge for me this year. For all previous years that I have been able to vote, I have always supported the Republican candidate. This year, I feel ambivalent. I am not excited by McCain. Obama is exciting, but I can't support his liberal views on things. I think Obama is brilliant, well spoken and very articulate. Everything that Bush is not.. But if you look at Obama's ideas, or lack of ideas, I can't support Obama. I will say there is something about Obama. He reminds me of Bill Clinton. He speaks in a way that is easily understood and non-offensive, even for a conservative mind like myself. I find myself liking him for his ability to communicate, even if he is communicating the wrong ideas.

My gut feeling right now is that Obama will be elected President. If I can like the guy, even though he has bad ideas, I would imagine a less informed public could elect him into office. It will be a historic time when we finally elect a "black man" as president of the United States. Technically Obama is mixed, half black and half while, but to look at him, you would think he is a light colored black man. In any case, it will be a historic time. We shall see if this country can do it. I would like to think Americans can elect a Black man, but I have some doubts. There is definitely racism still in America, but I think it is blown out of proportion by the media. This election will be really revealing. I know my own mom has said that she could never vote for black man. Mom voted for Clinton, because she thought he was good looking. If my mom thinks like that, then how many other misinformed voters are there out there. How many other people can never vote for a black man? I think times have changed, but this year we will finally know if times have really changed or stayed the same.
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