My politics

The local blogosphere is now in full tilt with the Democratic convention over and the GOP convention in progress. I read several blogs from people on both sides of the aisle, and they both do and say things that I don’t agree with.

The main problem I see with politics is that people don’t take the time to really think through their beliefs, challenge themselves, and then understand the political standpoint of each candidate to really determine where it makes sense to place their vote. They take the easy way out and pick whatever candidate they “like” the most. This is why politics has turned into pandering for the support of various groups and idealists.

Some of our local bloggers are laying their views out on the line. BuffaloGeek tells us that he believes America is separated into people that believe in God and, um, logical people. I really can understand Chris’s viewpoint on this, as I held it myself very strongly in the not very distant past. My religious life has gone from being an altar boy, to writing a college paper on being an agnostic, to singing in the church choir. I’m still not a very religious person, but the one thing I’ve learned through my own personal exploration of this topic is that if there was a single right answer out there, there would be no debate. Most of the world believes in a higher power of some sort and whether it’s based on millenia of history or of fables remains to be seen, but saying that non-believers are “educated” and religious people aren’t is patently false, and dare I say… awfully elitist sounding. Not to mention, not all the religious folk are Republicans. At a get together of our choir guys over the holiday weekend the discussion turned to politics. Of the six people there, three were staunchly liberal, two very conservative, and then there’s me.

BuffaloPundit also shares his views on why he fell off the McCain bandwagon between 2000 and 2008. Alan goes on to run down his stance on a lot of issues. Many are similar to my own.

I care about taxes being lowered, I care about public money being spent wisely and conservatively. I care that government be competent when spending that money and administering services.

Amen. When we look at how government affects our daily lives, it really all comes down to taxes and services. I believe that government isn’t the best manager of our money or the best judge of what services we really need, and that government that’s too big is too unaccountable. Therefore taxes should be as low as possible to allow for personal growth and innovation, and government should only run bare essential programs.

I am aghast that the United States has sanctioned torture, appalled at the failures and poor planning and execution of the Iraq war, disgusted that it was premised on falsehoods, and shocked that we’ve dropped the ball in Afghanistan. I am worried that future action against Iran or Pakistan or North Korea or some other rogue state might be undertaken in a catastrophic, hasty way.

I couldn’t agree more. I remember the day George W. Bush declared war on Iraq and saying out loud, “This isn’t going to be good.” War is never a good option. Preemptive war is even worse. Unfortunately, now we’re stuck in it and helping to stabilize and rebuild a region we helped destroy is the right thing to do. Then we get the hell out and start focusing on our own country’s problems.

But on the other hand, I don’t like politicians who sermonize and try to impose their values on me. I am pro-choice, pro-gay-marriage, want there to be universal health care coverage for all people, want there to be a minimum wage that keeps pace with inflation, want schools to train kids to be able to compete in a global 21st century economy, and think that there are some things that are well worth a massive investment of public money for the greater good and big future payoff. I think people should be treated fairly and properly by government and by other people.

Well, we need to veer off onto our own paths somewhere. While I also don’t like the sermonizing, I am anti-abortion, undecided on gay marriage, believe that government sponsored health care should only be a safety net for those with no other option, and that there are few things that are worth a massive public investment. I don’t think anyone would argue that everyone should be treated fairly.

Unlike my left leaning compatriots, I won’t be voting for Obama because I don’t see that as change in the right direction. It has nothing to do with his inexperience or what church he goes to, it has to do with his philosophy that bigger government will fix our problems and redistribution of wealth is the key to making that happen. It won’t and it never is.

Where else do I stand? I believe that smaller government is more responsive and the money you make is put to best use when it’s in the hands of the person that earned it. I believe the Republican party stop pandering to people based on family values they show no more of than anyone else, and should get back to understanding what it means to be politically conservative.

I believe the Democrats should stop pandering to labor unions and pretending they understand economics. Overpriced unionized labor has been paving the way for job losses for decades, and the minimum wage is a failure that they want to fix by allowing illegal immigrants to fill in the gaps. Focus on the promotion of protecting our environment, furthering scientific exploration, providing good core services, and giving people who are in hard times the opportunity to make life better for themselves.

I believe the founding fathers understood how to escape a tyrannical government and we shouldn’t be too quick to “reinterpret” what they wrote into the Constitution.

I believe we need less laws and judges with more common sense, because a sue happy society is a net loser.

I believe it’s important to protect our planet, but not get caught up in hype and extremism. The planet is good at regulating itself and people only seem to get concerned when it’s going to affect them.

I believe that a society that doesn’t allow you to end your own life, but allows you to end one you’ve created has it backwards.

I believe that all people are created equal, but where you go from there is up to you.

I believe that when a government gives you everything you need to live, you have no incentive to try to make it on your own.

I believe people have the right to continually reevaluate their views and that changing them is not a weakness, rather it shows you’re thinking about them.

I don’t know who I’m going to vote for yet, I’m at a crossroads between McCain and Bob Barr. But I certainly am thinking about it.

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