Saturday, August 18, 2007

How do you feel? 1- 10

I’ve always had a problem answering political questions with just a number. I frequently get phone polls about my political opinions and they want me to answer a very complicated question by just a number from 1 to 10. I realize that a few weeks ago I referenced just such a test. Rarely are my opinions so one-dimensional as to be portrayed as a point on a line. Some of the better quizzes are two-dimensional and place it on some sort of a grid. A better quiz would find some way of ranking these opinions on a multidimensional cube or hypercube etc. Well absence of any of these types of tests the best way to answer these questions is with a short paragraph or explanation. So, I’m following my brother’s lead and answering the quiz in words rather than with a simple number.

Abortion is a woman’s right —I will reserve my complete answer to this one for a much longer and more involved future post. Suffice it to say that I believe that this issue will always be a target for controversy because it is a crucial of religion and science. When asked if I am pro-life or pro-choice I always respond by saying both. Once a pollster said that since she could only check one or the other that she would check undecided. I told her that I would rather have no answer at all than undecided. I am passionately pro-life and pro-choice. I’ll explain later.

Require companies to hire more women & minorities — I know it’s a Utopian idea but I think a person’s qualifications to do the job to which they are being hired are the only things that should be considered when hiring. A man I admire once said, “I have a dream the one day men and women will not by judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

Sexual orientation protected by civil rights laws — I believe that government should have no right to control or monitor whatever consenting adults do in private as long as the consequences of those actions have no impact on others’ rights to exercise this same privilege.

Teach family values in public schools — Whose family values? Pat Robertson’s family values teach the complete subservience of women to men. That’s not my family values. This seems like a foot in the door to allow religion in schools. Here’s a novel thought, let each family teach the children what they value.

Death penalty — There are situations where I might accept the use of the death penalty. But let face it, our criminal justice system is seriously broken. Until we have a completely perfect court system we should enforce no punishments that are irreversible.

Mandatory Three Strikes sentencing laws —Our jails are full of people guilty of three relatively minor offenses, while more violent single offenders are let go. I would rather judges and juries decide what the best sentences are.

Absolute right to gun ownership — The goals of the founding fathers when they wrote the Second Amendment are clear. It was written to ensure the people would be able to defend themselves against their government, should the need ever arise again. I accept that the US leads the world in gun violence, but any changes to the Second Amendment would go contrary to the wishes of the framers.

More federal funding for health coverage — How about ZERO federal funding for health care? Please show me which article of the Constitution gives government any control at all over health care, let alone the right to fund it.

Privatize Social Security —I don’t believe it should have ever been created in the first place. Nevertheless the deed is done and I fear the only way to get government out of the social security business is to privatize it.

Parents choose schools via vouchers — In practice in areas that have approved them, vouchers have overwhelmingly been used by the richest of student to move to private schools while the poorest students are stuck at a school that now has even less money. Ultimately I believe that since most voucher money will be used for church based schools the government will be put into a position to decide which schools should and shouldn’t be eligible for them. What are the odds that the Department of Education will treat a Muslim school or a Zen school the same as a Christian school? Not likely. My solution, abolish the Department of Education completely. Let me buy my own schooling on the open market.

Replace coal & oil with alternatives — I believe that there are some times when, in order to get things going in the right direction, government should undertake some projects that might not be profitable for a private company to invest. The interstate highway system comes to mind. It would have taken a lot longer to happen if we'd simply waited for market forces to create it. By government investing in it and promoting it the economy was spurred in a desirable direction. I think a similar type of action might be needed to shift from our current dependence on coal and oil.

Drug use is immoral: enforce laws against it — It’s not the government’s job to determine what is or isn’t immoral for me, so long as I am the only one affected by it. Now if I go commit some other crime in order to get more drugs then that is something the government should do something about. We should stop wasting time and money prosecuting crimes that have no victims besides the drug user.

Allow churches to provide welfare services —They already do and I am all for them continuing to use their offerings however they’d like. But if the question was meant as “Do you support faith-based initiatives that use federal tax dollars?” then the answer is no. Again, how do you pick one faith based initiative over another without making an establishment of one religion over another?

Decrease overall taxation of the wealthy —I support the Federal Sales tax and abolishing the IRS. I realize that this proposal has many flaws but it is much better than the current system which punishes investment and is hopelessly broken.

Illegal immigrants earn citizenship — I have many friends who have either earned or are currently earning their citizenship legally. I see no reason why somebody who did not obey the rules should get preferential treatment over them. If we are trying to “fast track” the current path to citizenship it should work from the front of the line back.

Support & expand free trade —Capitalism has it’s flaws but it’s the best economic theory around.

More spending on armed forces —I believe in having the best National defense on the planet. I also believe in having ZERO national offense. Yes, I know its another Utopian ideal and the truth is there is a very grey are between the two. I just think that we get too strung out in “nation building exercises” that ultimately make us weaker rather than stronger. I also don’t believe that the most expensive technology is necessarily the best. During the space race NASA spent a good deal of money to figure out how to make a pen write in zero gravity. The Russians just took pencils. This isn’t exactly military spending but the metaphor still applies.

Stricter limits on political campaign funds —Ah, here’s one of the flaws of capitalism. I believe the concept of each voice getting one vote. However capitalism tends to support the concept of each dollar getting one vote. I’m not sure that McCain/Feingold is the answer, but I think it’s a step in the right direction.

The Patriot Act harms civil liberties — The single most unconstitutional action that government has taken in my lifetime. The Forth Amendment was written by patriots who understood that true freedom is inseparable from personal liberty and privacy rights. It’s a stick in the eye to those true patriots to use the same word to describe this cowardly, fear mongering act of paranoia.

Replace US troops with UN in Iraq — I don’t think we should have gone over there in the first place. However now the question is how do we get out? Two successive commanding Generals in Iraq have refered to the current situation as a civil war. No easy answers. I would favor an international solution that involved the UN.

So as you can see my political opinions are all over the map. That's why I'm not at all suprised that of the 19 currently announced candidates the closest one only agreed with me 43% of the time.

No comments:

Post a Comment