Monday, October 01, 2007

Political Positions

Call this my "mini-manifesto". It's a "what issues are important to me" and "where do I stand on them" post.

Presidential Candidates, are you listening?

  • The Islamist threat. We should relentlessly infiltrate, disrupt, chase, kill Al-Queda and related groups.

  • Iraq. Finish what we started. Two big criticisms of the U.S. are that we meddle where we "shouldn't" and we don't meddle where we "should". But a third and more embarassing criticism is that we start stuff and don't finish it, leaving a mess behind. AQ believes we are weak because of it. It is certainly a weakness they have been able to exploit in the past. 1) finish because we now owe it to Iraq. 2) finish to prove Al Queda wrong.

  • Personal Responsibility: We need to focus more on our expectations of the individual rather than what we should be doing collectively for the individual that fails. Our current society of victimhood rewards failure and punishes success. It's not difficult to imagine where that leads. Most of the rest of the following -- follow from this.

  • Second Amendment: What part of "Shall Not Be Infringed" do you not understand? I want the ability to protect myself when and where I feel I need protection. Gun control laws ultimately punish law-abiding citizens.

  • Federal Government: The Federal Government is too big, too powerful, too encompasing and it continues to grab more and more power from the states. We need to get back to the United States of America, not the United America of States. Moving away from Judicial activism in the Supreme Court is a very important step in that direction.

  • Energy Independence, exhibit A: One of the most stinging ways to deal with a desire to re-establish the Caliphate is to cut off the funding for it. This is somewhat of a pipe dream, to be sure since other countries will swoop in to buy what we don't -- but it will be at much lower prices (limiting their funds) and -- we won't literally be "over a barrel".

  • Energy Independence, exhibit B: This means drill in the Arctic, drill in the Gulf, drill all sorts of places Enviro-ligion doesn't want us to drill. It probably also means nuclear power. We should continue to research alternative energy sources, the cleaner the better.

  • Pollution & Environment: I do consider myself an envrionmentalist. It is not my religion, however. I'm more a la Patrick Moore. Clean water and clean air top my concerns. I love wild, open spaces probably more than most people do. We have the technology to do this right with minimal disturbance.

  • Immigration: We have immigration laws. Enforce them. If we don't like existing immigration laws, change them. By vote, not judicial fiat. And don't do it retroactively, especially if you've no intention of enforcing the new ones, either.

  • Health Care: Is not the business of the government.

  • Social Security: Personally, I'm not counting on it. I'd support privitization. At least then I would have some control over my "share" and politicians couldn't dip in to it to fund politically popular progams du jour to get them re-elected at my expense. One way to "fix" it would be to return the program to its orignal scope. This would require taking less money that I'll probably never see again out of my paycheck.

  • Taxes: We don't need more stinking taxes. Roughly 40% of my income goes to some form of government when all is said and done. That's enough. It should be more than plenty. Government needs to prioritize. It also needs to cut down on entitlements. See "Personal Responsibility".

  • Abortion: I'm personally against it in general (if there are serious issues involving the life or health of the mother, it should be up to the mother & her family. I realize there are complexities when there's more than one life on the line). At the very least I don't think it should be allowed through the entire 9 months of pregnancy. If we're talking about human rights and a baby can be removed from the womb and function, albiet sometimes with help -- that's a human, sorry -- inside or outside. You can pull the head out, poke a hole in it and suck its brain out, and that's apparently cool. But if you pull the whole thing out and throw it in a dumpster, you can be prosecuted for murder. If B is wrong, then A is wrong. The "Pro-Anything-Goes" folks don't want to quibble with the "birth" line. The pro-life folks don't want to quibble with the conception line. I find the latter more defensible than the former. If some compromise could be reached, at least fewer conscious babies might be killed. At any rate, the Supreme Court apparently trumped Congress on this in a piece of judicial activism. It was done wrong. It should be done right.

  • Gay "marriage": If people want to extend benefits that currently go to married couples to committed gay couples, I would not stand in the way. Do not, however, force the social agenda bit of making everyone officially call it the same thing -- down the people's throats. They can have the same rights. But don't make us call it marriage. They can even call it marriage if they like, that's their First Amendment right. But don't force people who don't believe it is marriage to call it marriage by encoding it into law. That's all I ask. I think that's what most people who are against it ultimately object to. Do that, and I expect a majority will vote for it. (Or at least not vote against it). If it's really about rights and not about social engineering, using a different word shouldn't be a problem.
  • Subsidies: In general, I am anti-subsidy.
I know, this, in the eyes of progressives, makes me a big, fat, callous meanie. I am not. There was a time when the poor and downtrodden were looked after by private charity, often religious-based, but often not. When government guarantees aid, demand for aid skyrockets. The expectations of the individual in the social contract erodes, and people tend to live up or down to their expectations. When we expect people to work, we expect people to save, and we expect people to take charge of their own lives, they win and society wins.

Yes, people fall through the cracks. But lower expectations make the cracks wider and deeper. 40% of my earnings go to government. Probably half of it, if not more, goes to programs sold to us to stop up those cracks. More and more is promised, and over the years, more and more is taken away from the productive. And over the years, the cracks remain, and people still fall through them.

Eventually, it won't be worth it for the productive to produce.

And then who are you going to tax?

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