E: -1.10, S: -3.90
I am a paleoliberal. I believe in freedom, equality, and the rights of man. I believe that every man must have a voice in government, and every man must have the opportunity to profit from his own sweat. I believe in protecting those that need protecting, and defending those that need defending. I believe in economic freedoms, but not the abuse of those freedoms.
I believe in capitalism, but not it's demons. The freedom to work and profit from it is essentially to allowing the human spirit to flourish. One must only compare the state of the average citizen of the United States and the Soviet Union to see that our system allowed individuals to flourish and theirs to become downtrodden and depressed. However while I believe in the free market, I believe in creating one that is free for all, and not just the powerful. Since it has become obvious that humans often lack the ability to self-regulate, I believe that the government needs to play a role in ensuring that the market is not taken advantage of by the powerful and power hungry. Is greed good? Usually not, but the real problem is those that are greedy for power, and abuse our laws to get to economic power. I believe in strong regulations to prevent these abuses, or at least make them harder. I support fair trade, as free trade isn't free for those that gain little and remain second class citizens, or the people who loose their jobs simply because they are less profitable for the company.
I am a Keynesian as well. I see cutting taxes and raising spending as the best way to achieve economic success. In the tough times the government must do these things, but in the good times it must pull back. That is a tough pill to swallow, but it has been proven to succeed. Of course a sound monetary policy is also needed, if only to keep inflation in check.
As far as domestic policy, I do not believe in the welfare state. I believe in the justice state. The state that does the smart things to relieve poverty, not just the easy things. If I had to label my policy initiatives, I would call them the New Progress. Redundant, but true. I believe that the government should provide a lifeline, not a lifestyle. We need to have a safety net that lets you bounce back, not stay there. Therefore I support welfare reform, but also urban housing and renewal of the inner cities. This needs to be in cooperation with private enterprise. I have driven through inner city Baltimore over a hundred times, and I have seen that the only jobs in sight are at fast food joints, churches, or drug corners. The government must get private enterprise involved, so that good jobs arrive and so drug dealing is no longer the best way to get a buck. This means providing incentives such as business tax cuts and free enterprise zones, but it also means educational reform and tough law and order policies to make those neighborhoods attractive for businesses.
While I don't believe in the welfare state, I do believe that the government has certain obligations to it's people. That includes housing, education, safety, and health care. I support not only health care reform, but single payer health care down the line. There is no way for someone to pull themselves up to achieve perfect health, and we have seen that the middle class is loosing in the war with the health insurance industry. The fact that health care has become a for-profit industry is sad, and in the future we must change that.
On foreign policy I am a pragmatist. I believe in a strong but smart military. That means troops who are taken care of with up to date technology and adequate protection. This means phasing out unnecessary and ineffective programs. Military men, not politicians and lobbyists, need to decide what is necessary and what is not. Secretary Gates was adamant in ending the F-22 program, and it was the defense industry (not the military) that opposed him. As far as military intervention is concerned, I believe that the United States should intervene to defend human rights and to protect it's interests. This means sending troops to places like Darfur, but not to Iraq. We cannot wage war based on ideology, rather me must do it based on necessity.
I suppose that the one issue where I am truly "conservative" is on human life. That is I believe on conserving it. I believe that life begins at conception and ends at natural death. Therefore abortion, embryonic stem cell research, the death penalty, torture, and unnecessary wars are all morally wrong and should be ended. I believe in the human life ethic, and in many ways all of my policy views emanate from this belief.
I am a paleoliberal. It is the best term I could come up with. I believe in the traditional liberal beliefs of equality and freedom, but not the neoliberal beliefs of globalization gone mad. I am a conservative when it comes to life and the welfare state, but not a conservative by today's American definition. I admire Robert Kennedy, Franklin Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan, and Harry Truman. I can't stand Al Gore, George Bush (both), and Jimmy Carter. Character counts. I am a paleoliberal.