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Author Topic: Summary of political beliefs  (Read 166483 times)
Governor TJ
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« Reply #625 on: October 14, 2011, 09:03:57 pm »
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It’s been a while since anyone has used this thread but I'd like to revive it and add some detail to what I posted back in June when I was really new to this site. I mostly changed the economic and foreign policy parts since those were skimpy:


Social Issues:

Abortion: I am pro-life, even in the case or rape or incest. I believe abortion is murder. This is the single greatest issue I base my vote on for national elections.

Death Penalty: I believe it is only morally justifiable to take a life if doing so it required to ensure the health and safety of others. In virtually all cases in the US, I believe capital punishment is an instrument of revenge rather than justice.

Drugs: I vehemently oppose any further legalization efforts because I think doing so will just cause more people to use drugs. I would like to see the drinking age either changed or enforced. I also do not believe that drug legalization would lead to a reduction in violence because most violent drug dealers aren’t in it to express an act of civil disobedience, they’re in it for a greed that cannot be satiated by their capacity to earn money otherwise.

Euthanasia: I believe that human life has a certain value that cannot be compromised out of depression and selfishness. I do not accept the idea that other people are not harmed by a suicide. The legality is largely unimportant since it is not likely a major concern of anyone considering suicide but I would like to see it remain illegal in all forms.

Gay Marriage: I think the entire reason marriage has a place in civil society is because it is the traditional environment to produce and raise children. I think legal recognition of marriage is a form government social intervention for the purpose of promoting an environment to produce and raise children. Gay relationships are clearly incapable of producing children, so no governmental recognition is necessary. That being said, I don’t think the government should go around and look for sterile people or anything of that sort.

Gun Rights: I think people should be allowed to own and carry guns with proper background checks. I think it should be illegal to carry a gun under the influence of alcohol.

Immigration: We are a nation of immigrants and immigration should be encouraged by raising the number of people we let into this country legally. I support a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants current in the US, provided they have no criminal background and have a job while giving preferential treatment to those with families. However this alone is meaningless without better border enforcement in the future.

Prostitution: It is disgusting and should remain illegal where it is currently illegal. It is not the answer to economic desperation.

Separation of Church and State: I believe that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” should be taken to mean that Congress cannot favor one religion over another or force people to join a particular religion. I think this is an area where the government should not be very involved, but that the level of secularization currently being discussed (ie. Deleting “Under God” from the Pledge of Alligence) is asinine.

Stem Cell Research: I support adult stem cell research and oppose embryonic as it is currently practiced. A professor (who does embryonic stem cell research) told me once that we could get embryonic stem cells from live embryos inside their mother rather than aborted embryos if we really wanted to but that this is not the way research is currently conducted. If this practice was changed to remove abortion from the equation, I would support it. Just to note, I do not support outlawing embryonic stem cell research as practiced, but would not like to see government funding of it. This is a funding issue, not a law issue.



Economic Issues:

Affirmative Action: I consider this an economic issue rather than a social one and am more or less neutral on it. On one hand, I want the best person available to get the job. On the other, I find it irritating that many white kids use affirmative action as an excuse for their own failures. Every person should strive to not only meet the standards of acceptance (if to colleges) but to exceed them.

Education: Education is mainly a state issue and one that no blanket nation policy can be effective on. I think that classroom size has a greater effect on quality and success than does technology or textbook quality, or the building itself. The necessary components to a good education are: parent who discipline their children, students who want to learn, and a qualified teacher who cares. I do believe standardized testing has a place in education but that place is not the central purpose.

Environment: The environment can best be approached by researching better, more cost-effective technologies to address environment problems. The strictness of the EPA is both a blessing and a curse, since it helps to improve American quality of life but also hurts businesses.

Fiscal Policy: In general I think that Ricardian Equivalence is correct, such that increased spending today is just a way of stealing from tomorrow. There are some circumstances where increased government spending over a short period of time can provide a needed boost to the economy. I oppose the hijacking of fiscal stimulus to serve ulterior motives such as funneling resources to environmental causes that are not a cost effective means of job creation.

Health Care: I support a fully private healthcare system with a safety net for those who cannot afford it. I am not necessarily opposed to an individual mandate though I have some question about its constitutionality. In any case, the government needs to look carefully at whatever proposal enacted to ensure it does not force small businesses to cut employees’ healthcare by making the minimum standards so high that a fee is cheaper. I oppose a single-payer system because I believe such a system will inevitably lead to euthanasia in the mid-to-distant future.

Monetary Policy: I mainly take the side of the Rational Expectations school of economics, thus placing me primarily on the side of the Republican establishment and somewhat opposed to the Tea Party. I am opposed to an audit of the Fed on the grounds that doing so would lead to a loss in the fiduciary trust in our current system. I am also opposed to the idea of Congress running the Federal Reserve. I also oppose the gold standard because the purpose of it is that gold supposedly has an “objective value” when it really doesn’t and it’s worth is decided by the market just like anything else.

Social Security: In many ways, this is the key budgetary issue set between the US and long-term fiscal sustainability. The system was created for an era where the average person had four children and lived just past the retirement age. Now, the average person has 1.8 kids and lives to be 77. We have a few tough options: dramatically increase the retirement age, privatize the system, cut it, increase the payments demanded, or cut the benefits received.  Social security may be politically untouchable but we will soon face the reality that it must be reformed.

Taxation: Taxes should be kept as low as reasonably possible to promote economic growth; however, they must be raised now, in addition to spending cuts, to avoid budgetary disaster. I am not necessarily opposed to a flat tax, but would rather see something along the lines of an exponential decay function used to eliminate discontinuities in the derivative of the overall tax rate.

Unions: This is a personal issue for me since my mother is a union member who went on strike when I was in high school. Thus, I do think union have an important place in American society although I dislike the way most of them serve as blanket funneling organizations for socially liberal agendas. I do, however, support right to work legislation.



Foreign Issues:

American Exceptionalism: In short, I do not accept the idea of American exceptionalism that the US is somehow morally superior to other nations or that we are predestined for some kind of greatness as the world’s last superpower. I see the US as a country looking out for its interests like any other country would do. Many policies the US enacts will be the right thing to do and many will be wrong.

China: There are some serious issues remaining in the relationship between the US and China from currency manipulation to religious freedom, but I still see China as an odd sort of ally to the US in the long term. Too much of our economic futures are linked to each other’s success to become enemies.

Diplomacy: Unlike many in the GOP, I have no problem with the president talking with terrorists, or anyone else for that matter. If President Obama wanted to meet with the Kim Jong Il or any of the various rouge Middle East dictators, I’m not sure what he could possibly have to say that will make a difference, but I don’t mind them talking.

Iran: This is an incredibly tough situation because the United States cannot afford another military conflict at the moment and our “sanctions” don’t seem to be doing very much. This is a common theme throughout our handling of the Middle East.

Israel: A part of me deeply respects Israel because they quite frankly don’t care what the world will think when they do something. They aren’t trying to be popular; the world already hates them. That being said, the only possible answer to their issues with Palestine is a two-state solution.

Military: I greatly respect all the sacrifices made by our soldiers and support them. I do agree that the military is not above our budget problems but that special care should be taken to ensure the safety of our service men and women.

Intervention: If I’ve learned anything from the Iraq mess, it’s that great care must be taken when making a decision to go to war. Still, I almost always oppose withdrawal in the middle of a war.

Nuclear Weapons: I don’t like nuclear weapons a whole lot and would oppose using them in just about any circumstances I can see happening. But, I also think a worldwide disarmament is a fairy tale because there really are evil people out there who want to kill us.
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« Reply #626 on: October 14, 2011, 09:32:19 pm »
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Outside of most (but not all) of the economic issues and maybe gay marriage (and a couple other tiny things), I largely agree with you, TJ.
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« Reply #627 on: October 15, 2011, 12:05:00 am »
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Overall philosophy: I have for many years, and continue to, consider myself a Democratic Socialist in most respects. That being said, I also place a very heavy emphasis on empirical evidence when determining policy. "Principles" and "freedom" tend to take a backseat, for the most part, when I consider what policy is the best or worst. I do not believe people can govern themselves, and that is why we have a representative democracy, and cannot be trusted to directly make decisions on their own, which is why I oppose any referendum/initiative systems.

In the economic realm, I don't care whether it's the private sector or the public sector handling something, so long as it is fair, efficient, and cheap. I just so happen to think the public sector often does the better job, and that heavy regulation on the private sector is necessary to keep them in check. As for social issues, I tend to take the position of, "If it does not harm other people, there is no reason to prohibit it" with a few exceptions.

Social Issues.

Abortion: Abortion should be entirely legal until the third trimester, all birth control should be entirely legal, and it should be freely provided by the state. I oppose parental notification laws. People who consider this more important than economic issues have their priorities wrong, to say the least.

Drugs/Legalization: I support legalization of marijuana and other soft drugs. The drug war is one of the most idiotic policies we have ever implemented and has been an obvious, objective failure. It is an undeniable waste of money, allows criminal elements to thrive, and clearly clogs up our justice system. The drinking age should also be reduced to 18. It's retarded to have it at 21, as plenty of other countries have it lower than we do and have no problems. Creating forbidden fruit is dumb policy.

Euthanasia: I believe people should have control over their own bodies, so yes, I believe people have the right to doctor-assisted suicide in the case of terminal illness or severe pain and suffering.

Gay Rights: There is no rational, secular argument for opposing gay rights. Seriously, none. If you do, shame on you.

Gun Control: This doesn't have to be an either/or issue. You don't have to take one extreme side or another. I like to think I occupy the pragmatic middle ground. Background checks should be strict, gun-show loopholes should be closed, waiting periods are reasonable, limits on clip size are completely acceptable and empirically make a difference. Nobody needs machine guns, and certainly not explosives or artillery. A registry also makes perfect sense, as does engraving serial numbers on bullets and firearms to be able to track them. The gun lobby hates all of these ideas. Because they're bad people.

Immigration: Illegal immigration is not getting worse, and the effects of it that it has in areas like crime, or highly exaggerated. If our immigration system worked better and more quickly, and we had proper border security, we wouldn't have this problem anyway. Grant a path to citizenship, or hell, even blanket amnesty at this point. Catching all of the illegals is an unrealistic fool's errand supported only by simple minded politicians more interested in a talking point than an effective policy. The DREAM Act is the absolute very least we can do. That being said, once you stop the immediate problems, you have to crack down.

Prostitution: Once again, this is a "in control of your own body" issue. Stop and think for a moment; People like TJ in Cleveland are arguing that taking your own body and having sex with someone else, and being given a bit of money for it, should be illegal. Is that not an insane notion? If legal, it could be more tightly regulated and the health of all involved could be better ensured. Keeping prostitution illegal is anti-woman, full stop.

Separation of Church and State: I support subjecting churches to the same taxes any other property or property owner would be subjected to.

Stem Cell Research: Of course it should be legal and encouraged. Good lord. The amount of possible breakthroughs far outweigh the "moral consequences" of a few frozen slabs of goo. Sorry.

Smoking Bans: Here's where I differ from idiot libertarians who are hell-bent on freedom at all costs. Smoking is a scientifically proven harmful activity to everyone around you. Smoking bans have also been implemented in numerous countries and cities around the world, and they have been proven to lead to improved health and happiness. What you want to do with your own body is fine. But smoking is not an activity that just harms you, it harms other people too. Which is why there is absolutely no argument for opposing public smoking bans if you actually believe in a "it's your own body!" philosophy. Other people should not be punished because of your own vices.

Affirmative Action: I oppose affirmative action on the basis of race, and instead prefer a system of affirmative action on the basis of class.

Miscellaneous:
  • I support the Equal Rights Amendment.
  • I support repealing the Patriot Act.
  • I support Network Neutrality.
  • I support lowering the sexual age of consent to 14, with some age restrictions for huge disparities in partners.
  • I oppose the death penalty and three-strikes laws.
  • I support comprehensive sex education for all kids in public school. Abstinence should be a footnote.

Economic Issues.

Taxes: I generally support increasing taxes on those making more than $200,000, as well as creating additional marginal income tax brackets to ensure a more progressive bent to our tax rates. A top income tax rate of 60% on extreme incomes is reasonable, to me. I support the full reintroduction of the estate tax. I support the introduction of a national internet sales tax, and am neutral on a carbon tax. I also support increasing, or eliminating, the payroll tax cap going into Social Security, as it's ridiculously regressive. First and foremost, I at least support letting all Bush tax cuts expire.

Education: I support increasing teacher pay, as well as devoting more money to renovating or rebuilding entirely, old schools, particularly in urban areas. I also support limited subsidization of tuition fees for middle and lower class students, as well as increasing a focus on public universities, community colleges, and trade schools. I oppose voucher programs, they're a waste of time.

Environment: I support cap & trade, strict EPA regulations in regard to tobacco and carbon emissions as pollutants, and very high goals in gas mileage standards. Public transportation funding should be considered a top priority, as well.

Social Security: Social Security is a crucial program that keeps millions of people out of poverty and should be considered a bare-bones necessity in any welfare state. The payroll tax going into SS should be uncapped, or the cap dramatically raised. I do not support raising the retirement age. The fact that we haven't fixed this problem by now is embarrassing, as it's one of the simplest and easiest fixes imaginable. I once supported means testing the program at a top level, but no longer do.

Unions: First of all, if you support right-to-work legislation, you are not pro union. I think unions were one of the crucial elements that built the middle class in America and are an incredibly important component in our economy that help keep businesses accountable. I support the Employee Free Choice Act, (Opposing it makes no sense whatsoever) and support the ability for unions to form in any business they choose to. I also support temporary striker protection laws. I also don't believe any strike should be "illegal." Businesses and governments certainly feel free to break contracts willy-nilly.

Health Care: I personally believe that allowing the profit motive into healthcare is sickening (no pun intended), and support a single payer healthcare system, while also allowing for private healthcare alternatives. It is cheaper, more efficient, and covers more people. Having a half dozen patchwork healthcare programs and subsidies is an insanely inefficient system, and the private healthcare market is ridiculously expensive and inefficient, not to mention blatantly immoral/amoral.

Energy: I oppose further deepwater drilling for oil, as well as drilling in wildlife refuges. Further oil drilling will not reduce the price of gas. I think we should be investing a huge amount of money and organizing energy in solar panels, windmills, and hydroelectric energy, as well as requiring that all new buildings in major cities have solar panels built along with them. I also take a very simple and practical view of the issue of solar and wind energy: We have huge swaths of land in the plains and desert west going completely unused. Let's set up shop and have the government acquire miles and miles of land in the plains for nothing but huge solar and wind farms. If the private sector can't do things in large enough scale, the government should.

Miscellaneous:
  • I support bring our rail transit up to European standards, with an increased focus on bringing rail to more parts of the country than just the coasts.
  • I support the introduction of state-owned banks across the country, in the model of North Dakota's, as well as on the national level.
  • I support the creation of a national public electricity utility, designed to compete with the private sector, as well as price caps on electricity on a regional basis. Public power is cheaper than private power.
  • I support a 20% interest rate cap on credit cards.
  • I support raising the full-time minimum wage to at least $9.00 an hour. For all the right-wing scaremongering over the minimum wage, Canada's wages are doing just fine with higher rates than that.
  • I support banning payday loans, and other predatory loan practices.
  • I support equal pay laws, further protection of maternity leave, and an expansion of vacation days per year for all workers.
  • I support repealing Clinton's welfare reform, as well as Bush's bankruptcy law.
  • I support banning drug advertising.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2012, 08:05:00 pm by Marokai Béliqueux »Logged

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« Reply #628 on: October 15, 2011, 12:05:28 am »
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Foreign Issues.

Military Spending: The current level of "defense" spending is insane and has gotten completely out of control. Our defense budget has doubled since 9/11, and we spend an absurd amount of money on programs that have long outlived their usefulness. We could dramatically cut back on defense spending and still far-and-away be the largest military power on the planet. I certainly support closing down half or more of our bases overseas and bringing home most of our troops abroad.

Iraq: Complete withdrawal, limited foreign aid.

Afghanistan: Complete withdrawal, limited foreign aid.

Libya: I support our current level of intervention in Libya.

Diplomacy/Sanctions: Talking to people is a good thing, and our leaders should do more of that, than bluster. I'm generally of the mind that sanctions are a very cruel and ineffective policy for getting our way, as they don't punish leaders, just innocent people who live there.

Miscellaneous:
  • My general approach to dealing with terrorism is pretty much what Obama has been doing; targeted military strikes, intelligence gathering, and a law enforcement focus.
  • I very strongly believe in a two-state solution in Israel, but Israel needs to stop thinking they can do everything they want with no consequences.
  • I support ending most military aid for middle-eastern countries. It's done far more harm than good.
  • I support getting rid of the trade embargo on Cuba.
  • I very very very strongly oppose any sort of doctrine of "pre-emptive war."
  • I support banning the use of private military contractors, or at the very least, dramatically increasing oversight and ensuring accountability when their members inevitably do stupid things.

Electoral Issues/Government.

Voting Regulations: I support automatic voter registration, and oppose photo-ID laws, as they are mostly used as political tools to disadvantage young people, poor people, and minorities. I also support making election day a federal holiday, to increase turnout as much as possible.

Elections: America has some of the lowest average voter turnout in elections among other modern democracies. I believe this is one of the root causes of our government's paralysis and inability to tackle issues, and if it continues, it will lead to nothing good. I support implementing an STV voting system as well as making voting compulsory.

The Senate: I support abolishing the filibuster, as it's increasingly making legislating an impossibility. More overall, though, I support abolishing the Senate entirely. It's a useless anachronism that serves no purpose since we made them democratically elected. It slows down all legislating and has hurt our ability to compete with other modern democracies that follow the crazy idea of "If you get the majority, you govern freely." I also believe it's insane that Wyoming recieved an equal number of Senators as California. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Sorry, Wyoming.

Referenda: I do not believe that individuals can be trusted to make good decisions directly. I also do not believe that issues like minority rights are something we should put on a ballot. Human rights are not up for a popular vote. I support saving the people from themselves, by banning all voter initiatives nation-wide, as well as limiting, or abolishing outright, recall elections. People make decisions, they should learn to live with them, or be smart enough not to make them the next time.

Electoral College: Though up until recently I actually continued to defend the electoral college, recent events have brought me around. It's an insane undemocratic system that should be done away with. The popular vote should reign as the determining factor in electing a president.

Miscellaneous:
  • I oppose the idea of a line-item veto for the President, or any state Governors.
  • I oppose electing judges. They should all be appointed.
  • I oppose allocating electoral votes by congressional district, it's insanely undemocratic and by far disproportionately benefits rural areas.
  • I support independent redistricting boards for all states. No gerrymandering!
  • In addition to abolishing the Senate, I support increasing House terms to 4 years. Most other countries do not have elections with the frequency we do, for good reason.
  • I very strongly support abolishing most county governments, consolidating them into a more region-based system of local government. Devolution of powers is good, just not taken to the current extreme.
  • I support an Amendment requiring a Supreme Court Justice to step down once they reach a certain age.
  • I support any efforts to make all election campaigns entirely publicly financed.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2011, 02:47:14 am by Marokai Breakneck »Logged

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« Reply #629 on: October 15, 2011, 12:57:31 am »
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Can we just sticky this thread?
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« Reply #630 on: October 15, 2011, 09:04:51 pm »
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Social Issues:

Abortion: I am pro-life, except in the case when a mother's life's in danger.

Death Penalty: Oppose!!!!!!!!!!!

Drugs: Legalize marijuana! FREE THE WEED! FREE THE WEED! Oh, and oppose war on drugs.

Euthanasia: Legalize it.

Gay Rights: I support gay rights, all of it. Marriage, adoption, pillow fights etc. I go both ways occasionally, don't like labels! Stick it to the fundies!

Gun Rights: I support the 2nd amendment.

Immigration: Deport the illegals, and would support SB 1070 but it needs to be more clarified.

Prostitution: Legalize it! Legalize it! It'd be safer for them just to do it legally...like fo reals.


Separation of Church and State: Go away fundies. I will eat your souls.

Stem Cell Research: I'm Pro-Life, therefore oppose stem cell research of any kind.


Economic Issues:

Affirmative Action: Oppose.

Education: Idc about this issue.

Environment: Screw the hippies. Economy > Hippies

Fiscal Policy: I am a follower of Coolidge, Taft, etc....


Health Care: I oppose government healthcare.



Social Security: Privatize it, completely. KTHANXBAI

Taxation: I want a flat 10% income tax rate. I want to illegalize estate, gas, and other small useless taxes.

Unions: I oppose the unions. Screw them, and screw their bosses.



Foreign Issues:

I don't care at all about foreign policy, but I'm somewhat neoconservative, eh.
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« Reply #631 on: October 15, 2011, 09:35:54 pm »
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You had me thinking you were another Paultard until you described yourself as a neo-con.
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« Reply #632 on: October 15, 2011, 09:38:37 pm »
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You had me thinking you were another Paultard until you described yourself as a neo-con.

Nah, Ron Paul's too much for me. He cares about the wrong issues imho. I only care about two things: 1. Capitalism being King 2. Weed.
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« Reply #633 on: October 15, 2011, 10:17:08 pm »
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You had me thinking you were another Paultard until you described yourself as a neo-con.

Nah, Ron Paul's too much for me. He cares about the wrong issues imho. I only care about two things: 1. Capitalism being King 2. Weed.

You'll fit in well here.
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« Reply #634 on: October 15, 2011, 10:21:44 pm »
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You had me thinking you were another Paultard until you described yourself as a neo-con.

His initials wouldn't happen to be JC, would they?
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That has got to be one of the most retarded proposals I have read on this forum.

Don't worry, I'm sure more will crop up shortly.
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« Reply #635 on: October 17, 2011, 10:02:24 pm »
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It’s been a while since anyone has used this thread but I'd like to revive it and add some detail to what I posted back in June when I was really new to this site. I mostly changed the economic and foreign policy parts since those were skimpy:


Social Issues:

Abortion: I am pro-life, even in the case or rape or incest. I believe abortion is murder. This is the single greatest issue I base my vote on for national elections.

Death Penalty: I believe it is only morally justifiable to take a life if doing so it required to ensure the health and safety of others. In virtually all cases in the US, I believe capital punishment is an instrument of revenge rather than justice.

Drugs: I vehemently oppose any further legalization efforts because I think doing so will just cause more people to use drugs. I would like to see the drinking age either changed or enforced. I also do not believe that drug legalization would lead to a reduction in violence because most violent drug dealers aren’t in it to express an act of civil disobedience, they’re in it for a greed that cannot be satiated by their capacity to earn money otherwise.

Euthanasia: I believe that human life has a certain value that cannot be compromised out of depression and selfishness. I do not accept the idea that other people are not harmed by a suicide. The legality is largely unimportant since it is not likely a major concern of anyone considering suicide but I would like to see it remain illegal in all forms.

Gay Marriage: I think the entire reason marriage has a place in civil society is because it is the traditional environment to produce and raise children. I think legal recognition of marriage is a form government social intervention for the purpose of promoting an environment to produce and raise children. Gay relationships are clearly incapable of producing children, so no governmental recognition is necessary. That being said, I don’t think the government should go around and look for sterile people or anything of that sort.

Gun Rights: I think people should be allowed to own and carry guns with proper background checks. I think it should be illegal to carry a gun under the influence of alcohol.

Immigration: We are a nation of immigrants and immigration should be encouraged by raising the number of people we let into this country legally. I support a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants current in the US, provided they have no criminal background and have a job while giving preferential treatment to those with families. However this alone is meaningless without better border enforcement in the future.

Prostitution: It is disgusting and should remain illegal where it is currently illegal. It is not the answer to economic desperation.

Separation of Church and State: I believe that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” should be taken to mean that Congress cannot favor one religion over another or force people to join a particular religion. I think this is an area where the government should not be very involved, but that the level of secularization currently being discussed (ie. Deleting “Under God” from the Pledge of Alligence) is asinine.

Stem Cell Research: I support adult stem cell research and oppose embryonic as it is currently practiced. A professor (who does embryonic stem cell research) told me once that we could get embryonic stem cells from live embryos inside their mother rather than aborted embryos if we really wanted to but that this is not the way research is currently conducted. If this practice was changed to remove abortion from the equation, I would support it. Just to note, I do not support outlawing embryonic stem cell research as practiced, but would not like to see government funding of it. This is a funding issue, not a law issue.



Economic Issues:

Affirmative Action: I consider this an economic issue rather than a social one and am more or less neutral on it. On one hand, I want the best person available to get the job. On the other, I find it irritating that many white kids use affirmative action as an excuse for their own failures. Every person should strive to not only meet the standards of acceptance (if to colleges) but to exceed them.

Education: Education is mainly a state issue and one that no blanket nation policy can be effective on. I think that classroom size has a greater effect on quality and success than does technology or textbook quality, or the building itself. The necessary components to a good education are: parent who discipline their children, students who want to learn, and a qualified teacher who cares. I do believe standardized testing has a place in education but that place is not the central purpose.

Environment: The environment can best be approached by researching better, more cost-effective technologies to address environment problems. The strictness of the EPA is both a blessing and a curse, since it helps to improve American quality of life but also hurts businesses.

Fiscal Policy: In general I think that Ricardian Equivalence is correct, such that increased spending today is just a way of stealing from tomorrow. There are some circumstances where increased government spending over a short period of time can provide a needed boost to the economy. I oppose the hijacking of fiscal stimulus to serve ulterior motives such as funneling resources to environmental causes that are not a cost effective means of job creation.

Health Care: I support a fully private healthcare system with a safety net for those who cannot afford it. I am not necessarily opposed to an individual mandate though I have some question about its constitutionality. In any case, the government needs to look carefully at whatever proposal enacted to ensure it does not force small businesses to cut employees’ healthcare by making the minimum standards so high that a fee is cheaper. I oppose a single-payer system because I believe such a system will inevitably lead to euthanasia in the mid-to-distant future.

Monetary Policy: I mainly take the side of the Rational Expectations school of economics, thus placing me primarily on the side of the Republican establishment and somewhat opposed to the Tea Party. I am opposed to an audit of the Fed on the grounds that doing so would lead to a loss in the fiduciary trust in our current system. I am also opposed to the idea of Congress running the Federal Reserve. I also oppose the gold standard because the purpose of it is that gold supposedly has an “objective value” when it really doesn’t and it’s worth is decided by the market just like anything else.

Social Security: In many ways, this is the key budgetary issue set between the US and long-term fiscal sustainability. The system was created for an era where the average person had four children and lived just past the retirement age. Now, the average person has 1.8 kids and lives to be 77. We have a few tough options: dramatically increase the retirement age, privatize the system, cut it, increase the payments demanded, or cut the benefits received.  Social security may be politically untouchable but we will soon face the reality that it must be reformed.

Taxation: Taxes should be kept as low as reasonably possible to promote economic growth; however, they must be raised now, in addition to spending cuts, to avoid budgetary disaster. I am not necessarily opposed to a flat tax, but would rather see something along the lines of an exponential decay function used to eliminate discontinuities in the derivative of the overall tax rate.

Unions: This is a personal issue for me since my mother is a union member who went on strike when I was in high school. Thus, I do think union have an important place in American society although I dislike the way most of them serve as blanket funneling organizations for socially liberal agendas. I do, however, support right to work legislation.



Foreign Issues:

American Exceptionalism: In short, I do not accept the idea of American exceptionalism that the US is somehow morally superior to other nations or that we are predestined for some kind of greatness as the world’s last superpower. I see the US as a country looking out for its interests like any other country would do. Many policies the US enacts will be the right thing to do and many will be wrong.

China: There are some serious issues remaining in the relationship between the US and China from currency manipulation to religious freedom, but I still see China as an odd sort of ally to the US in the long term. Too much of our economic futures are linked to each other’s success to become enemies.

Diplomacy: Unlike many in the GOP, I have no problem with the president talking with terrorists, or anyone else for that matter. If President Obama wanted to meet with the Kim Jong Il or any of the various rouge Middle East dictators, I’m not sure what he could possibly have to say that will make a difference, but I don’t mind them talking.

Iran: This is an incredibly tough situation because the United States cannot afford another military conflict at the moment and our “sanctions” don’t seem to be doing very much. This is a common theme throughout our handling of the Middle East.

Israel: A part of me deeply respects Israel because they quite frankly don’t care what the world will think when they do something. They aren’t trying to be popular; the world already hates them. That being said, the only possible answer to their issues with Palestine is a two-state solution.

Military: I greatly respect all the sacrifices made by our soldiers and support them. I do agree that the military is not above our budget problems but that special care should be taken to ensure the safety of our service men and women.

Intervention: If I’ve learned anything from the Iraq mess, it’s that great care must be taken when making a decision to go to war. Still, I almost always oppose withdrawal in the middle of a war.

Nuclear Weapons: I don’t like nuclear weapons a whole lot and would oppose using them in just about any circumstances I can see happening. But, I also think a worldwide disarmament is a fairy tale because there really are evil people out there who want to kill us.


^^^ This.  Though I am probably a little more conservative on the affirmative action section.  I am also not sure a two state solution is the only workable solution for Israel, but am not necessarily against such a solution.
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« Reply #636 on: October 18, 2011, 04:40:53 pm »
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Referenda: I do not believe that individuals can be trusted to make good decisions directly. I also do not believe that issues like minority rights are something we should put on a ballot. Human rights are not up for a popular vote. I support saving the people from themselves, by banning all voter initiatives nation-wide, as well as limiting, or abolishing outright, recall elections. People make decisions, they should learn to live with them, or be smart enough not to make them the next time.

With all due respect, thats the reason Socialism is not common among the blue collar workers of this country. People feel insulted. I can easily see a place like West Virginia being a Socialist stronghold, if the leadership of the various movements. I agree with you on Human Rights issues, though our definitions maybe a little differant.
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« Reply #637 on: October 18, 2011, 05:01:17 pm »
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Referenda: I do not believe that individuals can be trusted to make good decisions directly. I also do not believe that issues like minority rights are something we should put on a ballot. Human rights are not up for a popular vote. I support saving the people from themselves, by banning all voter initiatives nation-wide, as well as limiting, or abolishing outright, recall elections. People make decisions, they should learn to live with them, or be smart enough not to make them the next time.

With all due respect, thats the reason Socialism is not common among the blue collar workers of this country. People feel insulted. I can easily see a place like West Virginia being a Socialist stronghold, if the leadership of the various movements. I agree with you on Human Rights issues, though our definitions maybe a little differant.

I'm surprised you think so, since it's a decidedly not-left-wing position to take, or, at least, used to be not left wing.

Both the Progressive Party and the Socialist Party in 1912 were running on implementing wide-ranging direct democracy measures. Such things were opposed by the more Conservative establishment. My positions on these things have nothing to do with doctrinaire Socialism, merely my own personal belief that referenda rarely turn out well. They're not historically very left-wing at all.
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« Reply #638 on: October 18, 2011, 05:06:10 pm »
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Well, not within an American context, anyway, referendums being a big part of the radical democratic tradition in the U.S (and even the SPA - with all it's Yiddish speaking Marxists - was a reflection of that almost as much as anything else) and all that. Elsewhere, not so much, usually.
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« Reply #639 on: October 18, 2011, 05:36:23 pm »
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@ Free the Weed: Why do you hate fundies so much? Most of the founders were fundies.
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« Reply #640 on: October 18, 2011, 05:37:28 pm »
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@ Free the Weed: Why do you hate fundies so much? Most of the founders were fundies.

It's interesting that you use the term "fundies" without scare quotes or quotation marks.
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« Reply #641 on: October 18, 2011, 10:29:42 pm »
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@ Free the Weed: Why do you hate fundies so much? Most of the founders were fundies.

It's interesting that you use the term "fundies" without scare quotes or quotation marks.

Well, they ran the gamut in terms of how orthadox or devout they were...probably in a way that well reflects modern American society, with about a quarter to third being fundies, a tenth being deists, a couple being atheists and the rest being devout yet moderate or casual protestants.
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« Reply #642 on: October 19, 2011, 06:07:04 pm »
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@ Free the Weed: Why do you hate fundies so much? Most of the founders were fundies.

It's interesting that you use the term "fundies" without scare quotes or quotation marks.

Because I am one.
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« Reply #643 on: October 19, 2011, 08:00:23 pm »
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@ Free the Weed: Why do you hate fundies so much? Most of the founders were fundies.

You really are clueless aren't you?
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« Reply #644 on: October 19, 2011, 08:50:58 pm »
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@ Free the Weed: Why do you hate fundies so much? Most of the founders were fundies.

it's not obvious? lol. I'm a libertarian on domestic issues. I'm only fundie on abortion, and immigration.

Otherwise, I'm very much so a social libertarian and oppose the ideology of ignorance.
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« Reply #645 on: October 19, 2011, 09:38:19 pm »
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I oppose a single-payer system because I believe such a system will inevitably lead to euthanasia in the mid-to-distant future.

I don't understand the reasoning here.
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« Reply #646 on: October 20, 2011, 03:25:52 am »
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@ Free the Weed: Why do you hate fundies so much? Most of the founders were fundies.

it's not obvious? lol. I'm a libertarian on domestic issues. I'm only fundie on abortion, and immigration.

Otherwise, I'm very much so a social libertarian and oppose the ideology of ignorance.

Mind blown
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« Reply #647 on: October 20, 2011, 07:47:56 am »
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@ Free the Weed: Why do you hate fundies so much? Most of the founders were fundies.

it's not obvious? lol. I'm a libertarian on domestic issues. I'm only fundie on abortion, and immigration.

Otherwise, I'm very much so a social libertarian and oppose the ideology of ignorance.

Mind blown
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« Reply #648 on: October 20, 2011, 09:32:43 am »
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I oppose a single-payer system because I believe such a system will inevitably lead to euthanasia in the mid-to-distant future.

I don't understand the reasoning here.

In the US today, most people will oppose the legalization of things like physicial-assisted suicide. I suspect that if the government is paying for healthcare, it will provide an incentive for more people to support physicial-assisted suicide because it saves them money. This is purely speculation on my part; I don't pretend to know the future. But, I think most people view things a bit differently if there is a financial incentive to do so. Of course you can make the argument that it already is more expensive for everyone to keep people alive, but the perception is more important than the effect in determining how it shapes public opinion. Having the government pay for healthcare would make it inherently obvious that the government would be shelling out money to keep patients alive against their wishes.
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« Reply #649 on: October 20, 2011, 09:41:24 am »
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@ Free the Weed: Why do you hate fundies so much? Most of the founders were fundies.

it's not obvious? lol. I'm a libertarian on domestic issues. I'm only fundie on abortion, and immigration.

Otherwise, I'm very much so a social libertarian and oppose the ideology of ignorance.

It seems to me you picked a strange issue to be a “fundie” on while calling “fundies” an “ideology of ignorance”. (I use quotes around “fundie” because I don’t know what a “fundie” is, nor do I particularly care.) How far are you going here as a “fundie” on immigration? What does it even mean to be a “fundie” on immigration? Does it mean loving your neighbor even if he’s here illegally? Does it mean believing that the US is divinely ordained to rule the world and only Americans born here legally are entitled to a part in that vision? Something in between?
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