Am I a Republican or Democrat?

These days, about the only difference that I can see between republicans and democrats is that republicans take bribes from tobacco corporations while democrats take bribes from entertainment corporations. However, I’m sure most of you have a different opinion.

I created this thread because of a discussion with a few friends of mine about what side we were on, and frankly I’m not sure. So, I decided to state my political opinions and let you teeming millions sort me out. While we’re on the subject, I’d like to know where I can get unbiased reports on how candidates stand on issues, similar to what I’m doing now. It would certainly help me know who to vote for.

As I am involved in the tech industry, the issues that are most important to me right now relate to IP and privacy, with a side of freedom.

I believe copyright law is being abused by large corporations and such foolish laws as the DMCA, and a good compromise between copyright and fair use exists. I believe any negative effect of file sharing is being overinflated in importance by said companies, who are resorting to unfair means to limit technology, instead of adapting to the changing times.

I believe I should have control of everything that is on my computer, and that no one should be able to access it without my permission or a warrant.

I believe total privacy and anonymity should ideally be possible on the internet, and a great deal of privacy should exist in the world outside. I believe that my contract with my ISP should imply protection of privacy, as should any library card I own.

I believe I should not be spied upon in my own home unless I am an actual suspect of an actual crime, and then only with a warrant. I believe a warrant should be required to enter my house to look for anything incriminating, and I should be informed of said warrant at the time of the search, or at the earliest possible moment thereafter.

I think that the world’s problems should be solved diplomatically, with violence used only in retribution, i.e. attacking the Taliban was ok, but not Iraq.

I believe abortion is wrong, but that it would be equally wrong to outlaw it.

I believe marijuana has fewer ill effects than alcohol, and possession of small amounts of it should be legalized.

So how about it? Should I vote for the stereotypical republican, or the stereotypical democrat? Is there any chance in hell of anyone whos beliefs approximate mine being elected by the majority of america? Of course, if I’ve left out any issues that you feel are vital to the decision, I’ll supply my views on them too.

What part of the country are you from? I’m figuring, someone with a libertarian bent might lean toward the Democrats in a Republican state (where you might be concerned, for example, with regulation of internet porn or excessive punishment for possession of drugs), but toward the Republicans in a Democratic state (where, for example, you might feel business regulations stunt prosperity).

I wouldn’t suggest the Libertarian party (though I’m sure someone else will) as you have to remember the extremity to which they take their positions. For instance, never mind “small amounts” of marijuana – a Libertarian government would allow a barnful, with a heroin silo and a poll of crystal meth besides.

I’ll also ask, since it’s easy (and fun) to draw up a list of government activity that you oppose; what (controversial) government policies would you support, that can be regarded as interference with individual choice? For example, would you champion a tax-supported health-care system? Trade restrictions? Increased minimum wage and other labor regulation? A military draft? More funds for welfare programs? Should government finance art? Subsidize farms? Run a space program? Ban hate speech?

I’d say you were Canadian. :slight_smile:

No, really…given what you’ve said, I’d probably peg you as a Conservative Democrat. A lot of it depends on how you prioritize your beliefs. But the dems do tend toward more social liberalism, though neither party has adaquately addressed IT issues very well.

You sound like a Libertarian to me. Check out

You sound like you have a slight libertarian bent, but I doubt your a Libertarian. You might want to think about how you view taxes and tax policy before you decide. Although you might get ticked off by things like “privacy”, you have to ask yourself how important that really is relative to having someone with the hand on your wallet. I’ve got a lot of pet peeves myself, but I always come back to $$ issues as having the most impact on my life and that of the rest of the country for that matter.

Some of your “privacy” complaints are really issues you have with companies or industries rather than with a political party.

I have a strong libertarian leaning myself, but end up voting GOP most of the time. I could say that I don’t like their stand on, say, pornography, but I’m able to get all the porn I want without any problem even though we’ve got the GOP in charge of the Whitehouse and Congress. If I vote for a Republican I can be pretty much assured he or she will push for lower taxes. If I vote for Dem, I can be guaranteed the opposite.

BTW, I completely agree with you that there ain’t a whole hell of a lot of difference between the Dems and Pubs, especially if you’re coming from a more or less libertarian position.

I agree with the gist of what your issues were in the OP, and I am another libertarian type who usually ends up voting republican due to the reality of the political situation in the US.

I think the largest question you didn’t address with the OP is do you want the government to be larger or smaller? Should we pay more or less taxes than we do now?


Is there an echo in here?

InquisitiveIdiot, ISTM you are not a quintessential Republican nor Democrat. It’s not so much that these parties disagree with your positions, but that your issues are low on their priority lists.

Republicans espouse lower taxes, strong military, smaller government (other than military), tort reform, fewer regulations, less use of racial preferences ban on partial-birth abortions.

Democrats espouse choice on abortions, support for plailntiff’s attorneys and teachers’ unions, weaker defence, larger government (otherwise), more regulations, continued racial preferences.

You can become a member of either party by registering as one or the other. It helps if you attend a fundraiser or contribute money.
Which ever party one decides to join, you can just advocate for candidates and platform planks that meet your personal agenda. Parties change over time to reflect the concerns of their members.
If I were you, I’d join the Reps and work on adjusting Rep policy stances to come in line with yours because the Dems seem whupped.

You do know that the Bush admin favors scaling back our military don’t you?

If IT is all you are worried about you should go libertarian or green. Both the pubs and the dems are horrid at regulating IT, with the pubs wanting access to your data, and the dems wanting to add taxes.

The libs have the least regulation, and the greens, AFAIK, don’t have a stand on it yet.

Personally, I am a mod dem.

Now if you care about more than IT, it boils down to: if you are greedy, and don’t care about your liberties, you vote pub, else you vote dem.

BTW, Debaser, when has a pub ever made the government smaller?

Personally, I have an anti-incumbent bias.
I voted against the incumbent in every presidential election that I’ve had a chance to vote in.

I guess it would be too much to ask for a fair pro- and contra list, without already putting your opinion into things by the (imho) ill choice of adjectives?

Let’s see if I can add some balance to december’s list:

Republicans are in favor of larger deficits, more military adventurism, less corporate responsibility, more regulation of personal freedoms, preservation of the racial status quo, and government control of women’s reproductive decisions.

Democrats are in favor of greater personal freedom, more corporate responsibility, more efficient defense with a narrow mission, balanced budgets and reduced deficits, opportunity for all and compassion for the weak and disadvantaged.

Republicans think that they should get more votes than Democrats. Democrats, on the other hand, think they should get more votes than Republicans.

These are big tent parties…there’s room for a lot of people in both of them. Come election day, study the candidates and vote for the one you think best matches your opinions on the matters most important to you.


I think this demonstrates how archaic the terms “left” and “right” have become. Perhaps we should think of them rather as “clockwise” and “Counterclockwise.” The fringes; libertarian on the right, and green on the left, seem to meet on the other side of the clock and have more in common with each other than they do with their respective centrist counterparts. Dems and Pubs fight a tug of war causing stagnation and gridlock and thus preserve the status quo.

Regarding marijuana, the strongest voice in power we ever had was Jimmy Carter, “The penalties for possession of a drug should not be more detrimental than the use of the drug itself.”
/hypnosis on
BTW, you are all Democrats and you will vote for Howard Dean
/hypnosis off

There are several paradigms nowadays.









I think Den Beste’s idea about the new paradigms is more accurate than traditional left/right thinking.

If you have to ask, you’re a Republican - Democrats think for themselves while Republicans need to be told what to think.