Can I play? I’m an independent much more inclined to vote Democratic than Republican, but there are a lot of paternalistic BigBrotherly things that Democratic politicians have done that distress me quite a bit, and if we can see eye to eye on economic issues we might have lots of turf in common.
• Thought crimes, hate speech, and other forms of mindless “this act is evil because we already know what thinking had to prompt it” kinds of laws, policies, and even attitudes. Ugh. Hardly an improvement over the worst of social-conservative censorship efforts.
• The whole “nobody, ever, should, under any circumstances, be at risk for anything bad ever happening to them, and if it does somebody ought to be held responsible” bullshit. Overprotectivism writ large, ranging from removing playground equipment from elementary school playgrounds to preventing people from ordering their own medical tests without the parental oversight of a physicial agreeing that they can know these things. Rampant liability lawsuits and the social atmosphere they have spawned. Etc. Oh please.
• The mindless uncontemplative social justice “there are categories of leftout people who need to be protected from oppression and we need to make things up to them, and we know all of the applicable categories and they are invariably and always applicable and permanently so” stuff. Not just because of the unfairness to white male anglosaxon middleclass hetero able-bodied dudes in general, but also because of the insistent assumption that we’ve found all the possible categories and identified them so therefore you could not possibly be a white male anglosaxon middleclass hetero able-bodied victim of categorical oppression. And of course the pernicious notion that no progress will ever be made so all categories and remedies are permanent. C’mon, folks.
• My personal political axe to grind is psychiatric oppression. Liberal politicians, having long ago embraced the notion that it’s more empowering to view us as ‘sick’ and in need of being felt sorry for than to view us as dangerous misbehaving nuts who need to be locked up for everone else’s protection, are often less protective than Republicans & other conservatives of our rights to be as eccentric and nutty as we want as long as we aren’t breaking any laws. Liberal Democrats are quick on general theory of civil rights and pluralism, but whisper “schizophrenic” to them and they’ll rush to support involuntary psychiatric screening and obligatory treatment as fast as anyone.
So I like seeing perturbed & dissatisfied Republicans and conservatives talking about a new party more explicitly founded on personal freedoms and opposing the coercive elements in modern social conservatism, and seeking to return policy to an “everyone is the same in the eyes of the government” kind of basis.
On the economic stuff, I want a balanced budget, and I’d even like to see small but persistent payments against the national debt. I do not believe there is any validity to a redistributivist policy (a la marxism), i.e., undoing the capitalist distribution of wealth by having the government play Robin Hood as aggressively as possible. I do, however, think government has a role, and plenty of room for a role, providing services to citizens that are desirable as services but which aren’t profitable for private enterprises to offer. In many cases I am largely in agreement with the Democratic Party’s recent (last 15 years) priorities regarding what services the government ought to try to offer, and as a taxpayer taking a decent tax hit already I’m willing to have more of my paycheck go to taxes if it’s for services that are well-conceived, important, and efficiently implemented.
Is there room for such as me in this new tent?