Someone asked me today, what my political beliefs are. He wanted a one-word response, like “liberal” or “conservitive” but i couldn’t give him one. I got to thinking, ‘what if i ran for polital office? what party am I in?’ I don’t think i fit perfectly into any political mold, but which one comes closest?
I guess I should describe my beliefs:
I’m anti-discrimination. I belive in freedom of information. I don’t belive in government involvement in people’s personal lives. I think drugs should be legal. I belive in civil rights above all. I’m pro-choice–but the father should have a say in the choice as well.
I think people should be allowed to own guns, but if they harm anyone with them, they should be punished severly. I think that people should be allowed to do anything they want–up to the point where in infringes on the right of someone else to do the same.
I think welfare should be abolished–if you don’t work, you don’t eat. I think that if women (or whoever else) want to be in the military they can, but they should have to pass THE SAME tests as everyone else. I think women should have to sign up for selective service.
I don’t think that everyone is equal, if I am more equiped to survive–both mentaly ad physicaly (in whatever individual situation we are in) then I am better than you (and vice-versa). I belive in survival of the fittest.
I belive that people should be able to practice (or not practice) any religion they want–without anyone trying to change them. I belive in the ABSOLUTE seperation of church and state, if you want to pray, do it somewhere that it won’t impose on those who don’t. I belive that you have no right to be non-offended, if somthing offends you, leave.
I belive that EVERYTHING should be open to a vote, if most of the people are unhappy with the current situation, they can vote on how to change it–but if you don’t vote, don’t complain.
–Wow, that got a little out of hand. Sorry it’s so long.
eggo, my man, I have never been happy with the linear spectrum model of political beliefs, and have dabbled with 3 dimensional models that are equally unsatisfying. In a country that continues to operate on a dominant two party system, we wind up getting buttonholed into column A or column B.
My conservative friends think me liberal and my liberal friends think me conservative. Contrary to notions grown up with, “liberal” hardly means live-and-let-live or free-thinker. As I more readily accept thoughts promulgated on the conservative side of the editorial wars, I guess I’m more conservative. I’m also quite unabashadely atheist. I find the “right” side of the equation far more amenable to free thinkers than I do the left. But identifying yourself with the right gets you fellow travelers like Pat Buchannan that are at least as rigid and unforgiving of their fellows with legitimate dissents as Al Gore or Al Sharpton.
So what do you do?
An ever appealing alternative is to turn to the third parties (whose influence has been increasing). In 1992 the two party deal was monkey-wrenched by Ross Perot. I know manny people who voted for him out of frustration. Not manny can say what they were voting for.
Libertarian affiliations are a refuge sought by manny who feel much as I do, but can hardly take the excesses of what it takes to be thought of as Republican, while the Greens are siphoning off former Democrats.
I’ve become very frustrated with the bi-particand system. i don’t think anyone realy knows what the parties stand for these days (especialy us young people), but I’m VERY into politics (that left a bad taste in my mouth–i hate that word) and I just don’t know where most of the candidates stand. They mostly aviod giving oppinions on touchy subjects, they just ride the middle ground.
I’ll be voting for presedent for the first time this year, and I haven’t a clue who for (I refuse to just not vote–I won’t throw away my freedom). I don’t want to vote “against” someone either, for fear of voting for somthing I don’t believe in.
I’m not realy at a loss to decide what to call myself (Mike usualy works), rather, I’m trying to find out if there is a group that already has all (or most) of the same beliefs that I do. I can’t posibly be that unique, there have to be some other nut-jobs who think like me.
eggonostics (never capitalized) of the world unite!
I share much the same political beliefs as you do, and I have always called myself a “Moderate Libertarian.” Dennis Miller and Bill Maher, two public figures with similar views, have used the term “Law-and-Order Libertarian,” but I prefer the former. More than one word, I know, but easy enough to state. It caries the weight ot “libertarianism” (i.e. political, religious, economic, and social self-determination free from government interference) without all of the wacky “Let’s run the nation by contract enforcement and privitize the schools and the roads” stuff you see coming from Objectivist Libertarians. See if this stuff applies to you:
As a Moderate Libertarian, I support:
Freedom of religion to its fullest extent, not merely freedom on Christian religions.
Legalization of drugs and prostitution.
Reduction of the “police/prison” state by eliminating drug users from the prison system (see above)
Government IS a necessary evil, but only for vital infrastructure, defense, and education.
Restructuring of government education spending at the post secondary level (The rising cost of college education is linked largely to the availibility of government financial aid.)
Restructuring of the “two-party” system that allows for more choice at election time and an increased representation of non Republicrat/Democan parties on the national level.
Simplification of criminal law system, keep violent criminals in for full sentances.
Restructuring of the civil law system, keeping punitive damages to reasonable levels (I.E. no one can sue for millions of dollars for a coffee burn)
Elimination of the current immigration policy (open borders) or at least restructuring to allow easier access to residency and citizenship.
Strict protection of civil rights and civil liberties by the government.
Kind of random, I know, but these policies fit well with the notions of libertarianism while still beinging grounded in the reality that there are some things (not many, but some) that ARE well served by the governemnt. So you’re a moderate libertarian.
Why do you need a label at all? Certainly, there’s others with similar views to your own, but I doubt that there’s any two people in the country with exactly the same views. In an election, just look at the individual candidates, not the parties, and vote for whichever one you consider closest to your views, weighted according to whichever issues happen to seem most important to you. If forced to place myself in the two-party structure dominant in American politics, I usually lean towards the Democrats, but if all of the Democratic candidates are incompetent jerks, I don’t have any qualms about voting for a better-qualified Republican. If you ever run for office, just call yourself an Independent-- Though rare, it is, so far as I know, allowable.
The problem with running as an independant, is that you never win (a few exceptions come to mind). We have NEVER had a president who didn’t belong to one of the major parties at the time, partly, I think because people vote blindly, without looking at what the candidates are realy saying. Hence the reason we should do away with the two-party system.
/me is thinking of writing in Jello Biafra…
You’re almost liberal, but “abolishing” welfare will simply punish the poor, the handicaped, and single-mothers not to mention raise crime. Considering you want an armed populace seeminlgy only for self defense and your “survival of the fittest” comment, I’d say you’re a Republican in denial. G.W. is pro-drugs too, just not in public.
Then again, neither do Libertarians. If it comes to that, just call yourself whichever seems more popular among the voters, and then proceed to ignore the official “party line”. By the way, HorseloverFat, be careful in your critiques of eggo’s views… We don’t want manny to have to move this thread, it’s awfully close to GD material as it is.
I think there should be a party for people who like to discuss/learn things themselves and don’t just vote for whichever one of the two (or even three) big-money/advertising parties they feel is slightly less bad.
It seems to me that people in discussion groups like this tend to have more informed, if not more enlightened opinions than the general public seems to have come election day. Let’s call it the “Infomation Party”.
“Information Party” is almost certainly safer than “Straight Dope Party”, which would require endless explanations to almost everyone–slang has shifted greatly since the Enlightened One named his column. Whatever we call it, though, I’m game. At least we can have intelligent debates–whoever represents us will have had plenty of practice.
I tend toward the moderate libertarian viewpoint myself, and I hate having to decide pick the candidate I dislike least in order to have my vote count.
Well, I am of the (very) minority opinion that you have to vote for the candidate who represents you best, even if s/he has no chance at all of winning. If everyone did so, then s/he might indeed have a chance, and someone has to start.
Also, I feel a sense of a loss of dignity when voting for someone who is only marginally “less bad”. Of course, if the candidate does have some valor somewhere, I might feel less compromised in doing so.
At the risk of turning this into a GD:
by getting rid of welfare you get rid of freeloaders who only drag society down, I would be more than happy to help these people get jobs, but many (not all, by any means) of them don’t want to. they want to suck the tit of the goverenment, while not giving anything back.
perhaps abolishing it is not the answer, but there needs to be a limit on how long you can be on it. 6 months is long enough for anyone to find a job if they are realy looking.
I fail to see, however, how even getting rid of it completely would raise the crime rate. please enlighten me.
Sounds good to me eggo. Just one thing I would add. Anyone who can’t spell correctly should be made to hold the hand of the next guy to die in the Electric chair. Yeah, its a little drastic, but people would perk up fairly quickly. Of course the ride to the venue would be all expenses paid (one-way, sorry to say).