Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My Politics In A Nutshell

The other day I was talking to an old friend over coffee and the conversation turned to politics. By the end of the conversation we both realized that we had a lot of things in common politically and that we agreed on a lot of issues. This was until I brought up that I considered myself a libertarian leaning thinker. Then the conversation stopped dead.

"Libertarians are radical nutcases that just want to legalize everything."

The ignorance of that statement really kind of caught me off guard. We had just agreed on a bunch of issues and went down a list of solutions and remedies that we both thought would help the country if we were in power; yet the mentioning of my fondness of libertarianism totally brought on this negative reaction. It got me thinking today.

Americans today want to label everything and categorize everything under a label. If it doesn't fit a specific mainstream image it's frowned upon. Think about it! What's a common question that people ask of you around election time? Are you Republican or a Democrat? Are you a conservative or a liberal?

Well most people don't really identify as either. They identify as the all-to-popular and way overused "Independent".

An "independent" to me has always meant to me somebody who just doesn't have convictions or doesn't want to explain them or fight for them. You cannot have convictions and opinions on issues and consider yourself an independent. It is totally impossible. Everybody has their biases. Everybody has their leanings. There is nothing subjective about a person's political predilections unless they're ignorant to the whole political climate. Nobody votes for somebody based on liking their ideas. If you like their ideas, you obviously like the method of madness behind those ideas. Therefore if you like the concept of cutting taxes to stimulate the economy you have a right-leaning belief on the tax code and economy. If you believe in levying taxes on the rich to subsidize the poor you have a left-leaning belief. It's not that difficult. Eventually, having opinions on enough of these issues will determine who you vote for. That is of course if you actually use your brain before you go to the poll. Surely had the majority of Americans actually done this; we wouldn't have Obama in the White House but I digress...

When I say that I am a libertarian, I am not implying that I am a member of the Libertarian Party. There are a lot of things that the LP stands for that I agree with. On the other hand their are aspects of the Libertarian Party's platform that I am adamantly against. The same goes with the Republican & Democratic parties and so on. I justify my libertarian leanings under the main mission statement of my beliefs.

I believe that the individual person as a human being has a right from birth, to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and may live as they wish as long as they do not infringe on the rights of others to do the same. In conclusion I believe that the government exists for the sole purpose of defending those rights against enemies foreign and domestic. Otherwise they have the incentive to stay out of our personal lives and we have the right to keep them out.

It frustrates me when I'm working and I see people who are well beyond capable of paying for their medications refusing to do so. Somebody walking in with a Gucci handbag refusing to pay $10 for a medication for their kid absolutely baffles me to no end. This country has gone down a dangerous path for the better half of the last 20 years. Everybody wants everything for nothing and expects nothing less than that. Entitlement, entitlement, entitlement. Freebies, freebies, freebies. Ladies and gentlemen, I hate entitlements. I also hate freebies unless I'm at Costco. They've got some good shit.

My parents raised me to understand that you take care of yourself and your family. You work for a living to bring home a paycheck that puts food on the table and a roof over your head. You work your way from the bottom up and eventually one day you will walk out not only with financial security but with respect for the value of hard work. From there you do what you can to give back to your community and what you do give back is by charity; not by force. Not by taxation but by choice. The poor are not entitled to your paycheck. The only person entitled to compensation is the worker. Not the bum.

This is how America was set up. We work for change. We were the land where you could work for a better life. The land where you had the opportunity to be whatever you wanted to be. We had safety nets set up to help those who slipped through the cracks get back up on their feet. These safety nets had limits to ensure that people did not become dependent on a "Mother Hen" government.
People argue that the American dream is no longer possible because corporations are corrupt and therefore government needs to take over. Wrong. The American dream has become somewhat "unobtainable" because the government has worked to ensure that everybody is bloated on entitlement and absorbed in propagandized mass media. You need "our help" to get ahead. Big Brother has replaced it's negative stigma with the idea of success. Suddenly if you have profited from the American dream; you're evil and need to be brought down. Who will you bring them down? The government because the government is here to help the "little guy."

Corporations are corrupt because the government allows them or forces them be. You show me a corrupt corporation and I can show you an example of government being twice as corrupt. Who do you want to take your chances with? The business executive or the politician who probably paid off the business executive?

In 2010, we're becoming the country where the government can tell you what's in your best interest. We're the country of cradle to grave coddling. We're becoming a country that represents everything that I stand against and everything our fore fathers warned us against.

By far the scariest thing that I've heard this year was a statement made by the White House in which they were interested in working with church organizations to "educate people". Working with church organizations? Excuse moi? Whatever happened to the so-called separation of church & state? You know that whole thing about the church staying out of our government and the government staying out of the church?

In the front five out of top ten justifications for our ancestors fighting to break away from Great Britain: For the freedom to practice (or not practice) religion without interference or persecution of government rule. Gee golly gosh darn!!

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof... - excerpt of First Amendment

Who'd a thunk that that knife cuts both ways? Now I'm not going on a tangent solely to express my dismay in this administration (I'll kind of let that speak for itself) as much as I'm trying to highlight the fuel to my fire. This is why I call myself a libertarian. I believe in LIBERTY.

I personally don't believe in Abortion. However I do not believe that I have the right to tell another individual what they can do with their own bodies. I am firmly Pro-Choice in my belief that it should be left up to the individual to decide. Do I believe there should be a ban on Abortion? No. However I believe that it is an issue that can be decided at the ballot box at a state level. Let the people vote.

I am also a big supporter of gay marriage. I'm perfectly secure as as a heterosexual man in saying that I'm cool with gay people. I think that anybody who isn't is a moron. I believe that the individual who proposed the idea of a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman should be locked in a rubber room and forced to watch The Nanny for a year straight non-stop. How anybody could be homophobic is beyond me. You're afraid of gay people? Can a phobia get anymore useless?

That being said an individual would hear my opinion on these two issues and make a judgment call that I'm a liberal.

On the other hand I firmly believe in the Second Amendment. I believe that an armed household is a prepared household. I believe that a responsible gun owner is safer than a careful unarmed citizen. I witnessed first hand somebody try and bust in through a back door. Had it not been for the fact that we had guns he would of kicked right through the glass. The gun that I was holding was the only thing that kept him out and us safe. Now if guns were illegal what would have prevented him from coming into the house? What would have prevented him from having a gun illegally? Like a criminal bent on breaking the law is going to worry about breaking a gun-ban law as well? As the adage goes: You outlaw guns only outlaws have guns. I guess some people would jump to the conclusion that I'm conservative from my opinion on gun laws.

But I'm neither. Sure if we were to go issue by issue you could paint me out as either depending on which issues we chose to talk about. The title means little. It's about the convictions. It's about the values that are instilled and the decisions we make from them. Not the title that we like more.

So when you go to the poll this November to vote in the primary please...PLEASE use your brain. Before you cast that vote think about what you're doing and why you're doing it. It is that important.

Until next time...

Peace and Understanding,


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