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Political Snapshot 2008

Posted by Lissa on November 11, 2008

BorePatch recently took the time to spell out why he didn’t fit the label of conservative.  Like me, he started out a born-and-bred Democrat/liberal and has since re-evaluated.

Since my views have drastically and dramatically changed over the last few years, I thought I’d do my own Cliff Notes version on the philosophy of an Evil Conservative*:

1. I think it is impossible for the government to do most things (ANYthing?) efficiently.  I therefore believe a small government is better than a big government, as it wastes less money and encroaches less upon my life and privacy.

2. I think the government of today is a) too big, b) constantly itching to expand.  I therefore believe that a fight for smaller government is constantly necessary just to keep the status quo.

3. I am in favor of reasonable access to abortion.  I personally define “reasonable” as a) few if any restrictions during the first trimester, although parental notification should be mandatory; b) many more restrictions during the second trimester, c) not an option during the third trimester unless the mother’s physical health is in danger.  I support the right of a woman to control her own body but when she has carried the child long enough to be physically viable (i.e. can survive outside of her womb), then it becomes murder.  (If continuing the pregnancy will endanger the mother’s life then I would term that justifiable homicide.)  I fully recognize that I have no physical, philosophical or Socratic viewpoint on “when life starts” and that committed pro-lifers see all abortion as murder.  I don’t agree, but I get why they would think so, truly.

However, I don’t think that Roe versus Wade was good law.  I don’t think there is any kind of right to abortion built into the Constitution.  I would not mind throwing the issue back to the States to decide.  There are folks who are one-issue voters, who claim that the right to abortion is singularly important enough to direct one’s vote on politicians, judges, etc.  If it’s that important to you then you can move to the Volksrepublic of Massachusetts or one of the many other states who will always have wide access to abortion.

4. I think immigration should be more strictly controlled.  I believe we should have the aim of greatly decreasing illegal immigration through deporting criminals and prosecuting companies that are knowingly employing illegal immigrants.  I do not believe anyone has the “right” to come to America; that “right” is the government’s to grant.

5. Concurrent with #4, I think we should VASTLY increase legal immigration, especially visas for business-people and those with specialized knowledge.  Immigration has always been a vital part of America — but we have the right to pick and choose, and we should certainly take advantage of all the brilliant and productive people who want to be American.  I am NOT saying, however, that the only type of immigrant we want are college-educated professors; far from it.  Anyone who is law-abiding and willing to work hard would probably be a great addition to the country — but there is a difference between assuming that person has a “right” to be a citizen and a country maintaining the ability to GRANT citizenship.  Does that make sense?

6. Marijuana – legalize it.  It’s hypocritical (we allow alcohol) and, perhaps more importantly, it’s stupid.  It’s a huge waste of resources to prosecute herbal offences and doesn’t do a damn thing as far as usefulness goes. (Yes, I do actually know people arrested for possession of marijuana.  I promise you it was an utter waste of resources on the part of the state and did not do a damned thing as far as changing anyone’s behavior.  No, it was not me, but nice try!)

7. War on Drugs in general — I don’t approve of heroin, or coke, or any hard-core drugs, but I am not convinced that criminalizing their use is a) morally appropriate — adults have the right to treat their bodies as they see fit; b) worth a damn thing, as far as having actual results for our money.  I wouldn’t list #7 as one of the issues I feel super-passionate about, but there it is.

8. Gay marriage — I’m in favor.  I don’t see it as a danger to society and I think two loving consenting adults can do whatever the hell they want.  I do however recognize that lots of people, especially adherents of a traditional religion (definitely not me), have valid concerns about the issue, how it’s being raised, how it’s being addressed (judicial fiat versus electoral choice) and its impact on society.  I’m not real hot on polygamy because I don’t think that’s a good role model for kids . . . but I, and you, know plenty of one-mother-one-father couples who are WRETCHED role models for kids too. 

9. Second Amendment — what part of “shall not infringe” is complicated here?  Where has gun control decreased crime in the United States?  How are those cities with absolute gun bans (except for favored celebrities, of course) doing with their crime statistics?  Gun bans are both ineffective and morally wrong, in my book.

10. There is a huge difference between charity and welfare.  Charity is when people willingly decide to share their good fortune and wealth with those who are less fortunate; recipients of charity are being given a gift.  On the other hand, you are ELIGIBLE for welfare or you are not; it’s considered a right, if you fit in the correct income level, something to which you are entitled.  To get really simplistic, the difference is between a) my walking through Boston and choosing to offer my restaurant leftovers to someone on the corner who looks hungry, or just might enjoy them, and b) that person standing outside the restaurant and claiming that I OWE them food.  There is a place in this country for both charity and for welfare, but please stop pretending they’re the same thing!

Anything I miss?  No?  Okay, everyone jump in the comments and tell me where I’m wrong!

*Evil Conservative is the name of my political philosophy.  It is meant tongue-in-cheek — I don’t think conservatism is really evil — but I don’t want to ever take my philosophy too seriously.  Especially considering that so many of my beliefs from ten years ago are now 180 degrees away from what I believe now.  Who knows what I’ll believe in another ten years?  I don’t claim any monopoly on knowledge or wisdom, y’all; I dress my cat up in chicken costumes and am not ashamed of liking Taco Bell.  Surely that disqualifies me from anything too serious.

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4 Responses to “Political Snapshot 2008”

  1. Sevesteen said

    I think you are a moderate libertarian. I agree with 95% of what you say in this post, and that’s what I call myself. I started thinking I was a liberal–I’ve changed some, but I’ve also become more aware of alternatives to the standard liberal or conservative choices.

    The extreme Libertarians are, well, extreme. I don’t think I’d like a pure Libertarian government better than what we have now. (I could be wrong) However, the Libertarians are the only ones I’m aware of headed the same direction that I am. I might get off the bus before they do, but that stop is a long way from here.

  2. Allura said

    You pretty much match where I’ve realized I am, and all those little political quizzes say I’m a “moderate libertarian” (when they don’t claim I’m a Republican).

  3. I share all of Lissa’s views listed here, and I’m not comfortable with the Libertarian label. I think of myself as more of a Federalist with the guiding principle being that political decisions should be made at the lowest level possible.
    Where I part from the Libertarians is their desire to use the incorporation doctrine to universalize ‘rights’.

  4. […] do an Inaugural Address.  (Note — I’ve stated my views on gay marriage before — see number 8 — but I see merit in the views on both sides of the […]

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