Sunday, September 04, 2011

Sunday Morning Soapbox: Before You

Kris: You didn’t really think I’d talk politics for most of the week, then let you off easy on Sunday, did you?

Terry: You know, for a second there…yeah, I kinda did.

Kris: I did it 35 minutes ago.

Terry: …what?

I know my blogs in the past week, where I espouse teaching children critical thinking in schools and talk about why women and gays get treated differently, might paint the image that I’m some sort of liberal. I’m not.

Well, not entirely. I prefer to think of myself as a moderate, though I don’t say it much because most people feel the same way. At least they claim they are when trying to avoid awkward conversations with near-strangers who are just way more passionate about an issue than they are. Another reason I don’t mention it is because I’m not moderate and I know that.

Smaller Government & State Governments
When I read Michelle Bachmann’s website or Mitt Romney’s website and they talk about smaller government and fiscal responsibility, I am with that.

The government does not have infinite money and cannot do infinite things. Realizing that there are limitations to what government should do is apparently beyond the abilities of our system; there will always be one more thing the government wants to do. Realizing that there are limitations to what government can do is the next best thing and it’s far easier to realize in the form of economic constraints.

States should address a number of these things at their level. Whether it’s health care, gay marriage, or even state highway maintenance, federal activity shouldn’t be the first level of engagement.

Border Security & Drugs
Rick Perry wants to secure the hell out of our borders. I’m cool with that. Who wouldn’t be? Who’s “pro a system that lets criminals into your backyard”? No one. There are people who believe that illegal immigration is an economic and social symbiosis whereby non-American workers do jobs that Americans won’t because there’s no other way to support their families. I simply don’t think that an under-the-table patch job packaged with criminal activity is the way to address those issues.

Drug crime in Mexico is pretty rough fucking brutal right now. After several years of accommodation, the government is fighting the drug cartels, but the cartels are insinuated into Mexican culture and well-funded by US consumption. We should help Mexico, protect our own borders, and work on reducing demand for illegal drugs at home which fuels drug violence.

I don’t think that drugs are bad; I’d be open to legalizing some of them to erode the power of the cartels. Like the X-Men analogy I made a few weeks ago; the trick isn’t to outlaw drugs and then punish people into not ever using them. The goal is to create a society where people are responsible enough not to use drugs destructively. No, this isn't a liberal view; it's a very libertarian one.

Traditional Family Values
I believe in traditional family values. I think that a family should ideally have two parents, even if that isn’t always possible. I think a house with just one parent should have enough time to be a family, and have enough work to prevent fear of want or sickness.

Keeping America Strong
I don’t believe in “making America strong” for the sake of making America strong. I do believe that nations like Iran, Korea, China, and even Russia pose economic, social, ideological, and military challenges that are better addressed sooner rather than later. I believe many within their leadership have attitudes that only respect strength. I believe it’s unrealistic to single-handedly face the challenges they pose. It believe it’s only slightly less unrealistic to limit our allies in such struggles to NATO, Taiwan, and/or Israel and focus our engagement on a military and diplomatic levels.

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