Monday, October 09, 2006
If I was not a Libertarian...
I've not been very impressed with my party lately, the Libertarian Party (www.lp.org) that is. Although the most viable 3rd party option, we still get thumped by the green party in national politics, but what the hell; we keep chugging along. At the same time it gets frustrating. How do I make a change and really influence what I believe in? Do I keep sledging through the mud of 3rd party hell? or do I play the insurgent madman, join a major party and try to spark the larger debate from within? If my party did not exist, what would be closer to my beliefs, the Donkeys or the Elephants?
Why not let my friends here at bloggerville help me out. I have plenty of both parties represented in my list of visitors so I think I'll get my share of fair and balance (no pun intended). So I will give you my issues, point by point and maybe you guys can give me a brief paragraph as to why I soul join the Dark side, or light side, or whatever you deem you party to be. Here goes.
War / Military: As a classic conservative, I don't believe in foreign intervention (I leave that to the neo-cons). I believe in using the military only for domestic defense or in defense of my neighbor if I feel his ass is going to get run over by somebody who will soon by on my border. The whole notion of nation building and spreading freedom is a Liberal and idealistic concept that I simply do not subscribe to. Liberty may by a human endeavor, and democracy may be the best form of government (for us folks with flushing toilets) but I don't think its my or my country's business to shove my idea of freedom or governance to anybody.
(Am I a democrat? or a Republican?)
Education: I think public education, while noble in intent, has failed miserably. The unions have made their member's well-being more important than the audience it serves, the kids. But, unlike my Libertarian brethren, I believe government can assist and enable national standards of grading, curriculum and systems. The problem is that there is no choice. You mention vouchers and the unions go ape-shit, the districts see their $8,000 per student federal dole flying away and before we know its a cluster-puck of politics. Why not have more charter schools? why not have tax deductions for home-schooling? Abe Lincoln was taught in a one-room class and to this date I don't think any of OUR kids has his penmanship... I think public education is good, I think it has to be overhauled at the core level, unions have to be peeled from holding the states by the balls, and parents HAVE to be forced (yes forced) to participate in the education of their kids. If uncle Sam is pony-ing up 8 grand to put your offspring through school, then you should show your damn appreciation by doing your part in after-school programs and helping with their schoolwork. But that's just me.
(so what am I, a republican? or a democrat?)
Social programs: Morally I believe it brings the best of us when we as a society care for those who cant provide for themselves. There I threw you a liberal bone. Now lets get down to brass tax (damn that work makes me jumpy). Social Security?... kill it. This was a little program plowed through congress by FDR that was supposed to be a temporary fix during the great depression. As all Federal programs, it never died. It got bigger and bigger, to the point that politicians use it to scare the shit out of seniors. Republicans say that the system is broken and it needs to be fixed or it will bankrupt in however many years, so they want to privatized it, make it more individually manageable,... basically then want to have what Congress and Galveston Texas has but nobody else does, the ability to make more that the paltry 1% interest rate it gets now. Democrats, tell me that those mean Republicans want me to whither on the vine when I am retiring by killing the holy grail of social safety nets. How did we ever make it before social security?... I wonder about that. I believe we should kill the program, give the money back to the people and let them invest it as they see fit. Why the hell does government have to baby sit my ass? Besides, since when do the Feds manage anything better than private enterprise? Name me one, ONE paragon of fiscal success in any Federal level..... I'll wait while you think of one.
(don't even bother, I know this makes me a quasi-Republican in this matter but go ahead and tell me anyway)
Taxes: Please forgive my up-chucking as I plow through this most painful of subjects. I believe that taxes are necessary, yes I do. The military (capped), roads, infrastructure, public schools and universities, police, firefighters and hospitals,... Basics of society's needs. Got it?... ok now the carving knife comes out. Mass transportation? only in cities. These quaint little railway systems are money pitts. They work great in Europe where the populace is centered around the metro areas, but in USA where suburbia is exploding? forget it. Amtrak? kill it. Gas tax? Instead of blaming the recent high gas prices on the flavor of the month issue, maybe by cutting the obscene dollar or so that state, federal and local government's make per gallon, we would have never been so damn expensive in the first place. Let's see, every one of my take-home checks is 40% light. Imagine that. Then I pay taxes on food, gas, sales, insurance, utilities, DMV fees, ... I am being bled to to the bone, all to subsidize crap I don't want, or don't need,.. or care for an increasing percentage of socialists who want to live on the largesse of a system they rebel against. Ironic, isn't it?
(So what am I? A republican or a democrat?)
Small or Big Gov?: What ever happened to the founding fathers ideal of LIMITED government? Seriously... what happened? Both parties spend like fiscal savants. I was just watching a debate between two candidates for a congressional seat in Texas. It was comical to see them tripping over each other to see who could promise MORE to the audience,..... huh? Is that what we have become? Do we vote for the one who gives us more? I thought we were vigorously self-sufficient, weary of government, and fiercely independent! Since when do we demand that our officials give us MORE? when was the last time someone said, "I am going to cut something", and won? What started with FDR going ape-shit with the raw , er... new deal and giving up the store, has permeated to neo-cons giving away billions of dollars in prescription drugs and education grants, billions of dollars in missiles to kill the planet 50 times over (in case we miss the first 49 times) and adding trillions and trillions to the national debt. What the hell is going on? I am for minimal but effective goverment. I am for fair use of our treasure. I am for giving incentive to the wealth and business creators of the nation so that the bastions of capitalism can reign supreme. But I am also for a goverment that is fair in taxation, able to care for the oppressed and unable to care for themselves, and a goverment smart enough to stay the hell away from my pocket and what I do with my crotch.
(Am I a democrat? or a republican?)
Ok Thats enough issues, don't want to get anybody bored, after all, Monday night Football is on in a few minutes.....