The more classes I take in college, the more parts of me I tried burying comes out. I’m used to adapting to others for the sake of hating to fight, only to watch as arguments either degrade to idiocy, or feeling a lack of power or confidence from not having the balls to voice my opinion. Unfortunately, I’ve found this often pushes people away, as they can’t trust who I am.
At the same time, however, I feel strongly about who should lead the country, who should get my tax payer dollars, and how this country should run. I don’t care about the inner politics that much, if two big things are true:
- The people running the country are doing what is right for all people, only doing for a select group of people when true wrongs were levied against them,
- They do the job I voted on them to do.
Last October, to me, was a termination sign, a sign that, were the elected officials working under me, would have been the termination point. My job wasn’t personally affected – that, I knew, would come later – but so many people were affected that, because of the nature of my job, there were indirect effects. (By effects: shortest season ever!) Our country shouldn’t run like that – we should never get so locked up as to shut down, especially when none of those elected had to pay a penalty. (Yes, some did – but none of them were forced to. Big Difference.)
As I gain my degrees and pursue the dream jobs I want, I realize I will have to become more acquainted with politics. I also realize people need to understand my goals, which is much more difficult. This post is as much for me as it is for you: a defining point I can come back to and examine to see if I am staying in line with my goals, if what I learn as I go along clashes with these thoughts, a chance to reflect as well as to advertise where I stand.
I’m neither Democrat nor Republican, and there isn’t a party that clearly defines me.
- Abortion: Limited choice. Of the 1.2 million women who do get abortions, there’s only 1-2%, or about 12-24,000 women, who HAVE to have the choice: They are rape and incest victims. There’s another couple of percents – no exact number that I am aware of – who are AT RISK in Pregnancy, where they have something wrong with their body that puts, at minimum, the child, and at worst, both parent and child – who need abortion to be legal, and another couple of percent probably a larger number, I’m going by rough guesses now) who need it because the father is abusive who need the choice.
Then there’s the “shoulds”: People who otherwise behave and act responsibly, but in one moment, either forgot to protect themselves, put it on wrong, got the wrong size, or bought faulty protection. The “shoulds” are probably the largest group: people are irresponsible in every other aspect of life, why would they not be irresponsible in sex? Just because they have that one-time error, they shouldn’t be forced to bring a child into this world they either can’t take care of, or can’t handle.
Which leaves the group I would take away from: Those who abuse the system. I don’t believe it’s as big of a group as pro-lifers make them out to be, but they’re out there: welfare queens who either have too many kids and haven’t learned to close their legs, those who have abortions every time they get pregnant, etc. I believe once you hit a third time, you should be forced into a decision: Jail for murder (the fact that does not change regardless of when or why) or reproduction rights taken away permanently. While I can forgive the person who made “that one mistake,” if you’re just going to kill your kids, you should be removed from the ability to do so anymore.
One last thought, going back to rape: In cases where the woman raped becomes pregnant, regardless of choice, the crime should be bumped up to murder. Even if the kid lives, they most likely would not know who their daddies are, which is even more punishment on the mother. It’s extreme, but it kills a personal bird for me: absentee fathers or “Sperm donors.”
- Gay Rights. I believe human beings are human beings, no matter what their gender, race, age, or sexual preference is, and the only thing that should dictate any bias against people is truly evil actions. Someone dating, living with or having sex with someone of the same sex is NOT a crime unless it is rape – it’s not my preference, it’s not something I want to witness, but it’s nothing that I’m going to bash anyone for. Unless someone does something to make Charlie Manson or Adolf Hitler look like saints, why should I judge them?
One thing that helps me understand this – in spite of how gay people feel about this – is that, from a scientific standpoint, the big difference is the same thing as someone with a mental disability: It’s a hormonal imbalance, something that can’t be corrected, something that happens just as easily as a physical impairment, disfigurement, pigmentation difference, etc. It’s not a disability, anymore than a person being dumb, but it’s more difficult to prove because of what you can’t physically see. Because it’s happened in nature for a long time, it’s also difficult to separate this as a disease, though I’d be willing to venture that part of the reason there’re a lot coming out has something to do with the stuff humans have done to the environment in the last 100+ years.
The short story, though, is that gays are legitimately what they are, and “corrective therapy”or banishing and punishing because “your belief” is against it is the wrong way of addressing the issue. They should be treated the same as anyone else, and should be allowed to marry, just as anyone else would. Maybe if the energy spent bashing people were spent helping people and finding better ways to live, it wouldn’t be a problem.
- Obesity. I’ve actually written a plan that I am revising and planning to send to elected officials soon that would address this problem, but I don’t see the problem as government regulation that visibly affects the consumer. I’m for behind-the-scenes changes: Putting calories on the menus, for example, or banning trans fats in place of healthier cooking oils and foods are a good start, while limiting the size of a drink to 16 oz is not. (This strategy would backfire, as many of the places selling drinks would also be offering free refills, and those who don’t would be ripping people off even more.)
The biggest way to solve the problem is the same way I think most problems in society should be handled is by the 3 P’s: positively, progressively, and proactively. If you treat people like drug addicts and punish them, you’re going to set up for trillions of dollars wasted on trying to keep people from doing it, with little to no success. Funding for treatment and help, encouraging good habits, making sure more good things make it to the consumer – the easier you make it on the consumer, the more you’ll beat the problem in the long-term.
I don’t want to go into too much detail, but as I said, I’m working on something. 🙂
- Taxes and budget. The best solution I have seen to this so far was presented by Herman Cain in the race to the 2012 Primaries: 15% for all Americans, regardless of pay. It’s simple, it could be implemented as to never be noticed – it’s a good way to solve the problem for good. Keep everyone at the same level, make sure everyone pays the same rate – no discounts or exemptions. No one can balk that one group isn’t paying their fair share.
However, getting the money isn’t the only problem – where that money goes is a bigger problem. It’s bad enough that we have $16 trillion in debt to other countries which we have no clue how we’re going to pay, while how many countless projects either go in waiting or are overpaid? We need to re-examine people’s pay, which projects are important, and re prioritize putting the people first. We also need to do it while bringing down the debt we owe – which I refuse to believe to be impossible.
- Education. This is simple as well: free education until you begin earning a Masters Degree. No parent should struggle getting their kids a good education, nor should anyone struggle to make our society better by making it through college. If we put a concentrated effort on making sure everyone is capable of higher thought, the advances we’d make to our society and world would increase at a much more rapid pace.
Making it free for all isn’t the only change that has to happen – the quality of education has to improve as well. Common Core is a starting point, as is early start and no child left behind, but there’s a lot more that needs to be done. Again, like the Obesity epidemic, this should be addressed through the 3 P’s, meaning we need to quit doing things to punish people and start doing things to enable people. Teachers need the capability to do as they need, bad teachers need to be weeded out, students need the necessities to function, and parents need to be able to be involved in their education. This needs to be done not to benefit the teachers or parents – the main focus should always be the student.
- Drugs and alcohol. This one is another area of disagreement as far as the solution goes, but to me, it’s simple: Addicts should not be punished, they need help. We spend all of this money trying to keep the drugs out, trying to keep addicts and dealers in jail, yet it continues to get worse, at the expense of taxpayers and people whose only crime might be a drug addiction.
That doesn’t mean it should be a free-for-all – rather than sending people to jail, we should focus on getting the non-functional, dangerous ones into a rehab. We should cover that as a medical treatment, and furthermore should not have government enforcement until either a drug/alcohol crime happens, or until a person is no longer functional. We should again focus on the 3 P’s in dealing with this problem, to encourage people to not want to start as well as to stop. If we must put some sort of punishment on the people, throw an excise (“sin”) tax on it, and restrict where in public it can be done. This doesn’t mean going psycho (like we have with cigarettes) and ban it from any place with human life, but being reasonable and giving a safe distance between where people can smoke and where kids might be.
- Healthcare. The big problem is not people having insurance – that we’re now under a “life tax” (either we have insurance, or we pay a penalty on our taxes) is the worst part of the PPACA, and why I’d yank the law if I were president – but how much the medical industry can bleed people monetarily. We haven’t been the best medically for a long time, we’ve just been better than some developed countries. To regain the title, we need to copy the costs and deals of other countries while making progressive advances and changes in the medical field. To do that means standing up to these industrial bullies, the hospitals and other medical professionals charging outlandish prices and making mediocre mistakes.
- Military. Big question: when was the last necessary war? When was the last time a true evil existed that we needed our military for? There’s no reason being armed and prepared for the next big crisis, but since 1945, we’ve been acting as a police, running to fight people for all of the wrong reasons. (September is a legitimate exception, and that should have only dealt with Osama Bin Laden – not Saddam Hussein.) Because we are part of NATO and the UN, there’s no reason for not getting involved in legitimate struggles, nor should we sit around of someone attacks us, but why are we wasting resources fighting where we don’t belong?
- Jobs. Obviously all of what I seek here politically would open the doors to many jobs, but we need to do more. In addition to the education, people should be taught in how to work legitimately in a job – something I think is sorely lacking in the job market today. How many people would complain about the jobs being sucked up by illegal immigrants if they had the skills to find better work?
We need to change some of what is allowed and done here. We have a huge discrepancy between the rich and the poor, with little to no middle class, people being paid unfairly or discriminated against for factors not involving work, and greed being the main factor in the problems in the U.S. We need to bring the wages and wealth of the rich down to more realistic terms, while bringing the poor and middle class to a level that’s thriving while still fair. It might be “socialist,” but if we were being honest with ourselves, we’d where this leads and why it needs to change.
- How I judge candidates: I refuse to play the party politics game, and while I lean more liberal in views, some things need to have conservative views understood and applied as well. I’m not against a two/multiple party system, but we need the parties to once again work for the people and not for the rich people lining their coffers.
There are two factors I consider in a president: What they plan to do in office, and what leadership skills they show. Attack ads do nothing but throw me against the people making them; every single tea party candidate eligible for election here has been ignored because people in their party has felt it necessary to slam their opponents than to reveal a real plan. Instead, “what are they cutting, what are they adding, what are they going to do” gets the focus, along with their actions and comments in the race. McCain lost my vote in 2008 when conflicts between interns for both him and Palin showed a lack of leadership skills; Romney’s “47%” comment showed me not only a lack of caring for those he deemed in that percentage, but a disbelief in being able to convince those people of his leadership skills. Obama won my vote in 2008; his lack of leadership when Republicans took over the House of Representatives in 2010 forced me to vote for “Mickey Mouse/Donald Duck” (a throwaway vote) in 2012. (I wanted heads rolling!)
In the event I am unfamiliar with a race, such as I often am in local functions, I vote for incumbents, though that will change with the next election. In the event of none of those, I do random numbers. Not fair to them, but if I’m unfamiliar with them, they’ve not done enough to inform me – it’s equal blame.
- The Most Important Factor: The human factor. The basic question will always boil down to “What are you going to do to better our lives?” Sometimes it lines up with my life, sometimes I have to bitch and moan because, even though it doesn’t line up with mine, I know it lines up with life in America overall.
Finally, there’s stuff I’m leaving off right now to address in the future, such as the 1st and 2nd amendments. There are a lot of problems that need solutions, and I look for those whose plans and actions line up with what I look for. More importantly, though, I look for those who will be active in looking for solutions, not promises.
Happy 4th of July!