September 13th, 2003

i'm ready for my close up mr demille

disappointment and My Politics - volume one

Location: Columbus, OH

Slowly working my way east. I'll hit New Jersey sometime very late tonight. I had to stop and take a nap this afternoon though, I was getting kinda sleepy.

I am resolving myself to the fact that I will probably not be able to catch up with Agnes this weekend. I have not been able to reach her and have little hope of doing so before the end of the day. Oh well, it was a fun taste of excitement for a little while, I guess.

Quite some time ago, a person whose journal I read did a wonderful entry detailing their personal politics on relevant issues, etc. Ever since reading that it has made me think of doing the same, and for the past several weeks I've been solidifying them in my head. The problem is I can be somewhat wishy-washy on my politics. I don't think it's so much that I don't have conviction, but that I tend to be a pragmatist and find credence and absurdity at both ends of the political spectrum. I guess one would call me a "moderate" but I think that's oversimplified. I have some moderate views, I also have some very liberal views and some very conservative views. At any rate, this is the reason that it makes it hard for me to pin down my politics. I spent the first 14 years of my voter eligiibility as a registered Republican, yet I tended to vote with the Democrats mostly. At least, their candidates seemed to be the lesser of two evils in most elections in recent memory.. Last year I switched my registration to the Democratic party since it seemed to be where I voted most consistently. I don't really feel an affinity for either party and have yet to find a "third" party which matches my politics. Libetarians, Green, Reform, they all have planks in their platforms which I can identify with but as a whole, much like the major parties, there is nothing which appeals to me as a "whole". As a general rule, my politics look something like this. Like conservatives, I believe in a limited role of government. Government should exist to protect and ensure our liberties, provide basic public services, provide for the commen defense, and provide minimal reuglation that can only be done at the federal level. Laws should be based at the lowest level of local government first and only filter up to federal level when it is clear that certain rights/liberties need to be protected at a federal level. However, more like a liberal, I think the rights of the individual is soveregin and should only be infringed when they interfere with the rights of another or present a direct danger to another individual or the republic. This, in essence, is my definition of crime. Any action which does not interfere with a person's individual rights or loss of private/public property should not be criminal, and in most all cases, perfectly legal. There are services and provisions of government which I think are too far reaching as any conservative will agree (education, aspects of our welfare system), but at the same time, there are basic human services which our government does not currently provide for which I think should be within the scope of the federal government, like lliberals (healthcare). That being said, I think that both ends of the spectrum spend far too much time bickering with political rhetoric and line toeing rather than rolling up their sleeves and tackling the issues with any practical sense. Of course, this is the beauty of the American system: issues evolve, water down, and a middle ground is eventually achieved, with both sides making concessions and the will of the general populace is more or less honored. The down side is that the process is usually a long and arduous one and the end result is imperfection which requires decades, generations, and even centuries to perfect, if ever. The practical plus though is democracy without mob rule, which no one wants. A "true" democracy would be tyranny in sheep's clothing.

So, without further ado; subject to change without notice and presented with a disclaimer of "read at your own risk", here is part one of "My Politics". I don't know how many parts this will end up being, but here is the first seven.

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Feel free to comment, flame, argue, discuss among yourselves and with me.