My Political Platform

Since I was a toddler (okay, maybe not that young) I’ve always had my unique point of view on politics and social issues – I mean who doesn’t, right? I heard somewhere that people tend to become more conservative when they get older. I guess I don’t really fit into that category. I could give the same speech today against capital punishment that I gave to my 11th grade Speech class. I could write the same pro-choice paper that I wrote for college over 10 years ago (a paper which I wrote for my girlfriend that landed her an “F” from her bible-thumping teacher). Either I never grew up or I grew up too fast. I was all too aware of these social issues at an early age. I think I realized even then how insane things can get when the few dictate to the many.

CNN.com has an excellent poll this week that asks how you feel on the key political issues du jour. Below is my graphical rating and also my answers to their questions. What are your answers?

Party

    Q: What party would you say you are affiliated with?
    A: Democratic

War In Iraq

    Q: Do you favor or oppose the U.S. war in Iraq?
    A: Oppose

    Q: Do you think the U.S. should or should not withdraw some troops from Iraq by the end of the year?
    A: Should withdraw

    Q: Do you think the U.S. will or will not win the war in Iraq?
    A: Will not win

Economic Issues

    Q: Do you favor or oppose raising the minimum wage to $7.15 an hour (from the present $5.15 an hour)?
    A: Favor

    Q: Do you think the federal government should or should not impose a tax on estates that are worth more than $1 million?
    A: Should not

    Q: Do you think the government should be primarily responsible for solving the problems of poverty and homelessness, or do you think those problems should be the responsibility of individuals, businesses and private or religious organizations?
    A: Individuals, businesses, organizations

Terrorism

    Q: Do you favor or oppose wiretapping phone conversations between someone in the U.S. and someone in another country without a court order if the government suspects that one of those people may be a terrorist?
    A: Oppose

    Q: Do you think the actions taken by the federal government since 9/11 have made the U.S. safer or less safe from terrorism?
    A: Less safe

    Q: Do you think it is more effective to try to prevent terrorist attacks on the U.S. by military action or by economic and diplomatic actions?
    A: Diplomatic actions

Immigrations

    Q: Do you favor or oppose building a fence along the entire border with Mexico?
    A: Oppose

    Q: Do you favor or oppose increasing penalties for employers who hire illegal immigrants?
    A: Favor

    Q: Do you favor or oppose allowing some illegal immigrants to stay in the U.S. and apply for citizenship if they have a job and pay back taxes?
    A: Oppose

Moral Issues

    Q: On abortion, if you had to choose, would you describe yourself as “pro-life” or “pro-choice?”
    A: “Pro-choice”

    Q: Do you think the federal government should or should not fund research that would use newly created stem cells obtained from human embryos?
    A: Should not fund

    Q: Do you think marriages between gays or lesbians should or should not be recognized by the law as valid?
    A: Should

2 comments On My Political Platform

  • The Fearsome Randall

    I wasn’t really impressed with the quiz. I think it distorts some of the issues by making them eitheror and Rightleft.

    >I could give the same speech today
    >against capital punishment that I gave
    >to my 11th grade Speech class. I could
    >write the same pro-choice paper that I
    >wrote for college over 10 years ago

    This suprises me Matt. I know that in high school you were very passionate about politics. But I think you replaced that passion with your interest in psychology, so you simply haven’t refined your positions on political issues (think about how much time you spend on political issues versus pyschology).

    I don’t think that either abortion or capital punishment can be answered matter-of-factly on one side or the other. While at the same time I am not advocating some spineless “well it is this, as well as that position” either. Let me explain.

    If I remember correctly, in the paper that you wrote about abortion you heavily berated religion for distorting an issue that was properly about Rights.

    Abortion is a debate that spans a spectrum where some on the left argue that a fetus is no different than mere cells in a petri dish, where as some on the Right argue that abortion is no less than murder, suggesting that the fetus has the Rights of a protected citizen.

    The Roe v. Wade decision says (granted, in the very obscure terms of privacy) that only the pregnant women has Rights.

    Yet it is undeniable that the fetus is inspirited with the potentiality of life. In fact, a contradiction occurs when those on the left accept the regenerative capacity of the stem cell, but then argue that the fetus does not represent “life”. When you take sides on this issue you get quite simply a contradiction.

    The problem is that the debate doesn’t recognize that there are different legitimate spheres of social influence.

    There is the sphere of Right and the sphere of morality.

    Rights provide the formal framework for a fundamental base for the protection of individuals acting in a intersubjective context. For example, property Right. Without property Right then I would not have the Rights to my own body, consequently I could become a slave and lose all of my Rights.

    Justice Scalia argues that the U.S. constitution does not explicitly protect Right to abortion, yet Scalia would never make the arguement that the constitution does not explicitly protect property Right. Yet the logical inference can easily be made from property Right to the Right of a women to her own body.

    If we make abortion illegal then a women’s Rights to her own body have been compromised. This is from the perspective of Rights.

    The moral sphere is a purely individual sphere of a particular individual’s idea of good intentions. I can argue easily that the destruction of a potential life is immoral, while at the same time I can just as easily argue that the destruction of a potential life is not immoral.

    Thus we need the ethical sphere where a group of individuals willingly enters into an agreement that “we all agree that these things are moral”. This is called an ethical community (e.g. the church). Individuals that participate in the ethical community agree to abide by the morals of the community.

    However, if an individual breaks a rule, he is not arrested, instead he is thrown out of the community or penalized in some way.

    Okay so the point is that I think that everyone in America should agree that abortion should be discouraged. Thus we should discard the position by the left that fetuses are equivalent to cells in a petri dish and the attitude that says, “well if you think abortion is wrong, don’t have one!”. While at the same time we should discard the Right’s position that says that women do not have full Rights to their own body.

    Thus we should here confirm the Right of a women to her own body, yet at the same time we should legitimate the power of the ethical community (i.e. churchs and other community organizations and also the family) to discourage abortions (e.g. providing alternative pathways).

    So in this way we have a true middle ground that both recognizes the sanctity of life (and the role of the ethical community) while at the same time recognizes the individual Rights of a women to her own body.

    >Either I never grew up or I grew up
    >too fast. I was all too aware of these
    >social issues at an early age

    Well, for sure I think that you crystalized your opinions on social issues at an early age, but you then quickly shifted your emphasis on your true interest, yourself.

    And it is my personal opinion that you have looked at yourself through the lens of an individual psychology perspective ever since. And it is in this way that I have always thought that you studied yourself as isolated (or removed) from your social context.

    >I was all too aware of these social
    >issues at an early age. I think I
    >realized even then how insane things
    >can get when the few dictate to the
    >many.

    Oh boy! Here you sound like a true Democrat, but I should remind you then of your absolute abhorrence for the masses. So how do reconcile these two? And please don’t hide behind practicality or Kant will roll over in his grave.

  • Oh, the complexity of your thought. When you vote there isn’t an essay section. It’s multiple choice. I agree these are complex issues but I wasn’t attempting to layout why I believe what I do, but only what I believe. Why I believe what I do will have to be a journal entry for another day.

    BTW, Democrats won the House today. It looks like an American theocracy has been held off … at least for the time being.

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