Thursday, July 07, 2005


A Word About Politics

I'm sick of politics. Now, understand, I'm not apathetic or uninterested in political thought. To the contrary, I have always held a natural proclivity for it. When I was ten years old, I'd frequently go over to my great uncle Paul's house to discuss/argue politics with him. And I relished those discussions. He was a life-long Democrat, but also a reasonable fellow and could see why I held Reagan in such high regard.

I was constantly irked by the legions of my unionized relatives in the old steel town I grew up in (Pittsburgh) who blamed Reagan for the loss of jobs in the city. It was such a copout. My ideology was already formed at a young age - even if I could not articulate it at the time. In short, I believed in individual responsibility over a victim-mindset. And I still do. As such, it is the core reason I continue to consider myself a conservative.

But things get complicated, and as a result, I am a much more bleeding heart conservative than most. Anyway, my point is that things are complicated. Very few issues are black and white. Yet we have "teams" in politics. We have the good guys who are affiliated with your respective team - be it D or R. It's so silly because the issues the teams espouse do not necessarily flow logically. Yet people are so beholden to their respective teams that they do not let the inherent inconsistencies get in the way of good, old fashioned partisanship.

For example, why on earth should I not care about the earth just because I care about the lives of unborn children? I'm a capitalist, but there should be limits placed upon the free markets. Drilling in Alaska is not a solution to our country's oil problems. It's a stop gap, we need a solution. We need to do whatever it takes to ween ourselves off of oil dependence. And in a hurry.

We do not need an Amendment to keep people from burning the flag. If someone wants to burn a flag, I say go for it. In fact, put that person on TV burning the stars and stripes, and watch the poll numbers go up in favor of the war, trade, or whatever issue that traitor is opposing. Make more movies I hate like Farenheit 911. Please continue to speak your mind, Mr. Moore, and thank you for your help in getting moderates to move in droves to vote for Mr. Bush.

I've been doing some reading in various airports recently in the midst of a considerable travel schedule. Amongst the reading was an interesting article in The Economist magazine about giving aid to Africa. Now, in general, I like less government, not more. And I am much more inclined to support private efforts to help people than I am bloated, bureaucratic ones. But it's not that easy.

There are ten million children orphaned by AIDS in Africa. There is a genocide going on in the Sudan right now that some estimates show has cost the lives of upwards of one quarter million innocent people. Worldwide, there are more than a billion people who lack access to clean drinking water.

Oh, but I'm sorry, I forgot that I'm a conservative so therefore I don't care about these issues. I'm tired of it. (The sad thing is as long as Democrats fail to value the lives of unborn children, I'll continue to vote Republican.) My point is not to suggest that my viewpoints on these issues are the right ones, but rather that they are all over the map and I don't understand why this is the exception rather than the rule. Afterall, we are human beings with minds and not sheep. The blatant hypocrisy and intellectual dishonesty that results from blind partisanship gets to be a bit too much for me to take.

What can I say, but Amen!

Blessings in Christ Jesus!
Thanks Phil. It's good to be reminded that I'm not completely alone in feeling this way.
So Chad, you are a one issue voter, huh? Sounds like you've got lots of issues you care about, but only one that influences the way you vote?

I don't hate politics, even though I feel like you frequently. My team, Dems, don't get it right all the time. I just think that they get it right more than the opposition. I hope, even against the odds, that my small corner of the blogosphere will work to change the Democratic Party into a more coherent sets of values and policies from the inside. And now is a perfect time as many Democrats are still soul-searching.

ps. Thanks for adding the RSS feed. :-)
Expat, This was a bit of a cranky post. In truth, I certainly don't want to become consumed with whining about things, but rather I'd hope to serve as a force for positive change as you are attempting to do.

About the "one-issue voter" thing: I think about this quite a bit actually. It's kind of weird actually because my career (financial planning) and formal education (economics) would dictate a strong bias toward economic policy in voting. And, of course, I have strong opinions on economic policy and preferences as to what works best... BUT in my opinion 50 economic policy changes do not rise to the level of importance and societal ramifications as an issue like abortion does.

In my opinion, there are a only handful of issues that carry a certain gravitas that far exceeds all others. I can think of war, abortion, genocide/AIDs issues in Africa as examples. These are matters of life and death. For instance, IF I were outraged over the Iraq war and found it to be a completely morally deprived mission, I could be completely justified in voting against Bush even if I agreed with almost everything else.

So I think the "one-issue voter" tag is kind of misleading. It connotes some sort of simplicity of mindset when in reality it involves a complicated decision to weight priorities and make a decision based on matters most important.
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