For my entire adult life I have been a registered Democrat. I am not certain what in my childhood pushed me in that direction as both my parents were registered Republicans. I loved my parents. Politics was never discussed in our house so that was not an influence. But I know my parents supported Eisenhower and Nixon. In 1968 when Nixon was elected president I was in the army but I did not trust him for reasons I am not certain of. I was not of age to vote but I remember having strong negative feelings about him, even though I was already in the military. Those feelings did not change some years later when he was responsible for a huge increase in our military pay.
I bring up my military background because I have very strong feelings about the military. I am very proud of my service and feel very protective towards it when I see anyone threaten any part of their existence. That is, I have never fully embraced the base closures and reductions that started under the first Bush and have continued to this day.
Among conservatives, it seems to me, there is a belief that if you are a registered Democrat you are not strongly in the military’s corner. Nothing could be further from the truth for me. I guess that means that my beliefs about the military are extremely Republican. I have no desire to change that in the least.
Then there is my somewhat strange stand of being anti-abortion but pro-choice. For me there is nothing conflicting about such a stand. I think abortion to be morally wrong, reprehensible. But since I view it as a moral issue I also believe in the idea that each person must have the right to make a decision about the morality, or lack of morality, associated with abortion. Every woman must be given the right to decided if having an abortion is the right thing to do. Were I to be asked by such a woman, I would always tell her that I think she should not have an abortion, regardless of the condition that made her pregnant or of any implication of the state of the child upon birth. I simply believe that upon conception there exists a human life. We as a society decry the taking of a human life and I extend that to mean “at any stage of life.” To differentiate is to abrogate responsibility. This, quite sadly, includes cases of rape, incest, and where it is reasonable to expect that a live birth will result in a child with substantial physical and/or mental problems. I am also against the death penalty for the very same reasons. I believe in consistency and I think it inconsistent to believe in one but not the other.
I think that we as Americans have a responsibility to the unfortunates of our society. That includes programs such as welfare and other such government sponsored programs. But that said, I also think we have gone beyond the point of reasonableness in the administration of these programs. We have made it easier for some to continue on such welfare programs than it is desirable for the individual to remove themselves from its roles. The size of social programs need reduction, desperately.
We are one of the most violent nations in the world. We want all deserving Americans to be afforded the right to possess the fire arms of their choice but we are unwilling to take the responsible task of clearing each person for their right to possess any single arm. It seems to me reasonable that any law-abiding person would not mind a background check to ensure they have not at some point in their past given up the right to legally possess a fire arm. I do not think there should be any restriction, with a very few exceptions, on the type of fire arm a person might purchase, just on how that comes to pass. Any reasonable person who truly desires to have responsible purchase and sale of fire arms necessarily wants safeguards in place to restrict the criminal element from gaining access to such arms. That does not exist in America today. That means Americans, right now, do not mind criminals purchasing fire arms since they refuse to allow reasonable background checks.
In that same vein, Americans are also unwilling to provide for the proper incarceration of criminals, particularly violent criminals. America’s laws in the prosecution of violent criminals can vary greatly from one state to the next. A criminal can commit a murder, admit to it, and walk free because of certain deals that prosecutors make. If we are ever to get a substantial reduction in our crime rate we must do several things. One is a more uniform sentencing criteria from one state to the next. Part of that would include a universal minimum sentence requirement in all states, to include cases where a criminal makes a plea deal. Minimum sentencing would eliminate any criminal from getting “a walk” on a serious crime because of his help in prosecuting another criminal. But this also means we are going to have to build more facilities to accommodate the increased prisoner population. We also have to increase the size of our police forces and their budgets of course.
There is no place for God in our American government. God is a purely religious concept that has as many variations as there are people in the United States. To allow God into the government, regardless of the level, necessarily requires definition. The creates the problem of what definition is accepted, and ultimately, how is that definition fair to all the people of the United States. To be fair, there are millions of people, other than atheists, who do not believe in God as the Judeo-Christain concept goes. Ultimately those people are opted-out when such a definition is decided upon. Our government must be better than that. It is better that all religious definition be removed from our government than to allow even an amalgam in.
I believe in my state that my district US representative and both my state’s US Senators have failed us. The are more concerned with political expediency that constituent desires. I have heard nothing out of the Elizabeth Warren camp in her opposition to Scott Brown, the incumbent Republican. My tendency now is to vote for Brown even though I am a Democrat because I think the arrogance of the Democrat party in Massachusetts has resulted in too much failure. I can only think Warren is displaying some of that arrogance now, thinking Massachusetts Democrat tendencies will propel her come November. She will be surprised if she continues to think that way.
I am disillusioned with America’s Republican and Democrat political parties because I think it painfully obvious that each has allowed PACs to rule its positions, to select its candidates in some cases, and to ultimately become insensitive to the needs of its constituency. Each party has with lies, which it euphemistically calls spin, to justify positions it takes. Each party uses various fear tactics to reel in voters to the positions they desire, even when such positions are at the peril of the very voters they represent. As Pogo said so eloquently, and so long ago, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”