It occurred to me that I have never written a clear explanation of my political views. Rather than being a manifesto, I would like to put forth a sort of political mission statement which defines my views as plainly and simply as I can. This is also the first dual post which will go on both Skeptical Eye and Anything But Theist that I have ever done, as I think the content of it would be useful if posted for both audiences.
While I consider myself a liberal – a far, far left, though non-extremist liberal – I’m not a Democrat. I hate Obama, and hate is a strong word. Frankly, I wouldn’t care if he died and Joe Biden became president (he’s just crazy enough for me to like a little bit). But this shouldn’t be about who I like and dislike, or making shocking statements that can be construed as thinly veiled threats.
One thing I was reminded of recently was that many liberals hate capitalism. I do not. While I’m not a functionalist, I see a need for free enterprise just as I see a need for government, which is why I’m not an anarchist. Don’t get me wrong, I think I would rather live in a socialist anarchy than under cronyism, but capitalism and democracy need not devolve into an unhealthy relationship between the wealthy and the governing.
To this end, the very system we have today could, I believe, be solved with simple but stringent regulation on both business and government. I’m big on regulation, especially when it comes to business and government. When it comes to individual people, however, I couldn’t possibly oppose regulation any more.
I think the role of the government regarding individuals is to defend personal liberty, not enforce social norms. Gay marriage ought to be legal, and marrying your horse ought to be legal, too. Yeah, I said it. Get the fuck over it. Is the world going to end if some psycho marries an animal? Chances are he was going to fuck it anyway, so who cares? There are so much worse things done to horses, but remember: nay means nay.
I believe every drug should be legalized for purchase by adults over 15. I think you should be allowed to apply for adulthood at 15, for that matter. This may seem confusing or foreign, but I think that those who are willing to accept responsibility for themselves at 15 ought to be legally allowed to apply for adult status before 18.
I believe in strict gun control, though people should be allowed to own firearms. I don’t have any specific rules I believe in here, because I think it ought to be up to a community to determine what restrictions are in place, from the state down. If a state wants to ban handguns, that’s their choice. If a city wants to ban high capacity magazines, that’s also their choice. If you don’t like it, move somewhere else. I’m sure you’ll always find the gun you want in Texas, and if that’s too warm, try one of the Dakotas.
Not only do I support abortion, I advocate for infanticide. Why? Because I don’t see anything wrong with killing something during a stage when no one on Earth has conscious memory. I would say a good cut off for when you can’t kill a baby is when they can talk. Words or sentences? What if they’re mute? All valid concerns, but I think it’s best left to the individual mother. Oh yeah, the mother should decide, not the father. Maybe a safer cutoff would be to say “When you apply for a birth certificate,” and make some arbitrary limit, say a few months or a year, though I would prefer just leaving it to individual discretion.
I’m a huge supporter of a Palestinian state, and I view Israel as a human rights catastrophe. Some days I think that maybe they can live side by side with the Palestinians, but other days I can’t forget the fact that they manipulated colonialism through sympathetic pity over the Holocaust to oppress the Palestinian people and murder 1.5 million of them. So, I border on supporting a two-state solution and simply kicking the Jews out completely.
Now that I’ve lost the attention of all of my liberal readers (and the very religious conservatives), time for me to alienate those on the right. I think the tax rate on income over $500,000 should be over 75%. I think churches should be taxed. I think private charities ought to be highly regulated and forced to spend a very high percentage of their income on actual services, not administrative fees, or else face taxation. Inheritance should also be heavily taxed beyond a certain point (I have no specific amount in mind, but I would say anything above six digits should be taxed as income).
Basically I love taxes… except sales, property, and corporate tax. If your income is going to be taxed, your money shouldn’t be double taxed by taxing you again when you go to spend it or for simply owning property, and income earned by a company ought to be used to pay those who work there and grow the business.
I think the money we spend on the military should be used in education, and the money currently used for education can be the new military budget. We have too many smart bombs and dumb kids. Wars can be supported democratically through the purchase of war bonds, which will ensure a rapid loss of funding for unpopular military activity.
There is no excuse for our continued wars of aggressive occupation, and our treatment of not only foreign prisoners, but also domestic criminals is frankly reprehensible. Part of this would be solved by various other policies I mentioned (ending the drug war, cutting corporate ties to government), but it is worth mentioning on its own.
I think strict environmental controls need to be in place, and should be funded by the government. Maintaining our habitat is the responsibility of the government, in my view, not a company’s. Business cannot be expected to be concerned about protecting the citizenry. This means it ought to be up to the government to provide business with the tools it needs to lower pollution of all kinds.
I believe it ought to be illegal to import a good that would have been illegally produced if it had been made in the same way in America. In other words, if people are paid 17 cents a day to make something, it should not be imported. If its production does not meet environmental standards held in the US, it should not be imported. This would prevent jobs from leaving the country and maintain social justice on a global scale by preventing the current system of international corporate exploitation.
I see the government’s primary duty to be to protect and serve its citizens, and I see healthcare as a basic human right. I see welfare and unemployment benefits to be more necessary now than ever, though I feel the government could also do more to provide job opportunities and training to those who are in poverty. However, there will always be people who are incapable of working (either temporarily or permanently), and there should always be a safety net for these people.
That just about covers the main things, except what I consider the most important of all: everyone should feel they are free to stand up and speak their mind. Censorship is perhaps the greatest crime a government can commit (and the rudest thing an individual can do), because people who are not free to voice their opinions and grievances are well on their way to losing every freedom they enjoy.
Overall, I would say my ideology is based on the concept of social justice and equal opportunity. I believe it is best for humanity if all people with ability are provided the means of achieving their full potential, whether they are born into a rich or poor family. I shudder to think of how many great minds have been held down in bodies born into a situation that doomed them from the start.
And that’s what I believe.