February 4th, 2006

color cycle (slow)

I Make For A Very Bad Democrat

Hey, let me let y'all in on a little secret:

I'm not a Democrat. My political beliefs do not line up particularly well with the Democratic Party. I was raised a Republican, and I do believe that they have some valid economical ideas. I also believe that Georgie's current Medicare plan is total rubbish, GWB himself is total rubbish, and that the Republican party has taken a sharp swing for the worse to the point where I can't agree with them enough to vote for them. I'm likely to vote Democrat in 2008 because I vote on social policy and civil liberties much more strongly than I do foreign policy or even economic policy; I do believe that social and civil rights have a stronger effect on my day-to-day life. (Of course, I'm not in the work-force yet, so my view is tainted.)

Note that I'm not really a Republican either. I do not believe that deregulation of everything is such a winning plan, nor am I in general conservative. I am vaguely fiscally conservative, but have a fairly strong Democrat-ish view of taxation- taxes should redistribute wealth from the rich to the poor, and most of the poor are unlucky, not lazy.

But I do disagree with several of the really major Democrat issues of the moment as well. I do believe that Iran's refusal to allow its nuclear "power" program to be inspected peacefully should be considered a valid threat that requires immediate action of some form; I don't believe that they are "years away from nuclear weaponry". The knowledge is not that difficult to get a hold of, and technology is not as lacking in such nations as public opinion might want to believe. I do believe that their refusal to cooperate is an overt, thinly-veiled threat.

For that matter, I don't believe that the Iraq war was uneccesary. At the same time, I am enraged at the Bush administration and refuse to forgive them for going to war under false pretenses. Saddam Hussein's UN-defined atrocities were an act of war, just one that's harder to get public support behind- nobody wants to be the aggressor. They were sufficient to justify "pre-emptive strikes", and I'd object quite a lot less if that was the excuse the Bush administration had used to go to war. Initial public support would have been drastically lower, but I suspect it would not have plummeted as drastically as it actually has.

I do believe that affirmative action is deeply flawed. I also believe that the problem of racism is very real and needs to be addressed, but the current implementation is not the answer because it propogates its own problem. The underlying problem is racism, not systemic inequalities that are symptoms of racism. Something needs to be done, but affirmative action isn't it, because people who find a job they applied for taken by a person of a minority race is very likely to apply his or her frustration at not getting hired not upon his or her own incompetence (the probable reason), but on "those damn hippies and affirmative action"- not to mention a few racial epithets against those [censored] taking their jobs.

I'm holding the acts of the Muslim extremists in light of the recent infamous political cartoon to be extremely irrational and to be reason to distrust their religion. Most notably, I haven't seen news stories or even individual apologists claiming that these are actually extremists; the size of these violent mobs worries me somewhat. I believe that those reacting with violence to a sheet of paper are in the wrong. It might be worth noting that Syria has inadvertently declared war against Denmark and Norway, by merit of burning down the embassy. (News stories here.) I also don't think that the USA has any business taking direct action here, but it's a reaction worth studying: violent hatred and threats against an entire country for the actions of one individual. The stereotypical Middle Eastern "hatred" of America is very likely not the country itself, but individual offensive things that individual Americans do- I do believe that American culture as a whole is probably blasphemous to a fundamentalist Muslim, but note the strength of the reactions to Denmark and Norway- they are, for the actions of one person, no less intense than that against "the whole of America". When the effect is identical in magnitude, can a conclusion truly be reached that the cause was non-identical in magnitude? Not that rational science has any effect upon how people actually act.

I guess I don't make a very good Democrat, which really doesn't surprise me because I am not actually a Democrat. I am strongly socially liberal and fiscally moderate, with foreign policy thoroughly in the "undecided, but the 'let's just ignore it and pretend it's not a problem' policy of the Democratic party does not thrill me" category. But note, again, that I'd rather have Democrats in power than Republicans, because of my strong stance against most Republican current social pushes. Who knows, I might have a higher opinion if they hadn't been overthrown by the Religious Right...

I figured I'd clear this up, because people seem to be mistaking me for a Democrat, when I don't think it really fits any better than any other label usually does.
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