I am not a republican. I am not a democrat. I am not a liberatarian.
I consider myself a conservative. But when I say conservative, I don’t mean the abomination the connotation of that idea has become under the Grand Old Party. I mean the liberty loving, federal government out of your lives as much as possible, states rights, small federal taxes, pro personal responsibility conservative that was characteristic of Barry Goldwater Sr.
I’ve been a member of a political forum for over a decade now that started with a group of people who played on online video game together. The game is mostly gone now, only played by a few diehard individuals, but the forum still chugs along with a few dozen regular posters.
Long ago we came up with a questionnaire that is stickied at the top of the forum so that members could just post their personal beliefs regarding some of the most common topics, so we didn’t have to keep repeating ourselves when non-members dropped by.
So I’m reprinting my responses here for the same reason:
-Do you believe in a higher authority/power?
I do believe in a higher power. I believe that the universe as we know it was created. However…I believe that our creator, once he created the framework of laws that bind this universe, worked within that construct to form our universe. I believe that our creator, being outside of time, is not limited by time…and thus things like evolving our species over millions of years and guiding things where he/she/it directs them, can be “all in a day’s work” so to speak.
-If so, are you an member in one of the many organized religions?
I would identify myself as Christian, but only in that I believe that there was a man named Jesus of Nazareth, who was a personification of God on earth, and that he died as a sacrifice for mankind. I have series doubts as to the word for word literal translation of the bible, and thus am not sure exactly how much of it is bullshit to support the church, and how much is the word of God. I pretty much go by feel in this regard.
-If so, do you practice regularly?
I pray regularly, but I am not a regular church goer.
-If so, which organized religion are you a member of?
-Do you believe in relative or absolute morality?
I believe absolutely that morals are relative.
-What country do you live in?
-Should religion and government be kept separate?
I believe it is impossible to separate the two truly unless you have a dictatorship and that person and all of their staff are atheists. By the very nature of a democratic system, you are allowing people of faith, as well as those who have none, to vote. Therefore religion can not be separate as people vote their conscience, and that conscience is influenced, or even ruled, by their belief of lack of belief.
As far as the separation of church and state in America, I believe we take it way too far in many ways, and not far enough in others.
The original framers of our constitution show no indication that they intended it to mean that no agency that receives public funding can show even a hint of acknowledgement of religion. There is no way that the 1st amendment says that a high school football coach can’t pray with his team…and any suggestion otherwise is just ridiculous in my opinion. We base the whole idea of the separation of church and state from Jefferson, who wrote a letter to the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802 to answer a letter from them written in October 1801. It has nothing to do with what is in the constitution.
Those who champion this cause of completely removing any hint of religion from public life champion this letter as to proof of the founders intent…and then will outright dismiss voluminous writings by the founders on the idea of the right to bear arms because they aren’t “part of the constitution.”
True hypocrisy. You can’t have it both ways. SCoTUS has recognized this in many rulings…what the founders wrote outside of the constitution does indeed bear on their meaning.
By the same token, we allow religion to influence many aspects of law far too often, at the federal level. The institution of marriage is one such example.
-What is your position on evolution?
I believe that the universe has always, and continues to evolve.
-Are you in favor of abortion (voluntary termination up to 22 weeks, 24 with medical referral)?
I am in favor of abortion and will remain so up until technology finds a way to remove a fetus from someone who doesn’t want it, and gestate it elsewhere, while at the same time absolving either parent from any and all responsibility for it once it has been removed.
And just to be clear…I don’t care if it is life or not. Life of the ones here, trumps life of the one that is coming.
I do not, however, favor RvW. It was legislation from the bench. It was wrong. And it should be struck down. Legislators should be forced to take a stand and legislate the matter. SCoTUS created law where none existed, letting legislators off the hook…and it was a bad decision.
-Should the state be allowed to discriminate based on gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, other?
Yes, but only to a very limited extent, and never for race.
For example…I have zero problem with excluding females from certain military positions. There are places where the disruption that having men and women together can be great enough in places where mission parameters are critical, to outweigh the injustice of the discrimination itself. The biggest problem with women serving in all capacities in the military generally has nothing to do with them, and everything to do with the double standard with regards to physical readiness that is a hallmark of all military regulations.
I also think it’s perfectly alright for the government to force someone to forgo their veil and hijab for their photo ID.
-Do you believe intelligent design should be taught in schools?
Sure. Why not? As long as it doesn’t replace current biology curriculum, and isn’t taught as a hard science, I have no problem with it. Comparative religions courses should also be mandatory. Might be nice if kids getting out of high school knew what Islam and Buddhism were actually about.
-Do you believe civic or military service should be required?
Absolutely. I’d go so far as to suggest that you should have to earn the right to many of our current social services as well as the right to vote, with some sort of basic service to the community. It could be through military service, or the the medical field…politics…the school system. Take your pick. There’s plenty of things that need to be done for the infrastructure of our country and for the country’s well being that could be done as a way to earn something too many people take for granted.
-Do you support the death penalty?
100%. I think it should be extended to cover prepubescent child rapists, serial pedophiles and serial rapists as well as murders. It should be streamlined, and it should only be used in the case of incontrovertible video evidence and/or DNA evidence.
-Do you support the legalization of marijuana?
I support the legalization of all recreational drugs. Prohibition doesn’t work, and we’re losing trillions in tax revenue. The majority of crime in the US is drug related, either in terms of sales or in procuring money to buy. More than half of all people jailed in the US are on drug charges, most for simple possession.
-Do you support affirmative action?
Absolutely not. Reverse discrimination is still discrimination. Equal requirements…equal pay…equal recognition…regardless of sex, creed, color or culture.
-Do you support euthanasia?
Yes…but under very very strictly controlled circumstances. You need to have iron clad documentation stating that it is your choice to be euthanized, witnessed by the court itself.
-Do you support cloning?
Yes. Absolutely. I don’t but the “but you could clone Hitler” and arguments like it. Cloning research could lead to the ability regrow and replaced diseased or broken body parts, and research to that end should be fully funded.
-Do you support embryonic stem cell research?
Yes. I think it’s ridiculous to put any restrictions on it, but if enough people don’t want public funds going towards research that uses fetal stem cells, than I don’t have a problem with that as long as private research isn’t banned. The fact is, it’s probably going to be a private firm who discovers something useful anyways. There’s more incentive for them, so they’ll dump more money into it than the government could ever hope to.
-Do you believe in global warming?
I believe that global climate change is inevitable as it comes in cycles. I dispute that humans affect it much, or that we could even slow it down if we tried. I just don’t think there’s enough solid evidence here for that. If the argument was that we need to pollute less and get away from oil dependence, I could get behind it. But the whole idea of “carbon credits” and other ridiculous pretentious suggestions are nothing more than a talking point for a politicians looking for an angle.
-Do you support gun control?
Yes…to a limited extent. I have no problem with requiring training for safety and proficiency. I have no problem with background checks. I have no problem with reasonable waiting periods of up to a month for the first firearm purchase of for those without a concealed permit (they become pointless after you already own one firearm). I do have a problem with limiting access beyond that. We have rigorous enough checks on military hardware to not warrant any further controls. I’d rather see more stringent application of current laws than additional erosion of our 2nd amendment rights.
-Do you support nationalized health care?
Not any of the current proposals, no. To expensive for too little benefit. I’d rather see a complete reform of the tort system coupled with some strict regulation of the insurance industry to provide more affordable health care.
-Do you support wall building to discourage illegal immigration?
No. It seems kind of pointless, at least in it’s current iteration. The only affective way to deal with illegal immigration is make the penalties for hiring illegals so stiff as to completely discourage the practice…up to and including confiscation and liquidation of the company.
You also need to completely remove the incentives to stay. Get rid of the free ride that illegals are currently enjoying at the taxpayers expense. If they don’t get free medical care, free education, free social services, and have almost no chance of being deported as long as they don’t commit additional crimes, then there isn’t much disincentive in the system. If they can’t get those things, and can’t find work…they won’t keep showing up in droves.
By the same token, we need to provide some sort of cleaner, quicker path to work permits and/or citizenship for those who have no criminal record and just want to come here to feed their families. There’s millions of honest people here who are now criminals because there was no easy way for them to get here honestly.
-Do you support term limits?
Absolutely. The idea at the time of the founding was to discourage a monarchy…which is exactly what happens without term limits.
-Do you support campaign finance limits?
Absolutely. We need to completely overhaul our campaign finance laws. I’m not against lobbyists, because they fulfill a necessary niche in the political process, but their financial power needs to be completely blunted. The idea of juristic person-hood has been taking to ridiculous extremes. Corporate entities and special interests should have no guarantee of free speech. The people that are a part of those companies/groups have that right individually, so extending it to an artificial entity leads to abuse of the system. And if you remove the right of free speech of the corporation, you end corporate financing of elections and candidates. PACs need to be outlawed as well, and all money, soft or otherwise, needs to be fully disclosed. There also should be a personal limit not only on personal donations to individual candidates, but donations to the parties as well.
-Do you support welfare?
As a safety net, yes. As a way of life, absolutely not.
-Where do you consider yourself on the political spectrum typically (Left, Centrist, Right)?
I don’t consider myself anywhere. My political beliefs go all over the map. However…on just about any political test you can take on the internet, I come up as being pretty much right in the center.
And that is what I believe.