Friday, September 5, 2008

Some Political Thoughts...

I'm going to go ahead and delve into politics again. I don't do that very often, but sometimes writing about things helps me sort them out in my own head. I have been struggling to reach conclusions about our current presidential race, and I guess I just want to ramble about it a little.
I do not vote by party, nor do I declare affiliation with any party. I try to learn all I can about the issues and the candidates' positions, and then I vote by those. My views on things have not really changed over the years, however as I become aware of more and more issues, my preferred candidates have varied. I consider myself a moderate, although it's more accurate to say that on certain topics I'm very conservative, and on others I'm very liberal...I actually don't stand on middle ground on many issues at all...I just appear to land there because of the diversity of my other views. (If you really want to know my specific views, I'll answer questions in the comments...feel free to ask what you like.) In liberal Washington state, I voted for the most conservative guys. In conservative Utah, I was a "bleeding liberal." Alaska is an interesting place, because we appear 'conservative' on many fronts, but then we go off and legalize marijuana for personal use (yup, you can grow your own, you just can't sell it to anybody...I can see gro-lights in kitchen windows here in town). We're pro-gun and pro-oil...and also concerned about the environment, endangered animals, and climate change. Many of us run on hydro-power.
Of course, the big news this week is that my governor has been selected as McCain's vice presidential nominee. (Scribbit: Motherhood in Alaska, wrote a nice little piece about her today.) When I first heard that I (like many others) thought it was some kind of last-ditch effort to get attention away from Obama (and the timing was exquisite in that regard), but now I am seeing the wisdom in his choice. Sarah Palin was elected before we got to Alaska, and until this week I knew very little about her--just that she'd had a baby this last spring. But the more I learn of her the more I like her. If only the ticket were Palin/McCain, I would not have any trouble deciding how to vote!
If you've been reading here for long, you know that I've mentioned pro-Obama things before, and my feelings on him have not really changed--he is a rousing speaker and definitely gets me excited. I want change too! I agree with his stance on many many issues, and I don't have a problem with him being a celebrity, or being young and less-experienced...however I have begun to question his integrity, and that concerns me. McCain, on the other hand, seems quite trustworthy, and I trust that he'll do what he says...I'm just not sure how much I agree with him about what he should do!! McCain's speech last night did put my mind at ease about his positions and plans on a number of issues, although I still disagree with him on some things. Then, of course, there is always the option of voting for a third party candidate, someone like Nader (green party) who is closer to my personal convictions anyway, even though I know he won't win. With Palin on the republican ticket, there's little doubt as to which way this state will swing, so maybe I should say to heck with the big guys and use my vote instead to make a statement about what I really think of two-party politics.


Brightonwoman said...

Some of my political positions:

I am pro-life, believing that life begins at conception. I accept abortion ONLY if the life of the mother is in danger. I support parental notification/permission for minors. I am strongly against partial-birth abortion, and fetal tissue research. (They can get stem cells from other places, like breastmilk.)

I favor alternative energies, such as solar, wind, hydro, natural gas, and nuclear. I am not opposed to drilling. I think we need to drastically reduce our usage of oil and coal, but I accept that they are part of our way of life. Higher fuel efficiency standards on cars should be mandatory.
We need MUCH more (and much better) public transit. I think a massive train system would beat the interstate grid, and good bus lines and/or subways should be supported in every major city.

I think recycling should be mandatory everywhere. I think stores should charge for the use of disposable bags (ie, everyone should use cloth bags).

I support socialized medicine, although I think it's a good idea to still have private options available for those who need/want/can afford them.

I support public education, and think it needs a LOT more funding. Teachers should be paid more, and alternative certification should be easier, so that more competent people would enter the field. NCLB should be flushed down the toilet from whence it came.
Homeschool, private schools, and charter schools should all be widely available (I have mixed feelings about vouchers though).

I support fair trade, not free trade.

I believe that "the war on terror" is in Afghanistan, not in Iraq. Iraq wants us out and I want us out. I believe we should finish what we the place where the terrorists actually are.

As my friends and my family keep telling me, I'm a bit socialist...this is because I think that socialism is Christ's way. He taught that we should all care for each other so that no one is left without...I will clarify that I believe human beings to be too corrupt to carry this out perfectly (I look forward to when Christ returns and does so Himself!) BUT I think that a few more socialist programs would put us in a better place than where we are.

natalie said...

I agree with some of your (one reason I can't support Obama), and your take on the war. I don't think that recycling should be mandatory (although I dutifully wash out and save all my recyclables), or that the government should take more of our money for their broken school system, though.

But here is why I disagree with you on socialized government programs (my real reason for commenting.) I DO believe that Christ taught that we should care for one another- but not that the government is the agent for that. I believe that the church needs to step up and do what it should- supporting widows and orphans, caring for the ill and elderly, and providing the community and help that we all need. It is difficult because most of the church isn't doing that right now, so the government has stepped in, and I'm not sure what the transition back looks like.

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