So today is “Super Tuesday” (and about a hundred other nicknames) where nearly half the country will vote in primaries to choose who they want to represent their political party for President in 2008. Since my high school days I have made some pretty drastic changes in my political positions, and I suppose I’ve made some pretty drastic changes in my political involvement as well.
Back in my days at Hurricane High School in good ol’ Hurricane, UT I was considered the “ultra-conservative.” I was called Adolf Haddox because of my strict positions regarding religion, the right to pray in school, my stance against abortion, and my firm opinion on pretty much everything towards the right. Where I could’ve once been called a neo-Republican there is very little that can describe me now. My political positions have changed some over time, but not drastically; however, because of September 11, 2001 the Republican party has changed drastically.
We’ll come back to my politics in a minute, before I get much farther I did want to post a link to a really cool use of Google Map’s API that will show you twitters from people throughout the world on Super Tuesday, and once 8pm EST hits we will get real-time updates as to which candidates are winning the elections in which states – pretty dang spiffy. Check it out over at Google’s Super Tuesday Twitter Map thingy (for lack of a more clear title….)
Anyway, so back to me ;) While my position on things like privacy, individual rights, and small government have only gotten consistently stronger, the Republican party has been consistently yielding our rights in the name of security. There are government programs in larger numbers than ever before setup to monitor for terrorists, filter our communications, and identify those who pose the biggest threat to the country, but at what cost? While it used to require warrants in order to execute searches and wire-taps on US Citizens under USSID 18 laws it no longer seems to be necessary. So as the Republican party has seen fit to go off and join the moderate Democrats I stand strong on most of the positions I stood strong on 7 years ago.
I still believe that rights belong to each of us as individuals and that we only yield these rights when absolutely necessary for the greater good. I still believe that our country is required to abide by the US Constitution. I still believe in The Bill of Rights. I still believe that judges should not create legislation from the bench. I still believe in Nationalism. I still believe in financial responsibility. I still believe that taxes should be minimal and not the burden that they are to pretty much any portion of society in today’s times. I still believe that individual’s should be responsible for their actions and should be able to support themselves, help themselves, and be held accountable for their actions. I still believe that welfare programs are necessary but poorly implemented (and no I don’t have time to come up with a better system right now). I still support privatization as much as possible. I still support the abolishment of several of our federal agencies in order to give power back to the citizens and the states. Everyone wants less taxes but nobody wants to find a way to compensate for those taxes. It isn’t going to happen unless we cut something. There is too much red-tape in America’s political system and there are too many rules and regulations for anything to work efficiently. These are some of the basics that I still believe in, almost all of which tie back into individual rights and smaller government.
Things that have changed for me over the past 7 years. I used to be against a lot of things that I am now okay with. I feel that the government has become too hypocritical. We say that it’s wrong for individuals to ignore their debts but it’s okay for the government to be trillions of dollars in debt. We say that we need to fix problems internally and focus on ourselves but we constantly give our troops, money, and support to external countries and ignore our own blatant internal flaws. It’s okay to drink and smoke but it’s not okay to do drugs in your own home legally. It’s okay to require immigrants to pass insanely difficult tests about our national heritage and laws, but our own natural born citizens can’t tell you how many stars are on the flag. The hypocrisy of the United States government and our laws has gotten so bad that I no longer stand with either political party. For more than two years I have declared that I am a Libertarian. I no longer feel that either of the main stream parties in our political system provide any hope for the future of our country. Nor do I feel that any government knows what is best for any individual. If I believed that then I would be okay with Marxism or even communism. But I’m not okay with those, and I believe that each and every person deserves the right to make choices that they deem will best help them at any given point in time. If they screw up on those choices they should be responsible as much as possible, but in certain circumstances the government will need to provide assistance to give them a second chance (enter welfare). However, if they haven’t screwed up, the government has no right to tell a person what they can or cannot do in the privacy of their own home. The government also does not have the right to violate an individual’s privacy without just cause and a warrant to execute such invasion.
So after all of this ranting where is it that I stand politically? I stand in the firm position that we as individual’s have certain inalienable rights that cannot be denied by any government. Just because our government has become so gargantuan that our taxes are no longer spent efficiently or accountably and our tax laws have become thousands of pages thick it doesn’t mean that the government is not still created by the people. The people have the right to change the government at any time they see fit. I would like to encourage everyone to truly research which political candidates represent you and your personal opinions as to the best course for the future of our country. There are a lot of options this election and I’d like to see us all try to actually vote for the person that best fits us. Not the one we think will win. If we only vote for the people we think will have a chance to win then nobody outside of the two main political parties will ever win. We have to be open to the idea that our government does not have to be restricted to a two-party system. Don’t vote for the “lesser of two evils” but vote instead for the one that will make your voice heard. Perhaps there are enough other people with similar opinions that one time, just one time, we might pull an upset for the non-major party and we might be able to get someone who truly will make change for all the right reasons (as per the populous) into office.