Posted by Donna
I generally blog(ged) about politics over at Tarheel Pundit, but since Obama Care passed I’ve felt deflated, discouraged, irrelevant. The way -
Pardon the interruption, but I just found myself lecturing Henry on the ROI of solar panels. My kids are doomed.
Anyway, the way it passed, with arm-twisting, out-and-out bribes (the “cornhusker kickback,” the “Louisiana purchase,” etc) and moral posturing for a payout or political appointment (Bart Stupak, I’m looking squarely at you) completely jaded me and made me feel totally powerless. We are supposed to be a government for the people, by the people. Not a government of greedy, selfish pols who will do whatever it takes – including throwing the unborn under the proverbial bus – to get ahead. As Joe Biden would say, “Three words: TERM. LIMITS.”
I recently changed my party affiliation. I’d been a Republican since I registered to vote in 2004 but after doing a lot of reading and research, I’ve switched and become a Libertarian. I know the Libertarian stereotype is one of a pot-smoking hippie who teeters on the verge of promoting anarchy and is obsessed with Ayn Rand, Ron Paul and ending the Federal Reserve, but there’s a lot less to it than that. I say “less,” because that’s exactly what Libertarians stand for – less government, less interventionist response throughout the world, less government regulation and restrictions. Less, in these cases, definitely creates more. More sound economic policies. More personal liberty.
I’m not awake enough to go into the minutiae of Libertarianism, but because I am a Christian and I know a lot of my fellow believers read this blog and are probably horrified that I’ve ditched the GOP, who stands for pro-life, pro-family values and in many respects, pro-Christianity all the way around, I feel I need to offer some explanation of my actions from a philosophical point of view.
These points are not in order of importance, they’re just in the order that they popped into my mind.
Libertarians are against “nation building” – I agree with this. We cannot go into non-Judea/Christian countries who do not believe in God-given equality and force them to accept this value. As a nation the best we can do is build some schools and roads, defend the people in the regions while we’re there, and make sure necessary aid gets into the right hands. But we – as Christians – cannot force our values on them. Instead of sending military might to make significant changes, we need to send missionaries. Until hearts and minds are changed, democracy is impossible.
Civil liberties – Libertarians are against the Patriot Act. I am still sort of astonished that my viewpoint has so drastically changed on this, but I have to agree with them. By saying “do whatever it takes” we are adopting the old lefty axiom of “the ends justify the means.” There is no guiding principle there, no continuity of values. The Patriot Act was passed as a bipartisan solution to future terror attacks, but as America’s taste for war diminished, the left turned and rejected the legislation as that was the politically expedient thing to do. Now they’re back on board, voting to extend it. At least the right has been consistently pro-Patriot Act, but I still can’t get on board philosophically.
There’s also legislation that enables the Obama administration to read ANY AND ALL of your web-based email that is 6 months old, or older. Because six months makes it less personal, I guess! This should disturb everyone with an email account. To my knowledge, the GOP is doing nothing about this. Thanks, guys.
Personal Income Taxes – the Libertarian party has never once voted to increase taxes (the GOP has). They believe that you should keep what you earn, not feed the insatiable appetite of a bloated and ever-expanding federal government. Personally, I support the flat tax, the LP doesn’t endorse this, but that is what seems fair to me.
Class warfare - The Libertarian party advocates a responsible family budget as well as a responsible federal, state and local budget. I hate the notion of class warfare, that the “rich” somehow owe society more than the non-rich citizen. The rich provide more for society than the rest of us – they supply our jobs! Taxing them to death doesn’t put more money is the so-called middle or lower classes’ pockets, it only stifles the rich’s ability to expand their companies and add additional jobs WHICH DO put money in our pockets. This country promises equality of opportunity. The left confuses this with the promise of an equal outcome. These are two totally different things, the latter being impossible.
As an aside, I also find it condescending to be told that I need help from “the rich,” as if I am incapable of succeeding without mooching off someone else in the process. An example:
We’re constantly told that the problem with inner city youth and the low high school graduation rate is due to single parent homes with working mothers who can’t devote time to their children. Thus these children ultimately fail in society, are “unable to go to college,” and need financial support from the government as a result of their “bad luck” in the family department. The cycle repeats, and repeats. This is due to the ironically named “War on Poverty. ” Created in the 60′s, it has done nothing but compound the problem of generationally-entrenched poverty. The people who cry for more and more government aid, and an increase in this “war” the most loudly are also the same folks that would go nuts if you suggested that a traditional family model of dad working and mom staying home, works best within society, calling it patriarchal and oppressive, but I digress…
Maybe this is the case. But there are plenty of successful people who were raised by single parents. Within my small circle of friends, I can think of at least five off the top of my head, my husband being one of them. He’s a liberal’s dream on the surface: a boy that was raised by a mother who was widowed when he was only 10, forced to go back to work and as a result, forced to give up the after school time she’d been accustomed to spending with him. He graduated from high school. He worked in a gas station. He didn’t go to college. It’s sounding pretty grim, right? Well, no.
He was always interested in computers and has a very keen aptitude for them. He took some classes and landed the first of several jobs in the computer industry. Because he worked hard and gave a crap, he went from a job paying $8 an hour to a job paying many times that, working his “butt off” over the course of a decade. This, without the coveted college degree we’re told we all need. Coincidentally, I DID go to college, graduated with a BS in biological sciences and it took me six years of working after graduation to make what he was making an hour. Glad I wasted
four five years gettin’ all edumacated.
He has continued to work hard and provide for our family, moving from a temporary position without benefits, to a permanent one with awesome benefits, bonuses and annual raises BECAUSE HE WORKS HARD. He’s never asked for a handout, never grumbled about someone else having a “leg up” because they were “handed” a college degree and never considered himself disadvantaged because he was raised in single-parent home, as the Democrats would have him believe. So class warfare? Is a crock. It’s nothing more than coddling jealousy and envy.
Freedom of Speech – I loathe the Westboro “Baptist Church” and their cruel antics. Many on the right were upset that the SCOTUS did not censure their hateful speech. I had a conversation with someone who said “I believe in freedom of speech, but there are some situations…” I cringed at the “but,” and said “It’s not the First Amendment that’s the problem, it’s people’s hearts.” Again, forcing behaviors we find acceptable and morally right (which they are, but…) doesn’t fix the underlying issue of people’s values. You can make a law forcing everyone to go to church, but that doesn’t make them believers, it just makes them warm bodies doing what the law requires, without thought, without conviction, without care.
Gay marriage – The LP doesn’t specifically address this on their website but I’m going to put my two cents in. I don’t care about it, for several reasons. Or more accurately, I don’t see it as an issue that needs a government platform, period. I don’t believe personal contracts between two consenting adults should be any business of the government. I don’t care if the state thinks I am married to Dave. It also shouldn’t effect our income taxes (see the flat tax). If we MUST submit our relationship status to the government, I advocate a civil union for everyone. Marriage is an institution ordained by God and should be left to the church. Can you imagine registering your baptism with the state? How ridiculous the notion!
The Bible does not advocate or accept marriage between two people of the same sex – this is not my opinion, this is what the Bible says, straight-up (no pun intended). The gay community can use the word all they want, but the government isn’t the originator of the covenant of marriage, no matter how many rallies, or Facebook groups are organized in support of gay marriage. I can get my sons circumcised and call it a bris all day long, but it’s not, because I am not Jewish. I don’t care what the state thinks about my union to Dave, I care what the Bible thinks. In the eyes of God we are married. And again, banning gay marriage doesn’t change people’s hearts. Prayer and evangelism do. So let the homosexual community call it whatever they wish, but as believers we know it’s not an accurate description.
Well this was supposed to be about the 2012 candidates, but veered waaaay off course. Actually, because of the things I’ve stated above, I am having a very hard time finding anyone I like as a presidential nominee. Here are the current choices:
There is speculation that Sarah Palin will enter the race; I suspect we’ll know pretty soon. And I suspect she will. I’ll be sort of torn between her and Ron Paul. She has the reputation (by the left) for being this uber-conservative, scary “FAMILY VALUES!!1!” candidate, but if you examine her platform, she leans more Libertarian.
But I am excited about neither.
I suspect this will change the closer we get to primary season and the RNC convention. I’m hoping to schedule our family beach trip next summer around the week of the convention. We did this in 2008 and it was really fun to play in the sun all day, then come in and watch the convention on TV. Uh, I’m a nerd, I realized as I typed that.
And a huge THANK YOU to the men and women who have given their lives that we may keep these freedoms, on Memorial Day!
Cross-posted at Tarheel Pundit.
60 DAYS UNTIL SHE’S HERE!