Back in college, a woman asked me to define myself politically. I described myself as a liberal Republican. The reason: I'm a live-my-own-life, live-within-my-means citizen. I don't want a "values" government. I'll make up my own mind - don't tell me how to run my family. And while you're at it, oh government, keep your hands off my money unless you absolutely need it to preserve my freedom in this great country.
The utter distaste I feel at the Huckabees of the world and those "social conservatives" leaves me wondering if I want to vote Republican any more. The minute people hear that I vote Republican, their image of me is not of someone who doesn't want to spend their money - instead, I'm suddenly a member of the Christian Right in their view.
And for me, Democrat = corrupt socialist. No thanks, in so many ways.
So here's what I believe...
Abortion: I personally think you're murdering a baby, but if you choose to do that, I really don't care. You keeping a baby you don't want only means that you'll likely make the child and society miserable until you care. Be a parent when you want to be a parent. Ruin your womb if you choose to do so. I don't care.
Drugs: If you want to kill or hurt yourself, go for it. Just do it in the privacy of your own home. I think drugs should be legalized, personally. Gets rid of the high cost and reduces crime. Without the crime, drugs are victimless, and therefore are not a crime.
Welfare: I have no problem with people needing an occasionaly hand, but I don't think it's the government's purview. In fact, so much money is spent on fancy church buildings that I find it unconscionable that the religious are not more involved. All that tithing goes somewhere. I think very little of it goes to people who need it. WWJD? And if people want to get motivated and change their life, then show that. Too few do, and if they don't, they don't deserve a hand.
Corporate welfare and subsidies: Keep your mitts off of my tax money. If you can't figure it out in the free market, then you don't deserve to be in business.
Unions: once a good thing for society in that it improved worker conditions, that problem is now over, and unions don't think of how to help employers make a profit - which is how businesses stay in business. As a result, I hate unions that make it harder for a business to compete and survive and grow.
Tenure: a ridiculous protection program for the underwhelming. Go to work every day and prove your worth or go find a new job. Tenure needs to go away.
Tariffs: Dumb. They get in the way of business.
Defense/Military: We need to have the biggest, strongest, don't-mess-with-us military in the world. 'Nuff said.
Torture/Interrogation: If you're stupid enough to be on the wrong side, and getting information from you will save American lives, break out the cheese grater.
Criminals: If you can't do the time, don't do the crime. Prison ought to be a miserable place to be. Truly and utterly miserable. Criminals ought to work in a productive way for the public good 12 hours a day. No rec room, no TV, no anything. A library? Sure. Improve yourself while you're there.
Pension funds: Like Social Security, a huge rip-off. Every one of them is underfunded. Which means that someone somewhere is going to get screwed, and it won't be those with their hands out for a while.
Social Security: It needs to be abandoned. Everyone who paid into it, too bad. Put the remaining money toward infrastructure improvement. You want retirement? Save your money yourself.
Governmental Departments: Almost completely abandoned. Energy? Gone. Education? Gone. HUD? Gone. Leave the private sector alone.
Public Education? Back to the basics. If kids don't want to be there, let them work until they want to return and finish their degree. Home schooling? All for it - just don't expect voucher reimbursement.
Now that I've offended just about everybody, what political party did I just describe?
I'm really tired of just two choices. And I'm tired of the barricades put in place by the two parties we have that make it impossible to get on the ballot.
Viva self-determination and choice!