Monday, July 4, 2011

My Politics in a Nutshell

On this Independence Day, I thought I'd take a few moments to make my political convictions clear to folks, since sometimes I seem to be a bit of a contradiction/anomaly.

Succinctly, I am a liberal libertarian.

What does this mean?

When it comes to personal choices, I am all for the government keeping its nose out of my business and your business. This is not a view that liberal authoritarians agree with. (I often get lumped in with liberal authoritarians, and that's a mistake.) Thus, with abortion, I might not choose one for myself were I to get pregnant, but I don't think it's the government's job to make up my mind for me. In contrast, I find myself off the typical liberal bandwagon when it comes to other matters of personal choice. I am firmly against, for example, the current ban on circumcision that will be on the ballot in San Francisco. I don't think it's the government's job to decide for mom and dad and baby boy whether or not he should be circumcised. I also don't think the government needs to poke its nose into my bedroom or your bedroom (so I am all for not censoring pornography between consenting adults, which drives some of my feminist friends crazy); if you decide to smoke cigarettes in the condo you own, I don't think the government should tell you that you can't; and I hate the Patriot Act because it infringes on freedoms that we are guaranteed (my government should not have the right to spy on me or you, period). I support the 2nd Amendment, another thing that drives some of my liberal friends crazy. Sorry, but we are given the right to bear arms, an utterly necessary right the more I see our government shifting into authoritarian mode. I don't want Big Brother watching me and taking away my right to defend myself from Him should the need ever arise.

But I'm liberal because sometimes I DO think the government needs to stick its nose in our business. This is when the rights of many collide with the desires/rights of others. I'm sorry, but big multinational corporations, for example, don't care if they pollute the environment or pay their fair share in taxes for the privilege of conducting business in our country or if they treat workers well. Their only obligation is to themselves and the bottom line (ie, profit). Entities don't act out of the goodness of their hearts because entities don't have a conscience. So, at times the govt must step in to ensure they don't abuse others or deprive others of their rights. So I'm all for legislation that guarantees equal opportunity, equal access--all the things that give every last one of us, no matter what religion, race, creed, gender, sexual orientation, etc, a fair chance to thrive in society.

There is a constant tension within me in deciding what's more important in any given situation: personal liberty or social responsibility to others?

So sometimes I will side with the Democrats. Sometimes I will side with the Republicans. But very rarely will I side with the authoritarians of any shade, and those come in both Democratic and Republican flavors.

Peace out.

ps: and both parties spend too much of our tax money on everything but me and you, and are using the current budget crisis--if it exists at all; this country has plenty of money; the question is whose hands the money is in--to push its own agenda. 'Nuff said.

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