Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Where's my Party?

So I've almost always claimed to be an Independent because I have never been completely comfortable with the platforms of either of the two major political parties. And the terms to describe them seem to have been hijacked. I am moderate, liberal, and conservative... it just depends upon the topic.

It's also one of the reasons that I often try to persuade folks our democracy would be stronger if we had more choices of political parties out there.

And yes, I know there are other parties than the two main ones, but either by choice or history or both, it is incredibly difficult for any of the smaller parties to regularly get candidates on the ballots due to various election laws and regulations

At first, I looked at the Libertarian Party because that sounded really close to some of my viewpoints, but the idea of unbridled capitalism hangs me up. Although some of their other platforms I can get behind... like the government keeping its nose out of my business.

The Democratic Party also has elements that I think are great. They're much more embracing and inclusive of people who are different from each other and I'm a firm believer in the premise that all people should be equal under the law. I also believe that those who can work and be productive members of society should, but that our country has a responsibility to care for those citizens who can't care for themselves.

There are also elements to the Republican Party that I like... especially when it comes to the idea of being careful of how we spend taxpayer money and the focus on states rights vs. federalism. I agree we need a strong central government but it should also be balanced with strong states.

One of my complaints about all these parties is that they don't stick with their ideals. As an example, Republicans were supposed to be all about fiscal conservatism, but under the last Republican president and Congress, a record surplus was turned into a record deficit.

So here's the political party that I want to be a part of, one based on the following premises:

My ideal party would be a staunch supporter and upholder of the Constitution, especially our Bill of Rights--All of Them.

All people are equal under the law no matter what.

The government has a responsibility to ensure the health and welfare of its people... first and foremost by having sound economic policies that strengthen the economy without it being held hostage by companies that are "too big to fail." I am all for capitalism... but it should be a fairly regulated system of capitalism with consumer and worker protections built in. Businesses are not people, and there should be no such thing as a corporate citizen. Business interests need to have balanced regulations that will ensure our people are safe and yet are not so onerous that businesses can't grow and prosper in a fair marketplace.

Our government should be responsible for our national defense and handling of natural disaster situations... again, going back to the ensuring the health and welfare of our citizens.

Our government should be made up of people who are honestly trying to serve their constituents by looking at the big picture and how laws and regulations will affect our country over the long term--not people who are looking to keep a job and are constantly turning with each direction the wind blows in order to get re-elected.

Here's where my libertarian leanings come in: the government has no business regulating my personal life. For instance, as a woman, I should be able to have any kind of surgery I want without asking permission... however, I also believe that I would never have an abortion unless my life was at stake... and maybe not even then. But I should have the right to do with my body as I choose. Period.

Speaking of personal life regulation... church and state need to be completely separated again. The idea of marriage as a religious ceremony should stay within whatever religion you worship. For the purposes of caring for property, children, etc, people should draw up and enter into a civil contracts. And any people who want to should be able to enter into that civil contract. That way, if you're religious and marriage between only a man and a woman is important to you, then it stays that way, but people entering into commitment contracts would have the same rights under the law as any other participant in a contract, regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, ethnicity, disability, etc.

And last but far from least: Prison should be used as a last resort and should be used to keep violent offenders away from the rest of society. And prison should be a place to reform violent offenders, not a way for them to increase their violent tendencies. Victimless crimes should never be a cause for a prison stint... In fact, I really find the idea of a victimless crime as a concept hard to wrap my brain around. In the Depression era, Prohibition of Alcohol created huge crime syndicates that were empowered with the wealth they gained from the black market sales of alcohol.

With today's current drug war, the very same thing is happening. And what is incredibly saddening to me is that a substance such as the currently illegal marijuana has fewer and less damaging side effects than alcohol or cigarettes. Yet it is illegal and someone who prefers it to alcohol can be put in prison with violent offenders and then have to assimilate into that culture of violence in order to survive. So not only do the black market sales of this substance empower the cartels who sell it, but it also increases the number of people who participate in violence as a way of life.

So I guess my last point is that as LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition)suggests, we should at the very least decriminalize these substances and instead tax and regulate them. This would reduce our prison population (and thus a drain on our state and federal budgets), violence, the power of criminal organizations in our country, and possibly increase our tax revenue. Sounds like a win/win to me.

So there you have it... I've described some of the main ideals of a political party I'd like to see in existence... Anyone else interested in something like this? I'd love to hear everyone's pros and cons on my thoughts.

Thanks, and as always, I hope you have a lovely day!

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Greetings! Thanks for joining in the conversation on my blog. Please know that I am all about listening and not judging. Please follow the Golden Rule when posting. Be kind to others and if you disagree with me or another commenter, please do so politely. Thanks and have a lovely day!