Thursday, August 21, 2008

My Political Position(s)

For reference, this is where I stand in terms of politics:

I am in that limbo between liberal and libertarian. Specifically, if we are using the above scale from the World's Smallest Political Quiz, I am a social liberal and an economic moderate.

To be clear, "politics" relates to my feelings on what public policy should be, and not how I personally live my life. Being a social liberal means that I recognize there is no one right way to live (just as long as it's a good* way to live). Certain areas of my personal life may be quite "conservative" or relatively "liberal," but I am not willing to institutionalize the way I live and force it upon others who may live differently, whether traditional or unorthodox. I don't want the government to pry in on my personal life, nor the lives of my fellow Americans.

Being an economic moderate means, to me, that the government should ensure "opportunity" for those who aren't given it by birth - specifically children born to lower economic status - but it shouldn't cross the line and give out "hand-outs" to able-bodied adults of sound mind. The federal government should make sure that the quality of public safety should reasonably match technology - for every state in the union. I'm talking about building codes, road work, and food/drug quality. As long as those federal safety standards are reasonable, the states should be free to surpass those standards, depending on geographical and geological needs (California and earthquakes; the Gulf Coast and hurricanes; etc.).

There you have it: A few reasons why I usually don't vote Republican, while at the same time, not advocating the much-feared "liberal nanny state." I might have been a bit more economically liberal in high school and college, but overall, I think I've remained relatively the same when it comes to the role of government. I should (and probably will) elaborate further on specific issues in the future.

*This sentiment was partly inspired by Eddie Vedder's clever lyric "There's no wrong or right, but I'm sure there's good and bad" from the Pearl Jam song "Thumbing My Way" (see video below), which got me thinking about Plato's realm of forms (the form of the good), as well as the thesis of Daniel Quinn's Ishmael: There's no one right way to live. I've synthesized all those statements as: There's no one right way to live, as long as it's a good way to live. Yes, in my personal belief system and cosmology, there are certain things that are objectively good - all the rest is subjectively relative.

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