I don't really like writing about things that are controversial, but I feel strongly about a few things so I will make an exception. I always thought of myself as a Republican. I don't really like voting for a party, so I am more interested in the candidates than the party, but yet the Republican party seemed more aligned with my core values and beliefs than the Democratic party. However on some issues I agree with neither party and with some issues I am more aligned with the Democratic party.
This election cycle has been unique and has caused me to more deeply get involved and to rethink my political affiliations. During the previous Presidential election with Mitt Romney vs. Barrack Obama, things were more simple for me. Mr. Romney was far more aligned with my values that was Mr. Obama. But this time around, I really don't like either candidate. I am assuming at this point that Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic candidate and Donald Trump will be the Republican candidate despite neither being determined or finalized at this point. I really don't like either candidate, but I don't want to not vote and not be a part of the process and I don't want to waste my vote on a different candidate that clearly will not be elected. So I muse to myself - what shall I do?
Over the two hundred plus years that this country has been around, it has evolved and politics have evolved. I believe in capitalism and the free enterprise system. I believe government should be very limited in scope. I do not like the trend in growing government. I do not like entitlements. I think that all entitlement programs should be eliminated. This includes medicare and social security. While I believe the purpose behind the formation of these programs was honorable, the programs have led to terrible outcomes. i believe people should want to work and should work.
I believe that the will of the majority of the people should be followed in any society, but that the rights of all people should be enforced. While I empathize with groups seeking equality like Black Lives Matter and the LGBT movement, I do not agree with their tactics. I strongly agree in equality for all people and I greatly oppose discrimination of any kind - these two groups and countless others like them encourage discrimination. They no longer seek equality, they seek punishment and redress for past wrongs. Sins and errors of the past are not justification for future inequalities and wrongs. Those promoting Black Lives Matter have clearly indicated that they are not for All Live Matter, but are for the lives of blacks regardless of the costs to any other people. I believe the initial cause and most of the people involved in these types of groups have good intentions, but the groups themselves have become no better than various militant white supremacy groups.
The LGBT movement is not content with equality any more; now that they are out of the closet, they want others to not just provide them equal rights and to not discriminate, but rather they want other to believe as they believe. Religions, businesses and people who do not agree with their views on homosexual activity and other issues are vehemently attacked as bigots. These movements do not demonstrate the same level of tolerance and anti-discrimination that they expect from others. They push for laws that trample on the beliefs of others despite widespread acceptance of their own activities.
I believe strongly in freedom and agency. I believe that all people were created equal and endowed with human rights. I believe that myself and all people should be treated equally and should be able to do whatever they please. However, I realize that while each of us can and should be able to make our own choices, we can not determine the consequences of those choice. Outcomes or consequences of our actions are not in our control. If we choose to hurt or kill someone, we will be held responsible and suffer the consequences of our actions. We may also benefit from or suffer consequences of other's actions. All people should have the freedom of choice.
Society determines the consequences for some actions of its members. The majority of the people should be able to determine those consequences and all people within that society should be held accountable to the laws, rules and decisions of that society. All people should be entitled to equal protection under the law but individuals rights and the rights of minority groups should not be allowed to infringe upon or circumvent the rights and privileges of the majority of the people in the society. Majority rights should not be infringed to benefit a minority group, but to the extent possible all people should be entitle to the same rights and privileges and the same consequences.
I do not like the mis-characterizations that take place in our society today. It has become nearly impossible to be politically correct. One of the reasons that Donald Trump is the Republican nominee for President is because he has ignored all the political correctness. A more prominent reason for his nomination is because he is anti-establishment. People are just tired of the current political system in our country. Both Bernie Sanders' and Donald Trump's success in the primaries is due to their being "outsiders" of the current establishment.
Bernie Sanders is a self-proclaimed socialist. Once upon a time in this country, socialism was considered a bad thing. Remember the cold war - the primary enemy was the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (U.S.S.R). Mr. Sanders campaigns to help the USA to become the U.S.S.A, the Union of Socialist States of America and crowd cheer for this. Thousands of people was the government to take care of them. They want free health care and free college. They want to be taken care of by government and never have to worry about employment, poverty or illness.
Sadly, any economist will tell you that there is no such thing as a free lunch. There is no free health care, no free college, no free anything. Someone always has to pay for it. Mr. Sanders claims that he will have the rich pay for it. The top 1.0% of the country that controls 90% of the wealth. This is the same group that employs and pays most of the country. When we take away or tax them, then jobs will be lost and people will be worse off. The only way to equalize all wealth and earnings is to make everyone at zero. In the short term, you can be Robin Hood, and take from the rich to give to the poor, but as history has shown, over time, the rich disappear and are eliminated, but the poor continue on, but worse off than they were before. If redistribution continues eventually everyone is at zero.
The reason for the huge debt and deficit in this country is because of entitlements and too large of government. I am happy to pay a reasonable amount for defense and enforcement of laws, but government should get out of the retirement, healthcare, and education businesses. Private enterprises should handle all our human needs and they should be paid by the users of the services. If we want roads, bridges, and transportation, then let private companies build them and charge for there use. Competition will keep the prices reasonable. Litigation will keep things fair. Government services always cost too much and are inefficient - get the government out of everything possible.
I don't like Clinton or Trump. Neither of them have policies or moral values consistent with my own philosophies. Like many in the country, my only affinity for Trump is that he is not part of the existing political system, but I don't agree with many of his opinions or proposed policies. Likewise, Clinton has a family history of poor moral choices and I can't really trust anything she says since she seems to be willing to say anything to be elected. Given what I have experience historically, I don't believe either will be able to make much of an impact in office. Government has become and unwieldy bureaucracy that prevent little from being accomplished by anyone.
I plan on blogging my thoughts on this topic between now and election to see how others are thinking about these issues. Let me know your thoughts.