Where I Stand on the Issues

The 2012 Election isn’t that far away, but this time around I’d like to avoid getting into countless debates with people about politics. It’s too frustrating a subject and I’ve been moving away from this arena anyway, albeit slowly. I want to remain informed, but some of the details stir too much anger to be worth my time (the current debt-ceiling debate is a perfect example). So I decided to write where I stand on a host of issues, so if anyone wonders where I stand on something I can just direct them here.

This… may take awhile.
(This will be periodically updated).

GAY MARRIAGE
As long as there are legal benefits granted to married couples, there should be zero discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Trying to define “marriage” would be like trying to define “love”. Love is felt, not seen. If two consenting adults love each other, then let them marry if they wish. Those that think it would “destroy the institution of marriage” and “American values” are dead wrong. Homosexuals account for only 10% of the population, so the fear that they would “take over” and sweep the land with a “gay agenda” is unfounded. Not only does such an agenda not exist, but it would never be effective. No one can be talked into being gay since being so is contingent on an individuals biology at birth.

However, I will add that I do not think the government should have any role in marriage, whether gay or straight. It’s unfair that married couples receive tax breaks and other special privileges as it discriminates against those that are single. Not only that, but it incentivizes getting married in the first place with motives that are not conducive to healthy relationships, resulting in increasingly higher divorce rates. This causes far more psychological harm to children and families than a child having two nurturing daddies or two mommies. A healthy relationship breeds a healthy family. Orientation has no part in this.

The clarification that seems most frequently needed is the line between the spiritual and legal aspects of marriage. Religious institutions view marriage as the union of two souls between one man and one woman. Regardless of the law, no church, temple, or other place of worship should not be forced to perform such a ceremony because it is in direct opposition to their teachings. The rights of private religious institutions must be maintained, regardless of how misguided they may be. But legally, marriage must be extended to both heterosexual and homosexual couples. Those that are still uncomfortable with the idea must realize that their queasiness is not a justifiable blockage for equal rights.

BIG VERSUS SMALL GOVERNMENT
This is probably the most fundamental argument between the Right and the Left. Sadly, both sides entirely miss the point. I’ll keep this brief: what matters is EFFECTIVEgovernment. It’s size is completely immaterial. The debate disingenuously centers on size instead of quality, creating an artificial partisan divide that serves no other purpose but to distract from far more pressing issues.

CLIMATE CHANGE
Originally called Global Warming, the name was appropriately changed because the word “Warming” implies that cold weather somehow disproves the phenomena. People look outside, see it snowing, and quickly conclude that Al Gore was a liar. They are gullible deniers that do not comprehend the science. Climate Change refers to the destabilization of weather patterns across the planet. Winters become colder, summers become hotter, natural disasters become more frequent, and the over-arching effect is a gradual rising of the average global temperature. The science behind this is overwhelming (see chart below). To continue to doubt the validity of this scientific finding would be the equivalent of questioning whether or not gravity exists. With that in mind, funding and strategies to curb carbon emission is a vital and necessary step and government should fully be involved in this endeavor.

DO YOU BELIEVE IN CLIMATE CHANGE?

DO YOU BELIEVE IN CLIMATE CHANGE?

HEALTH CARE
The rest of the developed world has discovered a magical thing called “socialized medicine”. Americans have been sold the idea that anything socialist is somehow un-patriotic and a threat to their liberties (yet also utilize medicare, social security, government subsidies, public schools, etc. and all are socialist programs). In a purely capitalist system, those that can afford insurance get to live and those that can’t are left to suffer and die. Capitalism is a terrific system when applied to areas of business because it inspires competition. But should we be competing over who deserves affordable health insurance and who does not?

I strongly support that affordable care is a right of all Americans. I fully back a hybrid of private and public health insurance programs. Those that are fortunate enough to have insurance already should be allowed to keep their coverage without any changes. But those that are not should have an affordable public program available. The concept of a Public Option was proposed during the health care debate in 2009 and was ultimately, and wrongly, defeated. Why? Because Republicans and Tea Partiers peddled fictional fears such as “death panels” and “the government is going to kill your Grandma” and “Obama wants to change your health care plan”. The Public Option leaves private insurance companies and their customers untouched. Choosing to join a government-run insurance plan is completely up to an individual to decide. Hence the word “Option“.

Some argue that the masses might like the government plan so much that a majority would switch over and eventually we’d have only a socialized health care system. That certainly is a possibility, but if it happened it wouldn’t be due to government being intrusive… it would be a collective decision by the people. That’s what democracy is all about, is it not?


WAR
I am strongly opposed to physical conflicts as a means to resolve disputes between nations. War does nothing but highlight barbaric behavior and severe immaturity. There are rare instances that words are not enough and fighting becomes a necessity (such as World War ll). Vietnam, Korea, Iraq… those are the types of conflicts that I would never endorse or otherwise support. Regardless of which nation(s) win, humanity still loses because anything that results in mindless death cannot be deemed a victory, but a tragedy.

LESS DEATH DOES NOT A NON-TRAGEDY MAKE

LESS DEATH DOES NOT A NON-TRAGEDY MAKE

ABORTION
The first important fact to state is that Pro-Choice does not mean Pro-Abortion. Nobody inherently likes abortion by any means. With that out of the way, I must point out the irony of the conservative Pro-Life movement. They always cry that government is taking away their freedom, yet they’re perfectly okay with government forcing a pregnant woman to give birth? They typically answer that question by saying an embryo is a human being at the moment of conception, then allowing a woman to abort the child is taking away the freedom of the child to be born. Unfortunately for them, their position stems solely from a faith-based belief system. Is the freedom of a one-month old embryo more important than the freedom of a 20-year-old woman? I hardly see how a small mass of cells should ever trump the rights of an actual human being.

Certainly there is a cutoff point for having an abortion because eventually that mass of cells becomes a developed human. But when is that point? Many Pro-Choice folks say it’s when the fetus becomes viable outside of the womb. There’s strength to that argument, but it’s still too hazy for me to fully support. Therefore, I think the first 8-weeks of pregnancy, when the “thing” remains in only the embryonic stage, is a perfectly reasonable time period to have an abortion. After that, I believe the morality behind abortion is up to the individual though I am strictly opposed to late-term abortions (except if the mother’s life is in jeopardy). In terms of legality, I support the laws we currently have in place.

One final note: the man involved at least deserves to be notified and given a chance to provide input, but the ultimate decision is 100% up to the woman.

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