This post has been swimming around my head for a while. And as we get closer to an election I feel the need to finally put it to paper.
Note: This may make some people angry.
To get it out of the way, I’m going to tell you up front that I’m generally more on the conservative side of politics than on the liberal side. One might go so far as to call me a “Libertarian” and it wouldn’t be a description that’s far off. Also, I’m a Christian. That word has many meanings these days, but to mean it simply means that I’m a follower of Christ. I don’t consider myself to be “crazy” or a “Bible thump-per” but I do view the Bible as something sacred, and I attempt to live by its principles.
All that being said I want to be clear from the start that I am not trying to make people angry with this post, but these are some thoughts that I’ve had over the last few months and things I’ve wanted to say with regards to some of the more popular talking points in our political discussions today.
Size of Government
If you know me personally or follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you’ve probably heard me say how much I dislike both candidates. To me, they’re two sides of the same coin. Really what it boils down to is that I’m against a large federal government and both candidates are campaigning on more government, just in different ways.
I want smaller federal government and bigger city, county and state government. So, no, I don’t want government provided healthcare, I want to see a reduction in welfare programs, and I think bailing out companies with tax payer dollars is a seriously bad idea (and totally negates the idea of a free and open market).
This is a big issue for me, and it really sets the stage for how I feel about other things, as you’ll see later on.
Because I’m generally for a smaller federal government, I’m against crazy government spending.
We have a massive debt, that both Republicans and Democrats have contributed to over the course of our history. Both have spent and both have saved. As a conservative, I want us to be spending less. And right now, we should be working like crazy to reduce our spending.
People tend to think that I don’t want to hear discussions on single payer health care or fixing social issues through taxation. That’s not true. I’ll listen to any and all ideas. However, I’m not going to really be okay with doing more government services until we can get our spending under control.
We had to raise the debt ceiling. How the heck did we even hit the ceiling in the first place? Come on! Really? We’re so in debt that we had to raise the amount of debt we’re allowed to have and people think that spending more money is a viable solution to the problem?
I don’t want to hear us talking about how we’re gonna provide healthcare, pay for more welfare, have more wars, and what not, until our government can prove that it can spend responsibly. Because right now, they aren’t exactly doing a great job. And this goes for both sides.
I’m not against raising taxes, I’m for raising them by a percent or 2 across the board, not just the top earners and then cutting government spending across the board by a minimum of 10%. That means all programs. Medicare/Medicaid, welfare, defense, all of them. If it receives money from the federal government, it’s federal subsidy is now reduced by a minimum of 10%. Increase your income, but reduce spending now. Not 5 years from now. Not 10 years. Not next year. Now.
I don’t care if you say the president’s budget is going to be “deficit neutral in 5 years” because there’s a chance they won’t be in office that long and the next guy will undo whatever they did.
Lets touch on a few social issues.
I’m all for equal pay for women. If they do the same job as a guy, they should get paid the same as a guy and if she can prove that isn’t the case, she should be able to take her employer to court and win a handsome sum of cash. The fact that this is still an issue is so far beyond stupid it boggles the mind.
As a conservative and a Christian, I don’t agree with abortion. I wouldn’t recommend a woman get one unless it was a serious health risk. However, I don’t believe they should be banned as some Christians do, and as most on the left seem to think all conservative Christians want. No, I don’t want them banned. I think anything past the first trimester should be extremely limited (I’d argue that after a certain number of days it’s not even an option but that’s a different discussion), but not banned.
Seriously, if bacteria on Mars is considered “life” then what’s in the womb is a life.
And on the subject of birth control, I’m not against it. I don’t think the government should be able to tell a religious institution that they have to cover it in the medical plans they provide their employees, as I think that’s a violation of First Amendment rights. I also think it should be up to the employer who’s paying for the insurance what should and shouldn’t be covered in a policy. That’s an employer’s right. It’s a woman’s right to not work there and instead work for some place that has insurance that will cover birth control. More on this later on.
I do not think (and I’m sure many on the right share this point of view), that these things should be banned. I just don’t want my tax dollars to be paying for them. There is a difference, and people seem to not understand that just because I don’t want tax dollars paying for it, doesn’t mean I want it banned.
I’m okay with there being abortions (again, I don’t agree with them and would try to talk a woman out of getting one), birth control, and whatever else a woman feels she has a right to. Just because she has a right to it, doesn’t mean it’s gotta be paid for with tax dollars, and it doesn’t mean that the government should forcibly make employers pay more for medical insurance that covers those things.
Last I check this was still America. A woman has the right to an abortion (according to our Supreme Court), that doesn’t mean she has the right to have it paid for by tax dollars or her company provided medical insurance. Same with birth control. You have the right to it, doesn’t mean you have the right to someone else paying for it.
Let’s tackle another biggie. Gay rights.
As a Christian, I believe that homosexuality is a sin (see Romans 1:26-27 and 1st Timothy 1:8-11). Does that mean I hate gay people? No. As a Christian, I believe we’re all sinners. So as a sinner, how can I realistically hate someone because they sin differently? I tell you this not to be “holier than thou” but rather to tell you where I stand.
I think that has an issue, this is one that shouldn’t be anywhere near our politics. It’s a social issue. It has little to no bearing on our economic state. And I think that the GOP needs to give up the ghost this one.
Let gay couples be married civilly. Let them be able to go to the court house get some kind of certificate and give them the tax benefits. You can change the name of the certificate so that it doesn’t say “Marriage Certificate” on it. If they need the religious aspect they can find a church to “marry” them. But, a church should not be forced by the government to marry gay couples if they feel it’s against their beliefs (there’s the First Amendment again).
Seriously, the fact that we’ve somehow made this a political center piece just astounds me. I don’t agree with the lifestyle. But hey, I’m a sinner too.
When did we start punishing success? When did it become bad to make lots of money? When did it become a thing where people who have lots of money are “evil?” I don’t understand this.
We have an entire movement who’s sole purpose is to protest against “greedy corporations” using the internet that’s backbone is provided by corporations on devices also made by corporations, so they can meet in parks that are paid for by tax dollars collected from corporations. Seriously, how is the irony so lost? Do any of these people understand that a business exists for two reasons? Make money and provide a service. If a company is big and has lots of money, well they’re doing it right aren’t they?
If we all start to view having money and being successful as a bad thing, what motivation are people going to have to actually be successful? Is it not counter-intuitive to hate on success? I know plenty of people who have had more success, made more money, had higher positions, or just had a better station in life than I did. It’s never bothered me to a great degree. Then again I was raised with the understand that:
- Life is not fair and
- There will always be someone smarter, faster, stronger, richer, more successful, or just plain better than me
In life there are winners and losers. Not everyone is gonna be a winner, and not everyone is going to be a loser. Mostly people are gonna fall somewhere in between the two.
That’s not to say I think people that make their fortunes doing illegal things shouldn’t be severely punished for it. But just because someone used the system or found a loophole is no reason to punish them. Sure, close the loophole. But if they didn’t do something illegal, why punish them because they found a way to make money?
People are making a big deal because Romney is rich. Well sorry, but why does Obama get a pass? He’s richer than most people too. Sure he may be not as rich as Romney, but he made over a million dollars last year. I’d consider that at least kind of rich. He’s got more money than anyone of those people protesting for Occupy.
People also want to point out that during Romney’s time at Bain capital he off shored jobs. So did lots of companies. In fact there are companies still doing that. They also say he closed businesses. Well, not every business is successful. Not everyone has a job forever. Companies go under, people get laid off, and people get fired. It’s the world of business.
The way some people talk it’s like they think that no one should ever be fired or laid off. Not sure what world they live in, but I’m gonna guess it also contains fairies and unicorns. Getting laid off and fired sucks, I know, because it’s happened to me. Sure it’d be nice if it never happened to anyone, but that’s not realistic is it?
All this point attention to Romney’s wealth is doing nothing but furthering class warfare. Making it more “us versus them.” Which is going to accomplish nothing. Plus it’s a little hypocritical when it’s people like Obama who many would also consider “rich” pointing the fingers.
Why are we not encouraging the middle class to start businesses? That’d be something I would encourage government spending on. Encouraging people to start businesses so that they can potentially be successful, thus contributing to those same funds that helped them get started. Also if more of them start successful businesses, then that decreases this so-called income gap. And more businesses means more places to shop, which should help the economy.
So see, everyone’s fighting the wrong battle. Instead of saying “we need to support the middle class” we should be saying “how can we help them be more successful?”
Rights and Tax Payer Money
In closing, I want to spend some more time on this because it seems people don’t understand what having a right means.
Here’s an example: I have the right to bear arms therefore I can go and buy a gun. A gun is not provided for me, I still have to spend my money to acquire a gun. I have the right to an attorney, our government also says they’ll provide one if I can’t afford one. Therefore they’ll pay for it because they’ve explicitly said so.
See the difference there?
Going back to birth control, because a big stink was made about this. Catholics believe that birth control is a sin. That point of view is protected by the First Amendment. Therefore, the government telling the Catholic church that it has to provide coverage for birth control in the medical insurance it provides it’s employees is a violation of that First Amendment right.
A woman has the right to birth control. She doesn’t have the right to have it covered by her medical insurance. No one’s denying her the ability to get birth control. But if she wants it covered by her medical insurance, she probably shouldn’t work for the Catholic church.
An employer should be free to provide medical insurance to their employees that they can afford. If they can’t cover something someone feels they should have covered, that person has the right to work elsewhere.
Lets look at this another way. You have the right to buy a smartphone, you don’t have the right to have one provided to you by your company. If you company chooses to provide you one, that’s their right to do so. Just as it’s their right to not give you a smartphone. It’s also your right to not work for a company that doesn’t provide you with a cool phone.
Just because you have the right to something doesn’t mean you have the right to have it paid for by someone else.
I want people to be able to live their lives without much government intervention. Live your life. Don’t infringe on anyone else’s life, liberty, or pursuit of happiness and we’ll do fine. But no one owes you a thing.
I know this is a long post. And it’s probably made some people angry. Hopefully it made some people think for a second.
Mostly I hope you just say “yea, that’s your opinion, mine’s different” because I’m not really going to argue any of this. If you don’t get what I’m trying to say by now, you’re never going to understand and we’ll just have to agree to disagree.