Monday, September 15, 2008

party-free girl

I would like to belong to the Republican party. I'd like to belong to the Democratic party. I'd love to be a, what do they call it? "Card-carrying member." Do they actually have little blue or red cards for the die-hards of those parties to put in their purses? Cute!

I would like to belong to either one of these parties for several reasons. First, just for the sense of belonging. I don't often feel like I belong anywhere. Second, because I admire people who have defined and articulate views. I have both conservative friends and liberal friends who appear to have such firm convictions. They already know what they think and it evidently lines up very nicely with one of those two political parties. That's infernally convenient! Third, because I read that people who are either very liberal or very conservative are more likely to have higher IQs than us centrist simpletons.

But I don't think I can join one of those parties. My beliefs and priorities don't seem to line up neatly or even more or less with either of those platforms.

The following notes on my views will not be especially cohesive or flowing, and will certainly be random. I'm jotting these things down so they'll stop spinning around in my head. Feel free to comment. I am always open to others' opinions. Maybe that's my problem.

values voting: I live very conservatively and yes, I think it's the best way. I think everyone would be happier if they had my values and tried to live them. If everyone would choose this way to live, I think the country would be a better place. However, I don't think it works to impose my values through government on others who do not share them. Some of you would counter that this is a ridiculous thing to say because all of our laws are based on our values. Yes, but those have to be values that a great majority of American share.

gay marriage: I don't have a problem with gay people getting married if that's what they want to do. However, I have a big problem with a health teacher, for example, telling my child that marriage is anything other than a union between a man and a woman. That would be someone else imposing their values on me and mine.

abortion: When I talk with pro-lifers, they always seem to be left with the impression that I favor abortion rights. When I talk with pro-choicers, they always think I'm opposed to abortion. Well, I am opposed to abortion. I think it's wrong. But I am not convinced that overturning Roe v. Wade would be a good idea for our country. I would certainly not make a decision on who to vote for based on this issue.

the economy, business, taxes, etc.: I'm not an economist and I don't know a lot about this, but I have an opinion based on our experience. This is the only country where my husband would ever be able to have a small business in his sector and still compete globally with much larger companies. This has always been a country of remarkable economic opportunity. This is the only country with an economy that can grow to accommodate an ever-growing population. When J talks with business associates in other countries, they always comment on this and with some envy. If businesses are too heavily taxed or restricted as they are in most other countries, the government gets the money but the citizens end up paying the price in more ways than one. More taxes means fewer jobs and fewer jobs means fewer people to tax. There has to be a healthy balance.

This from the WSJ today made me think: "Mr. Obama's moral vision presupposes that the key to individual advancement is securing a larger share of a fixed social pie from those who control it. This posture, relevant in pre-modern patronage systems, is profoundly at odds with the modern, market economy in which individuals don't have to wrest resources from others to prosper; they have opportunities to create their own."

immigration: No one seems to be mentioning this anymore, but I was in favor of the Immigration Reform Act. Evidently this make me liberal on this issue. One reason I couldn't stomach Romney.

education: We all know it's messed-up in this country. I don't know that throwing more money at under-performing schools is going to fix it. I favor school choice.

healthcare: I have been reading about this and trying to understand both candidate's plans. It looks to me like Obama's plan for a government program could potentially make my private insurance more expensive.


Gabriela said...

I'm party free because I just get so sick of it all. It's just constant arguing. Necessary, maybe, but very tiring.

Karen ~ said...

I think of myself as a "member" of one of the parties, but that is only because their views align with mine ... if they didn't, I would not consider myself a "member" anymore.

Unless maybe the cards were *really* cool to carry ...

Anonymous said...

I did get a little card once, when I lived in Utah. I switch my party according to my fancy. This year I think I registered Republican so that I could vote in the primary. I wanted to register Democrat and vote in that primary too but it was too late. I have been "Green" and "Independent" over the passed years. I don't think that anybody can honestly say they agree with everything a party stands for. They are all too extreme.

Calandria said...

Karen, I didn't mean to suggest that people who belong to the parties blindly adopt the party platform for their beliefs. I don't think that at all.