Measured Against Reality

Saturday, October 14, 2006

My Politics

I think that it’s a good idea to get my politics down, just so it’s clear what they are and I can have a quick reference to point to in the future. Plus it never hurts to have a little discussion on political philosophies.

In one word, I’m a libertarian. As far as I know, it’s the best fit between an established party and my beliefs. I used to call myself a conservative, but in reality I was a social liberal and an economic conservative, and that’s really a libertarian. I also used to call myself a Republican, but then I realized that the parts of the conservative agenda I support don’t get supported by Republicans, and vice-versa. So if I have to pick between a Democratic candidate and a Republican candidate, I’d lean toward the Democrat (but they’re not all good either).

Getting more specific, I believe that if someone wants to do something that doesn’t harms anyone else, even if it harms himself, he should be able to do it. Whether he wants to marry another man, do drugs, gamble his money away, devote his entire life to Jesus or Thor or Isis, or even euthanize himself, if it harms no one else, then he should be able to do it.

I’m also a passionate defender of free speech. I think you should be able to say whatever you want, and I do mean whatever you want. Interfering with someone else’s right of free speech - like running up on the stage to disrupt a speaker with whom you disagree, or stealing a bunch of newspapers because you don’t like an article or picture in it – should be very stringently punished. I think we should take that crime as seriously as we do theft and assault.

I also think that government should be as small as possible to do its duty. Our government is orders of magnitude too bloated right now, and it shows. It’s inefficient, inept, and lazy. We need to strip off the excess and get it lean again. That’s a difficult job, and I’m afraid that the trend to larger government we’ve had for the past century is not going to stop.

What is the government’s duty? To protect its citizens at home and abroad without encroaching on their freedoms, to educate its citizens, and to serve the needs of its citizens. Those are also fairly broad. By protection I don’t simply mean from terrorists or war, I also mean from each other, from greedy businesses, and from anything that seeks to harm them, physically or financially. I think that our government has forgotten that its duty is to its citizens, and that is its only duty.

That was pretty quick and broad, if you’re dying to know what I think of specific issues feel free to ask (or tell me how you feel, ‘sall good).

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