What are the issues and do my views correspond with the Wikipedia definitions of Republican ideology and political positions? Free enterprise, check. Fiscal conservatism, check. Classical liberalism, check. Noninterventionist foreign policy, check. Gun ownership, check. Environmental issues, check.
Capital punishment, negative. Instinctively I stand squarely against it. Punishing murderers is necessary, obviously, but capital punishment stinks of barbarism. Don’t get me started on Saddam Hussein’s execution. Regarding more run-of-the-mill criminals, one wonders if it is even a “deterrent”? There are more than 3,000 people on Death Row. Questions like these are certainly very complex. Regardless, this deviation alone shouldn”t preclude me from the Party.
Abortion, negative. Yes, I know I just said “killing is wrong,” but the difference from capital punishment is the life was never yours to take in the first place. On the other hand, if you create the life, the power to take it away is yours, or at least it should be while it is gestating inside you. At the very least, the distinction is great enough to separate the issue of abortion from capital punishment. Furthermore, having a child you are ill equipped to raise is practically criminal, so any preventive measures on that front may be necessary at times.
Abortion should fall under the individual-freedom category along with LGBT issues. I see no reason why the government is involved in the legality or illegality of these choices. Most conservatives are pro-traditional-family, pro-life, and God-fearing, but these are not political issues. They are personal, moral, and religious ones; therefore, I could be a pro-choice, pro-gay-marriage Republican. Or can”t I?
This is where I get confused and where Republican candidates lose me. On one hand they support personal freedom, yet on the other they are incapable of separating their religious beliefs from their political ones. This is all the more infuriating when Republicans bring Christianity into the argument, considering that the Christian spirit loves, accepts, and forgives, something totally antithetical to the belligerent moral outrage that so many conservative voters exhibit.
Don”t get me wrong. I was born from Christians! And I like to prefer a hypocrite to a prig because fallibility is far more appealing than moral superiority. But this moral outrage is too widespread to be categorized so trivially. Both sides have politicized the Christian fury over abortion, stem-cell research, and gay marriage. It is no longer a question of individual hypocrisy but of doublethink.
So what do the experts have to say about our current political labels? People such as Professor Paul Gottfried, who has devoted much of his work to defining terms such as “Republican” and “conservative,” will say I am not a real Republican but a Social Democrat or something similar.
I would give a rat’s hoo-ha about the distinction if I had the choice to vote for policies of which I approve. Unfortunately, the system does not provide me with this option. Instead, I am forced to choose between two unsatisfactory candidates, a wasted vote, or none at all. I”ll choose the latter since the other options have yielded no success as of yet.
Politics has nothing to do with democracy anymore and Big Brotherism is synonymous with Big Business.
There is plainly no place left for the individual.
Perhaps at this point I should be grateful to be resigned to insouciance.
Whether I am a Republican, Democrat, or Libertarian isn’t important to me. I don’t think too much of labels.
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