In these highly political times I’ve decided to openly declare my politics. They are complex, because the universe is complex. They are NOT binary: black or white (or red or blue). Or liberal or conservative.
I am liberal AND conservative. AND moderate, a rare bird in these divisive times, where you must be a lib or a con.
On most SOCIAL issues I’m liberal. On ECONOMIC issues I am moderate. And on most DEFENSE issues (personal and national) I am conservative. My personal flag is red AND white AND blue.
Defense – personal
At the base of my politics is defense. At the personal level, I support the 2nd amendment, but interpret it not as the founders did, as applying to militias. Instead I interpret it as most people nowadays do, as applying to personal defense. I believe in the right of people to openly carry firearms, but think in most situations pepper spray is a more optimum response to violence. Too, the right to bear should carry a training program before someone is allowed to carry. Police should have the right to request proof that a person has had the course within the past year.
See a theme here? An inherent right to carry firearms, balanced with reasonable controls. NOT a dogmatic pro or con on the right to carry. Neither a complete ban, nor total freedom of anyone whatsoever to carry. BALANCE. Remember that theme in what follows.
The same balance applies to long guns. Everyone should have the right to own one, but not each and every kind. No one outside the military should be allowed to own a .50 calibre sniper rifle which can shoot a mile and through a concrete wall. No one outside the military should be allowed to own a fully automatic rifle, or a semiauto easily modified to full auto. Bolt-action and lever-action loading rifles are perfectly good at downing big game. They served our hunters for well over a century; they will serve ours for the foreseeable future.
Defense – national
At the national level our defense system is woefully behind the times, well able to fight the last war, bumbling at fighting the current wars, and totally inadequate to even understand future wars and how to fight them. I believe we need to focus less on hugely expensive weapons, and more on ground troops, cyberwar, psychwar, and biowar.
Because our enemies have them, we DO need the very expensive and up-to-date high-tech weapons of conventional warfare such as aircraft carriers, long-range stealth bombers, and nuclear-powered submarines. But we don’t need each and every trillion-dollar purchase beloved of the generals and the admirals. It’s a sad fact that many upper-management military people are more interested in prestige and having the latest most-expensive toys than defending our country.
After our physical survival is assured we must consider our fiscal survival. Economies are cybernetic systems. History has shown that massive top-down control of economies (socialism) is largely a failure. Russia tried it for 70 years, China for 30 years, at the cost of many millions of lives. Bottom-up controls (capitalism) are much more effective. But only if SOME top-down controls ensure certain endemic ills of capitalism are prevented. Small businesses, for instance, like all infants, must be protected from big-business predators.
For this reason we must aggressively follow anti-trust laws. Big business must be pushed to pay all their required taxes, whether we cap them at 35% or 21%. Loopholes that allow them to hide all their money off-shore should be closed, and enforced. And executives should be punished when their reckless or selfish behavior leads them to break the law or pursue predatory practices.
I think we should have a National Day of Reckoning, say the week before each November election, when the richest of the individuals and companies are eyed with microscopic detail to see if they have paid back the public which has treated them generously with tax breaks and other perks of the powerful.
Physical and fiscal survival supports our bodies and our pocketbooks, but just as important is our spiritual and social health. Racism is an evil we must aggressively fight. The same goes for religious intolerance and sexism. I am a feminist, because feminism is at its base about fairness. Not just to the women in our lives, but also to men. We have also been victimized by paternalism though obviously less so than women.
EXTREMISM is among every movement’s WORST ENEMIES. The alt-left and alt-right give the left and the right a bad name for their support of ridiculous and vicious ideas. They also attack others of their movement for not being extreme enough, and so make less likely that those others will support the core tenets of the movement.
One example of the alt-left are those few but loud radical feminists who attack all men for the crimes of some men. These radicals do not distinguish between rape and clueless behavior. The clueless can be educated, rapists cannot. Attacking men who are even the slightest insensitive closes off the possibility that they can be sensitized to the pain of a woman touched without consent, a woman chided for “unfeminine” behavior.
A second example is the behavior of SOME supporters of Black Lives Matter who silence those whom they dislike by shouting over them. In America even asshat idiots have the right to air their views. Silent but highly visible protest when asshats take a podium is much more effective at countering their evil than denying them their right to free speech.