I intend to do a series of posts covering various political parties and where they generally stand on the issues as related to their various websites or perhaps previous candidates. The point of this exercise is to help educate you on the various beliefs of the parties as well as where I stand in comparison to those beliefs. I intend to discuss what I agree with and what I disagree with in an effort identify myself with a party, even if that means creating a new one. This is because independent candidates for president rarely if ever get taken seriously. I will start with the Republican party as that is the party that just lost in a big way. I don't consider myself a Republican, which may come as a surprise to many of you. That doesn't mean I don't agree with some of their philosophies.
In an effort to abbreviate this, I'm going to reference the McCain's presidential website.
However for the official Republican party platform for 2008, feel free to read this.
"Our nation's future security and prosperity depends on the next President making the hard choices that will break our nation's strategic dependence on foreign sources of energy and will ensure our economic prosperity by meeting tomorrow's demands for a clean portfolio." I agree that we have to break our dependence on foreign sources of energy, which means utilizing our own resources. Oil comes from the earth, it's part of the earth. It's natural. It's not going to hurt our earth to utilize this oil. Nuclear war will hurt our earth way more than drilling.
National Security/Homeland Security
"the highest priority for any President is protecting the lives of American citizens, defending their personal freedom, and securing our land and resources." - I agree with this, however I believe National Security and Homeland Security is redundant and has been unnecessarily bloated. The department of defense is sufficient to coordinate this effort. Maybe money saved could be redirected towards the care of our veterans and towards enforcing immigration laws.
"the rapidly rising cost of U.S. health care. Bringing costs under control is the only way to stop the erosion of affordable health insurance, save Medicare and Medicaid, protect private health benefits for retirees, and allow our companies to effectively compete around the world. " I'm not really sure what this says. What I believe is that the government is not the answer to health care. People need to understand that health care isn't a right, they need to make it a priority if they don't want to go bankrupt by it. The problem is that people don't want to take responsibility for it because it's expensive. So they moan that they can't afford it, but they sure can afford cable, cell phones, and that new car, etc. It's about priorities. At the very least everyone needs to make a priority for some kind of catastrophic policy and save enough to preventatively see the doctor every other year or so. They have self pay rates. Find out what they are, it might not be as expensive as you think. Find a clinic to go to that offers low cost care. Most pharmacies now have a low cost prescription plan for generic drugs. Companies making big moves like this will help to bring affordable health care to everyone. But people have to make it their priority over cable, cell phones, new clothes, new cars, etc.
To sum it up, his site says "excellence, choice, and competition in American education."
I agree with that but have seen no effort in my state, a traditionally republican state, to make a move towards this. And I haven't seen a federal push for it either. The department of education should go. Education should be left to the states. Perhaps the cost would go down if there wasn't a bloated department of education sucking up valuable dollars that could actually go towards education rather than wasteful administration of it.
"America's agricultural industry is the best in the world. John McCain will expand access for U.S. agricultural producers to foreign markets, providing a great and lasting benefit to American farmers. He will work tirelessly to ensure our farmers receive fair prices for their products. "
I don't believe it is the responsibility of the government to get involved with "fair prices" for corn or any other agriculture. It should be left up to the free market. If a someone can't make money as a farmer, it means he wasn't meant to be a farmer and should look for a new career. I can't make money as an actress, it doesn't mean the government should pay me money because I declare myself an actress if I can't make a sufficient living at it. I vehemently oppose farm subsidies.
"our border must be secure and that the federal government has utterly failed in its responsibility to ensure that it is secure." I agree with this statement, and quite honestly I feel this falls under the realm of national security. Enforcing the laws and rules we have now will take care of much of this problem.
"John McCain will establish a market-based system to curb greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, mobilize innovative technologies, and strengthen the economy. He will work with our international partners to secure our energy future, to create opportunities for American industry, and to leave a better future for our children." The republicans fail to effectively turn the climate change discussion into something we can all agree on, clean air, clean water, a clean world. McCain took the position that climate change is within our control and backed policies that took on man-made global warming.
My position is that it is arrogant to sell that mere humans can control the global climate. Sure there are temperature cycles, but we ourselves are not big enough collectively to control that. Policies that unnecessarily attempt to control this by taxation, or carbon credits are useless and wasteful. What I do believe is that we been given a responsibility to care for this earth. I believe that it is not our right to tell Brazil they can't cut down trees that are creating jobs in that country. But we should offer to teach them our methods of replanting, if in fact they are not already replanting what they cut down. It is not our right to tell people in 3rd world countries living in the bush that they can't build fires to boil water and cook their food any more than we can tell cows to stop pooing.
Getting in the way of progress in 3rd world countries is doing more to harm the environment than butting out and letting them handle it and offering assistance. For example, malaria is non existent in this country and most other industrialized nations, but it's killing hundreds of thousands of people every year. The U.S. was sprayed long before I was born to get rid of the mosquitoes that were passing it around. Why can't the same be done for them? Just give them all masks to wear during this time. They didn't cover their faces here and people lived.
"America's families are bearing a heavy burden from falling housing prices, mortgage delinquencies, foreclosures, and a weak economy. It is important that those families who have worked hard enough to finance home ownership not have that dream crushed under the weight of the wrong mortgage." I believe personal responsibility is the right of every family who has worked hard enough to finance a home, meaning it is their responsibility not to get in over their head. It is also their responsibility to work with their lenders if they are in trouble. The banks often made bad lending choices and they should also make efforts to keep to work with clients to avoid bad loans. Neither should come running to the government for pay for their mistakes, they should work towards a solution without government dollars.
Generally the republican position has been keep taxes low, small government. They haven't practiced this in years that I no longer believe that they really believe this. I think they use this as a talking point to convince their base to "trust them" to get reelected. Here's the problem I have; take a look at your local state government. What are your republicans doing? Here in Texas they actually passed a steroid testing program for public schools. Are you kidding me?? They are behind much of the "nanny state" legislation that gets passed or at the very least are supporting it. The thing is it's about making sure someone else's kid isn't doing steroids, giving them and "unfair" advantage. Is it really necessary to waste state dollars on this to find a few kids? So I have a problem with "small government" belonging to the republicans because they don't practice this at all. So I'm taking it for my own. I really mean it when I say small or limited government intervention.
Let me sum up a couple of other beliefs that I share with the republicans. Right to carry and constitutional judges. I believe you have a right to bear arms. I think if we all assumed every one we met was also carrying a weapon, we'd think twice about how we treated each other. Criminals would think twice about robbing a place if they assumed that every house and convenience store had a gun to protect them. They don't even want to deal with someone who will fight back which is why they look for weak victims.
Judges should not legislate from the bench, it is their duty to uphold the constitution.
There were a few other topics covered that I chose not to go into, but if you have questions about where I stand on an issue, feel free to ask. Next week I'll attempt to cover the Democratic party.