Monday, January 12, 2009

Political Headache

So, is there such a thing as a "Free-market Democrat?"

I don't know. I guess I will have to try to find out.

I just know that the Republican party has abandoned me, and a lot of people like me. It continues to move in the direction of gay-bashing bible-thumpers.

"Fiscal conservative" and "Republican" don't seem to go together. Not when Republicans are sent to Washington, anyway. Borrow and spend Republicans. Is that really what the "Contract with America" said? I didn't think so. (How many Republicans will vote for the upcoming $800 million pork-barrel bill, because they are getting theirs?)

And so we come to it...
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them ...
etc. etc. While I am not setting up a new country (or even a new party), I do have a list of grievances. Not as exhaustive as Jefferson's (or was that Paine's). Anyway, here are a few of them.

The Right loves to talk about the Liberal Democrats' "litmus test:" abortion. Well, the Right has the same litmus test, they just check for the opposite reading. Why was Harriet Miers nominated to Supreme Court? What was her qualification? As near as I can tell, aside from being a friend to George W. Bush, she was steadfastly opposed to abortion for religious reasons. That sounds like a litmus test to me. Is there no aspect of person's life that government should refrain from controlling? What area would that be?

The past few elections, the Republicans have tried to use state-level constitutional amendments against Gay Marriage as a way to "get out the vote" and defeat Democrats. How's that working out for you? Not so good, huh? I suppose some folks are still saying gay marriage will destroy straight marriage, but the truth is straight marriage is in trouble without any help from us. Are all those gay marriages in Canada, Europe, Israel and a handful of states sapping the sanctity out of your marriage? Or are you all getting divorced at astronomical rates for your own reasons? And, as always, I will ask again... If you are opposed to gay marriage on religious grounds, why are you opposed to the Employment Non-discrimination Act? Does ENDA violate the sacred right of employers to fire queers? Oh, you aren't opposed to ENDA? Have you written to your reps stating your views? (Here's a link if you want to do so.)

Gays serve in the military. They always have. They have often served with distinction. Current law (Don't Ask, Don't Tell) explicitly states that gays can serve in the military, as long as no one does anything or says anything to upset the homophobes. And if gays could serve openly I am sure there are some people who wouldn't want to join. Just as I am sure that there were racists who didn't want to serve in an integrated service. But is that really how we want to arrange our society? (Unit cohesion was exactly the argument used to stave off integration, and I'm sure it hurt unit cohesion in units populated by racists when the services were integrated.)

This list isn't exhaustive. It took more self-control than you can imagine not to weigh in on the "War on Christmas" arguments that were flying around... (Why exactly is Christmas celebrated on December 25th? Why was the Solstice moved off the 25th in 1592, when the Gregorian calendar was adopted - by Papal decree?) The treatment of Wiccans by Veterans' Affairs under W. Religious freedom? Not for you non-Christians. Or the treatment of Wiccans by W. Should I go on?

And so I remain a small "l" libertarian. In favor of small government, fiscal responsibility, individual freedom, and individual responsibility, government that isn't in the business of legislating morals or protecting me from myself. Just no longer with a place in any party. I guess it has really been that way for a while. (Yes, the Libertarian Party is still insane.) There used to be a fiscal-conservative wing of the Republican party. If it exists, it is without power. Maybe there is a free-market wing of the Democratic party. If it exists, it is also without power. Politics suck. Now where did I put the aspirin?

No comments: