Last night, like one or two other Americans, I watched the GOP presidential campaign debates on CNN. For the most part it was nothing surprising, but further brought to life some very real concerns I have with the Republican Party – especially the popular candidates. However, in the spirit of being balanced I figured I would also complain about the democrats too.
My Problem with the Republican Party:
When did it become okay for America to support torture? (Yes, water boarding is torture) Furthermore, why is a political party based on Conservative and largely Christian values supporting such a thing? America is supposed to set an example through morality and compassion even in the face of literal terror. It always makes me laugh when in one breath Romney or Perry will say that “America is not a normal country, but a GREAT country” and in the second breath say that torturing another human being is justifiable. If the example they want to set as a great nation is by torturing our enemies, then maybe they should rethink their conservative “Christian” values.
Civil Liberties and the Patriot Act:
Some people will argue that the Patriot Act and the many provisions in it that give the government the right to potentially invade our personal privacy is a necessary evil for protection. I think that it is no coincidence that this was ONLY passed in the wake of 9/11. People were shocked and rattled by the first major attack on American soil that most of us can remember that we would have passed almost ANYTHING that would have made us feel safer and comforted. Had we been thinking clearly, we would have realized that the patriot act was simply another measure to chip away at our civil liberties.
The problem is an incremental one. We give up a little and over time and soon we find that we have no privacy or liberty left at all. We get used to the patriot act provisions and later the government passes something else with a patriotic name cutting our liberties some more and soon we find ourselves caged by measures that were meant to “keep us safe”. What if one day we really do become dissatisfied with our government and we decide to speak out against them – maybe even organize. What if in my emails I strongly criticize the government and try to organize my friends to do something about it? What if I blog about it? Does that label me a terrorist or an enemy of the state? Does the government have the right to read my emails and stop me? Where is that line drawn?
“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety” – Benjamin Franklin
The United States should not police the world or be involved in nation building. We are in no position to do so – we have no right and we can’t afford it! We are trillions in debt because we occupy other nations ignoring the long term consequences of our actions. There has been more than one occasion where the U.S. has been directly responsible for overthrowing a government (even democratically elected ones) to put in place the regime they prefer. We have even helped Osama bin Laden, Fidel Castro, and Husan Hussain (to name a few) achieve their former levels of power. When they turned on us (and it seems like they always do) we declared war on them and have yet another enemy. Maybe they were/are evil, but we helped put them in power – it seemed like a good idea at the time…right? What mistakes are we making today? What enemies are we creating and putting in power today that we will have to fight again tomorrow?
I’m not saying that we should be isolationist. Not by a long shot! We should be involved in diplomacy and good will. We should encourage trade and virtues. We should make friends and have people working for us, not against us! We should have a strong military for national defense, but it is NOT our job to police the world. It is no coincidence that Ron Paul, who is against nation building and policing nations, receive more campaign contributions that all other presidential candidates (republican and democrat) combined. The troops feel apparently agree!
“Love your Enemies, for they tell you your Faults.” – Benjamin Franklin
The Drug War:
Can we please end the worthless war on drugs? It is not working, I guess people like to get high too much. You can make anything you want illegal (see prohibition failure) and people will still get the stuff. The real trick is embracing drugs and regulating them carefully. Treat them like alcohol. Especially drugs like Marijuana – there is no real reason it should be treated any differently than any other regulated legal drug.
When you make something that people want illegal it opens the door for a black market. Which creates jobs and a monopoly for criminals. Crime goes up and drug related violence increases. Many drugs are legal in Holland and their society has not crumbled. People have this idea that if we legalize drugs that all of a sudden EVERYONE would be on drugs. Well, would you do drugs if they were legal (assuming you do not already partake)? I surely wouldn’t do any narcotic even if it was offered for free. Similarly I do not smoke cigarettes and I only drink in moderation.
The trick is proper education about the drugs, proper warnings, proper control, and values instilled in young people by families and society. Lets stop this drug war once and for all!
My Problem with the Democrats:
Tendency to NOT practice what they preach:
It really bothers me when someone runs for president based on a particular platform and then does the exact opposite. President Obama ran on the promise of ending the wars. It took him four years to remove the troops from Afghanistan (coincidentally near election time). I remember watching him campaign and he said “If the troops aren’t home by the time I bet in office, that will be my first act of President, bring the troops home!” I loved it and so did America. Of course he didn’t do what he promised. The people elected Obama on the principal of CHANGE – we have seen very little of that. Instead we have more spending, more war, and more of the same!
Spending too much money:
Democrats just spend too much money (not that republicans haven’t done the same thing!). They want to implement social programs to help the poor, which is great, but they seem to ignore the fact that it takes MONEY to do this. We are literally TRILLIONS in debt and it’s getting worse. We can’t continue to tax our citizens to death, implement more social programs, increase the debt ceiling, continue to fund the war, support OBAMAcare, bail out big businesses, continue to print money – and expect everything to just work out.
The country is slowly becoming crippled because of our overspending and horrible monetary policy (from both the democrats and republicans). If something doesn’t change, NOW, then we are in big trouble – and our children and grandchildren are in even bigger trouble. We need to start running this country like we run our personal lives. Stop making enemies, be humble, conservative finances, hard work, generosity and service.
What should we do?
1. Revamp Foreign Policy. End the Wars promote diplomacy. Stop policing nations and nation building.
2. Revamp the monetary policy. Get out of debt. Balance the budget. Stop printing money.
3. Overturn the patriot act, promote civil liberties.
4. End the Drug War. Legalize and treat drugs like alcohol.
5. Use the savings from the solutions above to pay of debt, promote research, homeland defense, for social programs that WORK.
6. Promote the ideas of social capitalism.