The Party of Me
Abortion should be legal in all circumstances. It should be available without parental notification. There is nothing morally objectionable about abortion because the unborn are not people. My definition of a person is not defined as simply a human being, but as a conscious individual. Such definitions are inherently subjective and I choose to err on the side of the individual with unequivocal personhood.
The death penalty should be abolished, due to the fallibility of our justice system. A person’s life is his or her ultimate right and should not be taken away except in the defense of another person’s life.
Recreational drug use should be decriminalized for adults. Most the crime resulting from drug use is a result of the high cost of the substances. Decriminalization would lower the cost and end much of the criminal behavior. Crimes involving drug use should include treatment programs as part of their punishment and taxes should be placed on drugs to pay for such programs.
Gay marriage should be legal. There is no rational reason for gay marriage to be illegal.
Our justice system should include bias crime enhancements. Bias crimes are not “thought crimes,” but crimes that have consequences beyond a non-bias crime of the same nature. Therefore, punishment should be increased to account for those consequences. They should, however, be narrowly focused and not legitimate acts of free expression.
Government should be as separate from religion as possible without infringing upon anyone’s right to practice his or her religion of choice.
Our government should provide a social safety net. It should consist of some form of welfare, unemployment benefits, and a Social Security-type system for the elderly. It should not be enough to live on, but it should be enough to keep citizens who have fallen on hard times out of abject poverty.
Our government should provide a national health care system, similar to the French systems. On balance, government-run systems cost less and provide better overall care. At the very least, our current health care system is a convoluted mess and needs to be overhauled.
Government interference in the economy should in general be avoided. Certain basic services may be run by national or state monopolies. The government should promote scientific research of all kinds with the goal of both knowledge and practical application.
Immigration is the foundation of this country and should be expanded. Illegal immigration, while understandable, leads to exploitation. So, I propose to expand legal immigration and tighten border security. I also propose that for the 11 million illegal immigrants here currently, we put all of them on the path to citizenship. If they refuse to take part in this, we should deport them.
The government should encourage the development of alternative energy sources to reduce our dependence on sources of energy from volatile parts of the world. Such research should also be pursued as a way to combat global warming. Emissions limits should also be considered for the same reason.
Defending us against foreign threats is not an excuse for curtailing civil liberties. Warrant-less wiretapping and holding people without trial as “enemy combatants” are contrary to the principles of this country.
Gun control has not been shown to be an effective deterrent against crime. It is also questionable on civil liberties grounds. It should therefore be limited to registration and licensing and ownership restrictions for felons.
Affirmative action is a poor solution to racism in the institutions of this country. Only the weakest form (with two candidates of equal merit, minority status is taken into account) is acceptable.
Military intervention is fraught with unintended consequences and should only be undertaken when its goals are clear and vital to the national interest and should be as limited as possible. Our current struggle against al Qaeda is rooted in our sprawling military presence throughout the world.
We should promote human rights, democracy, and the settling of conflicts all around the globe, through foreign aid and diplomacy, but we must be cognizant that liberal institutions are the strongest when the impetus for them comes from within. We should respect and work through international institutions such as the U.N., despite their flaws.
Our current problem with foreign terrorists must be taken seriously, but is not to be overblown. We are not going to be conquered by them, but they can inflict significant civilian casualties. The root cause of the current campaign against us seems to be our troops in Saudi Arabia and other impositions in the Middle East. While it may not be feasible to withdraw our troops now, we should work towards that end.