Political Stance

Where does your political stance fall? Where should it fall? How do you come to your decision?

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I don’t know about anyone else, but I know that in the last few years, my political stance has strengthened in many ways, and probably weakened or even moved in other ways. I find myself looking back at some of the things I remember saying in the 2008 election, and being baffled that I once believed them. I remember saying that Sarah Palin wasn’t a bad choice for Vice President. Wow! How I ever thought the governor of Alaska was qualified to be Vice President of the entire country. I mean, Alaska?

How have I formed my political stance within the last couple years? Well, you might be surprised to learn that I personally don’t believe in everything I stand for politically. I am actually quite conservative, personally speaking. I am one of those “Evangelical Christians” you heard Republicans talking about. But, my personal stance is not my political stance.

You see, I could not imagine my personal opinion being a majority held opinion. It’s my opinion, not yours. It’s not your parent’s opinion, or your friend’s opinion. It’s mine, and mine alone.

Political parties exist for individuals, with their own personal opinions, to come together under, find similarities, and fight for common goals. The catch up here is: “Individuals.”

Now, we could address this catch up by eliminating the two major parties, and all of those third parties, and have as many parties as registered voters, but that’s unrealistic and highly ineffective. So instead, we will keep keep the political party system we currently have now, and people will continue to follow under political parties that don’t entirely match their views.

Political parties, if they don’t attempt to appeal to the majority of Americans, don’t serve any actual purpose other than as a talking point in a political conversation or blog, such as this one. The Republican party is walking dangerously close to the line of irrelevant. They depend on the white, male vote. This population is becoming smaller and smaller while “minority groups,” are becoming larger and larger, especially in cities, where elections are often won.

When you start to add up the “minorities” that the Republican party hasn’t appealed to, the “minority” starts to look more like the majority. Latinos, women, African Americans, homosexuals, and the list goes on.

If your political party isn’t trying to reach the majority of Americans, can they win elections? If your political party isn’t winning, what is the point of their existence? Can a political party that refuses to appeal to the majority of Americans remain relevant? Can an irrelevant political party effect morality, if they can’t win elections?

All of these are important questions, and if the Republican party wants to remain competitive in the political sphere, they will need to start addressing them.

So, what do you think? Which way will they shift? Will they run a more conservative candidate, more moderate, or keep beating the horse with an unlikable, politically shaky candidate?

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Obesity and Hypocrisy

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Okay. I’m clearly not writing about obesity; That would be too easy. “Don’t be obese.”

This is much more complex than that. This past year, New York City mayor, Michael Bloomberg, gained national attention, though few in the state actually knew about it, by passing a law banning what I would call excessively sized soft drinks and other beverages. This was done as an initiative to curb the overwhelming obesity epidemic within the city’s limits, let alone the rest of the country. Many around the country applauded the efforts put forth by Mayor Bloomberg, while others were outraged.

Social conservatives.

Conservatives and Republicans cannot stand big, intrusive government; That’s what they tell us anyways. The argument put forward by these social conservatives followed the lines of: “This is America, land of the free. If I want to drink a 5 liter Pepsi in one sitting, and get incredibly fat, that should be my right!” and “Government should not have the ability to tell me how to live my life, especially when it only affects my personal life.”

And, that’s a good argument (healthcare costs covered by the public aside.). An argument I am inclined to agree with. But, here is where things start to get a little choppy.

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Black. Color code #000000.

Social conservatives often base their feelings in the political sphere on religion, and in religion black is synonymous with sin. According the Holy Bible, sin is sin; Meaning none is worse that the other, all is hated by God. Yet, this doesn’t seem to be the case in practice.

Social conservatives become outraged when they hear about Mayor Bloomberg’s “Soda Ban,” and are ready and willing to protect the people’s right to stuff their gullets.

Gluttony: Color code #000000. Sin. But, “You should have the right to do it!”

Let’s introduce: Homosexuality. Color code #000000. Sin. But somehow, “You shouldn’t have the right to do this!”

You see, black is black. #000000 is not any blacker than #000000. Sin is sin, and God hates all sin. Any other notion is based on the human construct of self righteousness, by which we can say that “my blackness is not nearly as dark as your blackness, and I am therefore a better person than you! Right?”

Wrong. You cannot politically defend one sin by saying America is free, and then politically deny another in the next breath based on religious beliefs. Both are immoral, both are sin.

Perhaps social conservatives are not nearly as conservative as they thought?

Across the Aisle

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So, that’s it. Right? The election is over. We have to wait 3 years and 6 months before everyone on the internet all of a sudden thinks that they know everything there is to know about politics, without being able to speak about anything specific that actually happened within that same time frame. Oh, the splendid nature of life in ignorance. The careless and stress-free life I envy so much, and yet I don’t at all.

You see, I like politics. I love history, and for me, keeping up with politics is like reading the script for that next big, awesome action movie that everyone is so excited about, but hasn’t seen yet because the movie hasn’t been produced. I’m am entirely thrilled to know that one day I will read in a history book, the events that occurred during my lifetime. Ones that I knew about; As. They. Happened.

So I’m weird. I get it.

Now to the point. President Obama was re-elected as President of these United States. The first African American President has done it again! Am I excited, or not? I don’t know. The point is, in his victory speech, President Obama said some things that made me actually optimistic about the future, in a reserved sort of way. The President, in a gesture of bipartisan efforts, extended Gov. Mitt Romney the invitation to sit down and talk policy. He was even kind enough to give reason to the brutal campaign that had taken place. He said that while the fight was bitter, it was only because the two loved their country so much. Quite nice.

But ultimately, I don’t expect much to actually come about from this potential meeting, if it were to actually occur. But, I just as much hope that it occurs nonetheless. The reason for my feeling towards this is: It is going to set the standard for the bipartisan efforts of the next 4 years. Republicans, as childish as they have been in the last 4 years, need to realize that if they want to maintain majority in congress, and maybe gain back some of the seats they lost in the senate, they need to do something that anyone outside of  government would call governing. Instead of crying about losing the Presidential election, twice now, they need to prove to the American people that they are better at the job.

You cannot prove that you are better fit for the job, if you refuse to do your job in the first place.

I am hoping that President Obama’s gesture will be well received in the Republican party. I hope that Mitt Romney, if he cares about the future of his party, takes the President up on his offer, and offers glowing comments about the experience. I hope that Obama incorporates something from Romney’s policy, to prove he really wants to move forward with a bipartisan effort.

All of this should not be necessary, but I’m afraid that without it, Republicans will not play nice.

The “One Can Shift”

As some of you may know, I work in a grocery store. I know, how exciting? I must be so proud of my job. But, lets not get out of hand, I am happy to have a job.

The other day, I found myself in the canned goods aisle of the grocery store where I work. I found myself talking politics with a friend at the store about how the majority of the American people find the Republican party simply out of sync with their lives and the country as whole today. This is not an entirely wrong assertion to make on the part of the American people. We have quotes to back this up, like: “Women should count pregnancy by rape a blessing,” because you know, it was God’s will.

What a joke.

So, what can we do to fix this? This is exactly what my friend and I were discussing.

Let me present (as a result of the meeting of the minds at your local grocery store):

The One Can Shift

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We should all eat more Campbell’s soup. (Just Joking.)

Let’s all put our creative hats on, because I am fairly positive we are going to need them to get through this one. Let’s pretend that “Italian Style Wedding” soup represents the Democrat party, “Creamy Potato Roasted Garlic” is American Moderates, “Chicken with Whole Grain Pasta” is the Republican party, and “Savory Chicken” represents this country’s third largest political party, Libertarian.

For Democrats to win a presidential election, they must win Italian Style Wedding and some of the Creamy Potato. They do this, and they win.

Republicans, on the other hand, must win Savory Chicken, Chicken With Whole Grain Pasta, and some Creamy Potato.

I think this is fairly clear. The Republican party has to please a much broader base of peoples in order to be successful in federal elections (Thanks a lot Spoiler Effect). This in turn, puts them at the disadvantage. They must step slightly to the right in order to please their more conservative base, but not too far as to upset and turn off moderates. This is what I would like to call a political nightmare.

So, What I would suggest, other than actually recognizing third parties in federal elections, is for the conservative side of the spectrum to shift, just one can to it’s left. This is not nearly as drastic as it seems.

Right now, the topics that put many Americans off to the Republican party, are pretty much summed up in the realm of social issues. Now, conservatives have taken some very hard stances on many social issues in the last few years. Republicans have always opposed abortion, but the same cannot be said for the use of contraceptives. Oh no, this only developed recently. I will leave this alone now lest I devolve into a rant on the parasite known today as the Tea Party. Many of these stances taken, have religious or personal belief connotations.

Republicans, the party of smaller government, and less intrusive government, should be willing to set these stances aside, while still believing in them personally.

What would this look like? Allow me to demonstrate.

Imagine if you will, I am a candidate for president of these United States, and I am asked about my stance on same sex marriage. How should I address this issue? Is there a way that I can state what I believe without the side effects of putting the gay and lesbian voters off? The answer is: YES!

“Through my personal faith in God and his Holy Word, I believe that homosexuality is a sin. However, as potential president of these United States, it is not my job to enforce the rules and laws of my personal religion, and to make you live life in the ways in which I see fit, but rather to protect and to exercise the will of the people I govern. It is not within the governments ability to dictate it’s people lifestyles, unless these lifestyles are an immediate threat to the well being of the people around them. (Also, a president’s opinions on same sex marriage should not matter to us in the least, as laws regarding marriage are the sole right of the states. I can never figure out why people care so much about this topic.)”

In this response, I have stated my personal beliefs, and chosen the lesser intrusive style of government, a choice Republicans usually applaud. By recognizing that this is indeed my personal belief, but that it is not the government’s job to decide, I have taken one step to the left, or shifted one can left. Is this going to win the vote of all gay and lesbian voters? No, but maybe it will put less of them off. The last several elections have been incredibly close in the realm of the popular vote, and democrats have won the last two in the cities of swing states. Republicans, if they wish to remain relevant, or even hold any semblance of position in government, need to do a better job of winning the American Moderate. Without this group, the party is destined to fade away into history, joining the parties most have never heard of, such as the federalists and the anti-federalists. Hmm. Sounds familiar.