I’ve been relatively quiet online regarding my political stance and since tomorrow’s the election, I figured I’m safe to blog a bit now without having to worry about fielding too many questions from people that 1) disagree with me, or 2) think they agree with me, but aren’t sure.
Here’s my take.
I am a conservative, this does not default to republican in my book, as the republican party has veered very, very far from it’s days of Reagan conservatives. Now, the republican party is happy to grow the government just as much as the democrats, and with just the same amount of bureaucratic inefficiency as their counterparts “across the aisle”.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not for a two-party uber alles system, where the parties spend all their time fighting one another from some ideological bulwarks without ever wanting to work together. But, when you represent a party that has a base that believes in fundamentally small, efficient, and effective governments, who focus solely on what the Constitution requires of them, then they need to represent that view in their daily work. This won’t always be the case, just as sometimes a parent has to overstep their own ideal bounds with their children to steer them away from potentially fatal situations, when they might often let them learn on their own. Sticking your finger in hot water teaches you about hot things and the danger/pain of abuse, sticking your finger in a light socket may prove fatal, thus destroying the entire point of teaching at all.
There will be times (great depression) when the government is forced to act in extreme ways to fend off complete national collapse, but it must relinquish those powers once the emergency is over, lest we see a oligarchical nation come into power before our very eyes.
Looking at heavy-handed communist or socialist countries gives me pause, because most of those nations were founded with the best of intentions. Making the working-class, middle-class people more powerful by putting the government on “their side” looks great on paper, but the more you trust those without accountability outside of themselves, the more personal responsibility you (perhaps inadvertently) hand over to them. You no longer need to worry about working for yourself, you work for the country. You earn what the country earns and live how the country lives. Communities are “installed” as needed by the motherland and all you have to do is what you are told to do.
This system can work, but you don’t need the government to drive it. You can loan money to people without interest, believe it or not. Thanks to our overly-bloated tax and banking laws, it is much harder to do that, but you could do it easily once upon a time. There are lots of things that we now need the government to do for us, that once upon a time, we could do without the help of the government.
There are some things that a government should always be doing. Protecting the nation from threats for foreign and domestic is a good one. Guaranteeing citizens protection from crime and fraud is another one. Also, currency control in order to govern inflation and economic growth to prevent huge swings that are potentially national threats.
Neither of the candidates seem to want to focus on these issues. They both seem content to throw money at problems that call for much deeper reform. The fear I have with Sen. Obama is a complete democratically controlled government. The GOP had that a while back and they hosed it up badly. Checks and balances are our friends, after all.
But, I tend to think that the only thing that will wake up the republican party is to see how many conservatives cannot bring themselves to vote for Sen. McCain. Give me a conservative candidate next time, and he/she will have my vote.
I cannot discount Sen. Obama’s ability to bring a nation together under a notion of change, but we need to change for the better. Believe it or not, this country has “changed” greatly from what the Constitution has laid out for the federal government and I think we need to “change” back into the original vision of the founding fathers.
In debates with folks at work, and following an email list that I run for family members, it seems that many of the Obama supporters would rather the government take over stuff that is working inefficiently. They are fine with giving the government the go-ahead, having them tax the rich more, and then wait for the government to handle it. The problem with that mentality is what do you do when the government lets you down? What happens when a promise about pre-existing conditions turn into a wait in long lines for a “specialist”. What happened in other countries are people paying out-of-pocket to see doctors when they want to.
If malpractice was reformed, health care would see a dramatic shift in pricing and availability. Instead, the candidates want to funnel *more* money into a flawed system. You can’t federalize health care insurance without federalizing health care. The government will soon dictate, like a giant HMO, which doctors can charge what prices under their care. Once that division takes place, it won’t be long until the other doctors are forced into their system to still have patients.
Why not take those monies that you want the government to have and funnel them into non-profits and charities designed to help offset health-care costs specifically for people with a pre-existing condition? There isn’t one? WHY NOT BE PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE AND START ONE!?
I know plenty of people that could afford health care, but choose to buy flat-screen TVs and new cars. They take trips and vacations and have the latest technology, then turn around and say that health care is too expensive. Issues like that are about priorities. People with multiple kids have to adjust their spending as well as people that lose lawsuits. Life isn’t “fair” for everyone, but there are ways to make it work, if people are personally responsible enough to actually make it happen.
In my time in Church, I’ve seen that there are people that have a passion for just about anything you can think of. If you want to adopt, they can get you grants, huge sums of money donated by people who have a heart for the suffering of orphans. If you want to go on a mission trip to help build buildings in 3rd world countries, you can get donations to help you accomplish that.
Many children’s hospitals are funded by benefactors so that families can get the care they need without having to bear the entire burden. To think that there is no hope for adults that have a certain condition(s) is to discount the true nature of Americans. You can bet that there are people who have money to send and would happily fund an organization designed to help certain afflicted people get the care they need.
Many issues are just like this! We moved to California a couple years back and now we’re tired of it. The lifestyle is okay, but it’s not Indiana, and we don’t have any family here. In addition, this state is hemorrhaging money into a broken school system and countless junk programs. There are *plenty* of people out here who complain 24/7 about it. They talk about lobbying this and that and trying to change it in such and such a way. Good for them!! Get in there and make a change, but for us, we are going to move to a place that’s more affordable and closer to family. We will bear the responsilibily of moving ourselves and make it happen. I think Californians in general like the idea of a socialist agenda with a huge state government, so I am compelled to leave if I disagree. So be it. I don’t have a right to live in California with a government of my choosing.
The issue I face is that if America takes a turn toward a big-government behemoth, we will have to leave the country to escape that kind of government intervention. That’s a bit tougher for me to do because there have been many people who have fought and died for this country and I want it to flourish like it has the first 225 years of it’s life. We don’t need a bigger government, we need bigger citizens that will take to hear the infamous question: “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country!”
So, who am I voting for? Honestly, I’m not sure. I guess I pray that there will be something that can convict me what is best for America in the long term, and not just for me in the short term. Here’s to hoping!! /clink
As a last thing, here is JFK’s tremendous “Ask Not” speech. If you’ve never read it, you really should. I pretty much agree with every assertion he makes in that speech…
One Comment Add yours
I normally don’t get in to too many political discussions, except for when I think people are on the right track. I don’t think we have been presented with two exceptional candidates, so I voted for the candidate that I believe understands what it means to sacrifice for this country.
I have been thinking lately about two of the thoughts you mentioned. 1) Your assertion on the health care system is spot on. No one else seems to believe me, though. Protecting our caregivers and helping those in the most need is the greatest thing we can do, not let the government get more involved in its control. 2) Socialism has good intentions, but in the wrong hands (i.e. most humans), it rips a people apart. I believe Christ encourages us to take care of those in need, but humans generally can’t be trusted and the system will be abused to the point that is won’t really work. So instead of encouraging socialism, I believe we (Christians) should take it upon ourselves to maintain that Christ-like attitude no matter how we are governed.
Nice post. I would be interested in hearing the reasons for how you decide to vote.