Thursday, April 26, 2012

Why I Consider Myself a Moderate

In future posts I will (happily) describe the reasons I don't align myself with either major party, it seems logical to first discuss why I consider myself a Moderate voter.  In previous posts, I've compared being a Moderate to the terms Libertarian Light, and Diet Libertarianism, and that is generally what I view Moderate politics as.

While Libertarians tend to fall on the far right on fiscal/economics, and far left on social issues, Moderates land on the same side, in my view, just not nearly as far on each side.  I've come across these descriptions in the past from other writers, though I did come up with the terms on my own.

This might be oversimplifying things to the point of approaching inaccuracy, because there are plenty of voters who might fall slightly to one side for both types of issues, or may be leftish on fiscal but rightish on social issues.  Unlikely, but still possible... these voters might be called Diet Populists.

I've also stated before that trying to create a Moderate party, with a distinct, agreed-upon platform, would be incredibly difficult because the field of Moderates, Undecideds, and Decline-to-State voters is simply to big and diverse to even attempt to put under a single tent.

As stated, I generally find myself on landing on the right of center on government fiscal and economic issues, and on the left of center on social issues.  I believe we should have a small federal government, but one that still is able to protects civil rights and the interests of individuals.  I emphatically believe we should avoid deficit spending at nearly all costs.  The federal government should provide for our national defense, protect individual civil rights, offer guidance and direction on domestic policy -- and perhaps some funding, too, when its available -- but little more.

I think taxes should be simple, and generally low, but simply because we should be raising only enough revenue to cover our budget, which ideally is a fraction of what it is today.  That our tax system is hyperbolically complex, convoluted and unfair is of little disagreement, but Congress simply doesn't have the will to do anything about it.  I honestly ask the questions -- what is wrong with everyone pays 10 or 12 percent, with no deductions??

I happen to support a hybrid flat-tax, negative income tax system, where there is a relatively flat tax -- perhaps a two-tiered system I would be agreeable with -- with relatively few, in any deduction opportunities, but below a certain level of income any taxes paid during the year are returned plus an income augmentation.  A future blog will cover this issue in more depth.

On domestic issues, I think DOMA and immigration reform are sanctioned bigotry.  I truly believe if it were 12 million light-skinned Canadians coming over the border to mow our lawns, harvest our crops, clean our hotel rooms and be maidservants to the wealthy, nobody would have a problem with illegal immigration.  And people should be allowed to marry whomever they want.

I think a woman's body is her own business, and while I abhor the thought that abortions occur, we should be enacting policy to discourage, not outlaw, abortion.  For me personally, I have a problem that any abortions occur, and I can't offer a rational, philosophical reason -- I can only say that's what my gut tells me.  But as one individual voter I do no have the right to tell someone what she can or can't do with her own body.  I do, however, think that medications like RU-486 and the morning after pill should be available.  Critics and opponents will likely want to engage in a "when does life begin" debate, I'll save that issue for long down the road.

I believe the Bill of Rights should be interpreted equally, meaning freedom of speech and religion should be interpreted as loosely as the right to bear arms.  I think a future blog will address who gun rights advocates ignore the first half of the Second Amendment, but either way its there, so we should respect it.

The same holds for freedom of religion -- that means citizens have the right to worship God, or any deity they choose, as long as they don't infringe on anyone else's right to worship.  That also holds for using religion as a basis for policy.  "Because the Bible says so..." isn't good enough for me.  If you choose to life your life based on the Bible's teachings, or the teachings of Jesus Christ, you have that right to do so.  But you don't have the right to force anyone else to live strictly by those teachings.  A future blog will deal with this issue, as well.

So there you have it.  Republicans say I'm too liberal, Liberals say I'm too conservative, Libertarians say I'm too moderate, and Moderates -- well, Moderates don't really talk to each other much... yet.

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