Saturday, July 5, 2008

Yes, I'm really a democrat

As Senator Obama continues to moderate his positions on many issues:
Today's installment is the declaration that "mental health" issues should not be used in the "health exceptions" to late-term abortions. 20080703/obama-abortion/http://www.huff -abortion
BTW: This is a rare example where I have disagreed with Obama's move to the center. Also, with the talk yesterday about the war and maybe curtailing his withdrawal strategy, the Senator may want to take a break from this strategy for awhile.
But anyway,...
I realize Senator Obama is no where near the line, but I got to thinking, at what point am I or anyone no longer a Democrat to the extreme ideologues here at mydd?---------------------Here's my list of important issues and what people generally consider them to represent on the political spectrum:
1. abortion rights: far left I support without qualification
2. gun control: far left I support strict gun licensing, registration and ability of govts to enact strict gun control where it makes sense. Sometimes the overall safety of the community can be improved with gun control bans even though it harms an individual's personal right to protect themselves in particular situations.
3. death penalty: moderate rightAgainst it in the current system where the justice system is clearly broken, and not fair. But would support a well-defined system that worked both in terms of correct id and quick resolutions.
4. education: extreme right wingtotally against our centrally planned public school systems and favor numerous choices including vouchers, charter schools, home schools, church schools, and ensuring parents control as much as possible rather than a govt. board
5. trade: moderate left wingSupport fair trade that includes labor and environmental standards that seek to raise the standards, spread the prosperity and prevent a race downward even though this would raise prices and lower our projected standard of living.
6. tort reform: moderate right wingSupport reform that protects companies and individuals who are making a good-faith effort at their jobs from being sued when something goes wrong. So for instance, if a doctor does everything they can, yet something happens to the patient, the standard to sue should be whether they knowingly did something wrong. This goes also for medicines that wind up having bad side effects. As long as there wasn't any fraud or deception, there shouldn't be any lawsuits.
7. taxes:
I think taxes should be kept as low as possible and replaced with more progressive ways to collect revenue that is needed. We can use auctions, lotteries, and other ways that involve people volunteering their funds rather than forcing them to pay. For instance, the Super Bowl sells out every year, the govt. could auction off special tickets and use that money for tax revenue.
I reject the notion that people who make more money should pay a higher percentage of taxes. The key should be everyone shouldering the benefits they receive from society.
8. gay rights: extreme right wing
I'm in support of traditional moral values, and believe we as a society need to promote strong healthy normal marriage, strong role models and a civil society on t.v., and good values throughout society.
I am in general against the gay rights lobby except when they talk about protecting people from violence and discrimination in the workplace. They are right in those cases.
9. social security: right wing
I support every American have a personal account that can be passed on to the next generation. It should include a guaranteed part that is used for the individual and than passed on to the next generation, and a part that can be invested in numerous legitimate vehicles.
I believe social security should continue to be mandatory, but updated to fit a more modern world.
10. foreign policy: moderate left
I believe in having a big military budget that helps us maintain the strongest military on earth. We should use it to promote good around the world, but mainly to find adversaries before they find us. We need to be realistic about what we get into in terms of the longer term implications of what we do. I supported Afganistan, against Iraq, against Iran. All, based on what was/is in our best interests.
My point is there are a few issues that seem to be litmus test:
pro choicegay rightsagainst vouchers
while others aren't
gun controlfaith based policiessupporting a strong militarydeath penality
I think both parties need to included honest people who generally agree with them. Since neither side has a coherent philosophy, I don't see how more people here and elsewhere aren't constantly challenge our party leaders.
Our failure to do so harms us all as a nation and I hope we start taking inventory of our positions and advocating for them regardless of who we take on as allies on a particular issue.
I am a proud democrat who is fighting for change in my party.

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