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January 01, 2005

New Year's resolution: a little self-definition would be nice

Back in my once-and-future Iron Blog debate days, the Chairman asked those of us who were debaters to submit our answers to a long list of opinion questions regarding various political beliefs. The original goal was to get us lined up for future debates, the but end result was a scrambling of my own self-beliefs.

I have always considered myself a conservative Republican at heart. I knew that I had liberal tendencies in the areas surrounding social issues (attending one of the most liberal seminaries in the country was a clue), but at heart, I saw myself as a Reagan Rightie.

Then the list happened.

Here are the answers I gave. Your task, if you choose to accept it, is two-fold. First of all, where would you place me on the political spectrum based solely on those answers and second, what are YOUR answers?

(I am not interested in, nor will I engage in, political debate on this blog. Unless I want to.)

The list:

Abortion: Should be mandatory. (ok, get the joke out of the way first I say. Now I can be serious) Against abortion except in cases of rape, incest or to save the mother's life. Then the choice is the mother's. I believe a woman has the right to do what she wants with her own body. She uses that choice when she has unprotected sex or sex with a form of contraception that has a known failure rate. After conception, there is a body that is not hers to contend with.
Abstinence-Only Sex Ed: Against
Affirmative Action: against if a more qualified majority member fails to get hired. For if racism/sexism is clear
AIDS Funding: Um.. not sure how this is debatable. I'm for it
Alternative Energy: necessary with the coming oil crisis. Should be funded by government and any wanna-be rich folks in the private sector.
Animal Research: for it within strict limits and only if clear ease of suffering to human life can be proven.
Animal Rights: in favor... not sure who would be against this.
Arab-Israeli Conflict: I disagree with the heart of the argument on both sides of this issue. We should stay out of it.
Assault Rifle Ban: in favor of banning assault rifles for private residences. You don't need one to kill wildlife.
Balanced Budget: hmmm.. tough one. I think deficit spending CAN work, but mostly I like a balanced budget.
Brady Bill: I am in favor of gun ownership, against the NRA and extremes on both sides
Bush Tax Cuts: In favor.
Business Taxes: In favor of.. not sure where there's a question here, unless it's a stimulate growth thing.
Campaign Finance Reform: of course. Salary cap, elected officials on Social Security, the works.
Capitalism: for it, insomuch as I enjoy its benefits. I am against the implications it carries with it of the worth of a person being measured in dollars. Also, I am against it insomuch as it requires an expanding market, hence cultural invasion and war.
Censorship: against it
Childcare (State): against it
China-Taiwan Conflict: no opinion
Christian Nation: I don't know what the debate would be. I want the country to be open to all religions and for everyone to freely choose to be Christian.
Church and State: separation of state from church, but not church from state. That is to say, the state should not dictate religion to churches, but each church member should vote his/her conscience and belief.
Class Warfare: No opinion
Cloning (Animals): in favor of
Cloning (Human Body Parts): in favor of
Cloning (Humans): no opinion as of today
Compulsory Organ Donation: against
Compulsory Vaccinations (Children): against
Compulsory Vaccinations (Military): no opinon
Compulsory Voting: against
Copyright: no opinion. A writer's original work should remain his own.
Corporal Punishment (In Schools): with parental approval only
Creationism As Science: approve of, but not at the expense of evolution
Cuba (Policy) : no opinion. Good cigars.
Death Penalty: violently opposed to
Defense Spending: in favor of
Deficit Spending: generally against, but with the right economic passage, I can allow it
Disability Rights (Accessibility): for
Disability Rights (Employment): for
Don't Ask/Don't Tell: no opinion
Draft: against until last option
Drugs: against, except for medicinal purposes
Education (Homeschooling): in favor of
Education (Public): in favor of
Education (Private): in favor of
Electoral College: dumbest thing I ever heard, but necessary to avoid canditates from only campaigning in high-density areas. I like the idea of spliting states votes in proportion to the overall vote in that state, with the first two votes going to the majority candidate in all cases.
Environmental Protection: in favor of
Euthanasia: violently in favor of
Evolution As Science: in favor of
E-Voting: no opinon
Flag Burning:personally against, no opinion as a policy matter
Flat Tax: in favor of
Fossil Fuel: almost gone
Fox News: biased but in my direction
Free Trade: in favor of with restrictions and precautions
Gambling (General): no opinion
Gambling (Indian): no opinon, if you are going to gamble your Indian, be prepared to lose him/her
Gay Adoption: in favor of
Gay Marriage: in favor of
Global Warming: sounds bad.
Gun Control: generally against, but against assault and high-powered weaponry. Against guns beyond hunting purposes.
Hate Crimes: in favor of laws against, with tough conditions for establishing a hate crime
Hate Speech (Should It Be Protected): no
Homeland Security (Policy): no opinion
Homeland Security Department (Should It Exist): yes
Immigration: allowable, but tightened considerably
Income Taxes: in favor of, except for me personally
Instant Runoff Voting: what? I've never heard of this
Intelligence (Iraq War): no opinion
Intelligence (Terrorism): no opinion
International Court: good idea, but not ultimately enforcible
Iraq Handover: in favor of
Iraq Occupation: should end soon, please. World is a better place without the very real brutalities of Saddam Hussein, regardless of underlying purposes for war.
Iraq War: against, as it was not a last resort
Judicial Activism: no opinion
Judicial Nominees (Bush): no opinion
Kyoto Protocols: no opinion
Legacy Admissions: no opinion
Liberal Media: clearly the mainstream media is liberal. Ask CBS about the proof it requires to attack Bush (answer: clearly fake documents) versus the proof it requires to attack Kerry (answer: 100s of fellow servicemens' eye-witness testimony can be instantly discounted)
Line Item Veto: in favor of
Living Wage: should be raised. A lot.
Manditory Sentencing: no opinion
Medicinal Marijuana: in favor of
Military Intervention: case by case
Minimum Wage: should be raised immediately. A lot.
Minority Voters: um... not sure of the issue here.
NAFTA: no opinion
National Sales Tax: no opinion, only to replace income tax
National Service (Compulsory): against
North Korea (Policy): no opinion
No Smoking Bans: dunno
Nuclear Energy: in favor of with strict safeguards
Nuclear Weapons (Retain or Reduce): reduce
Oil Exploration (Alaska): against, prefer to see funds go to alternative energy, strongly against
Oil Exploration (Offshore): against, prefer to see funds go to alternative energy, strongly against
Overpopulation: exists.. no opinion on solution other than education
Pakistan-India Conflict: we should stay out of it
Patients' Bill Of Rights: strongly in favor of. Strongly
Patriot Act: no opinion
Piracy: yar!
Pledge Of Allegiance: God can stay in, no strong feeling on this
Political Correctness: be nice to each other, don't go nuts.
Pornography: against, but for personal freedoms
Prayer In School: should be allowed, not mandated
Prison System: no opinion or knowledge
Prostitution: against
Race Relations: not sure of the topic here.
Racial Profiling: in favor of for certain crimes but not others
Reasonable Search and Seizure: I'm in favor of reasonable things
Reparations: against
Right To Privacy (Boundaries): right to privacy up to the point where reasonable certainty of harm exists
Scarcity: haves should share with have-nots, everyone should be allowed to live.
Social Security (Privitization): no opinion, leaning to "against"
Social Security (Solvency): as solvent as our government. Scary, that
Spanking: in favor of with strict guidelines and individual parental approval in schools. Only in extreme cases at home.
Special Education (Integration v. Isolation): no opinion
Stem Cell Research: in favor of
Sudan Conflict: no opinion
Term Limits: in favor of
Terrorism (Cause): no opinion
Terrorism (Islam): Islam is a religion of peace, as with Christianity, it is the Fundamentalists who are harmful
Terrorism (Prevention): one of the few areas I allow racial profiling. No strong opinion otherwise
Third Parties: in favor of. I am nearly centrist as it is.
Tort Reform: no opinion or knowledge
Unions: against "any means necessary" unions, but in favor when the little guy is taken advantage of
United Nations (Membership): the UN is now mostly useless and irrelevant anymore. We can stay or go, I don't really care. Nations should do what they see is good, regardless if France or whoever cries. Now, if EVERYONE cries, that's another matter.
Utility Deregulation: no opinion
Veganism: fine with me, but I need the meat
Violence In Media: overdone, very overdone, allowable with warnings
War On Terror (Policy): no opinion generally, stop evil where it lives, always.
War On Terror (Success): very possible, given how you define success. It is not ever possible to stop everyone who might ever commit acts of terrorism, but success can be measured in other ways. The price of peace is eternal vigilance.
WTO: no opinion

Posted by Dan at January 1, 2005 03:03 PM

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Comments

Very interesting, Dan. I'd have to place you as a right-leaning centrist. But I would say a more appropriate description is "sensible." I don't agree with you on everything, but I agree with you on a lot of it.

One thing I'm curious about, though. I could have sworn back during Iron Blog when we had that Tax Cut battle that went so bad, you said you were actually against the Bush tax cuts, though not tax cuts in general. In fact, I thought that was the whole problem. Am I crazy or did you just change your mind?

Posted by: Joel Caris at January 1, 2005 09:06 PM

Good memory. You are correct. I am in favor of tax cuts in general, but not the original round with the timing Bush used. If he were to enact further cuts similar to the last but with a more stable market, I would be in favor.

So I'm for the Bush tax cuts, just not when Bush cut taxes.

Clear as mud, yes?

Posted by: Big Dan at January 1, 2005 09:59 PM

That does indeed make sense.

Also, check this out if you want more info on instant runoff voting. I think it's a good system that would be preferable to our current system. It also doesn't have a chance in hell of ever being implemented. It would give third parties a much more realistic chance of breaking into federal offices. Which is why I don't think it will ever be implemented. Not much impetus for the two parties that run the country to weaken there dominance.

Posted by: Joel Caris at January 1, 2005 10:21 PM

It's always Ralph Nader who suffers in the end, isn't it?

Posted by: Big Dan at January 1, 2005 10:25 PM

Indeed it is. Poor Ralphie.

Oh, and my list is now up. Enjoy!

Posted by: Joel Caris at January 1, 2005 10:44 PM

I'd say you are an old school democrat, classic liberal much like myself. Funny how I increasingly vote Republican these days. Only shows you how far gone the Democrats are these days.

How do I rate? My answers:

Abortion: Horrific form of birth control. Should be highly regulated by the government. The government should also invest in education and subsidizing contraceptives, surgical procedures to reduce abortions. Should not be outlawed.
Abstinence-Only Sex Ed: Absolutely for it. I don't think the "only" part means that is the only type of sex ed. Teaching kids to wait until they are emotionally and financially mature enough is good education. It shouldn't be the only thing taught though in this regards.
Affirmative Action: I support it.
AIDS Funding: I don't support the massive funding of AIDS in place of research on other diseases. Millions of people have Hepatitis C for instance and all research dollars are going towards AIDS. Same thing with cancer. I think the government needs to fund research based on the threat to the general populace. Right now, cancer, hepatitis and other diseases represent a greater threat and are funded at a fraction of AIDS research. WRONG WRONG WRONG!
Alternative Energy: Our reliance on fossil fuels is ridiculous. Nuclear energy needs to be pushed to the forefront. It is our only realistic alternative to eliminating the use of fossil fuels (this should be an absolute priority).
Animal Research: I support medical research. Revlon can stuff it and should be legally stopped.
Animal Rights: Huh? I think my dog deserves a better job?
Arab-Israeli Conflict: I support the security fence. I support a Palestinian state. Now that Arafat is dead, hopefully this will come to fruition.
Assault Rifle Ban: Support
Balanced Budget: Support. I think their should be 1% across the board cut in federal government spending until the budget is balanced. No exceptions, no pork barrel bargaining required.
Brady Bill: Support with no loopholes for semi-automatic weapons and large clips.
Bush Tax Cuts: The federal government is out of control. I think it needs to be cut about 20% from the size it currently is. Furthermore, the states/locals need to take back items that are moving towards the feds (e.g. education).
Business Taxes: Tax reform would be nice. I support the elimination of income taxes. I support a transaction tax on all exchanges of money for goods both final and intermediate, as well as services. Therefore I'm for business taxes.
Campaign Finance Reform: Support. Only registered voters in the districts/states in which an election is held should be allowed to contribute to the campaign of a candidate.
Censorship: Against
Childcare (State): What is it?
China-Taiwan Conflict: I am against communism.
Christian Nation: Same thing Dan said.
Church and State: I'm against religions practicing politics as well as theocracies. I'm against governments outlawing religions. What is worse, a theocracy or communsism? Tough call.
Class Warfare: It's out of control. The amount of oppression going on in the world is probably the biggest problem we face. When you put on your sneakers, try and remember they were probably made by a child making 50 cents a day or someone living under severe communist oppression making 2 dollars a day. Bad times these are.
Cloning (Animals): Against
Cloning (Human Body Parts): Support
Cloning (Humans): Against
Compulsory Organ Donation: Against
Compulsory Vaccinations (Children): Against
Compulsory Vaccinations (Military): Support
Compulsory Voting: Against
Copyright: Support
Corporal Punishment (In Schools): Against
Creationism As Science: As a theory?
Cuba (Policy) : Support trade boycott
Death Penalty: Against
Defense Spending: What Dan says.
Deficit Spending: Against
Disability Rights (Accessibility): Support
Disability Rights (Employment): Support
Don't Ask/Don't Tell: Support
Draft: Same as Dan
Drugs: Support across the board decriminilization with serious regulations. Licensed addicts with appropriate blood tests to ensure addiction. Medical intervention when addict is motivated to do so. Take the money out of drugs.
Education (Homeschooling): Support
Education (Public): Support
Education (Private): Support. Tax breaks should be provided to the parents of homeschooled and privately educated people.
Electoral College: Support. The college votes and number of representatives should be increased so that 1 vote/representative represents 30,000 people as outlined in the constitution. This means that we should currently have over 4000 congresspeople and electoral votes.
Environmental Protection: Support
Euthanasia: Should be highly regulated like drugs and abortion.
Evolution As Science: Only as a theory and not as science fact which it is not.
E-Voting: Support
Flag Burning: Should be illegal
Flat Tax: Against. Progressive taxes are needed.
Fossil Fuel: Support nuclear energy. Against burning billions of tons of fossil fuels each year which pollute our environment.
Fox News: Beats Dan Rather
Free Trade: I support fair trade.
Gambling (General): Against
Gambling (Indian): Against
Gay Adoption: Anyone who is sound of mind and finances should be able to adopt a child.
Gay Marriage: No such thing. An Orwellian attempt at redefining words and institutions.
Global Warming: I'm against burning fossil fuels. Both from a pollution perspective and useful tool in the war on terror. I think the economic aspect of the war on terror is overlooked. We could do much devestation to the terrorists if we took away their oil money.
Gun Control: Support
Hate Crimes: Support laws against them.
Hate Speech (Should It Be Protected): No
Homeland Security (Policy): Currently they have a blank check. This needs to change. The abuses are already sprouting up.
Homeland Security Department (Should It Exist): What is it beyond what we already have.
Immigration: Illegal immigration is immoral and wrong. We have created an underclass in our society. If we need more "cheap labor", it should be done with legal immigration. The government needs to crack down on our borders and the businesses that hire illegals.
Income Taxes: Against. See transaction tax above.
Instant Runoff Voting: Same as Dan
Intelligence (Iraq War): What about it? It isn't perfect? What else is news?
Intelligence (Terrorism): We could probably use better?
International Court: Would require the restructuring of the UN.
Iraq Handover: Support
Iraq Occupation: Support
Iraq War: Support
Judicial Activism: Needs to be stopped.
Judicial Nominees (Bush): What of it?
Kyoto Protocols: Against.
Legacy Admissions: What of it?
Liberal Media: Big problem
Line Item Veto: Support
Living Wage: Support
Manditory Sentencing: Support
Medicinal Marijuana: Support
Military Intervention: Support as needed.
Minimum Wage: Support
Minority Voters: Same as Dan
NAFTA: Against
National Sales Tax: Against
National Service (Compulsory): Against
North Korea (Policy): We must strive for Nuclear non-proliferation
No Smoking Bans: Against. Smoking in public places should be highly regulated with real clean air standards for indoor areas. Nothing should preclude a business from installing the proper ventilation.
Nuclear Energy: Support
Nuclear Weapons (Retain or Reduce): Reduce
Oil Exploration (Alaska): Without nuclear energy, support. Against otherwise.
Oil Exploration (Offshore): Same as above
Overpopulation: A ruse used by abortion advocates
Pakistan-India Conflict: Pakistan is a terrorist hotbed and nuclear power
Patients' Bill Of Rights: Support
Patriot Act: Problems
Piracy: A problem
Pledge Of Allegiance: Fine just the way it is
Political Correctness: Complete nonsense
Pornography: Support with regulation. Child pornography should be severely prosecuted.
Prayer In School: Same as Dan
Prison System: Out of control due antiquated drug laws/regulations.
Prostitution: Against
Race Relations: Same as Dan
Racial Profiling: Support in the WOT
Reasonable Search and Seizure: Definition being highly eroded.
Reparations: Depends on what?
Right To Privacy (Boundaries): Severly eroded
Scarcity: Don't know the issue
Social Security (Privitization): Support
Social Security (Solvency): The ponzi scheme will collopse unless privatization occurs
Spanking: Not a government issue
Special Education (Integration v. Isolation): No opinion
Stem Cell Research: Against fetal stem cell research. Support all others.
Sudan Conflict: Another UN failure?
Term Limits: Against
Terrorism (Cause): Hatred and racism at the roots
Terrorism (Islam): Same as above
Terrorism (Prevention): Military, economic, preventative measures must be utilized.
Third Parties: Stand a real chance with the decline of the democratic party.
Tort Reform: Support
Unions: Support
United Nations (Membership): Needs to be restructured
Utility Deregulation: Support
Veganism: Same as Dan
Violence In Media: A problem
War On Terror (Policy): Agressively attack
War On Terror (Success): Talk to me in 10 years
WTO: A problem

Posted by: Ralph at January 2, 2005 12:26 AM

Ya know what? I tend to dislike lists because it's too easy to be misunderstood. I'll try to write a paragraph or two for each one and post it in the next few weeks or so.

Posted by: Alex D. at January 2, 2005 02:19 AM

Alex, while you're at it, I have an old 1957 Britannica Encyclopedia series I'd like hand-copied if you don't mind.

Posted by: Big Dan at January 2, 2005 08:45 AM

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