At this point, I really don’t know what I classify myself as, politically. I feel a need to define my stance because it says so much about a person’s perspective and mindset in quick, all-encompassing word or phrase. I know I generally jump to judgment when I hear a person proclaim one side or another, but not even necessarily in a bad way. Its just easier to say “Right Wing” or “Republican” instead of “I’m a conservative, religious, gun-loving, tax-hating, small government wanting businessman” (again, there I go generalizing and stereotyping… I should note that my middle-class mexican mother is proof that republicans of all races, classes and genders exist). Believe it or not, through my comparatively short existence of 26.5 years, I think I’ve considered myself part of every party at one point or another. I was raised republican (I remember my heart sinking as Clinton beat Dole in ’96 – I was 10) but by the time I could vote in the Kerry v Bush election in 2004, I voted for the person I wasn’t crazy about, yet also knew wouldn’t win, just because I couldn’t stand the republican (or specifically, the Bush/Cheney administration) way of doing things. I saw needless wars and lies and growing economic disaster as I went through high school…I knew the democrats MUST be the answer since the republicans were fucking up. But now I see the dems have failed me, and perhaps its because I didn’t REALLY understand what the party I devoted myself to (in both volunteer time and in donations) was all about until it was too late. It wasn’t until 2012 that I learned most of the wall street deregulation to blame for the financial crisis was actually put in place by Clinton himself. So many political moves, ends justifying means (Clinton did this to secure wall street support for democrats) that result in some consequence both unseen and unprepared for. Can’t we now agree and see that no cut corner culminates in a completely untarnished result? There is give and take… we can’t keep taking and expect nothing to ever give.
So lately I’ve been thinking more like a Libertarian. But what is that really? Before I place myself in a box, I need to really think about where I stand, regardless of what the parties stand for. Do this with me, won’t you? I know I care broadly about civil rights, women’s rights, and equal rights. I want employees to be treated fairly and paid what they’re worth for the work they perform. I want any consenting adult to be able to marry another consenting adult. I want less… MUCH less police focus on drugs, ESPECIALLY marijuana. I don’t even think prostitution should be illegal. Making it legal would make it safer. In a land where porn and strippers are allowed, its ridiculous to say prostitution, a combination of the two, is crossing some arbitrarily placed line. I am mostly pro-choice and mostly anti-death penalty, because those both mean less government involvement in our life and death matters. With similar reasoning, I don’t think assisted suicide should be illegal. I also don’t think gun control is the issue when discussing solutions to violence. Let everyone keep their guns, but lets also make mental healthcare accessible and find ways to support better, more educated parenting.. Lets talk about mental health more often to de-stigmatize it so people aren’t ashamed to get help. As a sufferer of depression and anxiety, I know its not weakness. It just is. Lets treat it correctly with love and support, with tried and true methods. Can we legalize illegals a little quicker and easier? I really don’t mind people coming to this country if they can be on their way to paying taxes and living honestly as swiftly as possible. My last few points, if taken, would all lead to lessening the prison population. Can we start spending more on education and less on prisons and defense? Doesn’t it make sense to put money and energy into positive, nurturing things like health and education rather than destructive efforts like prisons and defense? If we spend everything we have to defend ourselves, there will soon be nothing left to defend.
And yes. Corporations. Rich people. Ugh. I’m so torn on this. I understand the capitalist thing. I get that we don’t want to punish a person (or company) for being too successful. But the ultra rich, the mega monopolies, the fewer and fewer companies that control bigger and bigger amounts of a wide range of industries FRIGHTEN me. So much power and control in the hands of so few are what we fought against to begin with. We have puppet government officials doing the bidding of those that can afford to finance their campaigns. Its as simple as that. The insane amount of money needed to win an election in this country affords our lawmakers no time to make good laws, only time to campaign. Naturally, they’ll combine these two obligations and make laws that are good for their campaigning. Unfortunately, money to run talks louder than actions that constituants demand. Money can buy a lot, and money often buys smearing lies and truth twistings to get past all the bad actions to come back in the next term.
I don’t know what all that makes me. Smart? Ha. I’d like to think so. Correct, maybe? No, I know my thoughts aren’t perfect. They probably contradict each other too. I’m not looking for perfection… just answers. Whether they’re mine or yours, I don’t care. I want yours too. I want everyone’s. I want solutions and compromise, understanding and empathy, knowledge and power. I want to feel like change and progress are real possibilities, not just next election’s slogans. Everyone I know wants things to be better… I don’t know how to do that, but I really, really want to try. Let me know what you think. Let’s do this.