As mentioned, my political stances are kind of all over the map. I've been trying to make sense of some sort of underlying theme or logic that ties together. Then, when I was shopping for a third-party candidate, I found myself looking at specific issues:
- Are they Pro-Life?
- Are they pro-environment?
- Are they generally open-borders/free trade?
And guess what? None of the major or minor candidates or parties are yes on all. And now more than ever that strikes me as really weird because this is the pattern that emerges: in politics, I care about life and the quality of life, and beyond that I kind of don't care.
- I'm anti-abortion because science, but I don't care about 'controlling women's bodies'. The 'controlling women's bodies line' irritates me to no end. It's a red herring; it's like Confederates whinging about Federal intrusion into their property rights, and I'm all, 'Okay, yeah, I get that, but on the other side of this are lives of people you don't even consider to be people.' But I guess there actually are conservatives that do sound like that and push abstinence-only sex education and oppose subsidizing birth control while I'm over here, 'Yes, absolutely, let's prevent unintended pregnancies by any means necessary, free contraceptives for all, man, whatever it takes to stop killing babies'.
- It also weirds me out that, on the right, we have abstinence-only sex education, and on the left we have 'you're not allowed to even mention the possibility of abstinence' sex education. Abstinence works. As my waistline can attest, I'm pretty weak-willed, so it's not that hard to do. It's safe and effective at preventing unwanted pregnancies and the transmission of venereal diseases. So, not all kids are going to be abstinent, even if you teach them about it. Not all kids are going to use condoms, even if you teach about them, should we then not teach kids about condoms?
- If nothing else, Planned Parenthood has a branding problem. Because when I hear "planned parenthood", I'm thinking your organization at least does mostly contraception. But to hear the Left talk about it, you'd think Planned Parenthood only does mammograms and primary care, and if there was no Planned Parenthood, there would be no other way for people to get mammograms and primary care. So, if you don't want to be thought of as an abortion factory, maybe consider changing the name of your organization?
- I'm not scared of the idea of universal health care and free college. I don't know if America could pull it off without massive corruption, administrative bloat, and cost overruns, but I'd like to at least work in that direction instead of dismissing them as 'pie in the sky' pipe dreams when we can see them working in other countries.
- I'm anti-war, I'm anti-death-penalty. I'm nominally okay with the private ownership of firearms, but I'm still a long, long way from drinking the NRA's Kool-aid.
- There are good compromises and bad compromises. In good compromises, everyone gets something they want, and everyone makes concessions. In bad compromises, people suicide-bomb the other side rather than let Them get what They want, so in the end we get a token action that doesn't work and nobody wants. The ACA and most gun control legislation seem to be bad compromises.
- I do not understand how in every conversation among gun people 'gun control' is code for 'total disarmament'. Like,
'What if you had to take a test, like a driver's license test, to make sure you were familiar with local laws before you got a license to buy the guns that you want?'
"In 1911, Turkey established gun control. From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated."
'What does that have to do with...'
"In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control. From 1929 to 1953, about 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated."
'Dude, I'm not suggesting...'
- I'm okay with SNAP, but I'd be happier with it if it worked more like WIC.
- Call me nutty, but I think that the lives and livelihoods of non-Americans are as important as those of Americans.
I'm still working out the kinks of my political philosophy, trying to make it logically consistent. Like, the way that I was able to get on the side of legalizing same-sex marriage was to come to the realization that, even though I think it's wrong, it's just not the government's job to enforce my morality on people. But by the same token, I'm a fan of international humanitarian aid, and sending food to Africa is also not the government's job. So if I were to be consistent with myself I'd either be a 'homophobic' humanitarian, asking the government to be my proxy in endeavors that match my morals, or an open-minded isolationist, asking the government to take no interest in people who aren't its 'shareholders'.
What I really don't get is how no side is logically consistent.
|...on abortion.||This is a fundamental freedom that has been upheld multiple times by the Supreme Court, so that makes it an unquestionable, universal, and permanent human right, and any kind of limit or regulation that prevents someone from getting this whenever they want is literally Hitler.||Well I guess it's technically legal, for now even though every sane person recognizes its fundamentally wrong, so all we can do is try to mitigate the damage this causes to society by restricting it as much as possible until we can get a Supreme Court that isn't completely incompetent.|
|...on gun ownership.||Well I guess it's technically legal, for now even though every sane person recognizes its fundamentally wrong, so all we can do is try to mitigate the damage this causes to society by restricting it as much as possible until we can get a Supreme Court that isn't completely incompetent.||This is a fundamental freedom that has been upheld multiple times by the Supreme Court, so that makes it an unquestionable, universal, and permanent human right, and any kind of limit or regulation that prevents someone from getting this whenever they want is literally Hitler.|
So, I'm voting McMullin tomorrow.
No, he's not a perfect candidate. He's more hawkish than I'd like and too friendly with fossil fuels, but if I wanted a candidate that perfectly matched me on every issue with no consideration of the chance of winning, I'd just write my own name in. I know my vote is not likely to make a difference in this district, but I can't in good conscience vote for either of the major candidates. So, the question for me is, who can I vote for that will best signal to the system that I'm dissatisfied with the choices that are offered to me? McMullin is the closest match to my views, and signals that 'I'm a voter worth courting, but the menu sucks' better than abstaining.
I think Clinton is a tolerable candidate. It should go without saying that she's vastly superior to the other guy. I'm certain she's capable of doing the job and if 'a vote for McMullin is a vote for Clinton' I can certainly live with that. Here's the thing, though:
Basically everyone is horrible, selfish, and petty, and we're only able to function in and as a society because we all pretend really hard and fairly convincingly that we're not.
Basically every politician at the national level is in some way corrupt. Saying Clinton is corrupt is like saying Trump is a misogynist. Duh, that's not news, everyone knows that already, everyone has always known that. But American politics is only able to function because our politicians can pretend convincingly that they're not especially corrupt and, as a courtesy, we all pretend that we believe them. Clinton fails to convincingly pretend that she's not corrupt. Nixon's facade came crashing down in his second term and rendered him unable to continue governing. If she's elected, it doesn't bode well. But, then, it couldn't bode any worse.