Where Do I Fit

This morning I was thinking about my political orientation and wondering where I fit. I’m independent from a republican region. I am more and more in favor of a smaller federal government. I am convinced that we rely too much on the government, especially for things that the government is not well-suited to address. Libertarian ideals hold some appeal for me, except that I think there should be some measure of social norms that people should conform to – the chaos of anything being acceptable does not make an environment conducive to prosperity. This sounds republican so far, but I also believe that there are things that are more in line with the democrats or green party – such as the need to be responsible in our treatment of the earth and its resources – that tend to be ignored more in republican circles in favor of shortsighted business interests.

Conveniently, I ran into a pre-debate analysis of tonights republican presidential debate which offered some insights for me:

To what extent are the candidates going to be playing to a national audience rather than a California audience . . . There are issues that are important here — the environment and global warming, energy conservation, stem cell research — that are not as important in other states.

From the sound of it I have a lot in common with California Republicans – who’d have guessed.

About David

David is the father of 8 extremely organized children (4 girls / 4 boys) who is constantly seeking answers to tough questions related to parenting, education and politics while moonlighting for 40 hours each week as a technology professional. He also enjoys cooking, gardening, and sports.

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Comments

2 Responses to Where Do I Fit

  1. Jason Black says:

    Dave,

    Your position is not in contrast to that of the Republican Party, as it (contrary to popular opinion) promotes environmental protection, etc. – check it out, it’s in their platform. The Republican Party is commonly thought of as environmentally unfriendly for two key reasons: First, they balk on multi-national environmental treaties (such as the Kyoto Protocol), presumable for good reasons. I tend to agree with this tendency. Second, the Republican Party is staunchly pro-business/pro-property rights, which can clash with some environmental lobby agendas.

    Personally, I would like to see the Republican Party more strongly support environmental protections. But when I consider for whom to vote (or for which party is most likely to promote my personal agenda), I try to prioritize my personal political preferences. For example, personal liberty and protection of self, family and property come before saving the spotted owl (for me – not necessarily for others). Because of this pecking order of principles, I prefer the Republican Party over others due to a similar (though not even nearly identical) list of priorities.

    Make a list of all the issues that are important to you, then ask yourself the question – if I could have item X or item Y, which would I take at the expense of the other? Use this repeatedly to prioritize your political issues. Then compare your list to the party platforms and/or historic votes in congress. Not an easy analysis – it may take a long time. But it might make it easier to “find yourself” on the political spectrum.

  2. David says:

    I think that the pro-business image is the very thing that makes it hard to identify the Republican party at large as being environmentally sensitive.

    As for my priorities, I don’t vote for parties, I vote for candidates and for issues. My political leanings help me to make decisions about involvement and help me to balance my views on issues from becoming short-sighted.

    For example – on the issue of roads in my area I could be so focused on not having roads near my home that I fail to consider what is good for the community. On the other hand I could be so worried about the current traffic problems that I push for the system which can be built the fastest rather than the one that will be the best for the community over time.

    So by being aware of my different priorities I am able to make choices that can’t be easily swayed outside of the boundaries of reason on a single issue.

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