Inspired by another blog, I'm going to list my positions on various issues. Most of my political positions are economically based with a healthy dose of libertarian individual rights. In fact, apart from national defense, I would be more comfortable among libertarians than among conservatives.
Taxes: Keep 'em low--I'm better at spending my money than the government
Government spending: Keep that low too. One of my favorite scenes from the movie Dave, is when Dave is trying to find 3oo million for a homeless shelter and does so by making holders of government contracts slightly more accountable. Perhaps the scene was an exaggeration, but I doubt it. On the other hand, I do support a strong defense.
Social Security: Why in the world should I not be allowed to opt out? If I did opt out and frittered away my money, it's my own damn fault.
The War on Drugs: One of the biggest wastes of resources of time, money, and man-power. I'd legalize many drugs if only to eliminate the black market profits that make drugs so lucrative for criminals that they kill to ensure their business.
Immigration: This one is a little tougher. On the one hand we have people risking their lives to have a chance (and a slim one at that) at the American dream. That makes me proud, both that America is still so attractive as a place to live, and of these brave men and women who embody the risk taking spirit that does make this the Land of Opportunity. On the other hand, I do not wish to reward illegal behavior, and I understand the security concerns of a post-9/11 world. My gut tends to favor the immigrants. Perhaps we can make it easier to become a documented resident alien so long as the alien is not simply trying to benefit from our generous welfare state (see below). Reducing the INS red tape would increase our tax base and allow America to continue attracting the world's risk takers.
Death Penalty: I support it, but mildly. I'd be willing to eliminate the death penalty so long as we also eliminated parole. I'd probably put this one at the bottom of my political priorities.
Physician-assisted suicide: I'm in favor. What purpose does it serve to postpone a person's imminent death when they are in great pain? Why waste resources keeping someone alive against their own wishes when there are so many others who need the hospital bed, nurse care, etc? Furthermore, I cannot conceive of why we punish a doctor for a decision made by his or her patient.
Abortion: I'm a pro-lifer (I know to some that seems odd, given that I am not opposed to the death penalty or euthanasia). With all the all the couples that would love to adopt a child, it seems unnecessary to terminate a fetus. I know that no contraception is 100% effective, but I don't like the idea of ending a life (or potential life, if you prefer) simply because someone didn't feel like getting a condom or taking a pill. In the rare instance that contraception fails, why not give a gay couple a child?
Gay marriage: First, I believe that marriage is a religious word, but if a Church is willing to perform the ceremony, the government has NO right to stop them. Moreover, there is absolutely no principled reason to deny committed gay couples the same civil benefits to marriage that straight couples enjoy. I just don't know how extending these benefits to gay couples will "ruin" an institution that has a 50% success rate anyway.
Don't Ask Don't Tell: Nothing justifies this policy; it must go.
Gun control: Prohibition didn't work on alcohol and doesn't work on drugs, so why do people think it would work on guns? I don't necessarily have a problem with registration, but criminals are likely going to use stolen or unregistered guns anyway, so I am not sure what the purpose is. Plus, shootin' is fun.
The Iraq War: I supported it in the beginning, but now believe that we went after the wrong foe (Iran is now and was then more dangerous to the United States than Iraq). However, I'm happy there is one fewer dictator in the world, and I don't think Iraq is ready to provide for its own security.
Welfare Reform: I basically follow Milton Friedman on this. The current system is horrendously bloated and creates the wrong kinds of incentives, but I would not do away with it entirely. Many people may need assistance at certain times, but I do not have much sympathy for the lazy or a system that rewards them.
Affirmative Action: Anything based on race is racist and wrong, no matter whom it benefits. Besides, it only sows resentment.
Environmental conservation: If conserving an area is important to you, why not put together a fund of like-minded private investors to purchase the land and keep it as you see fit? Do not ask me to contribute my tax dollars when I would find a different use far more productive.
So there you have it, quick and easy, over-simplified soundbites that give you an idea of where I fall on many very complicated issues.