Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Why I Can't Be A Republican

I made a very long-winded post on the forums on the subject, and it seemed to encapsulate my feelings on it so well that I decided to post it here too. Original post follows:

I'm a moderate Democrat, and while I'm not happy with everyone in the party and every single platform, I'm absolutely never going to be a Republican, for many reasons. I have something of a Libertarian bent, but not enough to claim it. As much as many of us want to be rugged individualists, there are some things that we have to be in the same boat rowing together on economically.

Reasons I can't be a Republican:

1. Too high a proportion of religious/social nuttery

A. Abortion isn't going to be outlawed on any sort of a sweeping basis. It just won't happen. Pro-choice is the quiet majority. It doesn't mean we love abortion. Many of us wouldn't do it. We just don't like the idea of deciding for someone else what a fetus is considered, and what spiritual repercussions may be suffered. Want to overturn Roe? Great, then *every* state can have a knock-down drag out over it and further divide the country. Careful what you wish for.

B. Intelligent Design is quickly going the way of the Dodo bird after even the most conservative judges in the country have decided it's creationism repackaged. However, a large majority of Republicans are still in favor of teaching kids that we were not evolved, but that it was "magic" of some sort. These scientific illiterates can't even explain how evolution actually works, yet they want to replace it with pixie dust because they see evolution as a threat to religion, which it is not. There's nothing inherently wrong with religion generally, but let's keep science reality-based, please. Evolution is backed by a couple centuries of peer-reviewed scientific research on testable claims, and is "only a theory" like gravity is "only a theory", which is why it is in textbooks. Generate some research that increases our understanding of the natural world, and then you can be in a textbook like everyone else.

C. Stop obsessing about gays. Somewhere around 2% of the population is gay, but to hear the evangelicals tell it, Tim Gunn, the guys from "Queer Eye", and Boy George are threats to the very existence of our society. Let's start agreeing that these consenting adults can do whatever they would like to do and whatever any other adults can do. I know you think it's disgusting. So do I. The difference is that I don't see why I need to care because it is not a moral issue to me. Also, your slippery slope arguments are old and tired. Sheep and children will never be involved in this argument because they are not consenting adults, so stop trying to drag them in. You're insulting the intelligence of the sheep.

2. Economic Issues

A. Regulation is a necessary evil. It's great to talk about how de-regulation would save a lot of money. There are many situations where it surely would. Sure, we could inspect less food, but then you risk huge recalls like last year that ultimately end up costing money from the lost confidence in the product. You could have lots fewer consumer protections, but then what happens when consumer confidence drops? How willing would most people be to buy a car if they had no recourse if the dealer screwed them? I'm a capitalist to the core, but I also know that where there's a buck to be made, there will be a person or company that's willing to cut corners and risk the very lives of others to make said buck. If there is no fear of repercussions for such behavior, it will occur more frequently. There is a balance here, and we definitely have yet to find it in some areas.

B. I don't like paying taxes any more than anyone else, but stop pretending that you're Santa Claus and just giving away money hand over fist while increasing the debt. I know that the national debt feels like no big deal to you on a daily basis, but these chickens will come home to roost eventually. I have a lot more respect for someone that tells me the truth in this regard and tells me that hey, we're in rough shape and we'll need to sacrifice a bit over the short term. To be fair, neither party is doing that right now, however Republicans have been the ones pushing to keep the pain points decades into the future. To their credit, some of their ranks have recently been realizing that this is a poor long-term solution.

C. Stop giving us tax cuts until the budget is balanced. No, I don't even mean everyone necessarily. I mean my wife and I, personally. Dubyah, you're a moron. We didn't get the full "stimulus rebate" anyway because our income is too high, but still, those couple hundred bucks could have been much better spent on someone that is working and barely making ends meet. If you give me free money, sure I'll take it, but I shouldn't have received it. Many Prosper lenders know a thing or two about fiscal responsibility. Well, some anyway. Regardless W, it's time you learned.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Facebook... Fun Or Not?

I've been on Facebook for a couple days now. I've found several people that I know, but there are probably a few hundred others that I would "friend" if I saw them, so the hit rate seems a bit low. I think I have better luck on, but this is more of a personal site kind of thing, so it takes more maintenance, and not everyone likes to be so "out there" on the internet. I still have some trepidation about whether the site is really a good place to expand the social network. I thought it would be fun to make some virtual friends, but my first conversation with someone that I had not met before, a friend of a friend no less, went like this:

Erik Grow
Today at 8:41pm
Subject: Your religious views...awesome!
I'm 100% going to steal that line for my profile! Nice Palahniuk quote. My wife loves his books.
-Erik (found you through Scott ******, old college buddy) *;-)

Elizabeth ********
Today at 8:58pm
Ha, um, oh... Right.
I wasn't aware that my page was viewable to those outside of the SUNY Potsdam network.

Erik Grow
Today at 9:10pm
Hope I'm not the cause of others not getting a chuckle out of it too now.

Erik Grow
Today at 9:12pm
Oh, and it probably let me see it because you're a friend of a friend of mine!

Elizabeth ********
Today at 9:15pm
That mistake has been duly mended.
& I didn't put it in my profile for a "chuckle". I am a brilliant, intellectual young woman who just happens to be a devout atheist.
Congratulations on your petty theft of intellectual property from college students decades your junior.

Then I couldn't respond because she changed her profile so people that aren't friends couldn't talk to her. Talk about taking yourself too seriously! I really can't stand people like that. I don't doubt she's everything that she claimed, but she forgot to include the part about being a self-important snob. Oh well. I'm not going to use her line anyway. Perhaps there are friendly people to meet on Facebook too. We'll see.