Maybe we ought to take a break from the heavy stuff and talk about politics for a day or two since this historic election is so much on everyone's mind.
I know we have both conservatives and liberals on the list and we hope to offend neither. Actually, there is a lot of both sides in me. But the conservative in me does not seek to hold on to the past for the sake of the past, but I seek to keep those things from the past that work and discard those that do not work.
The liberal in me does not seek to support every give-away program that sounds or feels good and does not seek change for change's sake. Instead I am liberal in the sense of liberally looking at and exploring new ways to improve the system and especially liberal at advocating individual and group freedom.
I am closest to the Libertarian party in philosophy, yet not a member or associated with them. I think there Libertarians would be better off to promote their principles within the two main parties than support a third party as I believe they are too far away from mainstream to elect a presidential candidate in the near future.
The main criteria I look for in supporting a party or candidate is their adherence to the principle of freedom.
Here's how I size up the two major parties in the U.S. (and they have their correspondents in other countries).
Republicans support to some extent (usually not enough) the principle of freedom in the following ways:
(1) Smaller government
Problem: big government always results in less freedom of the majority and especially the self-reliant.
(2) Less regulations and fewer laws.
Problem: Regulations and laws always take away freedom and should be kept to a bare minimum.
(3) Encourages individual responsibility. A responsible people are less likely to infringe on the freedoms of others.
(4) Lower taxes and more conservative at spending taxpayers' money on non essentials.
Problem: Higher taxes definitely interfere with freedom.
(5) Tolerant of freedom of speech in areas considered politically incorrect.
Problem: Political speech is being highly censored today and if the trend continues our freedom of political speech as a whole will be in danger.
(6) They seek to ensure we have oil supplies and become more self sufficient as a nation.
Problem: Right now we get over 65% of our oil from other nations and if we were to have a major war or international incident we could loose half of our supplies which could result in the disaster of rationing, thousand freezing to death in the winter, mob action, a depression etc. Overall we risk a tremendous loss of freedom in our current situation.
The best solution is to put more research into alternative energy which could be perfected within thirty years.
(7) Support of the free market system; the freer the market the more prevalent the freedom for all.
(8) They seek to create programs to deter other nations from having power to destroy others with nuclear weapons.
Key to this is a missile defense system.
Critics say that such a program could not be done, but when Kennedy announced we were going to the moon before 1970 an even larger number though this could not be done.
All things are possible for us to achieve and if the free world were to cooperate in this endeavor then we could eliminate the threat from fanatical dictators who will shortly get nuclear weapons and missiles.
Problem: A nuclear missile hurled at New York by a rogue nation would certainly diminish the prospects of a free society.
Having millions of people evaporated with a nuclear weapon would be a painful way for us to learn a lesson. It's also bad for the environment. Very bad.
The Negative aspects of the Republicans, as far as freedom is concerned:
(1) Many from the far religious right are in this party and cause fear in their opponents that some freedom of choice would be taken away if they were in power. Some of these fears concerning them are real and some imaginary.
(2) Many (but not all) Republicans want to legislate drugs, flag burning, morality and a woman's right to choose,
(3) Many support long jail sentences for non violent crimes that draw on our financial resources and could be solved by other methods.
Democrats support to some extent (usually not enough) the principle of freedom in the following ways:
(1) A tolerance for unusual views. Unfortunately, this does not extend to politically incorrect speech or views that challenge their belief system.
(2) Freedom of choice in most moral issues.
(3) Freedom of speech in some important areas, but like the Republicans they are far from perfect.
(4) Fewer laws or more tolerance for behavior which only affects the individual. An example is their general support for medical marijuana.
The Negative aspects of the Democrats, as far as freedom is concerned:
Generally they support bigger government, more laws, more regulations, place obstacles in the way of free enterprise, higher taxes, higher spending and are against a missile defense system.
Both the Democrats and Republicans have shifted in position over the years. Kennedy and Truman were much more like today's Republican's. Truman's motto was a very Republican one - "The buck stops here." Kennedy supported massive tax breaks similar to Reagan, believed in the trickle down idea, free market, self reliance and minimal regulations.
On the other hand, the Democrats, thanks to Johnson and Clinton, have evolved into areas where none has gone before in recent history. They need to get back to their roots and concentrate on living up to their name by making the country truly "democratic." Instead their main focus has been in appealing to people's desire to have government do for them instead of doing for themselves and allowing the service-minded to do for others in place of government.
The principle of freedom is always where the battleground is, my friends. Look at any issue and you will see that freedom lies more on one side than the other. Disciples must always look to the side or cause where the greatest freedom for the highest number will be manifest and go in that direction without thought to party or dogma.
"The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift."
Copyright 2000 by J.J. Dewey, All Rights Reserved