© 2008, The Institute for Applied Common Sense
The following is a partial list of the views, controversial though some may be, of a particular, well-educated, middle-class American citizen:
1. Men and women who choose to have heterosexual sex make a “choice” when they do so, and society should not interfere or be responsible in any way for what happens to them following pregnancy. The fathers and mothers should negotiate all further responsibility or lack thereof.
2. All citizens of the United States should be required to serve a minimum term, in a combat role, in our armed forces to defend the interests of America, but only on a domestic basis, and not outside of our country and her possessions.
3. At some point in the not too distant future, we should start dividing the states in half, and all liberals shall have the opportunity to start moving their families and assets to those states designated as liberal, and all conservatives shall have the opportunity to start moving their families and assets to those states designated as conservative. Over time, perhaps 100 years, when the process has been completed, the country should be divided in half into two separate nations, with each functioning separately, harmoniously, and independently.
4. Students should be strongly encouraged to pursue certain academic areas, through government incentives, based on carefully calculated predictions of the needs of our society over the next 50 to 100 years, and those who choose not to avail themselves of those incentives should be left to fend for themselves.
5. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 should be repealed, along with the Equal Protection Clauses, and all forms of discrimination should be permitted depending on the individual’s desires.
6. Marriage should be outlawed, along with all sexual interaction between any citizens. The societal costs (spousal abuse, child abuse, out of wedlock births, legal system, divorce, mental health, and substance abuse) associated with interpersonal relationships is far too high, and society should not have to pay that price for individual decisions.
7. Working together, the armed forces of committed nations should provide advance notice, and with the agreement of the Palestinians and Israelis, simply surround the Palestinian Territories and Israel, allow those individuals not currently living there to enter before the containment, and those not wanting to be part of the fight to exit, and then allow the two sides to fight as hard and long as they deem necessary.
Is this individual a male or a female? Is this person a heterosexual, a gay or lesbian individual, or a bi-sexual? Are these the views of a Republican, a Democratic, a Libertarian, an Independent, or perhaps a member of the Green Party? Do you agree with this individual with respect to any of their views? There is an odd number of opinions expressed, thus permitting you to choose four with which you most closely agree. If you were told that four of them were the positions or the party platform for a particular party, would you consider yourself a member or adherent of that particular political party? Can you identify an underlying philosophical theme or thread running through all of these positions?
Earlier this year, there was a rather interesting device circulating on the Internet, when there were still more than fifteen candidates competing against one another for their particular party’s nomination. The reader was asked to indicate his or her position on roughly 20 to 25 issues. Based on the positions taken by the various candidates up to that point, the device advised the reader of the name of the candidate who most closely supported the reader’s positions. Would you be willing to have a president elected through such a mechanism, with the candidate scoring the highest combined percentages of support in all areas deemed the winner?
Let’s get back to our citizen? Is our citizen a male or a female? Located in the South, North, or West? Is this individual a Christian? Is this individual of good moral character? Would you allow your son or daughter to marry this individual? Would you be willing to work with this person? At what point did you decide that you disliked or liked our citizen? At some point, as you proceeded down the list of seven positions, did you change your mind, and perhaps change it again?
Not only have we entered an era where we dissect anything and everything associated with a political candidate and those connected with or supporting that candidate, we also make assumptions about the totality of individuals based on individual issues. Let’s assume that either Candidate McCain or Candidate Obama truly and honestly held any one of the views held by our citizen above, and the candidate had the guts to express that to the American people. Could either one still manage to get elected? Which one would be a disqualifying factor? Would two, or three, or four of the views held subject the candidate to disqualification? Let’s assume that two remaining candidates following a primary process both held these personal views, but agreed to abide by and pursue the platform determined by their respective parties, despite their philosophical differences. Could they still be elected?
Is there some value to categorizing someone as good or bad based on a few factors or a few opinions? You can be reasonably certain that the views expressed by our citizen are held by millions of others, if they honestly disclosed their views. However, are the views too radical and too controversial for any sensible member of our society to openly embrace without fear of retribution? How many of you said to yourself, “We don’t do things like that in America”?
I ask you, are all of these attacks on individual statements and opinions necessary? Do we really get the honest views of our candidates in America? Should a politician pursue, once elected and after disclosing their true views to the American people, his or her personal goals, or simply those of the people, or are they one and the same? Some would argue that we have reached a point in out society where we really don’t truly know who we are electing these days. Consider the possibility that the best actor, with the best handlers and PR people, could probably manage to get elected, by saying just the right things, and playing it safe. You tell me. Do you like this, or is it that we can’t do any better?
Oh, by the way, for those of you who know me personally, which one of the seven opinions do I hold?
© 2008, The Institute for Applied Common Sense
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Opportunity to Serve as "Guest Author"
This forum was designed to be YOUR forum for the civil exchange of ideas by people with all points of views. We welcome the submission of articles by all of our readers, as long as they are in compliance with our Guidelines contained in Post No. 34. We look forward to receiving your submissions.