Thursday, July 3, 2008

Post 23: What Views Would the Members of a Truly Independent American Political Party Hold?

© 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 The Civil Rights Act of 1964 should be repealed, along with the Equal Protection Clauses, and all forms of discrimination should be permitted depending on the individual’s desires.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

5 comments:

  1. Hi,
    I love your blog and the subtle bits of humor you install with such ease.

    You’re absolutely right. We overtly dissect everything and everyone in our society. I don’t know that it can be turned around, though. It’s seems once the innocence is gone-it’s gone. What’s sad is this indulgence is all that anyone under the age of 30
    has ever known.

    When Kennedy was president, we were all aware he was a ‘sleaze bucket’. His amorous affair with Marilyn (even her drunken Happy Birthday display on national news) had nothing to do, nor gave pause, with his qualification to be our president. I don’t think it’s plausible to revert to a society like that or that we would want to. I think the answer will come when we (as a society) have had enough and demand ‘all’ respect personal rights to privacy as just a matter of decency.

    Other than that- I especially like #6. But you need to add 'all newborn babies shall be neutered before they leave the hospital.' That would fix everything!!

    As my King of California says, “I’ll be back.”
    Vikki

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks much for your comment, and its civil tone.

    For some unexplained reason, and the vast majority of people have a tendency to disbelieve me, I have always felt that I do not care the conclusion at which people arrive, as long as the route to that conclusion, and the thought process, is intellectually honest and reasonably sound. Additionally, I was always brought up to believe that reasonable people could differ.

    I just have a problem with what I refer to as "philosophical arrogance." I do not mean to suggest that it is a recent phenomenon, however, I first began to really notice it during the Reagan administration. (I should note that at the time I pretty much voted along Republican lines.) The President frequently referred to his opponents as "misguided."

    Today, it manifests itself in another form. "I'm right, and anyone who has a different view is wrong." "I'm right, and those with differing views are ignorant morons, and stupid." "I'm right, and the others do not have the facts."

    I don't know; maybe there is something wrong with me; however, I just do not know how you can accomplish anything of a collaborative nature when the person across the table immediately labels and categorizes you, and tells you you're stupid and you do not know what you're talking about.

    I never realized that there was a monopoly on intelligence, and that there is only one view to view an issue. I'm learning something everyday. Thank God that we have the intellectually arrogant to guide all of us misguided fools. As they say, "The Lord takes care of children and fools."

    ReplyDelete
  3. Reginald,
    You got it half right. The saying is “The Lord protects drunks and fools.” Oddly that’s just applicable.

    And yes the rules of political debate have changed right along with society. They hit below the belt. Then politicians are required to defend and sound off about absurd things such as "Obama is just too white- he has no ‘slave blood’. He’s a liar saying he’s American black man. His people never worked the plantations!”

    Rush Limbaugh recently used this as one of his topics. He said, “But his wife has slave blood. Isn’t that important?” One caller said, “But she’s just going to be the First Lady. That’s not important.” I had to stop my car for a moment, I was laughing so hard. It's just totally dumbfounding.

    And your right. There's no room for change or new answers until our politicians get off this absurd tactic and start working together as a team.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Nice 7 point plan. I think we could sell tickets and T.V. time for points 5 and 7. I think this will be especially important because point 6 will leave us with a lot of time on our hands.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Dear "the cup is half full of something that I don't like":

    Thanks for posting a comment in response to my Post No. 23 article, "What Views Would the Members of a Truly Independent Party Hold." I actually had to review the article to revisit the 7 point plan of the theoretical party. In hindsight, the positions were pretty funny. When paired up with your commentary, they're considerably funnier. Thanks for visiting once again.

    ReplyDelete

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