The post entitled, “Not Your Typical Democrat”, got me thinking… There are those of us that exist in each of our respective parties that do not subscribe to the strict ideology that some in our party would favor.
I guess those that subscribe 100% to the ideology of their party would be called ideologues or, “party people”. For me personally, while I have always supported Republicans, and likely always will, I have at times taken positions or held beliefs that put me at odds with some in my party. I like free thinkers and people who are not strict ideologues.
Broad disagreement is good and healthy debate is a sign of healthy democratic participation.
Some of those positions include:
Tax Cuts: I think it is irresponsible at this point to further cut federal taxes. With record deficits, to further cut any taxes would mean borrowing money from foreign countries. In addition, we would be cutting taxes in return for higher interest rates and worsening economic conditions for future generations. No, I think we need to get our fiscal house in order before we continue cutting taxes. That means, yes, I favor a balanced budget. That means, yes, that I’m against deficit spending. What I would favor and strongly encourage is FUNDAMENTAL tax reform with no net increases.
Environment: Have we forgotten that we have to take care of this planet we call home? We need to protect and preserve our environmental gifts from God. In my view, there needs to be a healthy balance between science and business. I live in a part of the country that used to be heavily polluted by paper mills. Thanks to federal clean air laws, my air is now much cleaner and healthier.
Health Care: I think that these Flexible Spending Accounts and Medical Savings Accounts are just the tip of the spear if you think outside of the box. However, I would like to see leading doctors come together and set a recommended policy toward health mandates. Runaway mandates are what are causing some to push for this broad mandate-free insurance. We need to bring the experts to the table and discuss what is crucial and what is not. Some mandates are life saving screenings and to turn back the clock on those improvements would be foolish. I also believe that we need full mental health partiy. If people can be treated for their depression, they will live longer and happier lives.
Education: Public schools can and should be the best in their communities. There is no reason that every child in this country cannot have the access to a first class opportunity to learn and succeed. It’s too simple to just reduce class sizes and increase teachers, we need to get away from the idea that “mega-schools” are a good fit for education. We need to get back to smaller community based public schools. We need to increase the financial rewards for being a teacher and being successful in teaching children. Education funding needs to be handled like federal transportation money. States need to set strong guide lines for success and hold schools accountable. I do not favor vouchers of any kind, however, if a school fails two years in a row, those students at that school should be able to attend any school they want, public or private, at the state tax payers cost. Poor schools shouldn’t be a reason for a student’s academic failure.
On the host of other “important” social issues I feel like some of the extremes of both parties have used them as scare tactics to drive out turnout. That does nothing to further the debate of the role of government in our society. You almost can’t have a healthy debate on some of those issues without bringing out the extreme elements of both parties in a hate driven exchange that serves no one any benefit, so I’m not even going to bring them up here…