Monday, November 08, 2004

Republicans and Democrats

I have long considered the question of which of America's major political parties I should join. Shall I join the Republicans or the Democrats? It's a harder question than one might think.

I believe in the equal protection of civil liberties, but whose civil liberties? Because, when it comes right down to it, joining a party means chosing a side. Shall I consider the civil liberties of the religeous right over those of others? Then I should be a Republican. Or am I more concerned about blacks, or immigrants? Perhaps I should vote Democratic. The rich are a minority who's rights are always at risk in a Democracy, so I should vote Republican. But then again, the Republicans are generally insensitive to women's rights, so I should vote Democratic. Which party shall I choose? Because neither is concerned with civil liberties in general, only pitting some groups against some others.

What about the economy? It used to be that if one cared about economic liberty, one voted Republican. But can there be any liberty in a system which favors shareholders over anyone else? Perhaps I should be a Democrat. This one is the easiest one to dismiss both parties over. The Democrats tend to raise taxes and spending. Republicans may lower taxes, but they end up raising spending anyway, handing most of it over to their supporters in the defense industries. Sometimes I wonder if they do this knowing full well the Democrats will be in power soon and raise taxes for them. Republican-style economic liberty is nice, so long as you accept an economy dependent on and subordinate to the military-industrial complex. Then again, the Democrats aren't planning anything different.

How about foreign policy? Which do I choose, a party that is composed of representatives from the defense industry, a religious element that considers the United States of America to be a holy nation with a mission to punish sinners and keep foreigners out, and an element that blindly follows them—or the party that nominates a man who insincerely mirrors the Republicans' nominee? Shall I vote for a party that has convictions I don't believe in, or a party that has no convictions at all? I might have voted for Howard Dean, on his anti-war stance alone—but that's not what the Democrats are about. The Republicans may be composed of people who blindly follow a cabal of men from the defense and energy industries, but the Democrats seem to blindly follow men who will say anything to get elected.

I've been considering this question for over eight years now, and have not found a satisfactory conclusion. However, the Republicans and the Democrats are NOT the only options available.

I am happy to announce that I have officially joined the Libertarian Party.Link

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