Monday, November 14, 2011

Politically-Minded... No Apologies Required

I am a politically minded person. As of late (the past four or five years), I am really into learning about, talking about, and being involved with government and politics. I'm not a fan of the political garbage one has to sometimes adhere to or go through in order to get things accomplished. I'm also not into the defensive anger that comes into play when someone disagrees with you and can't harness the emotions. However, I like the idea that people are giving their time and energy to help a country, community, or people function positively. I like that people are trying to change the world because they believe in something better. I like that somewhere, someone is trying to bring greater peace to people.

Sidenote: I know there are a lot of corrupt governmental leaders, or that good people have done corrupt things to get where they are. All the same, I refuse to believe that every leader is involved in making world policy, change, etc. for the wrong reasons. You can argue with me on this, but it's a sale I won't be buying.

I am a moderate. If you're into political labels, I am a moderate. I'm not into labels, but I'm not opposed to them either. I am a moderate, that leans left. No, you did not read that wrong. I typed "left," and I meant to type left. Yes, I know that many LDS (Mormon) people are geared toward the republican side. Social issues, such as abortion and gay rights, tend to form the opinions of some LDS voters - note, I did not say ALL... I said some.  I have voted BOTH ways in different elections and circumstances. 

There is also something to say for a smaller government. I've heard it argued that Joseph Smith Jr. stated, "Teach them correct principles and let them govern themselves." This is a true statement - it has to do with agency. The argument I've heard is that with a larger government they tack on more laws and regulations, and it takes away agency. However, to me, it's just like the gospel - we are given "rules" to live by, and we each chose what to do with them. There are consequences for our actions. It is when you are "forced" to do something immoral or unjust through a law, that we have real issues. Otherwise, it's merely a choice.  I really appreciate and am an advocate of agency.  I understand there are issues like health care (don't get me started there... I'm now 26 and trying to get my own insurance for not too expensive as I work 30 hours a week, go to school full-time, and only make it by cause I'm living with mom and dad...), etc. where the choice is in some ways stripped from us... I'll get there.

I know there are a plethora of reasons why someone is one "party" or another. These are just some reasons that have been brought up numerous times with me and my friends, colleagues, associates, family, the pizza guy, etc. In honesty, as a moderate, I say, "Vote the person - Not the party." Moving on.

As for myself, I have particular views and opinions on most political issues. I think it's time for me to address what I think and believe in certain areas, and let the chips fall where they may. This a means for me to record this - yes, I could write it out. However, I like typing.

So, take a deep breath, realize that these are MY opinions, and realize that I think no less of anyone reading (or not reading) this because your opinions differ from my own. This is not meant as an attack or means to tick people off, but it's what I have come to believe through the experiences I have had in my own life. Some of them lean left, and some lean right. Again, that's why I am a moderate. Take it, leave it, burn it, frame it... whatever you like, but here goes.

First, Gun Control: I have become rather passionate about this issue. I spent last year living in Germany, and I have also spent time living in London, England. I have seen the benefits and the cons regarding how gun control is handled in different countries. I understand if a person wants to own a gun for recreation (i.e. hunting or range shooting) or self-defense. However, I believe that guns in the hands of whomever desires one (I recognize there is a process to obtain one) is a negative thing. Guns may allow for some good things, but I believe they also breed violence. I see this more in hand guns than anything else. I understand that many Americans believe owning a gun is their right... but I wish we could get rid of guns in the hands of civilians - or all together, though that's dreaming WAY too big and being overly idealistic.

Wow. I know I just ticked some people off. I don't apologize for what I believe, but I respect if you'd like to disagree. That's okay.

Second, Gay Rights: This one is going to get touchy. I have gay friends, people I love and adore with all my heart who are GOOD people. Here is my take on gay rights. I understand how important it is to create and have families - to bring God's children into the world. In that, I know that being gay is not a positive thing. We are commanded to "multiply and replenish the earth," and this can not happen with a same-sex partner. I'm NOT saying that two guys, or two girls, could not be great parents. However, together they can not create a child. Thus, it is a sin before God. However, we have been given a gift of agency and told to not judge others. I believe that it is not the government's place to get involved with this issue. I think that if we want to keep the word "marriage" as a sacred word, and people want to argue for that, that's okay. However, if the government denies someone a right because their lifestyle is not one that is agreed with... It should not be decided in a legal, political place.

Third, Immigration: I will be blunt. I get frustrated when I hear stories about our resources and money going to immigrants who are not legally living in this country. I get frustrated when I see someone does not speak the main language of the country they live in and does not even attempt to try and learn it... I lived in Germany, and really, REALLY struggle with German. I am quite hopeless with languages. I am still not very good, nor do I believe I ever will be, but I'm trying to learn. I am trying to speak more and more German each day (still), and to not assume that people there can speak English if I do not speak good enough German to communicate clearly. I think there is a process to being a part of country and that one should go through that process - I had to in Germany.

I think one should have to have language classes be mandatory in order to obtain permitted visas. I think that we should not grant automatic amnesty for a child who's parents are not US citizens, and that a mother should not get automatic amnesty if they have their child on American soil. There is a process, and that should be respected.  I also believe in being understanding to each individual situation and not "shipping back" those who are contributing to society and trying to follow the rules, but something gets fouled up with paper work... I have seen two families (one from Mexico and one from England) get immediately deported because an employer messed up their work visa paper-work.  I have no good ideas one making things better - but things on both sides of the issue need to be rectified.

Fourth, Abortion - People make mistakes.  However, someone else should not be punished to death because of their mistake.  I am against abortion, except in the following circumstances: rape or incest, when the life or health of the mother is judged by competent medical authority to be in serious jeopardy, or when the fetus is known by competent medical authority to have severe defects that will not allow the baby to survive beyond birth.  However, even some of these circumstances should be looked at carefully.  I believe that a fetus is "life," and abortion should not be legal outside of the conditions listed above. 

Sidenote:  I know the stories about hangers and girls taking drugs to abort a baby, and I recognize we want to avoid those.  I genuinely believe that allowing abortion is not going to suddenly alleviate the world of those issues.  Also, I recognize that women want choice... Please use that agency to choose safe sex or abstinence, and not to take away someone's life because you made a careless choice.  I know there are other circumstances, which I talk about above, but this is what I believe.

Fifth, Education - I'm not going to get on a high-horse about this, but as a future educator... We need greater funding.  We are helping to build the future and I do NOT see why individuals don't want to give more to that cause.  I recognize that other professions are important too, but education is one of the MOST important things we can give an individual so that they can succeed in life... We need more federal funding for education to build schools.  I also believe that teachers should be paid more - flat out.  However, that's a whole separate issue... :)

I'm going to stick with these five topics for now, but you're more than willing to ask about my feelings on any other political issues... I am VERY passionate about wind power and energy conservation!  Haha... I have opinions on other things, but I have written enough for now.  Congrats to you if you actually made it through this entire entry.  I'd love to know where you agree and disagree and why... I will respect your opinions as you respect mine.

Song of the Day:  I am currently loving on the Breaking Dawn Soundtrack... If you hate on the Twilight series, that's totally chill, but don't knock the soundtracks till you've taken a listen.  Man... They are SO good!  Most of my friends who hate the movies or books still love the soundtracks.  Here is a song from the soundtrack by Sleeping At Last.  The song is called "Turning Page."  It's sweet, simple, and unique.  Enjoy!


eden said...

i respect your opinions. (:

and now, because you opened it up...

gun control - i disagree. i think if it's not guns, it's going to be something else. not that that's a good thing, but i don't think that guns are the source of the problem.

gay rights - i disagree again. in terms of same-sex parenting - studies have shown that children are best-served with a father and a mother. i read an article recently about a little boy being raised by two women. they've put the boy on some kind of drug that delays the onset of puberty because he's decided he wants to be a girl. he's 11 years old! and problems started when he was 3. big problem - he hasn't had a male to relate to while he's raised by women. shocker that he's decided he's supposed to be a girl... (i'll forward you the article if you're interested) i have other strong issues about this area too, but i'll spare you since i'm merely commenting on your blog and this is getting long enough. (:

immigration - i agree. i like your ideas. i get frustrated when people come and make no attempts to integrate themselves, but i don't think we shouldn't allow people to come at all. not a perfect system right now, but the solution is not to give immigrants free reign at all benefits offered to legal citizens.

abortion - i agree again. they've made their choice when they decide to have sex - safe or not (birth control isn't 100% effective and they should know that pregnancy is a risk), but deal with the consequences, don't take a life.

education - i agree again! i don't know a whole lot about this, but i do agree that teachers need to be paid more. it's ridiculous how little they get for what they're expected to do.

3/5, not bad. (:

Mindy said...

Very bold of you to post this. :) I do consider myself conservative, but not Republican. I will vote for the person, not the party. However, I am registered as a Republican so I can vote in prelimaries {as Independents cannot do so}. My only true disagreement with you is on gay marriage. I have conflict over it in the sense of, I hate denying someone something. But I have concluded long ago that wherever the prophet stands, I will stand also. And he stands against gay marriage. And so will I for that reason alone.