Sunday, December 24, 2006

Political Musings

I have been musing about the shortcomings of the two party political system in the U.S. I believe I am sometimes as irritated by my own Republican Party as I am by the other, Democrat Party. I do get tired of voting for the lesser of two evils.

Our two party system gives me three choices I don’t like: throw away my vote on a hopeless third party, stay home, or share a party with people whose values I don’t much like or support. In order to rope in enough people to win elections, our two major parties bridge many major internal contradictions.

I am a Republican because I believe the most important things the federal government does are defend our nation and culture from internal and external enemies, stay off our backs, and referee our market economy. These GOP planks and others in favor of lower taxes and smaller government work for me. For these reasons I vote Republican most of the time.

My party, however takes other positions I don’t like. Unlike my President, I support abortion on demand, stem cell research, sex ed that starts with contraception, and a serious defense of our borders against illegal immigration. And I favor a strict separation of church and state. So I vote Republican in spite of my views on these issues, which are more in line with the Democrat platform.

My party is hostage to the socially conservative Christians on the one hand and to business interests which crave cheap illegal immigrant labor on the other hand. The other party is “owned” by a variety of groups which view themselves as victims entitled to handouts. The Dems are also beholden to the teacher and public employee unions. All of this pandering is tiresome. Maybe it pushes people to become no-party Independents or non-voters?

I wish there was a party that believed in strong defense, was tough on crime including illegal immigration and white collar crime, was stingy with my tax money, had active space and research programs, left abortion decisions to women, and defended the separation of church and state. It should oppose the existence of public employee unions and should understand that giving people who are able to work things (money, jobs, college admissions) which they have not earned will destroy them.

And yes, I do understand that a multiparty system like those in Italy or Israel makes the same compromises. You are, however, more likely to be able to find a party whose beliefs agree with your own while tolerating more governmental instability as a cost.