Ramblings #1

Topics covered: communism, white noise, religion, the GOP, global warming, drugs.

Hello Red State.

I’ve been lurking here for quite some time, and recently decided to create an account and jump into the fray. This post is just some ramblings – an opinion piece, a rant – and it is not directed at anyone, and it may cause offense (I would be disappointed if everyone agreed with me).  I am always willing to hear your counter points, and would love to have some debate.

So now I shall start playing with fire.

On The GOP, Religion, Global Warming, Homosexuality and Abortion

I am not religious. I completely support gay marriage and abortion rights. I think that global warming is something we should take very seriously. I believe in evolution. People tell me that these are very “left wing” principles, yet I don’t see why. I also support small government, low taxes and a large dependence on personal responsibility – very “right wing” principles. So where does this put me? Who do I side with? I am certainly not the only person in this odd position.

I think that it is unfortunate that the GOP has managed to conflate religion and politics. I don’t think that there is any reason that one cannot be a gay Republican, just like there is no reason one cannot be a Christian Democrat. I think that most gay men are conservatives at heart (two men, two incomes, no kids, no expenses – not the kind of people who like taxes), yet this one social issue of gay rights is more important to them than the political issues of the Democrats or Republicans. Republican support of homosexuality (and not just don’t ask, don’t tell support) could be the best thing that happened to both gay rights and the Republicans. Gay men have a lot of money and nowhere to spend it. These guys and gals could be revitalizing America’s small businesses, as well as a symbol of how willing the Republicans are to move forward, that they’re a party of personal responsibility, not a party of no.

The Republicans are the American party, the party which supports this American dream that if you live in America and work hard, you will be able to support your family, live a comfortable life and send your kids to college. Yet lately the Democrats have been the champions of social change, and have done a remarkably good job at making the GOP look like a bunch of old and overly religious dinosaurs.

And so I would love for the Republicans to push the issue of religion to the state level rather than the national level, and instead focus on politics. Obama was quite right when he observed that we are no longer a Christian nation, but rather a nation of Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and non-believers – a nation of Americans. This is not going to change. So the Republicans need to stop pushing Christianity, and instead just remember its message. When I read the Bible, I realized that the stories themselves were not important, but the messages behind them were. For the most part I think that Christian morality is fairly universal, but Christianity is not.

On Communism

Please stop calling Obama a communist. He is nowhere close. Mao was a communist. Stalin was a communist. Obama doesn’t come close, he is a misguided socialist at best. Canada and Holland are much more socialist countries than Obama is aiming at turning America into, and while they have high taxes and it’s a direction that I really do not desire, they wouldn’t be terrible places to live (minus the cold/polar bears).

On Drugs

I quite firmly think that marijuana should be legal and sold in stores. I know that a lot of people would be opposed to this, but please hear me out. My opinion here stems from two things. First, people who smoke pot don’t view it as a bad thing. They don’t understand the purpose behind making pot illegal, which I think leads to this philosophy that laws are okay to accept as one sees fit. Secondly, marijuana truly is a gateway drug. People buy pot from questionable folks, who are able to say “Hey man, I’ve got some extra cocaine, here. It’s just a couple of grams, you can have it and give it a try if you like.” And then the problems really start.

Studies around the world rank marijuana as less dangerous than alcohol and cigarettes, but our jails are full of people whose crime is smoking it. I know people who go to work, get star performance awards, and go home and smoke a joint. And I at least one person who stays at home all day smoking pot and eating Cheetos (yet I’ve never heard of a pot-head who beats their wife, or gets in a car high and runs over some pedestrians). This leads back to my philosophy of personal responsibility. Certain drugs should absolutely be illegal. Hard drugs like heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine cause people to be dazed for days, are incredibly addictive, kill people from overdosing, destroy families and spread diseases from needle and pipe sharing. To overdose on the THC in marijuana, however, one would have to smoke over 40lbs of the stuff in one go (approximately 36,000 joints).

And so, ever the capitalist, I say sell it in 7/11’s. Tax it. Make billions from it, and let people decide whether they can handle it responsibly. Destroy the black market drug industry by burning its roots. This would ease the strain on the prison system, generate tons of revenue, keep people away from the more dangerous drug dealers, and I think increase peoples respect for the law.

On White Noise

One of the Democratic Party’s biggest failings was the amount of white noise that it created during Bush’s presidency. Much of what the President does is not partisan in any way, but rather it is more house cleaning, such as maintaining diplomatic relationships. None the less, when Bush blinked, the Democrats were there to complain about it, and so when actual “un-Democratic” issues came up, such as the PATRIOT Act, War in Iraq, Bush’s tax cuts, etc., their cries were very much lost in the wind. I don’t think that the right wing should make the same mistakes, but yet I see the same thing happening on Red State with saddening frequency. When Obama took a vacation in December, there was outrage, yet these same outraged people thought that the Democrats were being unreasonable for criticizing Bush’s vacations. When quiet people talk, people listen, and so I urge people to show some restraint. Focus on the big issues and let the minor ones slide. Ask yourself whether you’d care if a Republican president had done the same thing. The Republicans are already being criticized for being the “Party of No,” and in many ways rightly so (although when the Republicans are in power again, the Democrats will most likely take this title back with a vengance.)

Thanks for listening! Respond! Yell at me! Praise my prose! See you next time.