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trof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 10:58 AM
Original message
Time for some soul searching.
I called myself an Independent since I started voting in the early 70s, although I've never voted for a Republican for president. I became a Democrat when I watched the hijacking of the election unfold in Florida in 2000. Because of that, and for the foreseeable future, I am a Yellow Dog Democrat. Here's what I believe:

1. HUMAN RIGHTS - I believe that discrimination in any form, for any reason, against human beings is wrong. I believe in a level playing field, while realizing that wealth, talent, intellect, mental capability, and physical strength are not equally distributed among the populace. We each deserve the right to advance in life as far as our individual capabilities will allow.

2. ECONOMY - Just as in my personal life, I believe that income should be at least equal to spending. Rather than resort to deficit spending for real (or imagined) emergencies, I believe in building up a surplus, a "savings account" for such situations. As far as I'm concerned, once my tax money goes to run my government, it's no longer "my money". It's what I pay to have police and fire departments, safe highways and bridges, clean air, water and food, safe and effective drugs, all of the long list of benefits we enjoy and hardly ever think about. If we prosper during good times, a surplus should be set aside for the inevitable rainy day.

3. HOT BUTTON ISSUES (in no particular order) -
A. Abortion - Not my preferred method of birth control, but I believe in an individual's absolute right to say what does or does not happen to their physical body. The state has no right to dictate. Period. If your religion does, that's up to you and your denomination.

B. Guns - A national user's permit, like a driver's license. You don't have to own, or even register, a car to get a driver's license. Using a written and/or practical test you'd just have to demonstrate satisfactory knowledge of the safe and prudent use of firearms. National licensing would also do away with the problems of the various state requirements. To me, this is a no-brainer.

C. Universal Health Care - Surprise, we already have it. It's just that we have the most expensive "system" on the planet. Indigents and poor eventually wind up in our emergency rooms, the costliest way possible to deliver health care. Preventive medicine is the least expensive there is. Why don't people get this?

D. Religion In Government - I do not understand, with all of the churches, cathedrals, mosques, synagogues, temples, televangelists, clubs, private homes, prayer meetings, bible study groups, ad infinitum where people can worship the god of their choice, in whatever way they wish, 24 hours a day if they want, WHY is it necessary to bring religion into government? I believe Jesus said "Go forth and preach the gospel". Basically "Put the information out there and let folks decide for themselves." Fair enough.
He outlined some supposed benefits for those who believed in him and his father. I don't think he said "Go out and grab them by the scruffs of their necks and grind their faces in the dirt and MAKE them believe OR ELSE!" Just wasn't his way.

E. Homosexuals - First, see 1. above. Based on books and studies I have read I no more believe that homosexuality is a "choice" than I believe that I "chose" to be born a white, male Anglo-Saxon. Not only do I have no problem with gay marriage, I'd encourage it. For two people who love each other, it's a good way to go through life. I was going to say "civil unions at a minimum", but on second thought why should there be "minimum rights" for some and higher rights for others?

I guess I put this down in black and white more for me than because anyone here gives a rip what I believe.
It has been a helpful exercise.
What did I leave out?

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LiberalAndProud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 11:12 AM
Response to Original message
1. You did a good job on those 5. Looking foward to your views on
Environment
Energy
Foreign policy

to name 3 more.
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trof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 11:57 AM
Response to Reply #1
5. Thanks. OK...
Environment - I'm not "against progress" as some would label environmentalists. I understand that property development in many locations is inevitable. I just believe that there are smarter ways, "green" ways if you will, to accomplish this. I believe these methods can be used with little or no sacrifice to financial benefit. On a personal note, I've been a member of our local watershed watch for eight years. Through outreach and education we've brought a substantial number of local governments, citizens, and property developers to have some consideration for our views and concerns. That's about it in a nutshell.

Energy - I've read a lot about "Peak Oil", and I believe it. If you haven't, google it. Scary stuff. I think we're already twenty or thirty years too late in developing alternatives to carbon fuels. Having said that, now would be a good time to get on it and get on it with some serious cash and effort. In my opinion this is the biggest threat to our national security, well being, and way of life. Far, far more serious than terrorism, gay marriage, flag burning, prayer in schools, and all the other bogus outrages-du-jour.

Foreign Policy - I believe in the Golden Rule as much as possible. I became something of a history buff fairly late in life. I've learned a lot of things they didn't teach me in American History 101. I've learned that a lot of the unpleasant periods in our history we brought on ourselves. If we had practiced the Golden Rule with other countries, we could have avoided many of them. Is it inevitable that a Hitler will arise every so often, no matter what? Maybe not. We'll never know what the result might have been if Germany had received more merciful, equitable terms of surrender after the Great War. I'm not a total pacifist. Maybe I'm a Pollyanna, but I don't believe (generally) in "pre-emptive strikes" or picking on the little guy.
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quiet.american Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 11:13 AM
Response to Original message
2. Well done!
n/t
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blurp Donating Member (769 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 11:19 AM
Response to Original message
3. Yep, health care mostly universal already
C. Universal Health Care - Surprise, we already have it. It's just that we have the most expensive "system" on the planet. Indigents and poor eventually wind up in our emergency rooms, the costliest way possible to deliver health care. Preventive medicine is the least expensive there is. Why don't people get this?


And don't forget: Medicare, Medicaid, veterans benefits, drug benefits, government subsidized health insurance through employers, etc.

You're right about the emergency room issue. Hospitals give away up to a third of the visits for free by law.

The truth is that the system is already about 50% socialized. Why not just go the rest of the way?

One quibble: "spending the most" isn't the same as "most expensive". What "health care" means differs from place to place. Cancer treatment is a good example. The United states spends the most per person on cancer treatment, but we also get more treatment. As a result, we have some of the highest survival rates world wide.

How much cancer treatment does getting "health care" imply? What's reasonable?

Differences in income also play into spending. If you're dying, of course you're going to spend as much as you have to keep yourself alive.

For example, in France, the average income per capita is about $22,931. In the United States it's $33,684.34

Who on average will spend the most to keep themselves alive?

All that aside, with the degree to which the system is already socialized, why not just go all the way?





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trof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 12:09 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. I agree.
The wealthy will be able to afford better health care, just like they will drive (or be driven in ;-)) better, or at least more expensive, cars.
But there should be at least a Geo Metro level of basic healthcare for everyone.
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peacetalksforall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 11:33 AM
Response to Original message
4. Beautiful. Exquisitely stated. Maybe because I agree with everything.
When I read your subject line, I though oh oh - here we go with another Dem saying that we have to go even more past the center to the right.

All we have to do is hold the line on what is good in this country and go where good people want it to go to make it authentic and genuine in its representation, practice, and its protection of existing laws.

If we're going to be anti-something - we have to be less hypocritical in relation to the words we pledge in allegiance . We have to live up to the lessons we give our children about what this country is supposed to represent. We have to stand up against anything with a scent of bigotry and takeover - especially a takeover that means that the corporations, military, media, and evangelicals dictate the laws. We have to teach people that they are on a precipice and they must learn something about what is going on and just not consider politics to be a see-saw, hum-drum boring political joke that they can ignore.

It's a monster task for those who have been wearing blinders, but not impossible for people to learn what our corporations have done to us and that the radical religious in this country are no different than the radical religious in other countries, that our representatives in Washington don't always do their job for us and are becoming too weak, that we need total involvement on local, county, and state levels - just as the right figured out decades ago.

We have to do it with all honesty and bluntness and awareness of the clock and time that is available to turn this around. We need to fight the accusations that Dems are immoral and without values.
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trof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 12:23 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. Don't know if I'd go as far as "exquisite", but thanks.
;-)
The problem with a lot of what I call "Rational Republicans" is how they the view ways and means to reach a desired goal. I could lay out most of my views listed above and not get too much of a disagreement. Inevitably, what they accuse us of is "throwing money at the problem". I agree that there are some situations where we can work smarter to solve a problem, but there are some, maybe many, that can only be solved by proper funding.

Rightly or wrongly, we Dems have a reputation for lavish funding of pet-pork projects. I don't think we're any guiltier than Repubs, but the bullhorn is pretty much theirs. That's something else we must change if we want to win an election.
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