I’ve been unable to settle on a single, coherent political theory, but here is what I think on some points of conflict. I just put down my position for each one, the argument behind them would lead to a rather lengthy piece. Some of these are currently being debated; some of these are not, but I think should be at the forefront of debate.
- Abortion. Human life begins at conception; killing it is at least manslaughter. Roe v Wade needs to go away, and the best way seems to be a constitutional amendment to more perfectly define the right to life. Failing that, we should overturn Roe v Wade and send the issue to the states. I’d love a Federal ban, but I don’t actually think Congress has the power to do that.
- Commerce Clause. It’s in the Constitution, but Congress repeatedly abuses it to do whatever it pleases. Check out section q) on this bill to see the sort of mental gymnastics undertaken to grant Congress the authority to pass bills that have nothing to do with inter-state commerce.
- Drugs. I don’t like them. I understand they can ruin lives and are addictive. But frankly, the costs of (rather poorly) suppressing their use far outweigh the costs of legalization. Previously, I had some prohibitionist tendencies, but a combination of Milton Friedman’s argument and reading about the rise in SWAT raids destroyed all resistance. Drugs are destructive, but the War on Drugs compounds the damage and erodes our freedoms. Also, it’s a waste of money – something we currently have in a negative quantity.
- Federal Spending, Debt Limit. It’s pretty bad. I’m not much of a Keynesian, and our current stimulus attempts wouldn’t fit that bill anyway. We need to raise the debt limit for the near future, raise revenue by reforming the tax code, and start some serious cuts. Defense spending, entitlements, subsidies, and the extra bureaucracy created by the “wars” on terror and drugs should all be on the table.
- Gay Marriage. Theologically, gay marriage is an oxymoron, an impossibility. Marriage is a sacred institution, one which governments do not have the authority to define at will. Governments should not be distributing marriage licenses, or presuming to interfere in any way. That said, if states want to authorize civil unions for tax purposes or whatever other reason, that is their right. A removal of government from marriage and sending the question of civil unions to the states would preserve civil rights while not presuming God’s authority.
- Gun Rights. Do you need a license to discuss politics? No? How about to freely assemble? Is there a limit on the number of people you can bring together on private property? No? We uphold our First Amendment as sacred, and yet we allow the grave infringement of our Second. There is no “magazine capacity clause” in the Constitution, neither is there a “scary features exception.” My right to arm myself ends where another person’s right to life, liberty, and property begins – and not an inch sooner. Aside from the rights-based issue, it’s simply illogical to ban a neutral tool – it grants an advantage to those already predisposed to violate the law. (I get angry about this one, can you tell?)
- Health Care. I know just enough to know that the current system isn’t quite working. I’d rather not have a state solution to health care, but I can tolerate one. The health care mandate, on the other hand, is a blatantly unconstitutional overreach of federal power. It also is being used as a platform to push provision of abortions and contraceptives on those of us who oppose them as immoral.
- The War on Terror. End it. I was for the war in the past, but once things cooled off, it looks like a pretty terrible mistake. Sending special forces teams, with appropriate air support, after the perpetrators and planners would seem to be a reasonable counterstrike. Invading countries has doubtless hurt our foes, but our military and economy have not emerged unscathed, not to mention the bystanders in all the firefights. Stop the bombing in Yemen, stop the bombing in Libya, and slowly draw down our forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. A quick withdrawal would likely be disastrous, but we should get out. Then we need to repeal the PATRIOT act and see if we can find those civil liberties we dropped somewhere.