Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Day 268 of 365: Bleeding Heart Libertarian

This blog and my ramblings might beg to differ, but I don't consider myself a political person. It honestly feels like whatever knowledge and level of opinions I have should be the bare minimum to be an acceptable human being. To me, I'm not scouring CNN and watching congressional hearings and reading every single line from every single bit of legislation, therefore I'm not "political".

My lack of fervor might be due to the fact that there is almost no political party I actually adhere to or root for. I root against what the modern-day GOP has turned into, but I'll delve more into that in a moment. I'm socially libertarian, but my poor bleeding heart cannot handle the more radical ideas of libertarianism. I believe in capitalism, but I also believe that "trickle down economics" is b.s. and that unregulated capitalism will eventually subvert democracy (and, if you've read up on the new Princeton study, it already has). I believe in social services, but I also believe that we handle hunger and homelessness inefficiently and in a way that is a breeding ground for abuse. I recognize our government is bloated and incredibly inefficient, but I also recognize that solving the problem is going to be a lot more complicated than just "voting for the other party".

So what does that make me -- bleeding heart libertarian? Can such a thing exist?

It frustrates me that politics have become a package deal. You can't be pro-gay-marriage and pro-second-amendment. You can't be against the gun ban as well as against an abortion ban. Much like you can't be a moderate and have strong opinions about things. Well, you as an individual can, but God bless finding a single candidate who'll even hint at the more moderate or mix-n-match attitude.

I love my blue-stated Massachusetts. I love that we were the first state to legalize gay marriage and to introduce the idea of universal health care (don't get me wrong; Romneycare is just as flawed as Obamacare, but that's for another time...). But I don't love the overpaid state politicians and bureaucracies for the sake of bureaucracies. I don't love the attitude that a gun ban will solve everything (because apparently no one sees a link between that idea and what happened with Prohibition).

But what really ticks me off is that I feel -- especially now that I live in a swing state -- that I have no choice but to vote "not that guy". I voted for Obama purely because he was "not Romney". I voted for Kerry because he was "not Bush". The same way people voted for Romney or Bush. It's to the point that we vote out of sheer spite for the other guy, not recognizing that the person we're voting for is only a slightly less smelly form of bullshit.

These days, even the hardest of hardcore Republicans tend to stay away from the GOP. Why? Because the party is a parody of itself these days (the Democratic Party isn't exactly a shining emblem of stability either but that's for another day). Gone are the days of fiscal responsibility. In its place is a conservative party, ready to wage war on whatever marginalized population they feel is interrupted the right way of life.

Which, if I were a Republican (and, in some ways, I am: apparently my attitudes on the government are on par with Republicanism circa 1960s), I'd be pissed. There are few things are fiscally irresponsible as saying, "I will spend countless hours and tax dollars making gay marriage illegal." From what I gather/remember, the old idea used to be that the government shouldn't concern themselves with people's personal lives. And yet that seems to be all I hear about these days when it comes to the GOP.

So maybe, someday, we'll see an emergence of smaller political parties -- new faces, new ideas, new platforms. And not just in the form of a libertarian running as a republican or a Green Party candidate running under the Democratic Party. Because what we have right now is a parody of what government should actually be, and you have to wonder just how long it can hold out.

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