I got myself into a little exchange with a few right-wingers on the topic of immigration over at the Badger Blog Alliance. Whenever I comment over there or on Bible-Brian's blog or Jenna's blog, I always seem to get accused of being a liberal. Gee-wiz, do I hate party politics. We live in a politically ridiculous world where conservative means Republican and liberal means Democrat. People have so many totally inconsistent ideas that have been lumped together by one stupid party or the other for so long that they don't see the inconsistencies. The immigration debate is a prime example. Free immigration IS free trade. Yet the Democrats are typically for immigration and against free trade, while the Republicans are typically for free trade and are against immigration. The war is another example. If you are against big spending, why be so eager to go to war? The Patriot Act is another example. Republicans are supposed to be the party in favor of liberty over order. The Patriot act almost explicitly places order over liberty.
So where do I stand?
-I am in favor of small government. Laws that tell me (or anyone else) what I can and can't do for my own protection are bad laws. This includes smoking bans (with respect to tavern owners more than smokers), drug laws, laws telling people who they can and can't marry, and tariffs meant to tell me who I can and can't buy stuff from. In the same vein, I think that welfare programs should be reduced significantly. I think that nationalized health care would lead to shitty health care (see e.g. Canada).
-I am in favor of freedom and equality. For this reason I think our borders should basically be open. We should have some limits based on prior criminal acts perhaps. And there should be some formalities. But it should take a few days or weeks to become a US citizen, not a year or more. People shouldn't be doomed to a shitty life just because of where they were born. Also in the category of freedom and equality: I'm against affirmative action. Although I think it was necessary for a time, that time has passed. I think it's doing more harm to minorities than good these days. My stance on gay rights fits into this category too.
-I believe in the harm principle. If an act hurts nobody but the actor, the actor should be free to do it. This is one of the many things that separates gay marriage from pedophilia etc. Despite what the right-wingers argue. This also applies to drug laws. Smoking pot doesn't hurt anyone really. You can't even argue that it hurts anyone besides the user.
-I can't stand the notion of God. It has held back progress since some primitive man first put a skull on a pike and threw some red dirt on it. But today it's at a very dangerous level. We're too smart to believe such nonsense in this day and age. It should be kept out of politics as much as possible. Sam Harris said this:
We can no longer ignore the fact that billions of our neighbors believe in the metaphysics of martyrdom, or in the literal truth of the Book of Revelation, or any of the other fantastical notions that have lurked in the minds of the faithful for millenniaÂbecause our neighbors are now armed with chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons.
And I agree. By the way, check out this Sam Harris interview. I know Samdisappointedd some with the last chapter of The End of Faith but he is still a damn smart guy and everyone should hear what he has to say.
-That's my politics in a nutshell. My Democrat friends would laugh at anyone who characterizes me as liberal. My Republican friends would laugh at anyone who characterizes me as Conservative. I'm neither. But the chances are, either are you.