Never be afraid to stand with the minority when the minority is right, for the minority which is right will one day be the majority. - William Jennings Bryan

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Who, Me?

I've been meaning to write this for a couple days.

On Thursday, a person at my high school called me a "left-wing liberal nut case," and that I "drink mocha lattes and probably drive some little electric wuss foreign car."


Well, to start off with, I hate mocha latte (I don't drink any kind of coffee) and my car is American (and gas guzzling) as can be. But it got me to thinking, maybe I should lay out exactly what I think about things (this could be detrimental if and when I run for something).

So, here we go:
1-Abortion: I'm not sure about abortion. I'm for the freedom to choose, but I can't decide to what extent. I've always believed that life begins at viability. When it is mature enough to survive outside the womb without amazing medical tecnhology (i.e. just plain baby stuff), then it's a baby. I think the South Dakota ban on all abortion is backward, dangerous, and un-needed, and it should be struck down. I can say, however, that I'm 100% in favor of banning partial birth abortion.
2-Death Penalty: This is an amazingly difficult question for me. To quote an old John Prine song, "Jesus don't like killing, no matter what the reason why." Should the state support killing of God's children? Who are we to judge whether one of our brothers or sisters is fit to die? Should that be left to God? I believe that in cases where there is DNA evidence (or more than two credible witnesses), then the death penalty should be an option. If there is no evidence, only circumstantial, but very convincing, I believe the sentence should be life in prison.
3-Gay Marriage: The Bible says holy matrimony is between a man and a woman. Okay. End of that conversation. But civil unions should be allowed between any two consenting adults who feel the urge (and pay the license fee). A civil union is the next best thing to marriage, and partners would receive, I believe, the same rights afforded a married couple. I'm against any federal amendment banning gay marriage, because marriage is a state issue, and a nationwide ban is just mean-spirited and of no real use. I'm undecided on how I will vote on the Virginia marriage amendment (looks like I'll vote against it).
4-Affrimative Action: I'm in the minority within my party when I say that I believe affirmative action doesn't have much place in today's society, in it's current form. If a white student with a 3.8 GPA applies to the University of Virginia, and a black student with a 3.6 GPA applies, too, the more qualified student should be let in. Not the minority student just because they're a minority. It's as simple as that.
5-School Prayer: No way. The Constitution provides for a seperation of church and state. If you're in a state-funded school, you shouldn't be required to pray. Let's use this scenario: In Flint, Michigan (I believe it is), there is a large Arab population. We'll assume most of these folks are Muslim. Should the minority of Christian students be required to pray to Allah every day? Or should the majority Muslim students be required to pray to God every day?
6-2nd Amendment: I don't care if you own a shot gun. I don't care if you've got a pistol. I don't mind for you to hunt. I will probably keep a gun when I'm married with children for protection of my family. But nobody can tell me they need assault weapons. Unless that deer has an Uzi, you don't need one. We need to renew the assault weapons ban as soon as possible.
7-Minimum Wage: Raise the minimum wage. $5.15 is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard of. I've discussed it previously on this blog before, but $5.15 an hour will only give you a little over $10,000 a year. Is that enough to live on? Not hardly. The minimum wage should be at least $7.50 or so, give or take.
8-War: My grandmother, God rest her soul, was a beautiful country lady. All kinds of words of wisdom came from her head. But the best one that I can use right now is this: "Don't start s**t, but don't take s**t either." We should never start a pre-emptive war with somebody who's doing nothing to us. We're asking for trouble. As we've seen in Iraq, all we do with pre-emptive war is potentially stir up a hornets' nest.
9-Health Care: We need national health care. Every other developed country in the world has it. We're lagging behind. What about the millions of people who have to choose between eggs and Zetia, between butter and Mavik, between bread and Albuterol? Something is wrong in America when we have people who have to make these choices.
10-Immigration: Okay, open the firing squad on me for this one. I'm against all these big visa plans folks are talking about which would eventually lead to citizenship. We need to increase border patrols, crack down on people who hire immigrants illegaly with fines, encourage Americans to hire other Americans. These are jobs Americans would do--just ask some of the folks in my area. My grandfather worked for forty one years (1947-1988) as a sharecropper (until he was let go in favor of illegal immigrants), making way below minimum wage. He had to do odd jobs to raise a family with four children and take care of his wife. He only lived in a three-room house, lived way below the pverty line, but he was proud to have a job and go to work everyday. There are still lots of people like him who would be happy to do these jobs. It's not fair for the state to give them away to illgeal immigrants.

Now, I realize I've taken some controversial stands here, but, as the saying goes, if I'm not ticking people off, I'm not doing something right. Realize that I skipped over many other issues (agriculture, Veterans funding, transportation, fair trade, illegal drugs, repealing the Bush tax cut) which I would have talked about, but, the hour grows late, and I have to be up at 8:30 AM. Any comments, leave them for me and I'll get back to you.




Dannyboy said...

Great idea to do this, Neal. I'll probably follow suit and do the same thing on RK. You rock, dude!

Not Larry Sabato said...

Keep on keeping on man.

Lowell said...

Nice job, Neal. We need people like you in the Democratic Party, and we need you "raising Kaine!" :)

Alice said...

Your friend listens to too much talk radio, isn't there a good C&W station you could recommend to him?

Melissa said...

Don't worry about it, Neal, my psuedo-friend Mike, (who, thank God, has become more liberal since starting college), has been calling me a pot-smoking pinko commie for years.

Re: the mocha lattes, I shall quote my own coffee-guzzling grandfather (who probably wouldn't like the lattes, he was more of a hard-core extra bold, when you can make the spoon stand up straight in the coffee it's ready kinda guy)

"You don't know what you're missing." :)

Good for you for knowing where you stand on a variety of issues.

Michael Snook said...

I'm with you on affirmative action, I don't think the old way is still helping. Much to my delight, lots of progressives and some big names in politics (John Kerry, Jim Webb, and Al Gore, for example. can't find the story on RK) have started to focus on economic status rather than race.

You might already know this, but the death penalty doesn't actually deter crime and it costs a hell of a lot of money, most of which has to be paid by the local government, even if they don't have money for their schools and it's not their decision whether to pursue the death penalty.

A lot of people hear this and still support the death penalty, but you can't blame a guy for trying.

Al said...

You know that the phrase "separation of church and state" does not appear in the US Constitution. It was in a private letter from Thomas Jefferson. The constitution says " Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,"

There is a difference.

Neal said...

I tend to believe that allowing for prayer in state-funded buildings is the "respecting the establisment of religion."