Who Should I Vote For?

The current political climate has left many politically homeless.

Many voters in America are absolutely outraged by the public antics of President Donald Trump and proclaim that they will vote for absolutely anyone over him. On the other side of the aisle, fervent Trump supporters refuse to acknowledge any of the President’s most terrifying flaws and insist that all of the negative information in the media about him is the result of a leftist conspiracy.

I fall somewhere in between those two extremes. Consider me a swing voter.

As it stands now, I cannot say for certain who I will vote for in the 2020 election, or if I will even vote at all. If I don’t vote, it will be the first time in my life that I will abstain from voting in a Presidential election. I am not alone, as millions of Americans have grown disillusioned with both political parties, and detest most candidates, including the sitting President.

This is not unique to America, as the UK is also experiencing a polarization that is throwing many voters into the political wilderness. A 2019 study done by The Independent, a UK based news publication, found that 53 percent of the British public did not feel represented by any political party. While there are indeed differences between the two nations, the political divide is similar. On one hand, an extreme right nationalism blindly charges over a ravine into Brexit, while on the other side, many would see Britain become a land of genderless democratic socialists and trade unionists.

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Photo by Elliott Stallion on Unsplash

What has happened in Britain is very similar to what America has experienced, and it is likely to be what the nation will face again in 2020. Once again, candidates will be employing persuasion tactics and propaganda aimed at convincing people like me that we need to vote for them. More than likely, the reasons given for voting will be fear-driven, rather than policy-focused, which will once again cause voters like me to withdraw from what can best be described as a carnival of ideological shame and terror.

Both parties are woefully misguided in their policy direction, and both are equally guilty in employing misinformation, trivializing the momentous and complicating the obvious.

The GOP has shamefully disregarded what was previously their best values of principled conservatism, including fiscal integrity, allegiance to truth and honesty, pro-family values, national security via global engagement, commitment to opportunity for all, and equality of every person under the law.

While the Republican party is now unrecognizable, the Democratic Party has become an extremist organization that has weaponized feminism and racism in order to silence political opponents. Worse yet, some in the Democratic party have actually started promoting the prosecution of history and thoughts.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Certainly, there are candidates that could adopt a less socially extreme platform then what both American political parties currently subscribe to. Below are several examples of major issues that are important to me as a voter, with a summary of my beliefs and where each party currently stands on them. As it stands right now, if either party were to entirely adopt my stance on just one of these issues, then that party would probably win my vote come November 2020.

Society & Civil Liberties

I consider myself a conservative but yet I detest the weaponizing of personal responsibility, as it is a rubbish notion that everyone’s personal circumstance is entirely the result of their own decisions and work ethic. While I believe in personal wealth, self-reliance and individualism, I am not a strong supporter of corporatism or extreme privatization, and I further believe that regulation is needed in order to prevent the formation of oligarchs and monopolies.

I don’t believe that the USA should become a flagless nation of 53 genders that actively prosecutes its past, and that is further patrolled by anti-fascist thought police while its President wears a jacket decorated in rainbow sequins. I also don’t believe that the President should be meeting with dictators, inciting right-wing extremists and threatening powerful autocrats via twitter.

Due to the temporal proximity of slavery, I do not support the notions of financial reparations for African-Americans, nor do I condone writing a blank check to planned parenthood, or forcing society to accept gender fluidity as normal. I am however a staunch supporter of civil liberties and equal opportunity for all, and I am an adamant supporter of free and high-quality education for every single American citizen.

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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

I believe that Obamacare was a failure, but I also believe that some form of universal healthcare must exist in order to prevent a catastrophic collapse of the U.S. financial system. In my opinion, neither party is properly addressing the root cause of the healthcare crisis in America, which I believe is nutrition and lifestyle. While Michelle Obama was bold enough to undertake the challenge, both parties have been largely politically impotent when it comes to promoting a culture of health, rather than one of excess.

The Democrats currently argue that all of these issues can be addressed with legislation that forces an intolerance of the intolerant and exclusively taxes the rich in order to pay for sweeping national social programs. On the other side, the Republicans support hateful rhetoric that calls for an outright dismissal of those who would dare complain that their civil liberties are being trampled upon.

Capitalism vs. Socialism

As an economic system, Capitalism has allowed for unparalleled innovation and improvement to the human condition. Many critics of capitalism consider it to merely have won the war of ideas against socialism, but that simplistic view ignores the reality that there is no such thing as a pure Capitalist system. Furthermore, the current version of institutional capitalism and corporatism in America is a relatively recent development and is not a natural byproduct of free-market activity.

The focus of the American economy should be to maximize human welfare, and this is best accomplished via a free-market economic system.

I believe that socialism is dangerous, as socialism has been a major cause of several terrible wars, multiple genocides, tyrants, and the extermination of personal freedoms. Socialism has also failed as an economic model on many occasions and has left many a nation crippled and disconnected from the rest of the world.

I hold the violence and carnage associated with socialist governments to be self-evident and common knowledge. The Korean War, Vietnam War, Cuban Revolution, Laotian Civil War, Cambodian Civil War, and the Ethiopian Civil War are but a few of the atrocities leveled by murderous socialist autocrats such as Kim Jung-il, Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Pol Pot, Che Guevara, and Mao Zedong.

I, therefore, hold that the economic system of the United States of America ought to be based upon a free-market and that socialism should never be adopted as the primary engine for the economy.

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Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

The Democrats have openly embraced socialism and outwardly promote the belief that working people should run both the economy and society. Democrats, therefore, are against profit-making as it exists currently, and believe that in order to create a more just society, many existing structures of western governments and economic systems must be radically transformed.

This has caused the party to place at the forefront of their political brand U.S. Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, both of whom are actual socialists and members of the Democratic Socialists of America. Both of these members of Congress call for ushering in a new economic model where private ownership of the means of production is eliminated.

The GOP, on the other hand, is not really clear where they stand on the issue of economics. While they proclaim to be defenders of capitalism, their actions have in fact done much to drive America closer to economic anarchy. Capitalism as a philosophy holds that some market intervention is necessary. The Republicans, however, are tending more toward libertarianism, which applied as an economic model will almost certainly lead to disaster. Furthermore, the Republican President has actively worked to undermine business and trade that competes with the obsolete jobs of many of his constituents.

Environment

I am a staunch environmentalist and adamant supporter of protecting lands, resources and reducing pollution. I hold that we should believe in science, and the science clearly demonstrates that the climate is indeed changing as a result of human activity. Therefore, I contend that government policies must be implemented in an attempt to slow or reverse the changes that we have caused to the ecosystems of the planet.

However, I also believe that policy should never be implemented without science. For example, science is not debating that human carbon emissions are twenty times greater than all volcanic activity on the planet, but science is still debating if eliminating the consumption of meat would actually contribute to the solution. Based on science, we should be looking to greatly curtail the use of air conditioning and heating units, rather than campaigning to stop cows from farting.

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Photo by 🇨🇭 Claudio Schwarz | @purzlbaum on Unsplash

I believe that an independent federal environmental court should exist and be funded by the federal government. The purpose of this court is similar to the supreme court in that it provides an independent ruling aside from the political wills of the executive and legislative branches. The environmental courts only purpose would be to restrict or prohibit the use of environmental resources or production of polluting byproducts, and they would not be able to overturn existing regulations within states. In other words, the court would only be able to place restriction where there is none, and would only ever do so should the matter be brought to their attention through an established process.

I am further an adamant supporter of protecting federal lands such as national parks, and I believe that turning these precious environmental assets over to private interests is a severe travesty. We need to protect more lands than we currently do, and greatly increase the resources for the Department of the Interior, which should be run independently of the executive branch.

I firmly believe that there should never be an instance where the protection of public and protected lands is relaxed for the benefit of private industry or profit. There is nothing more important than the environment and the ecosystems since, without them, humanity will certainly perish.

On issues of the environment, the Democrats blindly move forward with pushing policies that senselessly restrict the use of beneficial resources and technologies, while the GOP actually promotes dirty industry and the destruction of the global ecosystem. While I currently tend to lean toward the Democrats on this issue, the GOP could easily win me over if they just stopped behaving like an evil supervillain.

Federal Government and Taxation

I support the notion of a small and limited federal government, the elimination of personal income tax, and increased power to individual states. I don’t think it’s appropriate for a federal government to tax private citizens, and I believe that all taxation for federal funds should be entirely between the state and federal governments.

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Photo by The New York Public Library on Unsplash

The GOP is most interested with eliminating corporate income tax rates and federal oversight on business, while the Democrats seek to vilify profit-making and demand hawkish tax policy that quite literally steals the economic surpluses earned by successful enterprises. On the issue of government scope and tax, which I view to be rather simple, the political philosophies of both parties are utterly insane.

Family Values & Planning

I believe that society should strive to be one where monogamy is the most desired outcome, and where marriage is celebrated and cherished. I believe this because a society that accepts and normalizes impulsive behavior is a society where it is precarious to raise children. In my mind, an ideal society ought to be focused on children, rather than the excitement and stimulating experience of individuals.

The ideal, however, does not mean that I believe that people who behave differently should be punished or demonized. I don’t believe that monogamy should be demanded, I just think that it should be celebrated. I don’t believe that sexually promiscuous behavior should be prosecuted, however, I also don’t believe that it should be exalted. I think it’s possible to have a value system where we celebrate the desired outcomes without demonizing those that don’t embody them. In this instance, I don’t believe in the carrot and the stick, just the carrot.

I believe that marriage is all about children, and so all the laws regarding marriage should be oriented toward making it easier to have and raise children. Because of this reasoning, I also believe that divorce should be very easy and inexpensive since arduous and expensive divorces are bad for children. I also believe that custody disputes should be handled very differently and that child support should not be based on the amount of time a parent has with the child. Regarding gay marriage, I believe that it should be legal because it helps society be a better environment for children.

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Photo by Sandy Millar on Unsplash

I believe in pre-arranged marriages because I think oftentimes parents are better at choosing a potential life partner for their children. Too often marriages are entered into for all the wrong reasons, and therefore, having a society that helps good partners find each other only makes sense. I do not, however, believe that such arrangements should be forced.

Overall, I think society and culture should foster and celebrate the union of marriage, rather than politicize and monetize them.

I personally would like to see a society where abortion never happens, but because it’s unnecessary, not because it’s illegal. I am astonished by people who claim themselves to be conservatives calling for the outright banning of abortion. Legalized abortion has been extremely effective in keeping down both violent and property crime, and reducing the costs of social programs. Fiscal conservatives should be recognizing this reality.

However, I do not believe that abortion is a right, nor do I believe that the debate should have anything to do with a woman’s right to choose what to do with her own body. The law on this matter has already been determined, and the only way to legally change it is for new science to allow for a clear definition of when life actually begins. New science regarding life is far from being realized, and therefore the existing law should stand.

On matters of family, the values that the GOP used to subscribe to are more in line with my beliefs than are those of the Democrats. However, the GOP today has entirely turned a blind eye to the bigoted sex offending ways of the President, which has in my estimation, eliminated any integrity or redeeming quality that the GOP may have been clinging to. Despite excusing the behavior of the President, the Republicans still have the audacity to call themselves the party of family values!

While the GOP is extremely hypocritical, the Democrats are just plain ridiculous. I for one have no desire to live in a society where everyone is gender fluid, promiscuous, engaged in a series of open relationships, and raise their children to believe that heterosexuality is a form of bigotry. I further do not support the notion that abortion should be used as a form of contraception, and I not believe in promoting sexual activity amongst adolescents.

Labor and Discrimination

Federal labor law is oftentimes obstructive and erroneous, and should, therefore, be eliminated. In other words, matters of workplace harassment should not be a federal issue, and rather should be governed by laws of individual states.

I believe the law is already clear that blackmail, coercion, and assault are criminal offenses, and I think that is where we should leave the notion of harassment. Beyond that, I feel it is up to the employer to determine what to do during employee conflicts, but it should be illegal for an employer to compel arbitration during employee disputes.

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Photo by Andrew Leu on Unsplash

I believe that the federal government should mostly stay out of the workplace regarding discrimination and remove any restrictions that hinder a smooth legal process. Employers shouldn’t feel pressured to settle because of complex labor codes that are set up like minefields, and employees should never be restricted from filing suit against a firm in civil court. Beyond that, labor codes pertaining to discrimination ought to be implemented by the states.

On the matter of health and safety of workers, I firmly believe that the federal government needs to enact and enforce laws that protect groups and individuals. Rather than focus on the inclusion of workers, the fed should be focused entirely on keeping them safe.

Again, on this issue, both parties fail me. Republicans would see that no employee could ever sue an employer for any reason, and labor unions would be a thing of the past. Furthermore, the GOP has attempted to roll back regulations that protect both workers and consumers. Democrats, on the other hand, would set the stage for rampant corruption via the use of bureaucratic extortion, the likes of which would make the current configuration look like a walk in the park.

Privacy & Media

I don’t believe that the fourth amendment provides Americans with the right to privacy, and I don’t believe that privacy is a priority. I do not believe in the right to privacy for people who are asking for support from taxpayers or are in a job where they are responsible for peoples lives or the well-being of others.

If personal privacy is important for people, then they can abstain from being in one of these jobs, and not ask for government financial assistance.

I don’t believe in regulating the social media industry under the premise of privacy, as social media is not required for survival. If privacy is important then people can avoid using the services provided by the private businesses that run these platforms.

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Photo by davide ragusa on Unsplash

The GOP lets me down here because they don’t want to alleviate restrictions on content, however, they want to eliminate regulations over business practices pertaining to the media industry. Furthermore, the Republicans have a clear double standard when it comes to privacy and ownership. According to the GOP, a business should be able to protect their intellectual property and not be held liable for how people react to any content they generate, while at the same time they support that an employer can snoop into an employees personal social media accounts and decide to terminate them as a result of what they post about their personal life.

The Democrats fail as well because they want to overregulate social media and enact net neutrality. Furthermore, the Democrats are hypocritical when it comes to controlling misinformation since they only want to enact policy that hurts their political opponents, rather than support actions that contain the spread of black propaganda from all sources.

Immigration and Refugees

I believe that America should welcome talented immigrants from friendly countries, but I think it should deny the entrance of unskilled citizens from hostile nations. Furthermore, I believe that it is important that a basic level of English be demonstrated before a long term stay visa is issued. The path to becoming a full citizen of the USA is long and difficult, and I believe it should stay that way, however, I believe that the government should offer free education for accomplishing this to those who are productive members of society.

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Photo by Elias Castillo on Unsplash

I believe that we should take in refugees, however, if there are an inordinate number of political refugees coming from a specific country, then we should use military force to remove the government of that country and install one that will end the crisis.

The Republican party fails me here in that they promote nationalism, and want to expel people who have been living in the country as productive members of society. The Democrats, on the other hand, are worse, in that they propose blanket amnesty for millions of people who are in the U.S. illegally, and worse yet, they want to make a path to citizenship for people regardless of their views of America or their ability to contribute in a meaningful way.

My ideal government is one that is methodical in planning and strategizing and engages in long debates supported by research, history, data, and philosophical and religious texts. I believe that society should strive for the greater good for the greatest number of people, however contrary to popularized socialist ideologies, I believe firmly that the only way to accomplish that is via incentives. I believe in deregulation in some areas, however, I also believe in harsh penalties for violations of the laws that do exist.

As it stands today, there is not a political party in America that represents me even a little. Ideologies have become so extreme that it seems as if American politics has become a battle of who can adopt the worst policies. As the parties continue to move to the extremes of their political spectrums, they risk turning America into a political horseshoe. If things continue in this direction, then the Democrats and the GOP will soon meet at the place where autocracy stands next to fascism. I wonder, who would be forcing me to vote for them in that situation?

Joshua Dopkowski is an expat writer who teaches graduate-level business in France. To read more, follow him here, or visit his blog.

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Trying to tell the truth, and be truthful about it. www.joshuadopkowski.com www.bluntogre.com

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