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Response to xfundy (Reply #61)

Sun Sep 22, 2013, 04:05 PM

188. These are my general views...

First, I'm a classic conservative. Without rules, society quickly descends into anarchy, as borderline psychopaths will always take advantage of the situation.

Here are my more conservative positions:

I am, in general, in favor of the NSA. I see it much like the IRS, another government agency that holds all sorts of secrets about citizens in order to do its function, and haven't seen a single example of anyone actually being harmed by its activities. (And no, I don't see vague generalities about 'privacy' of data that has been voluntarily shared with third parties as counting.) I am also appalled by all the misinformation parading as fact in the blogosphere. I will say that I do worry about wasting money on these programs when we have other severe budget concerns, however George Washington spent about 15% of his federal government budget on intelligence; that percentage is now down under 6%.

Deaths from warfare is now at an all time low. Part of the reason, I believe, is the U.S. being able to add an element of personal danger to dictators' decision making process. And except for GWB, the U.S. has acted remarkably well from G.H.W.B, to Clinton, to Obama, as the steel under the U.N. and Nato's velvet glove. A negotiator gets a lot more traction when they can say "Be reasonable with me, or get ready for the Americans."

The term "assassination" is used to refer to killing a civilian political leader. Dropping a missile on some guy making bombs to blow up a mosque in Muslim sectarian violence is not only not assassination, not only legal, but laudable. With no evidence, people say drones cause blowback. My belief is the opposite: drones are the blowback. Stop shooting schoolgirls for promoting education, and the U.S. no interest in trying to kill you. (Note: I make no bones about the partisan nature of my belief in this - I trust Obama not to think brown people's lives are less important, and for him to only use drones as a last resort, but I do not have that trust in Republicans since their past behavior has shown otherwise.)

Guns are tools. Many ranchers use them on a daily basis to protect their livestock, shooting coyotes that worry sheep to death and ground burrowing animals (of various species) that break animal's legs. The number of gun murders per 100,000 is the lowest it's been since at least 1981 (which is as far back as the CDC's database goes), and could be possibly the lowest ever. I'm not even including Alaska, in which many people go hunting for a significant percentage of their calories. Still, all this said, including the 2nd Amendment, I am in favor of states imposing mandatory gun safety classes for people who choose to exercise their right. I believe it would dramatically drop the murder/assault rate even further. And it is doable. A majority of gun owners agree with this position.

I am in favor of Government/NGO partnerships, including churches, so long as that doesn't descend purely into proselytizing or overt bigotry. I do not believe in attacking communities of faith for their doctrinal beliefs, but instead encouraging people within those communities to work together as much as we can. That said, let me also say as a small-government Democratic conservative, that if you oppose gay marriage - don't have one.

I'm in favor of trade agreements, but I also think that a better job needs to be done not only to protect the environment, but also to ensure that the benefits of efficiencies such agreements produce don't end up disproportionally in the hands of stockholders. Previous negotiations have, in the past, been done along the lines of U.S. benefits vs other nation's benefits. I'd prefer it to be more along the lines of 'Workers in both countries' benefits vs 'Ownership in both countries' benefits. But I categorically reject the idea that the party should embrace protectionism. In many measures, American workers are the most productive in the world. They just should get pay proportional to that productivity.


If anyone reading this disagrees with me, that's fine. I won't go "conservative wingnut" on you, calling you a "Communist", "Marxist", "destroyer of the American way", "wants U.S. soldiers to die", etc, etc. You have legitimate concerns which, if we are to discuss this to some sort of conclusion rather than simply screaming, that I need to account for.

- C.D. Proud Member of the Reality Based Community

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