Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Moderate Manifesto

I'm one of those people who identify themselves as a political moderate, even a registered Independent. I'm one of those people both political parties seek, hoping I'll "swing" to their "side" without actually offering a platform that truly satisfies me. I happen to be a moderate with convictions, unlike the characterization some people make of "moderates", that we're people who can't make up our minds. This is one moderate's view of where she'd like things to go. Other moderates would weigh individual issues in alternately more conservative or more liberal ways than I do.
(1) I'm very proud to be an American. But I don't assume that we have to all agree to equally have pride in our country.
(2) My Christian faith is EXTREMELY important to me. Yet, I'm not lobbying for prayer is school. I'm much more concerned that my family and other Christian families are praying at home.
(3) I don't really want religion taught in school. I'm a moderately conservative Lutheran. I wouldn't want a strict fundamentalist Christian teaching the Bible in public school and possible strong-arming my children into their beliefs. And what if a person were in Utah and Mormons taught religion in public school because it was allowed? I don't want that for my children, either. Parents can pull their own Bibles off their shelves, dust them off, and teach religion very well at home devotions.
(4) We need for English to be our official language. We're a nation of immigrants from MANY countries, not just Spanish-speaking ones. I totally agree that our incoming immigrants should be offered English as a Second Language classes and coached into American citizenship and the English language.
(5) The strength and preeminence of our country in the world needs to rest more on our ideas than on our might. Our world is too interconnected and yet too fragmented for "might makes right" to work anymore.
(6) We need to provide some basic standard of living items to our citizens: health insurance, food, and green open spaces (parks) to maintain the bodies and refresh the spirits of all our citizens. This will give everyone a more equal chance to succeed. Beyond that, we still need to have a strong sense of personal accountability and responsibility.
(7) We have to accept that even though "all men are created equal" in regards to how they stand before their Creator, everyone is not gifted the same way. Because of this, not everyone will be able to rise to the same level of prominence. Some are more intelligent, some are more athletic, some are more artistic, etc. It's not realistic to expect that they will all attain the same standard of living.
(8) Even though we cannot expect the SAME standard of living for everyone, there needs to be a basic minimum set, below which we will not let working people fall, regardless of what sort of unskilled labor they might be doing. Not only is this basic and decent, it's good for the ongoing survival of a democracy. Democracies need strong middle classes, and ours is being eroded more and more into the very rich and the poor.
(9) BOTH guns AND abortions need limits on them! While I personally abhor ANY type of abortion, I do not believe that they will ever be outlawed. I also don't think so many people need to run around with AK-47's or concealed handguns. This is just crazy! No other country in the world allows this sort of thing. And it shows: we are an extremely violent nation by comparison. This being said, I'm still for allowing hunters to do what they do. It's just that neither the NRA nor NOW need to be setting the national agenda as much as they do. Especially not when you find out that the majority of the electorate IS more towards the middle on things.
(10) Abortion and Birth Control: While I would personally like my own children to remain abstinent until marriage, we live in a country where that is not everyone's morality. If we want fewer abortions, we need to talk more realistically about having people use birth control more consistently. It's great to teach abstinence in school, but teach about birth control, too. Parents and church youth groups can pick up on and emphasize the abstinence portion far better than public school programs can.
(11) People should not be "muzzled" from sharing their faith in public settings. But it should not be allowed to devolved into argumentativeness. At some point, we have to learn to "disagree without being disagreeable."
(12) People ACROSS the spectrum need to give some serious thought to this when they approach the topic of alternative sexualities. (And why would you shun someone who's not "straight", if you believe that's wrong, more than you would shun a "straight" person who commits adultery?)
(13) We need to slow the tide of immigration and stem the tide of illegal immigration until we can integrate the diverse population we already have. But we need to do these things in humane ways: Sheriff Joe marching suspected illegal immigrants through downtown Phoenix in chains is deplorable and unworthy of what it means to be an American!
(14) Our own citizens need to take those jobs illegal aliens are taking and attempt to get off TANF. On the other hand, we need to make sure our own citizens are paid a living wage and possibly supplemented indefinitely with food stamps and healthcare as long as they are working. (15) And NO job, if it's honorable, should be looked down on. No worker should be treated as if they are "less" because they're a busboy or a street sweeper. To be elitist towards American workers we perceive as "lower" is, to me, one of the worst forms of anti-Americanism there is!!! Everyone who works is a part of what keeps this nation ticking along, able to do greater things.
(16) Americans were once known for what was called "Yankee ingenuity." Let's apply that to green technology and get out in front of the world again in a new way!

2 comments:

Kevin Wilson said...

But, Marie, how do you REALLY feel? (Very nicely blogged!)

C. Marie Byars said...

Thanks. In "real life", I hold a lot of this back, of course!