Posted by The Real Don Johnson on Wednesday, February 25, 2009 8:21:30 PM
I start with a paraphrase from one of our founding fathers; I think it was Alexander Hamilton.
“The proper function of Government is to rightfully adjudicate the tension between Liberty and Law.”
In other words, too much law and you have tyranny, while too much liberty results in chaos and anarchy, resulting in tyranny.
Much of my political thinking is based on that premise.
As the framework for my analysis I am going to use Family Values Voter Information, which contrasts the candidates on a wide variety of issues. I will use this framework to frame my positions on the issues presented by the guide on the presidential candidates, but following, I will add thoughts on other issues related to the presidency.
California “Traditional Marriage Amendment – Prop 8
My Opinion I support this proposition. Here I apply the principle noted above, because this issue is a classic case of a tension between liberty and law, and here I come down on the side of law. Marriage between a man and a woman has been a fundamental cornerstone of societal harmony and strength, in the majority of most secular and well as religious communities and civilizations. I also support the traditional definition of marriage from a religious point of view in that the Bible clearly endorses this definition, and in fact states that none other than God himself established the definition at the Creation. Further, the Bible has some rather harsh things to say about homosexuality.
I also support Prop 8 from a family and a public health perspective. First let me address the public health issue; It has been widely acknowledged that male homosexuality is a high risk endeavor, with potentially deadly consequences. Therefore legalizing same sex marriage has the effect of a societal endorsement and embracement of a high risk, potentially deadly activity. This then spills over into the family arena where highly impressionable teens are given false information and impressions concerning some very personal and difficult questions about their own sexuality. I personally recall some of my own struggles as a young teen back in the 50’s and 60’s. I believe the seduction of many young people into the homosexual lifestyle is tragic, fraudulent and for the most part unnecessary.
One last thought is from the scientific perspective. It is claimed that homosexuality is a genetic rather than a behavioral thing. I reject this line of reasoning as not being based on science. I ask you to do a “scientific” experiment of the mind as follows: Line of 1,000,000 naked males and 1,000,000 naked females, and note the percentage of males having male genitalia, and unable to bear children approaches 100%. Do the same with the females, and you will see that that the percentage of females having female genitalia and able to bear children approaches 100%.
Judges Who Interpret the Law, Not Make It
My Opinion I support this issue. Where there is a sufficiently adequate record of the original intention of law makers, then judges should base decisions based on that record, and not create an interpretation of law based on what they would rather the law say, or the prevailing societal thinking. This is especially important when determining the constitutionality of a law. In the case of the main body of the US Constitution, there is such a record of the original intention of the drafters of the Constitution. The Federalist Papers written by Hamilton, Madison and Jay were drafted primarily as arguments in favor of ratification, and were distributed following the final drafting of the document, and prior to the state by state vote for ratification. There was also a smaller body of argument against such ratification, but Hamilton et al, prevailed.
Unfortunately, there is not an equivalent record concerning the Amendments to that Constitution, so it is more difficult to get into the minds of the drafters. However, judges should make every effort to do that wherever possible. There are many good resources on this subject; one I am currently reading is Liberty’s Blueprint, by Michael I. Meyerson.
Curriculum that promotes Homosexuality
My Opinion I oppose Curriculum that promotes Homosexuality. I have covered this issue above, but refer you to an excellent book on the subject, Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth, by Jeffery Satinover, a former Fellow in Psychiatry and Child Psychiatry at Yale University and a past president of the C. G. Jung Foundations.
Expanded Drilling for Oil
My Opinion I support more drilling. While development of alternative energy is certainly a good thing if pursued wisely. However, such alternatives do not address the immediate problem of dependence on foreign sources. Furthermore, not all forms of alternative energy are equal or desirable for the long term. Take Ethanol and Bio-Diesel for example, where we consume many acres of productive food crops and thus raise the price of food worldwide, worsening food shortages and famine in poor nations around the world. Destruction of forests is another consequence of these fuels.
Wind and solar, while seemingly an abundant and free source of power, result in the eye pollution of having these ugly devices all over the place. Furthermore they are not so free as one might expect, as noted by Patrick J. Michaels in his article Energy Policy Snake Oil, in this months issue of Townhall magazine. Michaels points out, among other things, that wind energy is twice as costly as coal fired electricity, and lavish subsidies have not closed that gap.
Oil, coal and Nuclear power are with us now, and I would like to see continued development of these resources in a environmentally and economically responsible way; I believe we can do that.
Assault Weapon Ban
My Opinion I am conflicted by this. My reading of the 2’nd Amendment tells me that I have the personal right to bear arms. I just don’t know where the practical “public good” limitations of that right lie.
Social Security with Individual Investment Accounts
My Opinion I Support such accounts. Even with the recent market problems, the market record of investments far exceeds the returns of the Social Security program. SS was not intended to be the totality of retirement funding, and I see around me people whose sole source of income is SS, and that is indeed a bare bones income in today’s world. SS itself is in trouble, and in the near future will be in crisis. President Bush (yes that dreadful man), attempted to address this issue early in his term, but was rebuffed at every turn, with nothing offered as an alternative to his plans.
Raise Capital Gains and Dividend Tax Rates
My Opinion I oppose such tax increases for two reasons: One is that in many cases such increases hurt retirees that are counting on the dividends as part of their retirement strategy. Secondly, such tax increases hurt the very engine of our economy; companies large and small use these tax law benefits to create wealth and jobs.
My Opinion I oppose universal health care. I believe the private sector is better equipped to handle health care. The percentage of Americans without health insurance is 15.3%, lower than it was a decade ago. We should examine that group, and see what the real needs are before we embark on a very expensive and (guaranteed to be) inefficient government program.
The Surge in Iraq
My Opinion I supported the surge. The surge is not simply the application of 30,000 more troops, but was coupled by a fundamental shift in strategy as led by General Petraus. The surge has worked, and peace and victory are on the horizon. The best reporting I have found on the surge is from the independent embedded journalist Michael Yon, and his magnificent book Moment of Truth in Iraq available also from Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Michael Yon lives day by day with the troops on the ground in Iraq, as well as the local Iraqi citizens.
The surge has been roundly and widely derided by the left, and incredibly even today many still deny it’s success and cling to their discredited opinions. Many of these un persuaded critics reside in the US House and Senate, as well as in the main stream media. The denial from the left is chronicled quite completely in this month’s Commentary magazine, in the article Liberals and the Surge, I encourage you to read it.
Parental Choice in Schools
My Opinion I support parental choice in schools. In choices that are not legal or moral in nature, I support free choice for families and individuals. The choice of schools should be in neither category, so I feel parents should (and do) have choice in this matter. However, the choice is between Government (read public) schools, and expensive private schools. Parents who choose private schools should not be doubly taxed to support both the public system and the private school of their choice.
Parental Notification Law
Roe v. Wade
Partial Birth Abortion
My Opinion I have lumped these together because it is appropriate to address all as a single issue. The scientific and constitutional arguments regarding abortion, and life are, in my opinion, simple issues. The complexity is in the very real emotional and human factors, and I admit to this. Let me address the factual aspect of these issues first.
Scientifically, the question of when human life begins is answered unequivocally. Life begins “At the moment of fertilization, your baby’s genetic make-up is complete, including its sex. Since the mother can provide only X chromosomes (she’s XX), if a Y sperm fertilizes the egg, your baby will be a boy (XY); if an X sperm fertilizes the egg, your baby will be a girl (XX).” Three things come into play here:
1. The new entity is derived from a mother and a father, and is neither the mother nor the father but a uniquely new entity.
2. The uniquely new entity is alive, and has never been dead.
3. The uniquely new entity is human. It is not a fish, bird, ape, worm or any other species. It is human, and nothing else.
Therefore, at conception we have a live human being.
This leads to the legal/constitutional issue; is abortion constitutional?
Many constitutional scholars believe that Roe v. Wade is bad law, and abortion is indeed unconstitutional. I agree with this.
If you give the same constitutional assumption of the innocence of the criminally accused to the new unborn human child, and then apply many Articles and Sections of the Constitution as well as the Declaration of Independence to the issue, you come away with a clear understanding that abortion is unconstitutional. Try it yourself, and see if I am right.
This concludes my analysis of these issues, now I would like to offer up a couple of observations:
What does Barack mean when he says “In just 5 days we will fundamentally transform the United States of America”? This is a freighting statement! I believe that the United States of America is fundamentally defined by our founding documents, and those should not be fundamentally transformed except by way of the amendment process prescribed in the Constitution. Is Barack’s statement and pledge consistent with our founding documents? It’s hard to tell, but I for one am not willing to take the chance.
Militarily, I am troubled by Barack’s behavior and rhetoric.
1. I don’t see his name on any Armed Services committee or subcommittee, nor has he taken advantage of any briefings from General Petraus or Ambassador Crocker when they testified (twice) before the Congress. On the contrary, his mind is made up, and he decrees himself to be correct in his views.
2. He has visited Iraq and Afghanistan only twice during his Senate tenure, and these were very brief, and did not include any meaningful interaction with the commanders, or the troops. Contrast this with John McCain who has visited the war theaters 8 times, each time spending time with the troops and commanders in order to get a personal assessment of the actual situation.
3. I believe President Bush to be a good, honorable man, and a good president. I also believe that his responsibility was to protect the United States of America. In the case of Iraq, the President was faced with the tragic attack of 9/11. Intelligence showed that Iraq was a gathering threat and could very likely unleash weapons of mass destruction on it’s neighbors, and through terrorist organizations, catastrophically damage the United States. If you have questions about Iraqi and Al-Qaeda, I invite you to read Shadow War by Richard Miniter, especially, Appendix D where Miniter shows the connections that led President Bush to the decision to topple the Hussein regime. I don’t believe that Barack has the character to make such decisions, tough decisions that have to be made based on an assessment of the threat based on the best information available.
There’s much more, but I close now.