The Post-Political Political Post
As I hope anybody who knows me can attest, I'm sick to death of the pointlessly partisan bickering preceding tomorrow's U.S. Presidential election. I'm annoyed by the assumption that I'm partisan. Sure, I have a preferred candidate in tomorrow's election, but like most sane people, I don't think either man (do they have to always be men?) is all right on all the issues, and I don't think the supporters of either side are particularly reasonable.
But more than all of this, I'm sick of shoddy advocacy. I've seen tons of URLs and video clips and a barrage of ads on TV all preaching to the converted. Here's a hint: When an analyst says a candidate is "speaking to his base" that means "he's talking to his own ass". The 10% extremists on either side are the ones who truly hate our freedoms.
And the worst thing about the candidates? They're fucking lazy. Nobody said to me "Vote for me because I'm most able to work with people in the opposite party who have good ideas, and that's how we make progress." These two guys are lazy in the way that can only come from men born into privilege afforded to one hundredth of one percent of all the people who've ever lived in all of history. Work for it, you sad sacks.
Despite all this, I'm voting. My mom and dad didn't travel halfway around the world for me to take their work for granted, and I still want to live in a world where having a civic duty actually means that you have an obligation. Plus, I don't want to be part of the mass bloodshed when P. Diddy has to murder 60 million people tomorrow night.
So, I'll post the platform that I wish someone had the brains or the guts to push at me months ago. I'm not saying I'm great at this, I'm just saying it's a hell of a lot better than any of the messages that got through to me from the campaigns thus far.
I'm in favor of a candidate who supports privatized, faith-based marriage. A lifelong commitment is too important and too personal to be left to any government institution. While the government can, and should, allow people to make contracts with anyone whom they please, it should be impossible for the government to make any laws in regard to marriage, and it should be impossible for churches to have any impact on contracts between any two consenting adults for any purpose.
I'm in favor of deregulated, free-market pharmaceutical sourcing. Protectionism and corporate welfare have no place when it comes to drugs that help improve or save people's lives.
We need a pro-small business foreign policy that considers the social environment for marketing American products and services abroad. Limiting the number of markets where foreign consumers are willing to purchase American goods is bad for our economy.
It's vitally critical to America's future that we preserve America's role as the worldwide leader in science and technology. To do so, we must allow a free market of unfettered research and exploration in every area of development, including the latest areas of genetic technology.
Finally, we need a pro-family health care policy that makes it possible for people to choose to spend time with their children if possible, and increases flexibility in staying under coverage even when unemployed or underemployed. Insurance companies and health care providers aren't properly incented to live up to their social responsibility right now, and a clear system of economic incentives would provide the right motivation to make sure every family in the United States could take care of their children without living in fear of a loss of coverage.
Though I'm an unapologetic liberal, this is (somewhat deliberately) a very conservative platform, and I've tried to couch it in the terms that make most sense to a conservative audience. But if you weigh these issues appropriately, it becomes clear that, of the two major party candidates vying for election tomorrow, John Kerry is the better choice.
Kerry opposes the Federal government mandating regulation of contract law to the individual states in regard to marriage. Kerry is in favor of letting the free market determine supply and demand for prescription drugs. Kerry is trying to encourage an environment where products and services from American businesses are welcomed by overseas buyers. Kerry has pledged a commitment to science over superstition when making decisions about American leadership in research. And Kerry has backed policies which will move us closer to an America where parents can think about kids instead of co-pays.
What is George Bush right on? He's right on not wanting to limit outsourcing. And he's admirably consistent in having a vision that he feels will address our nation's physical security. But I feel the overall military policies of both candidates will be sufficiently similar, due to the demands of our existing (over)commitments and despite protestations to the contrary, that the most sensible way to determine which candidate is best is by a sober assessment of their domestic social policies. Bush's policies are too fiscally irresponsible and not appropriately respectful of conservative values, in addition to being wholly disrespectful of social progressives, and this makes my decision easy.
I'm voting for John Kerry. I encourage you to vote tomorrow, too. And my prediction? We'll see over 290 electoral college votes for Kerry, but with as many as 3 states in contention due to the results being too close to call.
Despite having advocated the decisions of activist judges in 2000, Republicans will suddenly remember their love of states' rights in this year's dispute and ask the decision to go to the House of Representatives, as it has in every past Presidential toss-up except 2000. The Republican-controlled House will grant the disputed states to Bush, or perhaps two states will switch decisions and nearly cancel each other out, but it won't matter due to Kerry's significant lead in electoral votes.
And by the time the whole process has finished, most dumb, loud Americans will go back to hating their counterparts in the other party more than they hate Osama Bin Laden. The other 80% of us will shake our heads, be glad it's over, and get back to work.