It seems to me…
“Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” ~ The Red Queen from Alice in Wonderland (Lewis Carroll).
A friend asked me if I wrote fiction or nonfiction. When I told him I never have written fiction, he laughed and said he considered most of what I write to be fiction…
There are times when I wonder what I really believe. The problem is that what I believe is true as of this moment – not ten minutes ago or ten minutes from now. Hopefully everything I learn and experience influences my beliefs. I am human, imperfect, and incomplete – a work in progress always to remain unfinished.
That said, I will not nor will I ask someone else to compromise on what we consider to be basic moral values. Not everyone will always agree with me on every subject and they should not expect me to agree with them. (But depending upon the extent of my disagreement, I might feel obligated to express that disagreement. J )
Politically, though dependent upon the specific issue, I usually am a liberal-conservative (or is that a conservative-liberal?). Like most people, I do not neatly fit within some static inflexible rubric. When voting, I normally vote a straight Independent ticket – no one party provides all the answers and much prefer to select the candidate I consider best suited for the office.
I originally was a registered Republican and remained so for quite a few years prior to considering myself an Independent. (Disclosure: Barb, my wife, registered as a Republican; I registered as a Democrat so we would not be totally disenfranchised in primary elections.) Looking back at some of the things I wrote years ago, I’m probably slightly more conservative now than I was when younger. The problem is both political parties probably beginning about when Reagan was President have lurched toward the right. Republicans, especially the Tea Party, have pushed so far to the right they now have become only a caricature of their former conservative values. The Democrats also have shifted to the right of center leaving us without any remaining liberal party alternative. I did not leave the Republican Party so much as they left me.
If someone strongly believes in some general principles, they should stand up for them – no surrender or appeasement. However, there are situations while maintaining your beliefs, compromise is in the best interests of everyone affected by whatever decisions ultimately are agreed upon (are you listening Congress?).
That said, the following constitute some of my current basic beliefs. Most have been (or will be) expanded upon in my blogs.
My primary responsibility is to God, family, country…
Everyone, regardless of who they are, where they might be, or in what they believe, is entitled to our respect of their dignity and potential.
Earth is the only planet we have and we need to take better care of it.
We deserve competent political leaders more dedicated to the welfare of our country than personal benefit or ideological doctrine.
Our country’s greatest days are not yet behind us but the future depends on innovation and creativity to a much great extent than in the past.
There is no such thing as a free lunch and while a national balanced budget requirement is not advisable, multi-year spending must not exceed income.
While sales taxes are regressive, users of most resources or services should be the ones paying for them: Postal Service, transportation infrastructure, health services, retirement…
Our educational system once was the best in the world and we need to restore it to that level.
Our country’s future is dependent upon educating every person to the highest level possible – especially in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
Providing quality education benefits our country and no student should incur personal debt while acquiring his or her education.
We need to open our country’s doors and once again become where the world’s goes for the highest quality education possible.
Today’s research is the only way to provide tomorrow’s employment opportunities.
Our medical care and treatment should be comparable to what is available elsewhere in the developed world.
It is not fair for anyone to lose everything they have or be destitute as a result of medical problems – everyone should be required to have adequate medical insurance.
Everyone is personally responsible for his or her own support but it sometimes is necessary to provide short-term unemployment assistance (and retraining or education when appropriate).
The elderly should be able to enjoy retirement at some sustainable level without living in poverty.
Veterans have earned a right to adequate healthcare, education, and employment.
Both military combat and the death penalty are unacceptable (but I also believe in President Roosevelt’s advice to “speak softly and carry a big stick”).
Every citizen should be required to serve some type of government-sponsored basic universal service: military, Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, or other nationally recognized organization.
Every community is entitled to adequate police, fire, and emergency assistance.
Something is wrong when we spend more to incarcerate criminals than on elementary education.
Anyone convicted of a criminal charge should be required to fully reimburse all costs related to their investigation, prosecution, and incarceration.
The infrastructure of our country needs to be maintained at adequate levels.
Protecting our environment not only makes good sense, it is beneficial to our economy.
Our immigration policies need to be revised recognizing beneficial contributions made by undocumented (illegal) workers.
Yes, there is much more that I believe but this, hopefully, will suffice as a start. It also should serve as a clarification for some of both the compliments and criticism I frequently receive. No, I do not pretend to either understand all the issues or know the solutions for our problems.
Now, at the start of a New Year, maybe some of the politically motivated demagoguery and acrimony can be set behind us. Given this is an election year, that might be wishful thinking. Still, hope springs eternal…[i]
Happy New Year
That’s what I think, what about you?
[i] “Hope springs eternal in the human breast: Man never is, but always to be blest.” ~ Alexander Pope.