Wednesday, April 30, 2008

<soapbox rant_value= "rightIndign" content= "political">

In this exciting election-year atmosphere, I've been thinking lately about what issues matter to me as a voter. Here they are, in order of importance:

  • Civil Liberties - This trumps everything else for me, although you won't hear much about it in the campaigns. I think our unbelievable civil liberties are the very best thing about US citizenship, and are at the heart of what it means to be an American. I'm obviously horrified at the way Mr. Bush has flippantly disregarded them, and candidates' dedication to their preservation will be the most important deciding factor for me in the election.
  • Foreign Policy - I'm heartbroken about the way our current leadership has squandered our international reputation for the sake of myopic ideology. I want a leader who understands what it means to be a citizen of the world.
  • Health Care - We need a better system. Heck, we need a system, period. I know it contradicts my otherwise laissez-faire economic sensibilities. I know it will be expensive. I know detractors say it will erode our current level of care. They're wrong. We've already fallen behind the rest of the developed world. We have no place to go but up.
  • Immigration - It's what makes and has made the US great. The current status of policies is abysmal, however. We need a guest worker program yesterday, we need better (and more compassionate) enforcement of our immigration laws. And we need a thorough housecleaning and reorganization at our customs/border security/immigration agencies.
  • Free Trade/Economy - I don't feel as strongly about these issues, other than thinking that our leaders need to be realistic about their importance and our ability to influence them. I think that you're an idiot if you're against free trade; not so much because I support it, but because I realize it's inevitable. Similarly, I think our government's ability to influence our economy is grossly overstated, particularly during this election year. The government should intervene minimally as the conscience of our otherwise amoral capitalist economy, but that's it. Let the markets and our own creativity do the rest.

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