II. Personal Political Statement

As you may know, I occasionally publish political news and commentary on this blog. Readers have occasionally commented on these posts, and it seems to me that some commentators want to characterize my personal political views in a certain — and rather restrictive — way based on my posts. Although placing an opponant into a box is convenient — and thus easier to ignore or refute — I’m not entirely sure what kind of “box” I should be in. I don’t feel that my views can be characterized by lumping me in with one political party or another.

So, for the benefit of those who read and comment on my posts, here is the most comprehensive list of my views that I can muster:

1. On most issues I am left-of-center; on some issues, I am liberal; on others, I am more conservative. Like all Americans in all professions, I am a biased individual. I try to be as balanced as is possible, but I occasionally fail. I do not think that I am alone in that.

2. I have never voted for a Republican or a Democrat in a national or local election, with the exception of Mitt Romney in his race against Senator Ted Kennedy in 1994 and William Weld for governor in 1990 and 1994.* In 1992 and 1996, I voted for Ross Perot in the presidential elections; in 2000 I voted for Ralph Nader; and in 2004, I voted for the Green Party candidate (whose name escapes me). My normal practice has been to vote for third parties as a protest against the Republican-Democratic oligarchy, and so I have voted for candidates from the Reform, Green, Libertarian and Whig parties.

[*although I regret the Romney vote, I stand by my votes for William Weld, who I believe stands out as one of the best governors Massachusetts ever had.]

3. I always have been, and remain, a staunch anti-Communist and anti-fascist, and remain a fan of Ronald Reagan’s anti-Communist foreign policy.

4. I support evolution; gay rights (including gay marriage and adoption); _________; welfare programs (with some time restrictions); a national healthcare system; the invasion of Afghanistan and the hunt for Osama bin Laden; public financing of political campaigns; a shortened campaign period; constitutional reform on a variety of issues; a balanced budget; net neutrality; freedom of speech; and freedom of religion.

5. I oppose the Bush Administration; tax-breaks for the wealthy and corporations; NAFTA; any attempt at a “North American Union”; the so-called “patriot movement”; September 11th conspiracy theories; teaching “creationism” in schools; the privatization of Social Security; the imposition of personal religious values on the political system; the “Religious Right”; Islamo-fascism; Bill Clinton’s foreign policy; Ted Kennedy; public funding for religiously-based programs; televangelists; and the troop “surge” (read escalation) in Iraq.

6. On Iraq: I initially supported the invasion of Iraq because of the WMD issue; like many others, I felt duped by Bush Administration over this issue. I do not believe that American lives should be put at risk in policing a sectarian civil war.

7. On Bill Clinton: I did not support the move to impeach him over the Lewinski affair, but I beleive that any person with any shred of honor would have resigned.

8. I firmly believe, as a historian of 20th Century American politics, that George W. Bush is the worst president of the last 100 years. I believe that he and Vice-President Cheney have committed impeachable offenses, and that they have started the United States down the slippery slope toward fascism.

9. I believe that President Bush and his administration took what was a horrid and vile attack on the United States by a small group of terrorists and turned into a world-wide clash of cultures that will endanger the United States for many years to come.

10. I beleive that the far-right has taken over the Republican Party, and that the Democratic Party is choatic and weak.

11. I believe that both parties are captive to corporations and the wealthy class in America, and that many members of both parties are more concerned with re-election and preserving the perks of office than in faithfully serving their constituents.

12. I believe that all politicians are whores and liars, and we must do a better job of finding those who are the least whorish and lying (not an easy proposition).

13. I believe (from a historical point of view) that most cultures, societies and nations will surrender civil rights to obtain “security,” even though security is often illusory.

14. I believe that people have a right to pursue whatever kind of life fits them best, as long as their actions do not hurt other people or violate the civil or consitutional rights of any invdividual or group.

15. I believe that our future depends upon close cooperation with the European Union.

16. I believe that the United States must maintain control over the internet.

17. I believe that the ruling classes (however they are defined) in all countries seek to divide the general public along ethnic, cultural, social and political lines in order to maintain their own power and priviledge (this includes the United States). I further believe that the media continues to stunt social progress by obsessing over the lives of the wealthy and celebrities because of the connection of many media companies to other corporations and corporate interests; that is, I do not beleive that we have a viable and independent major media in the United States.

18. I believe that Paris Hilton is a waste of oxygen, and Donald Trump is a total a**hole (sorry, there is simply no other word for him).

19. I believe that the “War on Drugs” has been a collossal failure, and that we need a new approach to drug-control policy in the United States.

20. I believe in the death penalty for certain crimes, such as treason; pre-meditated murder; and a few others.

21. I oppose unregulated immigration, and (unlike the Bush Administration) support more spending on border security.

22. I believe in personal responsibility; I also believe that human beings are fallable and occasionally need help from the community in order to salvage themselves and their lives.

23. I believe that former Senator John Edwards is a slimy opportunist and that Senator John Kerry ran a terrible campaign in 2004. I also believe that former Vice-President Al Gore lost the 2000 presidential election because of his own incompetance and poor skills of persuasion.

You are free to make of this list what you will. I should note that I occasionally post my opinions too quickly, without as much reflection as I should; I am trying to avoid this whenever possible. As issues arise in the upcoming election, I’m sure I will add to this list. Please feel free to comment or email me with any questions.

My personal statistics:
I am 36; a cynic; a resident of Massachusetts (registered as non-affiliated); I hold a Ph.D. in 20th Century American political history; I am a prooud child of the 1980s; a “Star Wars” fan (original trilogy, not of the incoherent and messy “new” trilogy); I am a fan of the Cure and of the Police; a cat person (although I do not own one now); I love British comedy, as well as “Arrested Development” and “30 Rock”; I am a writer of science fiction, fantasy, and “regular life” short stories and novels; and a die-hard Macintosh user.

Oh, and here are the results of one of those political personality tests:

Neo-Liberal You scored 51% Personal Liberty and 28% Economic Liberty!
A neo-liberal believes in moderate government intervention on personal matters and moderate to high government intervention on economic matters. They believe in a social safety net or welfare state and try to balance personal liberty with safety or security. Some neo-liberals believe in more foreign intervention or war then most other leftists. Others are more like Centrist Democrats. More authoritarian-leaning Neo-liberals (such as personal 40/economic 30) are the result of a “fusion” between “old left” and “new right” tendencies.
My test tracked 2 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:

free online dating free online dating
You scored higher than 99% on Personal
free online dating free online dating
You scored higher than 99% on Economic

Link: The Politics Test written by brainpolice on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

Oh, and I should rule Mars, apparently. I can dig it.

You Should Rule Mars

Mars is a planet that shines brightly and loops wildly around the solar system.
You are perfect to rule Mars, because you are both energetic and independent.
Like Mars, you seems attractive and bright to others – but you’re difficult to pin down.
You are a great thinker, but you only think in the present and ignore the future.
Full of enthusiasm and inspiration, you are into your own thing… and rather insensitive to others.

What Planet Should You Rule?

4 Responses to “II. Personal Political Statement”

  1. Ferrell Gummitt Says:

    Okay Shawn here is a few things I believe:
    1) I believe that allowing Gay Marriage produces a serious slope. A few of my concerns are:
     Forcing churches to perform Gay Marriage ceremonies
     Using church facilities to perform Gay marriage ceremonies (an outdoor altar for example)
     That Gay marriage is not the end. Soon after you will have Polygamous, Man-Boy, Man-Dog, etc.

    2) There are two ways to stop illegal immigration:
     Build a strong fence and man it to the hilt with Armed Border Security
     Bill Mexico one barrel of oil a month for every illegal immigrant in this country to offset the cost of additional resources for our schools and medical facilities. That would come to 10 – 12 million barrels a month.
    3) The Clintons brought us down to a moral low.
     “Oral Sex is not Sex”
     “It matters on what is is.”
     Clinton should have been impeached and removed for disgracing the office.
     The Clinton years brought us to the Post Modern World of morality. No morals, no ethics, just if it feels good to you and doesn’t bother me, then do it.

    4) I believe the only reason that Mitt Romney is not the nominee for President is because he is a Mormon and that the fear was President Romney would make the US into a state run by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

    5) I believe in the death penalty for all of the reasons you stated but especially for pedophiles. Touch a child, go to prison for a very long time – 20 years first offense. Kill or rape a child and we broadcast your execution on Pay-Per-View live.

    6) Abortion is murder. Period end of statement. From the time the sperm hits the egg cell, it is now a human being.

  2. Ferrell Gummitt Says:

    One more thing I believe in:
    I believe in term limits. House member 12 years and change each term to 4 years instead of 2. Senate member should be 12 years. Grandfather anyone in who is in the House or Senate the day the amendment is passed so they have 12 more years to figure what they want to do when they grow up.

  3. Shawn Says:

    Hi Ferrell,

    It’s a been a while (forgive the delay, I’ve been busy), but I thought your comments were worthy of response.

    I respect your beliefs, despite the fact we don’t agree on much.

    Here are my responses:

    (First comment)
    1.1 – No government will force any religious institution to perform marriages that violate their tenets. This is a scare-mongering tactic of the political Right, and utterly absurd. The same for the rest of the first comment.

    2 – I am not against controlling illegal immigration; I do think, however, that the Right has made this its issue du jour, because they have no successes to trumpet. It’s also interesting to note that Republicans have controlled the federal government in one way or another since 1994, and yet we have reached the “crisis point,” according to them. Why all of a sudden is this an issue? Only because Republicans have no record to run on — other than running this nation into the ground like Capt. Hazelwood and the Exxon Valdez — so they use a common political weapon: fear of the other. In this case, unsurprisingly, brown people.

    3. – I am not a fan of Bill Clinton.

    4. – Romney is an ass. If you lived in Massachusetts during his governorship, you’d know this for sure.

    5. – No problem there (except for the pay-per-view, as it seems unnecessarily barbaric, and I would like to think that we are not barbarians).

    6. – That’s your opinion. You have a right to it. My advice? Don’t get an abortion. (Or don’t enter into a gay marriage, for that matter, if it isn’t for you.)

    (Second comment)
    I agree completely.

  4. Malvena White Says:

    Shawn, I found your blog while Googling a Sinclair Lewis quote. It’s rare that I find someone whose views so closely match my own; we’re probably in agreement on 95% of the items listed in your Personal Political Statement. Of course my views coincide rather closely with Bill Maher’s, too, for whatever that’s worth. What seems strange is that both you and Bill are young enough to be my sons. For some reason a lot of people seem to think that when they grow older they have to become far-right Republicans. Anyway, I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read so far and plan to return for more thought-provoking posts (which Ferrell’s aren’t).


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