In determining ones political stance, it is often asked whether one is a conservative or a liberal. These two titles, while being the most common and oft repeated by the general populace fail to accurately describe the opinions and views of many who tend to break with their party lines on issues which seem to be otherwise “democratic” or “republican.”

The issue of homosexual marriage is one along which republicans and democrats seem to be nearly completely polarized, with democrats favoring and republicans opposing the legalization thereof. There are, however, a number of democrats who oppose the notion on a basis of morals and a number of republicans who favor it, or are at least opposed to a government ban on the act on the basis of opposition to a large, overreaching government. Likewise, on the issue of gun control, the republican party tends to favor a policy allowing for much more leeway in terms of owners rights and the kinds of arms available for purchase, while the democratic party tends to favor stricter gun control and more stringent laws governing the purchase thereof. As with homosexual marriage, there are card-carrying republicans and democrats who embrace what is typically the opposing party stance on these individual issues.

How then is a republican, who is opposed morally to the idea of gay marriage but also opposes a government ban on the act to describe their ideals? Or conversely, a democrat who believes in a less restrictive arms policy while aligning themselves generally with the party on other social matters?

It is the ideals of these voters that the conventional titles “liberal” and “conservative” fail to accurately describe. One who favors a fiscally conservative government (IE, lower taxes and less expansive social programs) and a socially liberal one (no government ban on gay marriages, abortion rights, etc.) will find themselves torn between the two, and may be often mistakenly described as a “moderate.” This is a fallacy, and can have severe implications when it comes time to cast a vote for an elected official who will forward that voters ideals.

To describe oneself as a “moderate” is to say that one seeks a “middle ground” on issues fiscal and social.  This is a completely different stance than would be taken by one opposing government interferences in said matters. The chart below best presents the differences between the ideals of those who favor heavy fiscal and social regulations (high taxes, more taxpayer/government funded programs and social regulations such as controls on marriage, speech and press, favoring authoritarianism,)   One identifying with libertarian ideals would tend to favor a government with less restrictions and regulations both on a social and fiscal level.  A liberal ideology (as understood by the standards of our modern American system) is more likely to favor higher taxes (more government involvement/interference fiscally, coupled with a larger system of taxpayer funded programs) and less social regulation (such as legalization of homosexual marriage and abortion.)  Conservatives most often favor a government which encourages moral ideals (implying restrictions on homosexual marriage and abortion, most notably,) and allows for a greater amount of freedom fiscally (favoring more equal tax policies or the lowering of taxes therein.)

And, that I may best avoid bias and remain objective, I encourage my readers to explore the definitions and interworkings of all the above ideologies more in depth, and use that knowledge to determine which candidates best represent and are most closely aligned with their respective beliefs and ideals.

– The Author

Support HR Bill 5843

April 29, 2008

Representative Barney Frank (D – MA) has introduced a bill effectively ending the raiding of medical and recreational marijuana user’s homes by the federal government. This bill would also allow for the production of plastics, food, fuel and the replacement of petroleum based products with those made of industrial hemp, a non-psychoactive cousin of Cannabis Sativa.

This legislative move represents a great number of themes – states rights, personal rights of American citizens, and the refusal of our national government to permit industrial and medical use of a plant which has been described by Thomas Jefferson as being “…Of first necessity to the wealth and protection of a country.” ( http://www.hempcar.org/jefferson.shtml ) Instead of paying $4.00 per gallon and sending our hard earned money overseas, we could be growing our fuel domestically, thus keeping our money in the own country. Lumber companies also have great reason to lobby against it – One acre of hemp produces as much paper as 4 acres of trees. Hemp needs no pesticide, does not remove nutrients from the soil as other crops do, in addition to being remarkably fast – growing.

The matter of legalization is impeded by two things:

1) Intense lobbying by lumber, pharmaceutical and oil companies, whose products will be replaced by more effective and environmentally friendly hemp products and

2) A level of apathy and public ignorance of the benefits of industrial and medical use of hemp. Were the people of this nation informed as to the extortionist activities of the oil, lumber and pharmaceutical companies, they would not be able to act with the impunity with which they conduct themselves.

The issue is also a matter of federal – versus – state sovereignty with regards to the will of the people. Whereas many states have decriminalized marijuana, federal law continues to cling to ideas and assertions proven incorrect by science, which are in many cases detrimental to our overall national health.

Congressman Barney Frank summarized his views and validation for pushing this move in the following manner:

“I think it is poor law enforcement to keep on the books legislation that establishes as a crime something which in fact society does not seriously wish to prosecute. In my view, having federal law enforcement agents engaged in the prosecution of people who are personally using marijuana is a waste of scarce resources better used for serious crimes. In fact, this type of prosecution often meets with public disapproval. The most frequent recent examples have been federal prosecutions of individuals using marijuana for medical purposes in states that have voted – usually by public referenda – to allow such use. Because current federal law has been interpreted as superseding state law in this area, most states that have made medical use of marijuana legal have been unable to actually implement their laws.

“When doctors recommend the use of marijuana for their patients and states are willing to permit it, I think it’s wrong for the federal government to subject either the doctors or the patients to criminal prosecution. More broadly speaking, the norm in America is for the states to decide whether particular behaviors should be made criminal. To make the smoking of marijuana, whether for medical purposes or not, one of those extremely rare instances of federal crime – literally, to make a ‘federal case’ out of it – is wholly disproportionate to the activity involved. We do not have federal criminal prohibitions against drinking alcoholic beverages, and there are generally no criminal penalties for the use of tobacco at the state and federal levels for adults. There is no rational argument for treating marijuana so differently from these other substances.”

Write your congressmen – Help this issue to snowball. The will of the people must triumph over the environmentally destructive effects of petroleum and the economic stranglehold on our economy which the government executes and maintains.

Write your congressmen

Henry Ford and Hemp, as fuel, building material.

If anyone would like informational materials, leave me a comment. There’s a wealth of information out there, and I’m happy to help others in this endeavor.

UPDATE: Tuesday, September 23, 2008:

Track This Bill

Comprehensive study finds no link between Marijuana use and Cancer

Dear Everyone,

February 22, 2008

Voting is a civic duty. That is, as a part of our social contract in a representative government, we are obligated to cast our votes in elections and referendums, driving forward our political machine in the direction that we as Americans feel is best expressive of our constitution, our principles, and our purpose in the world today. Voting is, in many countries, a privilege. In the United States, it is an unalienable right.
Along with such a right comes a responsibility to our country and to each other to make informed decisions based on solid, verified information and applied logic. To do this is to empower ourselves, not only politically, but in our daily lives as we strive to make decisions that will be beneficial to us and the people around us.
A society that is governed based on the will of the people cannot sustain itself without an educated populace. When a population begins to make its decisions based on the unsubstantiated opinions of others and ideals that are untrue to the founder’s visions for that country, its begins to deviate from it’s proven effective course, and it becomes a nation untrue to itself. As the newest generation of voters, we have the opportunity to forge this nation into a greater civilization than when first inherited it. The guiding light of American society is a devotion to equal representation, a desire to constantly improve ourselves, and the understanding that through education and hard work, prosperity is out of noones reach. Will there always be a lower and upper class? Yes. Will there always be political corruption? Yes. The sicknesses of government are inherent to human nature, and as long as America is led by humans, they are, unfortunately, here to stay. They do not, however, exist unchecked. So long as there is a desire to learn and those who are strong and courageous enough apply that knowledge to the decisions they make, we will, as a nation, remain strong.
In the coming election, I urge each and every one of us who would go to polls to research our candidates – Democrats, republicans and independents alike. It is essential to the health of a nation that the populace not to bind themselves to any one political party soley for the purpose of the advancement of that party. Our ideals and values must exist independent of any title or banner other than their own. Understand your candidate, and understand your candidates opponents. We must research and understand the purpose of government, so that our decisions will be a positive force in keeping our nation on track. Make your vote count, make your voice heard, and help build a greater country. For ourselves, for our parents, and for our children, we must ensure that our votes are not cast blindly, lest we lose credibility as the true leaders of this land.

 A conservative wrote that? Egad!!

Yes, I am a big environmentalist.   I don’t subscribe to the idea that global warming is directly caused by fossil fuels, but I do think they contribute.  I think the sooner we find a petroleum substitute, the better, and I think businesses should be more environmentally responsible.  That being said, I don’t believe the federal government should impose fines on companies that burn fossil fuels, unless it is in an extremely irresponsible way.  I honestly think the only feasible way to save/salvage/protect (depending on your view of how dire the situation is) our environment is to be personally, voluntarily responsible.  Each person can do that, and we need to demand as consumers (not lobbyist to the government) that the CEO’s and corporate heads take greater steps in having less of a negative impact on the environment.

Far too often, when  we see something that needs to stop or start happening, we petition the government.  This is a fine idea in some cases, but often we should appeal directly to the parties who’s actions we seek to change. Instead of demanding that the government impose fines on companies (or communities)  that negatively impact our world, we should appeal directly to those powers that be through the different methods of communications that are available to us.

As for the environment, it saddens me to see multiple acres of woods cleared to build new houses and apartments for a booming population.  With the world operating at far above it’s carrying capacity, a rising standard of living across the globe is going to sap the earth of it’s natural resources extremely quickly.  The rate of population in the US is declining,  but in Africa and India, the birth rates are increasing.  Unless the governments of those respective continents do something to suppress this, our environment is going to collapse under the burden of a rapidly growing population fueled by apathy and an ignorance of the consequences of our actions.

This is my plea to the world: Please don’t make this prophetical.

Abortion

October 15, 2007

So we have the left and right embroiled in this great debate over abortion. Ever since Roe v. Wade, every candidate for nearly every political office is asked for their stance on abortion. The general opinions of each side seems to stem from a discrepancy over whether or not the process ends a human life. What is this thing we call a “life,” and how do some cling dogmatically to the belief that a fetus is certainly not “a life” (or possessing one) while at the same time other well-educated and intelligent people claim with the same vigor that a fetus certainly is.

1) A dictionary, we hope, can be counted on as a nonpartisan source of information. Dictionary.com defines life as “the condition that distinguishes organisms from inorganic objects and dead organisms, being manifested by growth through metabolism, reproduction, and the power of adaptation to environment through changes originating internally.”

Well, we all must agree, regardless of our political affiliation that by this definition a fetus is undeniably alive. Growth through metabolism? that’s why there’s an umbilical chord. Check. Reproduction? The tools lie dormant, but they’re present. Adaptation to environment? anyone who has ever felt a fetus kick through the wall of an expectant mother’s abdomen to reposition itself has seen that.

Verdict: By a dictionary definition, a fetus is living.

2) Biologically, the issue is clear as well – from the moment of conception, a child/fetus/baby is, one hundred percent genetically complete. (http://www.crosswayprc.org/content/facts.asp)

3) The following story was posted sunday, october third, 2007, at

http://www.tylerpaper.com/article/20071003/NEWS08/710030326

Emphasis added is my own.

Teen Charged As Adult In Unborn Baby Death

A 16-year-old has been charged as an adult for allegedly driving intoxicated and colliding into a pregnant mother’s car, killing her, her unborn baby boy and critically injuring her 6-year-old daughter. Jaime Arrellano, of Carthage, remains in the Smith County Jail on bonds totaling $2.5 million after being indicted on two counts of intoxicated manslaughter and one charge of intoxicated assault for the June 23 wreck.

A story expressing the same sentiment can be found here: http://www.jamestownsun.com/articles/index.cfm?id=55488

“GARRISON, N.D. (AP) — A woman here is accused of causing the death of her unborn child by overdosing on prescription drugs.”

These incidents are not at all isolated, and would appear to indicate that a child inside the womb is extended the same legal protection as a fully grown adult (obviously outside the womb.) So my question would be this: If John Doe shoots a pregnant mother, killing her and her child, he gets charged with a double homicide. If John Doe is a doctor performing an abortion, (ending the same life, albeit more precisely and profitably) he faces no criminal charges whatsoever. Does the legal protection of the unborn not extend into the delivery room?

In Cases of rape, incest, and when the mother’s life is endangered, however, I believe abortion should be permitted, but not in any other circumstances.

   

Stepping onto the field…

September 21, 2007

Hello, all.  This is my blog for the ideas and beliefs of mine that are purely political.  Though I do profess myself to be an “Undercover Conservative”  I do not permit myself to believe that I can truly understand the structures and political workings of this nation and their effects on her people without seeing both sides of an issue.  My bookshelf currently holds (In this order) a Copy  of: “The Communist Manifesto,” by Carl Marx, “The official handbook of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy,” by Mark W. Smith, “The Audacity of Hope,” by Barack Obama, The Bible, and several other books pertaining to world politics, philosophic problems and moral dilemmas.  I say this not to try and appear over-intelligent or to sound puffed up, but to prove to the reader that I am not, as some will in all probability call me, a close-minded conservative.   With that out of the way, I hope that you will, regardless of your political affiliation (if any) be able to take away at least something from this Blog.

Thanks for reading.

–  The Undercover Conservative.