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    Greg and Beth

    the political and personal musings of two
    mountaineers living in west-central Florida
     
    Top Issues and Random Ranting Comment
    Gregory Morris, 12/31/07 9:49:01 am
    It seems that CNN believes that the issue of Guns is one of the top 8 most important issues this election. (From Michael Bane) This site was put in place to discuss what the candidates feel about each of the issues, but CNN chose which issues to discuss, which I find telling.

    So Guns and Gun Control are important issues. Of course, we've been saying that all along. The problem the many candidates are facing is having to scramble to seem less anti-gun, since all of the top-tier candidates are either anti-gun-rights, or at least have anti-gun-rights histories.

    The exception on the democrat side is Obama, who is at least honest about being 100% anti-gun. That honesty isn't going to get him elected, but I do admire him for not trying to pander as much as folks like Hillary, Rudy and Romney. I guess Huckabee is top-tier now, and he's got a pretty good pro-gun history, but a poor history on effectively dealing with crime. Then there is Thompson is the only electable Republican, in my opinion, who has a perfect record on supporting second amendment rights, and also has a good record of being consistent.
    --
    I also find it interesting that Social Security is one of CNN's top issues. We haven't seen a lot of focus on that issue this year. Personally, I've written it off entirely. I know that if I don't have enough money saved to retire, then I won't be able to retire. I just wonder why I have to pay for a service which I will never receive. Reforming SS will be tough and ugly, and it just doesn't seem like anyone is willing to step up and say "this is important". Sure, all the candidates have positions on the topic, but I don't see a complete, viable plan from any of them.
    --
    Health care is at the top of the list as well. I don't think the federal government has any place getting more involved here. Socialized medicine is bad. If you want to offer subsidized health services for those unable to afford them otherwise, that's fine. But I'll be extremely upset if the government ever A) tells me what I have to do for my own health care or B) does something which makes my health care more expensive or of lower quality.
    --
    Same-sex marriage is near the top of the list as well! Why do the candidates even discuss this? Why is this an issue? I don't understand how the government has the right to interfere with something as sacred as marriage. By that I mean: marriage is between myself, my wife, and my God. The state has no place in that list. As far as I'm concerned, the state's role is to help manage contractual agreements between two individuals. This is a job for the judicial branch alone. Therefore, if two women decide to enter into a contractual union, let them. They are not married, at least not by my definition of marriage, but they shouldn't be treated differently by the government.
    --
    Immigration reform doesn't make any sense to me. I understand it is a big issue for a lot of people, and I personally see it as a national security issue. The biggest problem I have is that some candidates espouse giving illegal, undocumented immigrants some form of legal status. That is an insult to people who are working hard to be in our country legally. I'm all for making the path to citizenship easier (mostly because it is currently a bureaucratic nightmare.) But if you are here illegally, by that very definition you have broken the law, and deserve to be arrested. I'm not saying we should throw them all in jail, but we should deport them back to their home country, and offer to help them re-enter the country legally. Giving them a free pass for breaking our laws simply doesn't make any sense to me.
    --
    I expected Iraq to top the list, because it is so divisive in this country. Everyone has a different opinion. Personally, I think we shouldn't have gone in in the first place, but I also didn't have access to all the intelligence. Ron Paul is only one candidate I know of that really opposed it. Plenty of folks oppose it now, since it has become apparent that somewhere near half the country doesn't like us being over there. But their opposition comes largely after their initial support, which tells me one thing about these candidates: polls are more important than doing what is right.

    Frankly, if we just up and leave Iraq, the situation is going to be ugly. I'm sure there is a way to get out cleanly, but it isn't just leaving, or setting an arbitrary withdrawal date. It certainly won't work to simply de-fund the war. On the other hand, I do want to see an end to operations in Iraq, because it is too expensive in terms of life, tax dollars, and international goodwill. I think quality intelligence and covert operations can be much more effective in accomplishing our goals than brute military force anyway. But that's just my personal opinion.
    --
    Finally, taxes. I believe lower taxes are good for the economy, but taxes cannot be lowered without making cuts to the government. That's how it works. You'd know that if you either A) took a basic accounting course or B) had the tiniest shred of common sense. That's what gets me about the Republican candidates. "I will cut taxes" is the favorite mantra. Sure, some candidates have more novel approaches to tax issues, but I haven't heard much from any candidate about which wasteful government projects will get the ax, should they be elected. Well, Ron Paul is different of course, because he'd try de-fund the entire government if he could. The Dems, on the other hand are basically promising tax increases. Hillary has so many different programs that there would be no way to implement them without having the entire country ending up like Taxachusetts.

    [Comments are closed after a month.]

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