To my friends on the Right – Let’s find some common ground.
We all know that political discussions can get out of hand. So I’m going to go out on a limb here and express my views on some subjects in an effort to find common ground. I know it’s there, and I’ll meet you half way or more. We are one people, we just feel differently about some things. But I suspect that we feel the same about many things too.
I’ll start with the Tea Party list of 15 non-negotiable Core Beliefs as published here: http://www.teaparty.org/about.php
1. Illegal aliens are here illegally.
Brad says, “Yes, I agree 100%. I’ll go further, I don’t think anyone except natural born, or naturalized US citizens should get full rights under our laws.
2. Pro-domestic employment is indispensable.
Brad says, “Yes, I agree 100%. I’ll go further; I also support efforts being made to bring both our investment money, and our jobs back to the United States.”
3. A strong military is essential.
Brad says, “Yes, I agree 100%. I’ll go further; as a combat veteran, I don’t like war at all, but I understand the need for wars from time to time. We’re not on this planet alone right? I think we should change the way we wage wars. I prefer the Chinese model, invade, kick ass, and leave.” Wars cannot be won by fighting on defense.
4. Special interest groups must be eliminated.
Brad says, “Yes, I agree 100%. I’ll go further; I am on record on Facebook, and here on my blog, endorsing efforts to get money and special interest groups out of the political system. I don’t particularly like the name, but a great effort that I support is being undertaken by a group called http://www.the99declaration.org/ and I support the effort made by Common Cause http://www.commoncause.org/site/pp.asp?c=dkLNK1MQIwG&b=4764307
5. Gun ownership is sacred.
Brad says, “Yes I agree with the second amendment but I think ‘sacred’ is too strong of a word. However, We the People need to protect against governments run amuck and that’s one of the core reasons the second amendment was put in the Constitution. I am a full-fledged 2nd amendment guy. Gun ownership carries its own responsibilities which we cannot forget. In the wrong hands, guns can be used in the wrong ways. It’s a delicate balance that we continue to seek as times change rapidly. It’s my opinion that a citizen should be able to lose their right to bear arms as well. Say convicted felons, anyone convicted of a violent crime, those with diminished mental capacity, and maybe some others.
6. Government must be downsized.
Brad says, “I am not sure what that means exactly. The growth of government has been in response to demands by the citizenry. Here’s a quote on that from Teddy Roosevelt in his 1910 speech and the New Nationalism. “The absence of effective State, and, especially, national, restraint upon unfair money-getting has tended to create a small class of enormously wealthy and economically powerful men, whose chief object is to hold and increase their power. The prime need to is to change the conditions which enable these men to accumulate power which it is not for the general welfare that they should hold or exercise. We grudge no man a fortune which represents his own power and sagacity, when exercised with entire regard to the welfare of his fellows. Again, comrades over there, take the lesson from your own experience. Not only did you not grudge, but you gloried in the promotion of the great generals who gained their promotion by leading their army to victory. So it is with us. We grudge no man a fortune in civil life if it is honorably obtained and well used. It is not even enough that it should have been gained without doing damage to the community. We should permit it to be gained only so long as the gaining represents benefit to the community. This, I know, implies a policy of a far more active governmental interference with social and economic conditions in this country than we have yet had, but I think we have got to face the fact that such an increase in governmental control is now necessary.”
So, in light of knowing that government has grown to protect the citizenry from being financially raped by the rich and powerful, I can’t say I agree with number six 100%.
7. The national budget must be balanced.
Brad says, “I agree mostly on this but not 100%. I feel that We the People should have the right to use deficit budget expenditures in times of crisis. For instance, in a war we could not have a balanced budget and expect to produce the required arms and pay for the wars without deficit spending. This has been true since the first time we borrowed money from France to fight Spain under the Jefferson administration. Here’s a quote from Jefferson, “”Then I say, the earth belongs to each of these generations during its course, fully and in its own right. The second generation receives it clear of the debts and encumbrances of the first, the third of the second, and so on. For if the first could charge it with a debt, then the earth would belong to the dead and not to the living generation. Then, no generation can contract debts greater than may be paid during the course of its own existence.” –Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1789. ME 7:455, Papers 15:393
Let me point out that during WWII, our national debt was far greater than it is now (as expressed as a percentage of GDP) yet we paid if down in fairly short order. I don’t believe that we should create debt without demonstrating how we will retire that debt, and or by demonstrating how that debt or lack of it would benefit future generations.
8. Deficit spending must end.
Brad says, “I do disagree but see point number 7 for an idea of why I feel this way and what limits I feel should be placed on the deficit spending.
9. Bailout and stimulus plans are illegal.
Brad says, “I have to disagree. They are clearly legal and have been used by Nations over the centuries for various reasons. Government stimulus works as proven in the late 30’s by FDR, and again by FDR in the early 40’s and by Kennedy in the early 60’s and by Bush in the last ten years and by President Obama recently. However I don’t feel we should just give money to failing businesses. Not at all, but if we as a people feel we want to invest in that business and can expect a reasonable return, then I’m for what might be called a ‘bailout’ today. But the way I see it, it could be an investment if done properly. Like GM where We the People bought a share of GM as there was no private money around that they could access. That saved GM and millions of jobs and We the People get to sell the stock back at three times what we paid for it, which we’ll do when the stock fully recovers. I do feel that bailout and stimulus plans should show how we’ll be paid back by the companies that we bail out. I am not for corporate welfare. But I do think that it’s a National Security issue at times to keep some business viable.
10. Reducing personal income taxes is a must.
Brad says, “I don’t agree 100% but do agree that personal income taxes should be flexible in prosperous times and in lean times. We can and do use income tax reductions to stimulate personal spending and it appears to work. The Bush and Obama stimulus packages (via the Bush tax cuts, and the Obama tax cuts) have proven to have a multiplier effect of 1 to 1.8, meaning for every dollar we as a nation applied to stimulus, that dollar generated a dollar eighty in GDP. That’s a pretty good return.”
11. Reducing business income taxes is mandatory.
Brad says, “I don’t agree. The point that can be made for reducing business income taxes is that business with have more liquid capital to spend on expansion, production, and hiring. Right now we have a business community that is more liquid that ever and they are not spending, they are not hiring, they are not building. So We the People have been spending via deficit spending and unbalanced budgets to get the economy going again. Business is not doing their fair share and has been using the lobbies and special interests to get favorable tax status. That must end. Today it’s not a question of liquidity; it’s a question of confidence. While the world wide economy suffers as it is, the business community is playing it safe and hoarding their money. Why lower thier taxes?
12. Political offices must be available to average citizens.
Brad says, “I agree 100%.”
13. Intrusive government must be stopped.
Brad says, “I agree 100% until I think of getting on a plane with folks who may be carrying a bomb. At those times I feel like agreeing less than 100%. I agree 100% that the government should not be intrusive beyond the boundaries that the electorate sets for the government.”
14. English as our core language is required.
Brad says, “I agree 100%.”
15. Traditional family values are encouraged.
Brad says, “I agree with traditional family values, however in my family we were taught to embraced diversity, so I support both traditional and non-traditional families. To me freedom and justice for all means exactly that, for ALL, not just for those who conform to past values and attitudes.”
In summation, I’ve clearly noted that I agree with 11 out of these 15 ideas. I’ve met you more than halfway and I’ve clearly explained myself and have not denigrated the positions I don’t agree with. So can we find some common ground?
Feel free to comment but know that your comments here are moderated by me. No flaming allowed but it’s fine to disagree civilly.