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Political Positions – The Wedge Issues

July 26, 2009

I don’t know why—maybe I’m a glutton for punishment—but I thought it would be fun to list my positions on some of the political wedge issues of our day.  I’m probably setting myself up for both back-slapping and hate-comments (which I would consider a badge of honor), but I think it’s important to stand up for what you believe in (on a blog that almost no one reads).

  • Same-sex Marriagesupport – I support this as a civil rights issue.  In a country founded on the belief of equality for all people, there is no legal argument for denying marriage to gays and lesbians.  I also support this as a human issue.  We should not be denying people a chance at happiness because of some outdated morality (note that I do not believe morality in general is outdated, just the morality that says gay people are in some way inferior).  And please don’t give me the nonsense that same-sex marriage is a threat to regular marriage, or if you do, explain to me how that’s even possible.  I also don’t want to hear how same-sex marriage will lead to people marrying their dogs.  Your slippery slope holds no ground in reality.
  • Abortionpro-choice – I just read that an Ohio lawmaker is introducing a bill that would require women to get the father’s consent before having an abortion, but the funny thing is, I don’t see anywhere in the bill that requires the father to actually take care of the kid after it’s born.  I grant that this is a tough issue, and it’s one in which I believe in the good faith of the majority of people on both sides of the argument (whereas I don’t at all see the good faith in those fighting same-sex marriage).  However, I do believe that the woman should have the final say.  In a perfect world, both parents should be involved in the decision, but that’s not reality, and unless we can force men to take care of their children (which we can’t), I don’t see how we can force women to have them.
  • Death Penalty support in theory, oppose in practice – My opposition to the death penalty is because of one reason – I think it is a worse sin against humanity to kill an innocent man than to let a guilty man go free.  I don’t really have an issue with the death penalty in the case of a vicious, 1st degree murder, but I don’t think the risk is worth it.  Our justice system is far from infallible.
  • Torture – opposed – Here’s my take on torture.  It’s illegal, it doesn’t work, and it’s morally wrong.  Intelligence gathered from it can never be trusted.  The so-called ticking time bomb scenario never happens in real life.  It makes the U.S. look like bullies and hypocrites (e.g., we would never stomach the water-boarding of one of our own).  It stunts the emotional and moral growth of humanity.  It is sadism wearing the mask of patriotism.  It harms the torturer.  It makes us less safe.   But other than that, it’s just dandy.
  • Legalization of Marijuanasupport – The hypocrisy in this country when it comes to marijuana versus alcohol is mind-blowing.  Marijuana is less dangerous to the individual, is not physiologically addictive, is a valuable medicinal, and expands creative thought.  Nobody ever got into a fight because someone knocked their joint out of their hands.  As for “high-driving,” I don’t have the statistics, but I can’t imagine a lot of people even want to drive after they’ve smoked, and if they do they’re only going 5 miles an hour (credit to Bill Hicks for that joke).  Look I’m the last person to bash alcohol—beer is a staple, and a good glass of whiskey cannot be beat—but let’s have a little consistency folks.  Personally, I’m inclined to believe that adults should be allowed to put whatever they want into their bodies without fear of going to prison.  Not only is it a personal freedom issue, but prison does absolutely nothing to help drug abusers.  To quote Bill Hicks again, drug addicts are sick, they are not criminals.   And not everyone who does drugs is a drug addict, just like not everyone who has a few beers on Friday night is an alcoholic.  (This doesn’t even touch on hemp, which is also illegal because of marijuana laws even though you’d have to smoke a whole field of it to even begin to get high.  This plant could be a HUGE environmental boon—just Google hemp to see the myriad uses—but we’d rather stick to War on Drugs rhetoric against a plant that’s not even a drug.  Oh, how I hate the War on Drugs.  It is the issue behind which every cowardly politician hides.)
  • Evolution versus Creationismevolution – I’m talking about this as a political issue, not a scientific one (evolution does not purport to explain how the universe was created so it’s sort of a moot point).  Please don’t tell me that creationism should be taught in science classes to give kids “both sides of the issue.”  If you want to teach your kids creationism, that’s your right, but it is not a science, has no science to back it up, and is in no way on equal footing with evolution. This isn’t teaching both sides of an issue, it’s shoe-horning your religious beliefs into our public schools.

That’s it for now.  If I’ve failed to get you riled up, then I’m not doing my job (and by job, I mean what I do at work when I’m supposed to be working). Let me know if I’ve missed any wedge issues that are important to you, and I’ll do my best to offend you by adding them to the list or doing another post.  Please feel free to let loose the hounds in the comments.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Caleb permalink
    August 12, 2009 4:39 am

    I don’t feel properly offended, yet. How about your stance on Healthcare? Apparently, that is the most polarizing issue at the moment.

    • ajhagg permalink*
      August 21, 2009 1:29 pm

      I felt like healthcare deserved its own post, but I haven’t gotten around to writing it yet.

  2. Jamie permalink
    August 16, 2009 10:28 am

    Excellent blog, Ab, I’m glad I stumbled onto it!

    But – sorry – this post didn’t rile me up at all. I happen to agree with you on every point, though my reasoning may differ a little. A refreshing read!

    -Jamie

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