I grew up in a strongly Democratic family, and was a strong Democrat myself. The first election where I was old enough to pay attention was 1972 (as a young teenager), and actually sat in on part of the Watergate hearings in 1974. I voted for Carter twice (I know, I know) and Mondale, although Dukakis finally broke the habit. Just so you know, I've held elective office in the Democratic Party machine.
Yes, kids, I was a socialist apparatchik.
Along the way, it's not so much that I became conservative, as that I realized that I was a slave to an idealogy. I like to think that I think for myself now, rather than toeing a party line. At least I try to think about basic premises, and think through consequences now.
But I'm not a conservative, and I'm registered Independent.
So please, Liberty, don't throw me under the bus, just because we likely disagree on some things.
In case anyone cares, here's a Cliff Notes guide to Ted's politics:
- The War On Drugs is a complete fiasco. It's not saving people from personal destruction, it's actively destroying them (look in the prisons, or on the streets of poor neighborhoods). I support the legalization of almost all narcotics. Of course some people will destroy their lives, they do it all the time with alcohol. There's a whole sub-genre of Country Music about this, for crying out loud. But right now, the Government's the one who's doing people wrong.
- The War On Terror simply has to be fought, because a bunch of People Out There hate us. There's nothing we can to to stop them from hating us, other than offering them a JDAM. Yes, we've screwed a lot of this up. No, it doesn't make any difference.
- If Jim and Bob want to run off to Provincetown and tie the knot, then I simply don't care. It's none of my business, and if Jim gets really sick, itsn't any of his family's business, either. They shouldn't be able to keep Bob from the bedside in the hospital. Sorry if this offends anyone on the right.
- There's a whole world of difference between Gay Rights and Gay Pride. The Gay community would have fewer problems with advancing Gay Rights if they had more adult supervision of the Gay Pride community. Sorry if this offends anyone on the left.
- Shooting things is fun. Gun control is, at its heart, racist, sexist, anti-gay class warfare. The left should be ashamed of themselves here. Didn't we always believe that it was right to trust the people?
- People who need help should be offered help. There's a place here - a big place - for the government. Bad stuff happens, people - see Katrina. This country is too good to let people starve under bridges.
- Government help shouldn't trap people in dependency, and should address the fact that some folks will try to scam our better natures - see Katrina. Great Society has a lot to answer for here, despite its good intentions. Highway to Hell - you can look it up. The left needs to be doing more thinking about how to fix what it clearly and horribly broken in this country's social programs.
- Women's rights and the Women's Movement no longer have anything to do with each other. Every feminist who supported Bill Clinton can just STFU right now. Only on Planet Leftie can Hillary Clinton be a feminist icon.
- This country is great, and I'm not ashamed to say it publicly. This is probably the single biggest reason that I cannot be a Democrat anymore. It didn't used to be this way, but now you don't ever hear any talk from the left about how great this country is without hearing the word "but." Well, phooey to that.
- I think that both the right and the left are a menace to scientific inquiry. Creationism may be many things, but "scientific" isn't one of them. And don't get me started about the "Global Warming" power grab. I'd prefer it if both sides took a nice, big swallow of shut the **** up here.
However, I'm quite the Sarah Palin fan, and think that she's someone who can appeal to a lot of folks, just like Ronald Reagan did. She'll have to lose most of the religeous right stuff, and play up the anti-corruption stuff. Government can be smaller, and less corrupt, and more effective - I wouldn't be surprised to see the Democrats give her a perfect opening for this in 2012, after a corruption-fest. But the hard core right won't win it, because they make too many people nervous.
People like me.
Please don't throw me out of your club, though.