My General Political Philosophy

Ethics

In gen­er­al I sup­port can­di­dates, leg­is­la­tion, and civ­il behav­iors that most close­ly meet my eth­i­cal and moral stan­dards. The dis­cern­ment process becomes pro­gres­sive­ly more refined as nec­es­sary, which, it turns out, isn’t very often. I was raised Catholic, so my moral and eth­i­cal foun­da­tions are Judeo-Chris­t­ian. Core tenets:

…Thou shalt love thy neigh­bour as thy­self. There is none oth­er com­mand­ment greater than these.
Mark 12:31

But he, will­ing to jus­ti­fy him­self, said unto Jesus, And who is my neigh­bour? And Jesus answer­ing said, A cer­tain man went down from Jerusalem to Jeri­cho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his rai­ment, and wound­ed him, and depart­ed, leav­ing him half dead. And by chance there came down a cer­tain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the oth­er side. And like­wise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the oth­er side. But a cer­tain Samar­i­tan, as he jour­neyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had com­pas­sion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pour­ing in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the mor­row when he depart­ed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and what­so­ev­er thou spend­est more, when I come again, I will repay thee. Which now of these three, think­est thou, was neigh­bour unto him that fell among the thieves? And he said, He that shewed mer­cy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.
Luke 10:29–37

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Ver­i­ly I say unto you, Inas­much as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Matthew 25:40

Reit­er­at­ing: Meet those stan­dards and get my sup­port. Oppose them and I’m an opponent.

Reason

I sup­port can­di­dates and leg­is­la­tion that make the cor­rect moral, eth­i­cal, and rea­son­able deci­sions, even when they are dif­fi­cult. Poli­cies and posi­tions based on sci­ence, empir­i­cal research, and long-term via­bil­i­ty get my sup­port. I don’t believe in quick fix­es. Gov­ern­ment works best when it is evo­lu­tion­ary — a series of very grad­ual changes we can believe in. If a leg­is­la­tor or piece of leg­is­la­tion does not meet or impedes the progress of cor­rect moral, eth­i­cal, or ratio­nal deci­sion-mak­ing, I oppose.

Anti-incumbency, Complacency, & Overton Windows

Bar­ring dis­qual­i­fy­ing ide­o­log­i­cal dif­fer­ences, if a can­di­date or par­ty has been in office or in pow­er in an area for a long time, I’m prob­a­bly going to vote for their oppo­nent, espe­cial­ly in a pri­ma­ry. I blame this on 30 years of hear­ing the same names on the night­ly news. A Bush has been either Pres­i­dent or Vice-Pres­i­dent for 20 years of my life. Clin­tons have been in the spot­light for the same amount of time. The same names have been around in Cleve­land for as long as I’ve been here. I’m not into dynas­ties — famil­ial, eth­nic, or oth­er­wise. I thought it was hilar­i­ous that the best the Ohio Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty could come up with for Sen­ate this year was Ted Strick­land, & the best they could do for the last Gov­er­nor run was Ed Fitzger­ald. Reheat­ed, thin gru­el. Yum! ← This, by the way, is how I feel about most major can­di­dates that run for office.

I also think that the longer a can­di­date is incum­bent — the longer they have to become com­fort­able, com­pla­cent, and like­ly to ignore their con­stituen­cy. You keep a knife sharp by hon­ing it. The same prin­ci­ple applies to peo­ple. Com­fort­able peo­ple are dull. I think every incum­bent should be chal­lenged in a pri­ma­ry when up for re-elec­tion. No free passes.

I also vote to shift the Over­ton Win­dow clos­er toward the Judeo-Chris­t­ian eth­ic illus­trat­ed above.

Hoosier Libertarianism

I don’t want leg­is­la­tors or leg­is­la­tion to dic­tate to me or oth­ers how and in what way our pri­vate, per­son­al busi­ness is han­dled. All y’all deserve the pro­tec­tions enu­mer­at­ed in our con­sti­tu­tion. And by all y’all I mean all y’all.

Whatever Remains

I real­ize that this descrip­tion of my polit­i­cal phi­los­o­phy isn’t nailed down to the last shin­gle, but I don’t think it needs to be. That ortho­doxy results in the polit­i­cal cli­mate we cur­rent­ly loathe. When there were grey areas to be had in a pol­i­tics, I wel­comed the chance to dis­cuss them, learn, and pos­si­bly have my mind changed. Those days seem to be long past, and not return­ing any time soon.