The news media will regularly present views from Democratic (liberal), Republican (neoconservative), and independent (moderate) perspectives. However, I rarely, if ever, see my point of view represented in the mainstream media. Let me begin to sum up my politics by saying that I believe our most fundamental right as human beings is the right to not be bothered if we don’t want to be. Supreme Justice Louis D. Brandeis got it right when he said, “The makers of the Constitution conferred the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by all civilized men – the right to be left alone.” I am somewhere in between a Goldwater Republican and a Libertarian. I do not go along with the agenda of the neo-cons who currently control the Republican Party nor do I completely adhere to the Libertarian party line.
I believe in small government whose only functions are to do what we cannot logically do for ourselves as individuals. I don’t believe in a “nanny state” that tells adults they must wear seatbelts. I believe we should fight wars only when our national security is directly threatened and only after all other means of resolution have been exhausted. I believe in pre-emptive strikes in certain cases, but never pre-emptive wars. When we do have to go to war, I believe we should use a take-no-prisoners approach, with the ultimate goal of vaporizing our enemies. I don’t believe a military draft should ever be imposed. I do not believe in nation building. I believe in legal immigration and would increase the quotas for most countries if I could, but I think illegal immigrants should be treated like the criminals they really are ? not given special rights or handouts.
I do not believe in attempting to legislate morality (or immorality). I believe people should be allowed to do what they want, as long as their actions do not adversely affect or directly threaten someone else. Just because something is vile is not alone enough to make it illegal. I do not believe in policing thoughts, i.e., I don’t worry about what someone is doing or reading might cause them to think. At the same time, I believe in accepting personal responsibility for one’s own choices and that each individual must bear the natural consequences for his or her actions, e.g., don’t say you didn’t know smoking causes lung cancer and don’t blame the government when you get HIV due to your promiscuous, careless, and/or perverted behavior. I believe tobacco, alcohol, and pot are equally bad for a person’s health, but should be equally unrestricted.
I believe the rights of speech and expression, no matter how offensive or inciting, should be completely unabridged except for direct, explicit threats or speech that directly endangers others, e.g., yelling “fire” in a crowded theater. I believe implied threats should be protected speech for the simple fact the implication could easily be misunderstood. I don’t believe so-called “hate speech” by one person should be blamed for a violent act committed by another. I don’t believe pornography, indecency, or violence in the media should be blamed either. If given the chance, most convicts will blame anything, everything, and everyone but themselves for their own actions. That’s human nature, so I don’t put much credence in studies that say outside forces like that cause people to rob, rape, or murder.
I believe abortion, except in cases of rape, non-consensual incest, or endangerment of the mother’s life or health, is murder. I believe it’s proper to use the death penalty against those who are beyond any doubt guilty of certain types of murder. However, I believe it should be applied fairly and consistently. If not, then it should not be used at all.
I believe punishment for those who deliberately harm others and/or their property should be swift and sure, but not excessive. Punishment should never include torture or humiliation and should be applied by the penal system, not other prisoners. Inmates should not be allowed to set up a “pecking order” or have any control over the conditions at a prison or jail. Any inmate harmed by another inmate should be allowed to sue those responsible for security at the facility in which he or she is detained. No arrestee or inmate should ever be subjected to a strip search unless probable cause can be established that he or she is carrying contraband on their person and is refusing to voluntarily hand it over. Homosexual behavior, both consensual and nonconsensual, should be abolished from our prison systems.
I believe in absolute property rights. People should be allowed to do whatever they want on their own property, regardless of zoning laws, as long as they are not creating a hazard for anyone else. Ugly paint colors or structures do not constitute hazards. The government should not be allowed to forcibly take all or part of someone’s property.
I believe anyone who is mentally sound and has never been convicted of a violent crime should be allowed to own any kind of firearm he or she wants. I believe in capitalism in its purist form. I believe the republican (little ‘r’) form of government, which the United States has, is a much better form of government than a democracy. Democracy is nothing more than mob rule in which the good of the majority always trumps the rights of the minority. I believe in a colorblind society in which everyone is given equal access and opportunity without discrimination or special favors.
I believe in separation of church and state, but I’m not an extremist about it. I see no reason why the government can’t play favorites with the majority religion (in our case, Christianity) when it comes to open displays, as long as those who practice other religions are free to do so without encumbrance. If someone is offended by the open display of the majority religion in our country, then they are free to leave anytime they want. I believe no one has the right not to be offended by another person’s speech, religion, dress, etc. Being offended once in a while is the price we have to pay for living in a free and open society ? a small price indeed!
Terry Mitchell is a software engineer, freelance writer, and trivia buff from Virginia, USA. He operates a website – http://www.commenterry.com – on which he posts commentaries on various subjects such as politics, technology, religion, health and well-being, personal finance, and sports. His commentaries offer a unique point of view that is not often found in mainstream media.