American politics are a turn off. So I don’t watch 24 hour news. But American politics are also important. Which is why I read candidate bios before casting my vote.
As an unaffiliated, independent, business-owning voter living in a conservative state, I typically vote 60% Republican and 40% Democrat in local, state, and federal elections.
To give you an idea of my presidential voting record, I didn’t vote in the 2000 election while living abroad and I didn’t vote in 2004, because I didn’t like either candidate.
President Obama was the first president I actually voted for. He did a good job, but since I like fresh blood and am pro business, I voted Romney in my next election, followed by Clinton as the lesser of two evils last time, and Jo Jorgensen this time (i.e. a vote for good is better than the lesser of two evils). So two no votes, two votes for democrats, one vote for republican, and one vote for libertarian at the federal level. My local and state election record skews slightly more Republican.
As the last fiscally conservative president that actually balanced the federal budget, I think Bill Clinton is the best president of my life time so far. I liked Reagan’s personality, but in hindsight I disliked his turning the former “conservative” party into a big spending, liberal one (i.e. I only like liberal parties so long as there is a conservative party to keep it in check, and vice versa). I didn’t have a strong opinion on the first President Bush. I thought the second President Bush was a well-meaning man surrounding by poor advisers, and I disliked his war on terror.
I like President Obama’s optimism and moderate approach to the presidency, but I disagreed with his signature policy of insuring people rather than improving their actual health. I liked that President Trump has saved me on taxes and how he renegotiated several international treaties. But I dislike his wall approach, his insulting attacks on people he disagrees with, and his total lack of diplomacy. I don’t believe a vote for Trump is a vote for a racist dictator that will ruin the world. But I don’t feel comfortable voting for him either.
As a federalist, I support the electoral college, even at the expense of the popular vote sometimes. I believe in checks and balances and would hate for any party to control both the presidency and both houses of congress. And I think ranked choice voting is the best way to improve the quality of politicians we elect.
Here’s where I stand on the biggest issues put forth by the country’s two largest parties: The Democrats and The Republicans:
- I think minority rights should be protected.
- I think gun rights are overblown on both sides. I’m for tighter background checks but also acknowledge that mass killings are disproportionally televised and that total U.S. annual deaths are at their all-time lowest (great news!)
- I believe government should take clear and bold steps to limit pollution and reduce our impact on the environment, but I’m okay using oil and flying jet planes and driving cars for the time being.
- I believe in basic universal healthcare up to a point, but not for expensive life-threatening surgeries. I don’t think life is an entitlement, so I don’t think it should be protected at all costs.
- I support Social Security and Medicare.
- I think the US should maintain its independence while still playing nice with others. But I wouldn’t cry if they left a poorly run UN or WHO. There are more ways to work together than simply joining and participating in traditional institutions of unity.
- I think we should care for the poor and needy but am okay letting people live on the streets or live in poverty if they want to.
- I don’t think we should fight terrorism aboard or civil wars on other nation’s behalf. While I think military should be strong, I’m okay cutting it in half to a level that’s only 10x bigger than the next biggest nation (instead of the current 20x bigger).
- I think capitalism is the best way to lift people out of poverty, even though its imperfect and cruel sometimes. I just thing it’s better than more imperfect systems that have tried and failed so far.
- I don’t think government should unfairly tax business or over-regulate them, but I do support most of the current regulation. Similarly I don’t believe any for-profit company is “too big too fail” and I think it’s uncapitalistic and wrong to bail out for-profit companies.
- I support immigration reform and believe we should increase our 1 million annual quota to 3x what it is to make things easier and faster to get into this country if you want to. I’d rather my kids grow up alongside hard-working, ambitious immigrants than deadweight default Americans.
- I think voter suppression is a stupid Republican trick but I’m totally okay showing proof of ID and citizenship before voting.
- I support early term abortion and don’t equate such an act with murder.
- I think more transparency in campaign funding is important but I think both parties are gross with the way they campaign.
- I think presidential campaigns should be limited to 6 months; no more.
- I support public education funded by taxpayers and am opening up to the idea of even paying for associate degrees as some higher education makes for more responsible citizens in most cases.
- I don’t believe in protecting American jobs but I am pro business. I think globalization usually makes the world a better, more competitive, and more affordable place.
- I’m in favor of limited government and lower taxes so citizens can keep more of what they earn. Instead of raising taxes, I believe we should cut funding to military and other outdated social programs in favor of modern ones, especially infrastructure projects like interstates, internet, and GPS that truly enrich our country.
- I think border control should revert to where it was before this build the wall nonsense. I don’t think we have an out-of-control border problem, but I do believe in protecting and securing our border without building an expensive, unnecessary wall.
- I think climate change is important but also overstated. I don’t think we should act like we totally know what’s going on but I do believe humans play a part in warming climates. In other words, I think the truth is in the middle and I don’t think we should enact policies that suggest otherwise.