Thursday, September 02, 2004

Could I be a conservative?

OK - here's why I'm not really *so* liberal.

1) Abortion: I do not agree in the "right to choose" philosophy related to abortion. While I wouldn't want an abortion ban, I do support certain types of legal restrictions. I'm not an extremist as far as the law is concerned. I even think the "morning after" pill should be available OTC. (And I wouldn't cut funding to overseas family planning groups if I were president.) But I am aghast at the rhetoric which seems to pit mother against fetus, assuming the fetus has no rights whatsoever, or that it is just a "thing". Morally, I am really quite opposed to abortions which occur after the first couple of months of pregnancy. My husband agrees with me, but very few in my family or circle of friends does (including in-laws!). This is a hard opinion to maintain in such an environment.

2) Death Penalty: Sometimes it's the only option that makes sense. It is always a tradgedy and should be seen as a failure of society, but there are crimes like torturing and/or murdering children where I can see no other option. It needs to be rarely, carefully, and justly applied, as much as this is humanly possible.
This may seem hypocritical given my opinion about abortion, but here's how I would lay it out:
- Human life is valuable.
- But sometimes the existence of certain lives weighs unbearably on others.
- When lives are taken, there had better be a really good reason, and it should happen rarely.
This is what I apply to any question about the right to kill other human beings.

3) School Choice: I like the idea, if only the agenda behind it were not a religious one. Not that religious schools should necessarily be exempt; I just wish that there was more to the issue than promoting Catholicism (or preventing that promotion).

4) Big Business: Most businesses and business leaders (even global conglomerates) are doing activities that are a net benefit to humanity. And this is at least a part of their intention (beyond pure profit).

5) Taxes/Economic Policy: Many rich people are deserving of what they have, because they worked very hard for it and planned, saved, etc.. Society should make extra-sure it rewards this kind of behavior. Also, many rich people are very kind and generous and do a great deal of good in the world, just like many poor and middle-class people.

6) Sexual issues: As much as I believe in acceptance of homosexuality, I can see how it could *very easily* lead to acceptance of things like polyamory and consensual incest between adults. I have concerns about both of these types of arrangements, while not outright rejecting or hating those who practice them.

7) Lifestyle:
- Very little alcohol consumption
- No cigarettes or illegal drug use *ever*
- Only have had sexual intercourse with one person (spouse) in lifetime (without feeling guilty about it)
- Know a LOT about NASCAR (including various trivial facts)
- Know a LOT about the Bible (including various trivial facts)
- Would never dream of disrespecting an American flag (but don't get me started about const. amendments!)
- Enjoy reading "Reader's Digest"
- Occasionally bemoan what I see as a "moral decline" in society. ("Where am I going, and why am I in this handbasket?!!?") Though to clarify: I don't believe in making laws about it.
- conservative friends

So I have views and attributes that are just all over the map... But wait! There's more...


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