The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):

  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”

Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Why I am a Republican

Last night I was at a meeting of an organization I belong to, and afterwards another regular mentioned to me that he had wondered why I was a Republican. There were a lot of others there and I didn't want to spend a lot of time discussing the matter because I knew that others might break in and the nature of the group meant I'd probably be so grossly outnumbered that it would be an unpleasant experience, so all I did was repeat a line I'd put into a letter to the editor of a local newspaper; "...the Republicans are the party of freedom, and the Democrats are the party of 'socialism light.'" This led to further arguments afout "Star Wars" and President Clinton, as I feared, and I never got to say much more on the "why" question.

But it seems to me that there are two parts to the answer: why I became a Republican, and why I remain one. The first is so easy: I grew up when New York City, my birthplace, was dominated by the Democrats and under the thumb of a corrupt Democratic machine (popularly called Tammany Hall) while both the President, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and the Governor, Nelson A. Rockefeller, were in my mind doing a good job of running their respective governments. Comparing the two parties' records left me a clear decision to make, and I joined the Republican Party in my mind well before I could in fact -- you had to be 21 to register and vote then, so I could not officially join the party till I was 21, but I've been a Republican in fact since I was in my early teens.

Now, I find myself in agreement with Republicans on some issues and with Democrats on others. (For a good summary of my beliefs, see my first post on this blog, back in February 2006!) But it seems to me that on the issues I consider most important, I'm with the GOP, and that is why I am still a Republican.

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