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.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Modern Whig Party

I have, ever since being old enough to vote, considered myself a Republican, and enrolled in that party both in my native state of New York and my current residence of Maryland. And of the two major parties, certainly the Republican Party is much closer to my political views than the Democratic Party. So I'm certainly not going to emulate Arlen Specter, even though he was very close to me on many issues, and leave the Republican Party for the Democrats. This is so, even though in many ways the Republican Party has moved well to my right. It's hard to be in favor of legal abortion, gay rights, and gun control, and remain a Republican; it would be harder, however, to be in favor of low taxes, limited government, free-market economics, and military preparedness, and become a Democrat! So a Republican I remain.

As I have stated before on this blog, I have some sympathies for the Libertarian Party, and would be happy if they got some seats in Congress, but they have some extreme ideas, even approaching anarchism, that I could not accept, and they are even more ideologically homogeneous than what the Republicans have threatened to become. So at best I could applaud their making some progress, but I could never join them, since (for one thing) joining any third party is senseless in this country. (By remaining a Republican, I get to vote in the Republican primaries, for example, and can help a little in slowing this ideological drift to the right of where I stand. If I left, I would not be able even to vote in a primary, and my November vote would be an exercise in futility. Though, truthfully, for things like the State legislative elections, I'm in such a strong Democratic district that my November vote already is an exercise in futility.)

Recently I was looking at something about third parties, and saw a reference to the Modern Whig Party. I was really curious about what sort of party would adopt "Whig" for a name; after all, the original Whig Party died in the days prior to the Civil War. So I found their Website, and read some interesting ideas:

These principles are critical to the welfare of the country and the Party. They bind us as moderates, unify us as Americans, and serve to exclude extremes.
FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY - Any action of the government must respect principles of fiscal responsibility and public accountability.
ENERGY INDEPENDENCE - Develop practical domestic energy sources to reduce dependence on foreign energy sources.
STATE'S RESPONSIBILITY - Each state can generally determine its course of action based on local values and unique needs.
SOCIAL ACCEPTANCE - When the government is compelled to legislate morality, every citizen should be considered as equal.
EDUCATION AND SCIENTIFIC ADVANCEMENT - Increase public and private emphasis on math and science to promote American innovation to compete in the global economy.
VETERANS AFFAIRS - Vigilant advocacy relating to the medical, financial, and overall well-being of our military families and veterans.

I'm not sure how much of this I agree with, but I think the Modern Whig Party may be interesting to look into more deeply. Of course, as I said, joining any third party is senseless in this country, so I would probably not join them. But the Modern Whig Party, rather than the Libertarians, may be the third party closest to my ideals.


d.eris said...

Remaining a member of the Democrat or Republican party is more senseless than joining a third party. As a Republican or Democrat, you are part of the problem. As an advocate of third party and independent candidates and politics, you are part of the solution.

Opinionator said...

d.eris: You certainly have a right to your opinion. But from the point of view of what is more likely to achieve the kind of goals that I might want, you are totally wrong. As I stated in my post, third party candidates hardly ever win, or even reach enough of a total that anyone pays them much attention. While being part of a major party, in my case, the Republicans, I can vote in primaries, and at least help to get candidates closer to myself nominated.