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.

Friday, March 30, 2012

A good sign

The Republican Party supports a lot of things that I do as well, and that is one reason I remain a Republican, even though there are some things that Republicans tend to favor that appall me. For example, the fact that Michele Bachmann was, and Rick Santorum still is, considered a serious candidate for the Republican nomination, testifies that enough bigoted homophobes inhabit the Republican Party that the kind of appeal to that kind of hostility can work in the party. Closer to home, gay District of Columbia Councilman David Catania, originally elected as a Republican, found the party so uncomfortable a political home that he became an independent a few years ago. That this sort of thing exists in the Republican Party saddens me, as I feel some grief that the party I consider my political home can be charged with such an intolerant stance. And therefore, I was happy to read a posting in The Daily Beast (under David Frum's name, but by Ryan Prior) entitled “A Strong Republican for Congress… Who Just Happens to be Gay.” (The posting was made 3 days ago, but I just saw it today.)

It seems that Richard Tisei, an openly gay Massachusetts state senator, is running for the GOP nomination for Congress in a district where the incumbent Democrat, Rep. John Tierney, just might lose because of his wife's possible involvement in a gambling scandal. And though Tisei has a primary to get through in September, he has the support of the most important Republicans in Massachusetts, especially popular Senator Scott Brown. While there have been two openly gay Republicans that have served in the House of Representatives, Steve Gunderson and Jim Kolbe, they were originally closeted and were involuntarily outed. If Tisei wins the nomination in the September primary and goes on to win the election in November, both of which seem likely, he becomes the first openly gay Republican elected to Congress. And that may send a message to gay Americans that they don't have to choose between being gay and being Republicans. Which is a very good thing.

There is absolutely no reason why there is any incompatibility between supporting conservative economic ideas and being gay. But gay people have felt that the GOP is hostile to them, and have flocked to the Democratic Party for that reason. I think that the election of Richard Tisei would be a great thing, not just because it may be a Republican takeover of a Democratic seat, but because it would place in the Congress the kind of Republican that is sorely needed: someone who does not share the “social” agenda of the Bachmanns and Santorums, but still hews to Republican ideas on the things that matter. Let's hope he wins.

Of course, I wonder how Michele Bachmann will take it, sitting in the same caucus with him!

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