I’m a Democrat. Here’s where I disagree with “The Left”
As I’ve stated in previous articles, if there’s one thing I do that’s a waste of time and totally bad for me it’s when I engage with political online trolls. There’s no point to it other than I find it interesting to see what the most ravenous members of the leftists and Trump supporters really think (notice how I said Trump supporters instead of the right as he controls the GOP now). A lot of the time, individuals resort to name calling. I’ve been called many things over the past ten years, libtard, Demonrat, someone with Trump Derangement Syndrome, part of the liberal left, and I’m sure there were some more creative insults, but those are the ones I actually can recall off hand.
I’ve taken political quizzes several times and I do lean liberal, but I there are some issues that I don’t agree with the Democratic Party on. There are plenty of people that are more liberal than I am and I wanted to go through some of them in a blog post.
- I’m a constitutionalist — when I say this, I mean I precisely believe in the constitution over that of an authoritarian who ignores the document. The most recent two Presidents, Obama and Trump, both largely legislated from the White House. They used Executive Orders to tinker around the edges of laws or enact major policy changes using arcane legislative language that deemed them to have authority on. I oppose this version of governance because the president was never meant to be a dictator or a king. It might suck that Congress has difficulty passing laws due to how polarized we are as a country, but the reality of the situation is that is the way it’s supposed to work. I would rather have nothing happen than have an autocrat in charge making major policy decisions.
Now, Congress could grant the president widespread authority to make policy changes. For example, the Office of the Presidency has great authority over immigration, foreign policy, trade, and emergency responses, but unless Congress approves it then I consider it unconstitutional.
- On that same note, Americans have near unlimited rights to firearms — internally I take a liberal standpoint on guns. People who own a lot of guns tend to identify themselves as action heroes who are ready at anytime to defend themselves and their family from danger, but many of them will never have to fire a weapon. Countries with fewer guns have less firearm related murders and suicides because the psychological aspect of having a gun just isn’t there. Guns don’t kill people, people with guns kill people because being around guns makes people more violent and aggressive. Guns are also a highly effective method for committing suicide. Many methods of suicide fail, but guns rarely fail. Guns are a public health threat. However…
We have a constitutional amendment (the 2nd one) and a SCOTUS decision essentially guaranteeing a right to a firearm. These two laws could be overturned, though that’s extremely unlikely, but until then any measure to ban, confiscate, or limit an American’s right to a firearm is unconstitutional. It’s the same as abortion, so long as Roe v. Wade stands (probably not for long), women have a right to an abortion for a certain period of time during the pregnancy and any federal, state, or local law stopping that right is unconstitutional in my opinion.
- Capitalism is (generally) good — now, I think when Trump’ers refer to socialism they’re really referring to progressive, redistributive social programs like a single payer health care system, a child allowance, and expanded federal level college grants and scholarships. Real socialism would be a lack of private enterprise whatsoever so the government would takeover companies like Apple and mom and pop shops would just go away. Real socialism doesn’t really exist anywhere, even Cuba has some people who are self-employed. Capitalism produces wealth, prosperity, and reduces poverty significantly.
The problem today is that capitalism has become more of a religion than an economic system. People base most of their decisions on their returns on investment, see individuals as transactional, and (a select few) small business owners don’t take good care of the employees financially because health care and retirement benefits are considered a loss in profit. We spend more time at work, less time with our families, and a focus on self care (like literally being human) is something people need to prioritize due to burnout.
I think Sweden’s version of capitalism makes the most sense. They have broad, regressive taxes that don’t hit the wealthy the hardest along with a progressive social safety net. Health care is nearly free at point of service, the poor are well taken care of, and people are well educated. They use the wealth and the taxes generated by unfettered capitalism.
- States should have excellent business climates — it should be really easy to run a business and regulations should be reviewed on a regular basis. There are some reasons for skepticism of the “millionaire migration myth”, but in general I do think it’s important for states to have policies that are pro-business. While it would be hard to leave the country, if I were governor of a small state like Rhode Island, which is smaller than many counties, I would have political reasons to say that I want a progressive tax code, but practical reasons for trying to keep businesses in the state mostly because it would be really easy for some businesses to pack up and either move across the country or drive a 20 miles west and set up shop there.
- Raising the minimum wage has mixed effects — I read an article once that said if the minimum wage were raised to $15 an hour as some leftists have called for, roughly 1.3 million people would lose their jobs and roughly 1.3 million people would be lifted out of poverty. So in a way, both Democrats and Republicans are right with their pros and cons to a much higher federal minimum wage. It would help and hurt a lot of Americans. Personally, I like a regionally determined federal minimum wage because a $15 minimum wage in New York or Alaska isn’t going to go as far as it will in Tennessee or Mississippi. Combining the minimum wage and the Earned Income Tax Credit like we currently do makes the most sense to support the working poor.