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My Political Platform

Arts&Sciences

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My political platform is probably best described as centrist, but you can be the judge of what (if any) political party I might want to join. Here are its essential points:

1. Shift funds that currently go to abortions to abortion alternatives and to expanding adoption programs. Make a Human Life Amendment banning abortion in all circumstances.

2. Divide Iraq into three countries for the Sunnis, the Shiites and the Kurds and withdraw our troops over the course of 1 year. Focus our foreign policy more on covert aid to enemies of extreme governments than the overt use of force.

3. Pay off the national debt once and for all. Privatize half of all welfare within 10 years and repeal Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy.

4. Legalize school prayer and lessen federal involvement in education.

5. Re-enter the Kyoto Protocol after negotiating better terms for the United States.

6. End gun control except on fully automatic weapons (machine guns).

7. Aim for fair trade instead of free trade or permanent protectionism.

8. Phase out all regulations on immigration over a 5-year period.

9. Phase out affirmative action over a 10-year period and leave the issue of gay marriage to the states.

10. Ban all soft money in all elections.

I welcome questions about my views on any other issues. I would ask, though, that if you disagree with my ideas you remember that we're not in that "basement". ;)
 
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I agree with part of your platform. Here are a couple of follow-up questions: What is your view on requiring a license, waiting period, and safety training (at the state level) for gun ownership? What do you mean by privatizing welfare? What do you mean by fair trade?
 

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I tend to think that criminals manage to get guns one way or another. Waiting periods are dangerous because, for example, if a woman is being stalked, she could be killed before she could defend herself properly. Licensing and background checks can easily lead to racial profiling. For example, can Arab women buy firearms as easily as Northern European women? I make the exception for fully automatic weapons for the simple reason that only criminals have any use for them.
I would privatize half of welfare (including social security) over a ten-year period by allowing private social security accounts and by giving a 150% tax deduction for donations to selected private charities. Given that private accounts are a better idea for most young people and that I would raise the eligibility age to 68, I think that I could cut government welfare spending by more than half. I would also eliminate unemployment insurance.
On the issue of trade, I think that we should bargain with other nations as competitors rather than handing them a huge annual deficit. The goal is to protect the dollar while also preventing labor and environmental abuses. "Fair trade" is just another way of saying that the government should slow down the globalization process and not see free trade as a moral obligation.
In a final note, I somehow doubt that any major party would run me as a candidate. Does anyone have an opinion on that? Thank you very much.
 
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Arts&Sciences said:
I tend to think that criminals manage to get guns one way or another. Waiting periods are dangerous because, for example, if a woman is being stalked, she could be killed before she could defend herself properly. Licensing and background checks can easily lead to racial profiling. For example, can Arab women buy firearms as easily as Northern European women? I make the exception for fully automatic weapons for the simple reason that only criminals have any use for them.
Why do you think that licensing and background checks would lead to racial profiling? Also, should we really be letting people get guns who don't have any clue how to use them?

I think the ideal system is somewhere between getting a fishing license and getting a driver's license. To get a license you have to take and pass a 6-hour safety and gun use course, or something similar. To buy a gun, you need a license.

Will criminals still be able to purchase guns on the black market? Of course. But, more gun deaths are caused every year accidently by idiots who don't know how to use agun.


Thanks for clarifying on the other two issues.

In a final note, I somehow doubt that any major party would run me as a candidate. Does anyone have an opinion on that? Thank you very much.
I think you'd fit into either party, but you'd have to run in a Great Lakes or Midwestern state like Ohio or Iowa where the voters are closer to center.
 

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Well, I could be wrong, but testing competence for gun ownership seems like another slippery slope into racial profiling. Widespread gun ownership deters so many horrendous crimes (remember Shot Down) that I would limit myself to educational messages about gun safety. That is just my opinion, though.
If I would carry Iowa and Ohio, what states do you think you would win in a Presidential election?
 

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Arts&Sciences said:
My political platform is probably best described as centrist, but you can be the judge of what (if any) political party I might want to join. Here are its essential points:

1. Shift funds that currently go to abortions to abortion alternatives and to expanding adoption programs. Make a Human Life Amendment banning abortion in all circumstances.

2. Divide Iraq into three countries for the Sunnis, the Shiites and the Kurds and withdraw our troops over the course of 1 year. Focus our foreign policy more on covert aid to enemies of extreme governments than the overt use of force.

3. Pay off the national debt once and for all. Privatize half of all welfare within 10 years and repeal Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy.

4. Legalize school prayer and lessen federal involvement in education.

5. Re-enter the Kyoto Protocol after negotiating better terms for the United States.

6. End gun control except on fully automatic weapons (machine guns).

7. Aim for fair trade instead of free trade or permanent protectionism.

8. Phase out all regulations on immigration over a 5-year period.

9. Phase out affirmative action over a 10-year period and leave the issue of gay marriage to the states.

10. Ban all soft money in all elections.

I welcome questions about my views on any other issues. I would ask, though, that if you disagree with my ideas you remember that we're not in that "basement". ;)

A few things to note:

I doubt that anyone would see this as a centrist platform. It's much more to the right than the average American.

Banning abortion in all circumstances is a position that few in the US support.

If you create a foreign policy that focuses on covert aid, you will make enemies of the entire world and create a reputation for treachery.

Pay off the national debt? Where do you propose getting that 8 trillion dollars from?

Legalizing school prayer runs into the little problem of the Constitution and Supreme Court.

There is no way to renegotiate the Kyoto protocol to make it better for the US as long as we are industrialized.

Soft money also goes by another name, called free speech. Banning it will not pass a constitutional challenge.

You can't leave gay marriage to the states and simultaneoulsy maintain the Full Faith and Credit Clause.

Aside from these points, don't overestimate the receptiveness of govt to change. Govt is a slow, slow, slow moving beast.

I admire your desire to do something, and hope you keep working at it!:2wave:
 

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Arts&Sciences said:
I would privatize half of welfare (including social security) over a ten-year period by allowing private social security accounts and by giving a 150% tax deduction for donations to selected private charities. Given that private accounts are a better idea for most young people and that I would raise the eligibility age to 68, I think that I could cut government welfare spending by more than half. I would also eliminate unemployment insurance.
On the issue of trade, I think that we should bargain with other nations as competitors rather than handing them a huge annual deficit. The goal is to protect the dollar while also preventing labor and environmental abuses. "Fair trade" is just another way of saying that the government should slow down the globalization process and not see free trade as a moral obligation.
That, combined with repealing Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy, is how I would pay off the national debt and the trade deficit. I think that the majority of Americans would be 100% pro-life if they saw a solution to the underlying social problems such as diverting abortion funds to abortion alternatives (which I already suggested). Campaign contributions are not covered by the First Amendment. As a strict constructionist, I would note that there is no reference to campaign funding in the Constitution. Money is not a form of speech, and I think that the word speech needs to be taken very literally, especially since the word expression never appears in the Constitution.
Moreover, banning school prayer is a violation of the First Amendment. Here is an excerpt (the emphasis, of course, is mine):

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...

Voluntary school prayer does not establish religion, whereas forbidding such prayer prohibits the free exercise of religion. As for gay marriage, the word marriage does not appear in the Constitution, and I therefore refer to the Tenth Amendment. As for foreign policy, I do not think that any other nation's government would despise us for aiding opposition to the North Korean or Iranian governments. As for me being well right-of-center, permitting states to legalize gay marriage, opening our borders, supporting fair trade over free trade, repealing Bush's tax cuts for the rich and withdrawing from Iraq are all left-of-center ideas, so (no offense) I have to suspect that you are well to the left. I agree with Russell Hammond's assessment of my political centrism (and he is a liberal).
 
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Arts&Sciences said:
That, combined with repealing Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy, is how I would pay off the national debt and the trade deficit.
What makes you think that raising taxes will raise tax revenue?

Arts&Sciences said:
I think that the majority of Americans would be 100% pro-life if they saw a solution to the underlying social problems such as diverting abortion funds to abortion alternatives (which I already suggested).
Wishful thinking from an ardent pro-lifer. I don't believe abortion is wrong, and many other Americans don't either. Why would we be swayed by diverting funds into abortion alternatives? If anything I'd just be more irritated.

Arts&Sciences said:
Campaign contributions are not covered by the First Amendment. As a strict constructionist, I would note that there is no reference to campaign funding in the Constitution.
Now let's hold the phone right there. You claim to be a strict constructionist, yet you're proposing all sorts of things that the Constitution does not give the federal government the right to do.

You're right that there is no reference to campaign funding in the Constitution...which is exactly why our government doesn't have any right to legislate about it. If you disagree, you aren't a strict constructionist, as that is the central tenet of strict constructionism.

Arts&Sciences said:
Money is not a form of speech, and I think that the word speech needs to be taken very literally, especially since the word expression never appears in the Constitution.
Actually, money IS a form of speech.

1. If I purchase a yard sign or a bumper sticker that says "Vote for Smith," am I not using my money as a form of speech?

2. What if instead of purchasing yard signs, I purchase posters that say "Vote for Smith" and hang them in my business office?

3. What if instead of a business office, I own a small local television station, and instead of posters, I go on the air to voice my opinions on the election?

4. What if I don't own the television station, but I pay the owner to allow me to voice my opinions on the election (in the form of campaign ads)?

5. What if instead of a local station, it's a national news network?

At what point did it stop being "free speech" and start being an immoral use of my own money to voice my own opinions? And what's the fundamental difference?

Arts&Sciences said:
Moreover, banning school prayer is a violation of the First Amendment. Here is an excerpt (the emphasis, of course, is mine):

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...

Voluntary school prayer does not establish religion, whereas forbidding such prayer prohibits the free exercise of religion.
That's an equivocation of the word "voluntary." No one is saying that you can't say a prayer while you're in school; you can pray anytime, anywhere you want in the United States. But it's illegal for faculty to lead captive students in "voluntary" prayer, because it isn't really voluntary.

Arts&Sciences said:
As for gay marriage, the word marriage does not appear in the Constitution, and I therefore refer to the Tenth Amendment.
The full faith and credit act clearly states that the acts of one state (such as a marriage) will be recognized by all other states. In other words, you can't simply let the states decide gay marriage for themselves because once it's legal in one state, it is necessarily legal everywhere.
 
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Arts&Sciences said:
My political platform is probably best described as centrist, but you can be the judge of what (if any) political party I might want to join. Here are its essential points:

1. Shift funds that currently go to abortions to abortion alternatives and to expanding adoption programs. Make a Human Life Amendment banning abortion in all circumstances.

Like it.

2. Divide Iraq into three countries for the Sunnis, the Shiites and the Kurds and withdraw our troops over the course of 1 year. Focus our foreign policy more on covert aid to enemies of extreme governments than the overt use of force.

Hate it. Pull out and division of the country will lead to civil war to battle over resources, through instability Iraq becomes terrorist safe haven.

3. Pay off the national debt once and for all. Privatize half of all welfare within 10 years and repeal Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy.

How bout banning welfare all together?

4. Legalize school prayer and lessen federal involvement in education.

Not if it's mandatory, 1st Amendment.

5. Re-enter the Kyoto Protocol after negotiating better terms for the United States.

Only if China, India, and all other developing nations will be held up to the same standards, Kyoto was a program intended to kill the U.S. economy while making China's stronger.

6. End gun control except on fully automatic weapons (machine guns).

I don't really have a policy on gun control other than what's in the constitution ie 2nd Amendment.
7. Aim for fair trade instead of free trade or permanent protectionism.

I'm for an FTAA so no.

8. Phase out all regulations on immigration over a 5-year period.

Hell no.
9. Phase out affirmative action over a 10-year period and leave the issue of gay marriage to the states.

For the latter as specified by Amendment X it is a state matter, I'm for getting rid of AA immediatly.

10. Ban all soft money in all elections.

It's a free speech first amendment issue at least that's how the courts interpret it.

I welcome questions about my views on any other issues. I would ask, though, that if you disagree with my ideas you remember that we're not in that "basement". ;)
. . . . . ..........................
 

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It is precisely because the Constitution does not mention campaign funding that it may be regulated on a federal level. States may regulate their own campaigns, but the people are then to be given the authority to regulate further as stated in the Tenth Amendment. It is incorrect to say that money is a form of free speech. Spending money is not a form of speech. The word speech must be taken by this simple definition:

the communication or expression of thoughts in spoken words (Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary)

None of the definitions in Merriam-Webster's mention anything about money or campaigns. Extending the First Amendment to "anything political" is judicial activism. As for gay marriage, the Constitution takes precedence over the laws that you mention, which, by inference, are un-Constitutional. As for abortion, you know as well as I do that it is murder. Ultrasounds and photographs prove it and basic biology proves it. If you are in denial there is no point in debating the matter.
Thank you, Trajan, for giving an actual conservative analysis of my platform (unlike a certain liberal Republican who will hear from me tomorrow- in the basement if necessary). I should mention that I would make school prayer voluntary, not mandatory, so there is no conflict with the First Amendment. Trajan disagreed or mostly disagreed with five of my ten statements and agreed or mostly agreed with five. That puts me exactly in the center.
 
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Arts&Sciences said:
It is precisely because the Constitution does not mention campaign funding that it may be regulated on a federal level. States may regulate their own campaigns, but the people are then to be given the authority to regulate further as stated in the Tenth Amendment. It is incorrect to say that money is a form of free speech. Spending money is not a form of speech. The word speech must be taken by this simple definition:

the communication or expression of thoughts in spoken words (Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary)

None of the definitions in Merriam-Webster's mention anything about money or campaigns. Extending the First Amendment to "anything political" is judicial activism. As for gay marriage, the Constitution takes precedence over the laws that you mention, which, by inference, are un-Constitutional. As for abortion, you know as well as I do that it is murder. Ultrasounds and photographs prove it and basic biology proves it. If you are in denial there is no point in debating the matter.
Thank you, Trajan, for giving an actual conservative analysis of my platform (unlike a certain liberal Republican who will hear from me tomorrow- in the basement if necessary). I should mention that I would make school prayer voluntary, not mandatory, so there is no conflict with the First Amendment. Trajan disagreed or mostly disagreed with five of my ten statements and agreed or mostly agreed with five. That puts me exactly in the center.
I actually agreed with you on the gay marriage issue that's why I brought up Amendment X which states that all powers not expressly granted to the Fed will be left up to the individual states.
 

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Well you, as a conservative, agreed with roughly half of what I wrote, so that makes me a centrist.
 
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Arts&Sciences said:
It is precisely because the Constitution does not mention campaign funding that it may be regulated on a federal level. States may regulate their own campaigns, but the people are then to be given the authority to regulate further as stated in the Tenth Amendment. It is incorrect to say that money is a form of free speech. Spending money is not a form of speech. The word speech must be taken by this simple definition:

the communication or expression of thoughts in spoken words (Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary)

None of the definitions in Merriam-Webster's mention anything about money or campaigns. Extending the First Amendment to "anything political" is judicial activism. As for gay marriage, the Constitution takes precedence over the laws that you mention, which, by inference, are un-Constitutional. As for abortion, you know as well as I do that it is murder. Ultrasounds and photographs prove it and basic biology proves it. If you are in denial there is no point in debating the matter.
Thank you, Trajan, for giving an actual conservative analysis of my platform (unlike a certain liberal Republican who will hear from me tomorrow- in the basement if necessary). I should mention that I would make school prayer voluntary, not mandatory, so there is no conflict with the First Amendment. Trajan disagreed or mostly disagreed with five of my ten statements and agreed or mostly agreed with five. That puts me exactly in the center.
Actually it seems to me that technically your more of a paleo-con as opposed to a neo-con, have you ever heard of Pat Buchanan? On your free trade and war issues you're further right than I am. I'll find a link just a sec.
 

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Actually, I have already seen that page and I have read a good deal about Pat Buchanan. I thank you very much anyway. I'll have to be getting some sleep now.
 

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Arts&Sciences said:
That, combined with repealing Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy, is how I would pay off the national debt and the trade deficit. I think that the majority of Americans would be 100% pro-life if they saw a solution to the underlying social problems such as diverting abortion funds to abortion alternatives (which I already suggested). Campaign contributions are not covered by the First Amendment. As a strict constructionist, I would note that there is no reference to campaign funding in the Constitution. Money is not a form of speech, and I think that the word speech needs to be taken very literally, especially since the word expression never appears in the Constitution.
Moreover, banning school prayer is a violation of the First Amendment. Here is an excerpt (the emphasis, of course, is mine):

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...

Voluntary school prayer does not establish religion, whereas forbidding such prayer prohibits the free exercise of religion. As for gay marriage, the word marriage does not appear in the Constitution, and I therefore refer to the Tenth Amendment. As for foreign policy, I do not think that any other nation's government would despise us for aiding opposition to the North Korean or Iranian governments. As for me being well right-of-center, permitting states to legalize gay marriage, opening our borders, supporting fair trade over free trade, repealing Bush's tax cuts for the rich and withdrawing from Iraq are all left-of-center ideas, so (no offense) I have to suspect that you are well to the left. I agree with Russell Hammond's assessment of my political centrism (and he is a liberal).

Your plans are well intentioned, but you really misunderestimate the costs. First off, how much do you think repealing the tax cuts will save? A few hundred billion? You need 8 trillion. There's absolutely no way that would balance out. And how do you "pay off" a trade deficit. You're saying something akin to "I want to raise Social Security to 10,000 a month, but I'll pay for it by raising the tax 0.3%" Just doesn't work.

The majority of americans are NOT 100% pro life and won't be.

The court has held that money IS speech.

As to school prayer, you're focusing on the wrong clause there. It's not a free exercise case, it's an establishment clause case. Court case after court case has established that school prayer is unconstitutional. I can explain to you the reasonings if you like, but I'd rather you just took my word for it.

Marriage doesn't appear in the constitution, but the Full Faith and Credit clause is still applicable on the states.

If you wish to suspect that I'm "well to the left" that's your prerogative. I don't think many other than Navy Pride would agree with you...
 

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Arts&Sciences said:
Thank you, Trajan, for giving an actual conservative analysis of my platform (unlike a certain liberal Republican who will hear from me tomorrow- in the basement if necessary).
Ooooooo, is that me? Im pumped.

Trajan disagreed or mostly disagreed with five of my ten statements and agreed or mostly agreed with five. That puts me exactly in the center.
Your logic chain is a missing a link or two in there...
 

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RightatNYU said:
Your plans are well intentioned, but you really misunderestimate the costs. First off, how much do you think repealing the tax cuts will save? A few hundred billion? You need 8 trillion. There's absolutely no way that would balance out. And how do you "pay off" a trade deficit. You're saying something akin to "I want to raise Social Security to 10,000 a month, but I'll pay for it by raising the tax 0.3%" Just doesn't work.

The majority of americans are NOT 100% pro life and won't be.

The court has held that money IS speech.

As to school prayer, you're focusing on the wrong clause there. It's not a free exercise case, it's an establishment clause case. Court case after court case has established that school prayer is unconstitutional. I can explain to you the reasonings if you like, but I'd rather you just took my word for it.

Marriage doesn't appear in the constitution, but the Full Faith and Credit clause is still applicable on the states.

If you wish to suspect that I'm "well to the left" that's your prerogative. I don't think many other than Navy Pride would agree with you...
I have probably been on half of the political forums on the Internet, and I have never seen such absurdity. To quote Pat Buchanan:

The neoconservatives are not really conservatives at all. They are impostors and opportunists. They were Leftists in the 1930s, New Deal and Great Society Democrats through the 1960s, and slid to the right and the Republicans after Nixon and Reagan began rolling up forty-nine state landslides. They defected from liberalism only when they saw conservatism in the ascendancy, and they rode the Reagan revolution into power. Their agenda-endless struggle and war if necessary to impose secular democracy and social revolution on the Islamic world-is neo-Jacobin, out of the French, not the American Revolution.

I might add that the Jacobins and Cordeliers were very "hawkish" on foreign policy, yet they were well to the left. As for your specific points, you very neatly avoided addressing my plan to privatize 50% or more of welfare, which is far more comprehensive than anything that Bush is doing. Keeping the surpluses from that alone would quickly pay off the national debt. How would I pay off the trade deficit? Well, you probably don't really care, since you undoubtedly agree with Dick Cheney's bold pronouncement that, "Reagan proved deficits don't matter". But I'll tell you any way. We're the most economically powerful nation in the world. We can pay off the trade deficit with tariffs in the short term. In the longer term, we can drill in the ANWR while giving tax incentives for alternative energy production.
I would guess that the words "pro-life" in your statement on abortion could be replaced by "anti-slavery" and that they were said by a slave owner 200 years ago. I've also got some sad news for you: Supporting stare decisis over the wording of the Constitution is very liberal. You still haven't grasped the concept, moreover, that the Constitution takes precedence over un-Constitutional laws. You never had a chain of logic to start with.
So, in conclusion, your platform is simple and direct. Kill 1.3 million babies a year, increase our deficits and political corruption, ignore the Constitution and punish religious expression- all while calling yourself "conservative" because you support an all-around destructive foreign policy. You know, if it weren't for people like you, I'd be a Republican, and I'm far from being the only person who feels that way. The Democrats really should be paying you.
 

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Arts&Sciences said:
It is precisely because the Constitution does not mention campaign funding that it may be regulated on a federal level. States may regulate their own campaigns, but the people are then to be given the authority to regulate further as stated in the Tenth Amendment.
OK, that's the most liberal interpretation of the Tenth Amendment possible, and is diametrically opposed to what the founders intended. How can you support this while claiming to be a strict constructionist?

The Tenth Amendment basically says "Anything not mentioned here is off-limits for the federal government." You want to interpret/ignore that to say "Anything not mentioned here is fair game for the federal government."

Arts&Sciences said:
It is incorrect to say that money is a form of free speech. Spending money is not a form of speech.
But as I showed in my previous example (which you ignored), it IS a form of speech. You didn't refute it.

Arts&Sciences said:
As for gay marriage, the Constitution takes precedence over the laws that you mention, which, by inference, are un-Constitutional.
So you have changed your mind about allowing each state to set its own laws?

Arts&Sciences said:
As for abortion, you know as well as I do that it is murder. Ultrasounds and photographs prove it and basic biology proves it. If you are in denial there is no point in debating the matter.
How incredibly closed-minded.
 

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Okay, until you find a reputable dictionary that defines speech as being in any way related to money, your position has no Constitutional precedent. As for gay marriage, the laws that you mention infringe on the rights of states. If New York legalized gay marriage, for example, it would be un-Constitutional to require South Carolina to do the same- just as it would be un-Constitutional to require New York to ban it if South Carolina did.
 

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Arts&Sciences said:
Okay, until you find a reputable dictionary that defines speech as being in any way related to money,
I showed you how speech is related to money two posts ago, yet you have continued to ignore it. Most likely because you don't have a rebuttal.

Arts&Sciences said:
your position has no Constitutional precedent.
You obviously have a very limited understanding of the Constitution (not to mention what strict constructionism is), so I'll try to explain this as simply as possible. The Tenth Amendment basically says that the federal government only has the right to do the things listed in the Constitution. Campaign finance laws are not mentioned in the Constitution. Therefore, the federal government has no right to enact them.


Arts&Sciences said:
As for gay marriage, the laws that you mention infringe on the rights of states. If New York legalized gay marriage, for example, it would be un-Constitutional to require South Carolina to do the same- just as it would be un-Constitutional to require New York to ban it if South Carolina did.
Umm no. Actually, it is REQUIRED by the Constitution. All states must give full faith and credit to the acts of all other states, such as marriages. So if Rosencrantz and Guildenstern get married in Massachusetts and then move to Wyoming, they're still married.
 

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All right, here is the part of the Constitution in question:

Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.

In the case of gay marriage, that would mean only that a state could not arrest a homosexual couple based on a marriage that took place outside the state. Any further requirement regarding the legality or illegality of the practice in any particular state is a violation of the Tenth Amendment:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

The emphasis, of course, is mine. I put that in bold text to make this case. If the Constitution does not forbid a law, such as a ban on federal soft money, a matter is left to the states. But since we are dealing with federal elections, the power is then delegated to the people on the national level. In other words, the people may choose leaders who support or oppose a ban on soft money.
As for your case about money and speech, I could use your logic to call nearly anything "speech". For example, if I were a radical environmentalist and I stole automobiles and destroyed them, I would be expressing something related to speech- but it would not be speech. You might respond that such an environmentalist would be stealing the property of others, but soft money is essentially a massive, legal form of bribery from corporations, unions and special interest groups. Hence, if a corporation gives money to a political party (and hence to its candidates) and in return there is an implicit promise of tax breaks for the company, money is being stolen from the federal government and ultimately from taxpayers.
 

RightinNYC

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Arts&Sciences said:
I have probably been on half of the political forums on the Internet, and I have never seen such absurdity. To quote Pat Buchanan:
The minute you whip out Pat Buchanan to try to prove a point, said point goes out the window.
I might add that the Jacobins and Cordeliers were very "hawkish" on foreign policy, yet they were well to the left. As for your specific points, you very neatly avoided addressing my plan to privatize 50% or more of welfare, which is far more comprehensive than anything that Bush is doing. Keeping the surpluses from that alone would quickly pay off the national debt. How would I pay off the trade deficit? Well, you probably don't really care, since you undoubtedly agree with Dick Cheney's bold pronouncement that, "Reagan proved deficits don't matter". But I'll tell you any way. We're the most economically powerful nation in the world. We can pay off the trade deficit with tariffs in the short term. In the longer term, we can drill in the ANWR while giving tax incentives for alternative energy production.
I really wasn't planning on getting too indepth on this with you, because I know it won't sink in, but here's a Public Policy lesson, free of charge.

You think that privatizing 50% of welfare will help raise 8 trillion dollars? Do you know how much money was spent on welfare by the feds last year?

TANF - 16.5 billion
GA (for people not covered under TANF, state program) - 2.9 billion
Food Stamps - 22 billion

I'm not sure if you would include SSI, EITC, LIHEAP, or Medicaid under your program (because I'm assuming you don't know what any of them are), but say we only address the first 3, which is what most people consider welfare. That's 40 billion. Privatize 20 billion of it. That would possibly (if at all) result in savings of a few billion a year. That's a lot of years to make up 8,000,000,000,000. Even if you were to toss in Medicaid and the others, that wouldn't bring down the debt, because at the rate Medicaid is exploding, privitization is necessary simply in order to maintain the status quo.

Regarding the trade deficits: I think that the deficits do matter greatly, yet not in the way you might think. When looked at as a percent of our GDP, our deficit is small compared to some other economic powerhouses. You do know what happens when we impose tarriff, right? Other countries impose them back. And I don't think you really understand the complexities behind ANWR or the scope of the project.

I would guess that the words "pro-life" in your statement on abortion could be replaced by "anti-slavery" and that they were said by a slave owner 200 years ago. I've also got some sad news for you: Supporting stare decisis over the wording of the Constitution is very liberal. You still haven't grasped the concept, moreover, that the Constitution takes precedence over un-Constitutional laws. You never had a chain of logic to start with.
Listen, whether or not the right to privacy is in the constitution, it has become part of the channel so much so that it is beyond judicial review and out of the mainstream. The hope that someday the court will see the light and reverse Roe v. Wade is a joke. And here's another fact for you: Theories of conservative backlashes aside, society becomes more liberal as time passes. The odds of the country waking up one day and deciding to outlaw abortion are around zero.

So, in conclusion, your platform is simple and direct. Kill 1.3 million babies a year, increase our deficits and political corruption, ignore the Constitution and punish religious expression- all while calling yourself "conservative" because you support an all-around destructive foreign policy. You know, if it weren't for people like you, I'd be a Republican, and I'm far from being the only person who feels that way. The Democrats really should be paying you.
Right, well, we're all entitled to our opinions, aren't we...

I think you'd find that the platform you proposed would be hard pressed to find any adherents. You take far too many extreme positions on many diverse issues. The key to triangulation is moderate views on salient issues and strong views on issues that only affect special interest groups. You do the exact opposite.

And feel free to label me what you like, I know exactly where I stand on the issues, where various parts of the public stands, and what steps I will be taking to implement my policy choices.
 

RightinNYC

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Arts&Sciences said:
All right, here is the part of the Constitution in question:

Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.

In the case of gay marriage, that would mean only that a state could not arrest a homosexual couple based on a marriage that took place outside the state. Any further requirement regarding the legality or illegality of the practice in any particular state is a violation of the Tenth Amendment:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

The emphasis, of course, is mine. I put that in bold text to make this case. If the Constitution does not forbid a law, such as a ban on federal soft money, a matter is left to the states. But since we are dealing with federal elections, the power is then delegated to the people on the national level. In other words, the people may choose leaders who support or oppose a ban on soft money.
As for your case about money and speech, I could use your logic to call nearly anything "speech". For example, if I were a radical environmentalist and I stole automobiles and destroyed them, I would be expressing something related to speech- but it would not be speech. You might respond that such an environmentalist would be stealing the property of others, but soft money is essentially a massive, legal form of bribery from corporations, unions and special interest groups. Hence, if a corporation gives money to a political party (and hence to its candidates) and in return there is an implicit promise of tax breaks for the company, money is being stolen from the federal government and ultimately from taxpayers.

Okay, look. I really admire the fact that you're active in politics, that you know what you want, and you're willing to argue for it. Honestly, I think it's a trait that's severly lacking in today's society. I'm operating under the assumption that you're a high school student, probably 17, and looking at colleges. When you get to college, try to take a class or two on the constitution. Because your interpretations, while well meaning, and admirable for the attempt, are off.


"Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State."


That right there in a nutshell says "If a contract is entered legally in one state, and then the person whom it was done to travels to another state, the other state must recognize the legality of the contract."

This applies to states that have differing ages for marriage (In a recent case, a 14 year old and a 20 year old wanted to get married. The state they lived in did not permit that, so they went to Kansas, where 14 is the minimum age for marriage. They were married, and went back to their home state, which was forced to recognize the marriage.) This is the reason why gay marraige cannot be handled state by state.

And regarding your ban on soft money proposal. The courts have held, over and over, that money = speech. You simply cannot ban soft money. It doesn't work. You just get 527 groups like we saw in 2004 which I argued were worse than the problem.
 

Arts&Sciences

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You need to improve your debating skills. Of course I know what Medicaid is. The government currently spends the majority of its money on welfare, an overwhelming majority when social security is included. If I privatized half of it, I could pay off the national debt doing that alone in roughly ten years. Either you are lying or you know absolutely nothing about fiscal policy.
As for Pat Buchanan, you don't like him because he describes you too well. You are pro-abortion, an intolerant secularist and you support high government spending- but for the military rather than the poor. You are a liberal who happens to like warfare. That is more dangerous than "typical" liberalism because you want to spread your valuelessness across the world by force.
 
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