Today I started to outline some of the problems I have with the so-called GOP (hereafter RP). As I did so, I was also interested in highlighting the opposition’s problems (hereafter DP). Then I decided, on reflection, that it would be a criticism of both parties. But that still failed to emphasize the solutions. So this is now less of a pure criticism and more about providing the alternative too.
The RP position is that taxation is a form of theft. They do not see it as funding the scaffolding of society and fail to recognize the role that the government plays in their own personal success. Taxes should be minimal, as should the size of government. The DP position is that taxes are there to provide for the minority cases of poverty and illness, and taxes should be expanded to fulfill those needs and others we deem necessary.
My position is that taxes should be seen as an investment in our collective future, and that our government’s parameters should be targeted to the development of our social fabric. That means I favor taxes for things like scientific development and open source software, anything which can be leveraged by the private sector to improve work there, and anything that can be leveraged by private citizens to improve their day-to-day.
For both the DP and RP, justice is mostly a matter of punishing the individuals that break the law. The outlook on the law differs slightly for both. Treatment of convicted individuals is slightly harsher for the RP, while the DP tends to give a bit more recognition to the role that economics plays in crime, but the general outlook is identical.
My position is that the vast majority of crime has economic origins, and the proper development of society requires economic intervention in the forms of education and rehabilitation.
I also maintain that key reforms in the justice system are needed, including overhauling the current advocacy system of courts and the manner of interactions between law enforcement and private citizens. These are things the RP and DP both ignore completely.
Long a contentious issue, the RP believes gun rights are untouchable while the DP believes that the state should have the right to restrict weapon access as much as it pleases.
My position is that guns don’t kill people, but people with guns do. Proper stitching of the social and economic fabric eliminates the motivations for gun control, though it probably does tend to diminish the ownership, it does not urge people to disarm.
The RP position favors military intervention, while the DP position is slightly warmer toward diplomatic solutions.
My own position is that, again, economic development precludes the need to intervene militarily and minimizes the need for diplomatic intervention. The use of foreign aid as a carrot to complement the military stick is fraught with peril, for it avoids the real, needed economic development of the areas being targeted for improved governance.
If you haven’t noticed, there’s a trend here. The RP position is usually one based on the idea that the individual is an island capable of behaving properly ex nihilo. The DP position is that people need some help and are products of their environment up to the point where they are bad enough to be beyond redemption, at which point their position diminishes into the RP position.
And my position is that people are basically machines that could be functional provided the correct environmental factors (usually economic in nature).
You can extrapolate the positions from the above for welfare, immigration, corporate regulation, etc.