Issues, not parties

HillsboroMom

Active member
It seems Republicans complain about Democrats, and Democrats complain about Republicans, but a lot of people in both camps don't seem to know what the two camps even stand for.

Here are a few issues, and I'm curious where people stand on these issues. Share where you stand, and which party you think that puts you in, and it might be interesting to see if the adage is true, that Politics makes strange bedfellows.

Criminal Justice
What is the most important goal of criminal justice?
(a) Rehabilitation - Whenever possible, change the behavior of criminal so they can become a contributing member of society
(b) Removal - Rehabilitation is too costly and rarely works. Simply remove them from society so that they can't hurt anyone else
(c) Retribution - Victims deserve pay-back for the crime. Time served in jail is punishment for what they've done, nothing more, nothing less.

Economics
Which one of these statements most reflects your own opinions on economics?
(a) Programs like FDR's "The New Deal," Obama's "Quantitative Easing," and Trump's "Economic Impact Payments" are exactly what needs to happen to kick-start the economy, infusing lots of money into working-class families, stimulating spending and growth.
(b) The government should invest money not in working-class families, but in businesses and corporations. When corporations are doing well, they can hire more people, driving down corporation. Investments in corporations are better for the long-term future of the country, as individuals, especially middle-class and low-income Americans, spend the money and then it's gone, whereas corporations make better, wiser decisions about how to spend the money.
(c) The government shouldn't be doing either one. The government should have a "hands-off" policy with regard to business. There's no such thing as "too big to fail." If a corporation fails, then it deserves to fail. Let the free market decide what is worth keeping and what is not.

Education
How should we change the educational system in the US?
(a) We should privatize the industry. Provide school vouchers to all parents, and let parents decide which school to send their kids to. Schools that are doing the right thing will rise to the top.
(b) The only reason private schools have better outcomes is because they can kick students out who under-perform. Schools are only as good as the students in them, and those patterns are set up long before high school, even middle school. We need to put more money into early childhood education, especially in the neighborhoods where schools have lower scores. Taking a school's funding away because students are under-performing is like telling a race-car driver that he's losing, so now he has to run the race instead of drive.
(c) Let's sit back and let teachers tell us what works, and what doesn't work. Let's listen to the experts instead of having politicians who haven't been in a classroom in over 50 years make up the rules that teachers have to follow.

Environment
(a) "Global Warming" is a myth, and/or it is happening, but it is not caused by humans, nor is there anything humans can do to control it.
(b) There are things we can do to control the environment, but they are too costly. It's not worth putting people out of jobs just so one obsolete species of butterfly doesn't die. Survival of the Fittest, and humans are the fittest.
(c) When cars were invented, people complained that the entire horse-and-buggy industry was ending. When washing machines came around, no one needed the old hand-crank washers any more. Progress is a good thing. And we will find new jobs in a new age that are sustainable.

Foreign Policy
Do you think the US should increase or decrease military aid to other countries, or keep it the same?

Do you think the US should increase or decrease non-military aid to other countries, or keep it the same?

Are there any specific countries that the US currently gives aid to that it should stop, or decrease? Any specific countries that the US does not support that it should, or not support enough that it should increase?

Do you think the US should increase or decrease the size of its own military budget (not including veterans' affairs) or keep it the same?

Government
Which statement do you agree with more:
(a) The government that governs least governs best. The government should keep out of individuals' and corporations' private affairs. That means if a business wants to refuse to make a gay wedding cake, it should be allowed to do that. That also means if a woman wants to offer her services as a prostitute, she should be allowed to, as a consenting adult. It also means that if a doctor wants to provide abortion services, he should be allowed to, as a consulting adult.
(b) A government is responsible for its people. ALL its citizens. When one person suffers, we all suffer. For that reason, it is the job of the government to ensure the rights of its citizens are protected. And in a democracy, even a democratic republic such as the US, it is the job of those who elect the government to see that the government makes those decisions rationally, and in the interest of the people, not in their own interests, or in the interests of those who financially support them.

Health care
(a) Single-payer healthcare is the best way to go. Most other countries use this system, and provide care at or above the level the US has, for a fraction of the cost.
(b) The US should adopt a multi-tier system like many other capitalist countries use, akin to our current school system. There is a basic, public healthcare available to all citizens, free of cost, and then a second tier of "private" health care available, for those who wish to spend the extra money.
(c) The current system in the US would be fine, with just a few tweaks, like end the strangle-hold that insurance companies currently have on the entire industry.

Immigration
(a) Legal immigrants are what makes this country great. We should be encouraging people to enter through one of the proper channels. Illegal immigrants should be deported, because it's not fair if someone comes in illegally and gets to leap-frog over those who are waiting.
(b) People aren't "illegal." The only reason people are here without proper documentation is because of the antiquated immigration laws. We need major reform on the immigration laws, and citizenship pathways for those who are here without proper documentation.
(c) We need to limit the number of people who come into the country, especially from countries that harbor criminals. It has been proven that first-generation immigrants from non-European cultures create more dissent and problems when they come here anyway.

Racism
(a) White people in the US are the most disadvantaged race today, due to unfair quota systems. There is more racism directed at white people than at people of color.
(b) Racism is a complex issue. People of color -- not just African Americans but also Latinos, Asian-Americans, and members of Indigenous Tribes -- face discrimination every day. There are also intersections of prejudice that come into play. It's not just "Black and White," no pun intended. As a country, we have come a long way, but we still have a long way to go.
(c) The definition of "Racism" is "Prejudice Plus Power." Since BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) populations have no power in today's society, it is impossible for them to be racist.

If you have other issues, or other stances within them, feel free to add some.
 

Torin

Well-known member
@HillsboroMom, good thread, but can I suggest making it into a Google poll and then sharing the results all at once?

People will definitely look over one another's shoulders (as it were) in this format.
 

Torin

Well-known member
It seems Republicans complain about Democrats, and Democrats complain about Republicans, but a lot of people in both camps don't seem to know what the two camps even stand for.
It may be of interest to note that you do not have to say "seem" in your second sentence here.

We know for a fact that most people are politically ignorant. That is very well established by evidence in political science. For example, most Americans don't know that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land. Similar studies have been done on Britain and other countries and found high levels of ignorance in all of them.

This isn't a criticism of your OP. I just used to find the study of public opinion interesting, and this is one of my favorite facts about it.

Another fact: Most Americans don't have a consistent conservative or liberal ideology! We expect people to be liberals or conservatives because the talking heads and pundits we read in the news (who get paid to think about these things) all are, but that's not representative of your typical Joe Six Pack voter.

Here are a few issues, and I'm curious where people stand on these issues. Share where you stand, and which party you think that puts you in, and it might be interesting to see if the adage is true, that Politics makes strange bedfellows.
Ok.

Criminal Justice
(c) Retribution - Victims deserve pay-back for the crime. Time served in jail is punishment for what they've done, nothing more, nothing less.
(c) Retribution

I think this is more of a Republican stance.

Economics
(c) The government shouldn't be doing either one. The government should have a "hands-off" policy with regard to business. There's no such thing as "too big to fail." If a corporation fails, then it deserves to fail. Let the free market decide what is worth keeping and what is not.
(c) is my view. It's a moral view rather than an economic view, really. The money has to come from somewhere, which means someone, which means someone getting a gun pointed at them.

This seems like a Libertarian view.

Education
(a) We should privatize the industry. Provide school vouchers to all parents, and let parents decide which school to send their kids to. Schools that are doing the right thing will rise to the top.
(a) is closest to my view, although it is not an exact fit.

This also seems like a Libertarian view.

Environment
I don't know what to think about global warming, so I can't answer this.

Foreign Policy
These aren't issues I've thought about enough to form a firm view on.

Government
Which statement do you agree with more:
(a) The government that governs least governs best. The government should keep out of individuals' and corporations' private affairs. That means if a business wants to refuse to make a gay wedding cake, it should be allowed to do that. That also means if a woman wants to offer her services as a prostitute, she should be allowed to, as a consenting adult. It also means that if a doctor wants to provide abortion services, he should be allowed to, as a consulting adult.
(a) is my view, undoubtedly.

Republican rhetoric is closer to (a), but I don't think either major political party really believes it. The Libertarian party might.

Health care
None of these are close enough to my view for me to agree with them.


Immigration
(b) People aren't "illegal." The only reason people are here without proper documentation is because of the antiquated immigration laws. We need major reform on the immigration laws, and citizenship pathways for those who are here without proper documentation.
(b)-ish. I do not fully agree with any of these though.

I don't fully agree with any of these. My own view on racism is still under development since it's not something I'd really thought about until recently.
 
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