Friday, September 24, 2004

Democrat or Republican

I haven't had time to do what I wanted to do with this, so here is a core question for me:

What is the nature of my role in government?

Here is why I ask. When it comes to moral issues -- abortion, gay marriage, my Republican friends say it is our obligation to vote for people with a solid moral base on these issues. Maybe it has been my inference, but I believe they are saying this because we are the government. We are a Democracy, therefore we are the government, and the government therefore by our voting must reflect our values.

But when it comes to social issues like health care and social security, Republicans seem more individualist. It is the individual's responsibility to secure their own health care and retirement. It is most the job of a charity to care for those in need, not the government. But if this is a Christian nation (or at least my voting as a reflection of my values), isn't it the job of the government to care for the needy. Or at least, if I am the government, isn't it my job to vote along those directions.

All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. -- Acts 5:32 (NIV)

Shouldn't our nation's government reflect the very nature of being a Christian? Of course, Republicans can be generous and don't necessarily want to abolish all generous efforts, but there is still a question there about the difference.

Is there a difference in how the political parties view people?

Republicans are definitely believers that the reward should go to the fittest. Less restrictions on business is the answer. Less government over all. Well, that sounds great. It sounds like they really believe in people, which let's assume they do. The problem as much as I hate to admit it is... people. Enron, Worldcom, Bernie Ebbers, Arthur Anderson, Martha Stewart, the chairman of the New York Stock Exchange, on and on it goes, of people who couldn't be trusted to do the right thing. Less restrictions will mean more brutality to let a few get ahead financially. There will be exceptions, but it will be the rule.

The Republican idea for giving rich people a tax break is so that they will invest that money and create more jobs. I bought that for twenty years. The problem is they are creating jobs that pay minimum wage, which by the way most Republicans would like to eliminate.

Would many rich people create jobs for the purpose of helping people make a decent living? A few. But they would have to accept much less return on their money, and they will argue that that isn't good for their families to not get the best return. Putting your family first can be a sin or at least an unjust justification.

The Democrats have a different view of people -- not all are created equal. Not everyone has the same smarts, experience, opportunities, freedom. So they take it upon themselves to give everyone an equal footing. That sounds Christian to me.

12‘These men who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’ 13“But he answered one of them, ‘Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? 14Take your pay and go. I want to give the man who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ 16“So the last will be first, and the first will be last.” -- Matthew 20:12-16 (NIV)

They believe everyone has a right to health care and a right not to live in poverty. Republicans don't always like this because you have to take money they earned because of their hard work, combined with opportunity, and give it to those who have not earned it. Those people don't deserve it.

From what I've wrote so far, you'd think I was a Democrat. I'm not. Probably because of the moral issues only. But here is another issue -- how the candidates see the world.

John Kerry is missing the point. I think what I've described above is the point that would persuade a lot of people. I haven't been watching carefully, but what I hear on soundbites is that Kerry would like to see more world involvement in Iraq. The problem with that, and I tend to think most would agree, we see a lot of the world backing down to terrorists and most of us think that is a terrible idea. We don't want a world that is backing down to lead us. We must lead on this issue and that is where George W Bush shines.

Leadership doesn't alway make people like you. In fact, it is almost a guarantee that many won't like you. But leadership is a must.

Update: Today I heard some of a John Kerry speech. He says he will kill the terrorists before they strike. I think he read my blog.

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