Political issues important to you

Author: Tejretics ,

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  • Tejretics
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    What are some political issues important to you when it comes for voting for a proposition or candidate, or more generally? What are your stances on them? 

    Just to be super-clear on what I mean: you can't say an issue is important to you but you're undecided on what stance to take. I mean specific stances that you would like administrators, politicians, and bureaucrats to take. In other words, evaluate two things: (1) The probability that you think your stance is correct. (2) The magnitude of importance of that issue to you. 
  • Plisken
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    I am American, and I believe that my national representatives hold responsibility for what may be the highest potential for a system of government on earth.  So, American sovereignty is a very high priority for me to the end of preserving the American approach to government.
  • Plisken
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    I also really like to see commitment to establish an endgame to the post WWII military role of the United States.  
  • Plisken
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    China is the largest threat to the world, probably in history, and the West needs to find a way to get along with the Russians.  The people of Europe need to learn to take care of their own.
  • Tejretics
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    For me, there's a lot of issue areas that are important to me, but which I don't really have strong stances on. These are some issues which are both important to me and which I have strong stances on. 

    (1) I believe that climate change (i.e., global warming) exists, is human-caused, and is a significant threat. Therefore, I strongly support significant climate change mitigation policies, including a significantly higher gas tax, a tax on carbon emissions on all households and corporations (exempting some low-income and lower-middle class households), significant investment in clean energy, and stronger, enforceable international agreements to attempt to limit global land-sea mean temperature increase at 2.5 degrees Celsius at least.

    (2) I'm quite strongly in favor of free trade. Between developed countries, there are very few existing tariffs, so I am skeptical of many recent trade deals, though I lean in favor of ones such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. However, I think India -- which is the country I'm from -- should significantly liberalize its policies toward trade and economic globalization more generally. The extent of tariffs that it places could be quite destructive to economic growth and long-term poverty alleviation. There's certainly some constraints in developing countries such as India -- for instance, I think tariff reductions should be phased in, and I don't support significant tariff reductions in some industries such as textiles, where the effects could be devastating; in addition, I would want to avoid instances such as the dumping of Chinese goods in sub-Saharan Africa -- but I'm generally in favor of free trade. This support for free trade also translates into opposition for things like farm subsidies that developed countries have in plenty. 

    (3) I'm also very pro-immigration -- in particular, I would make it much easier for skilled immigrants to come into developed countries (at least if I'm assessing this exclusively from the perspective of what policies would maximize benefit to those very developed countries). I think unskilled immigrants are also generally an economic good, but that's something I'm much less sure about (due to effects such as lower trust in communities, economic effects like loose labor markets causing wage depression and unemployment for local workers). 

    (4) I very firmly believe in the independence of central banks. The election of central bankers or democratic legislatures dictating monetary policy/issuing directions to the central bank -- as India's current Finance Ministry is trying to do with the Reserve Bank of India -- could potentially be very destructive. I oppose the "audit the Fed" act. I oppose executive leaders going after central bank leaders like Trump is doing with his own appointments without any real understanding of the issues. There's a reason central banks are independent: incompetent elected officials are struggling, as it is, with public policy they do have power over. It would be genuinely scary if the people in charge of monetary policy were Ted Cruz, Bernie Sanders, and their colleagues. 

    (5) I support really strong animal welfare legislation. I believe nonhuman animals have much more moral worth than is accorded to them and the sheer amount of suffering inflicted by factory farming is despicable. I support really tough regulations to protect animal welfare and to reduce meat consumption, including ethical warning labels on meat packaging, potentially sin taxes on some forms of meat, and so on, complemented with significant subsidies for consumers of vegetarian/vegan products. This would reduce net suffering and help combat the effects of climate change and environmental destruction caused by meat consumption. Moreover, I support strong legislation to protect wildlife from human encroachment and devastation. 

  • Tejretics
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    (Continued from previous post.)

    (6) There are very real threats to democratic structures facing countries like the United States, including voter photo ID laws, limiting the number of voting days, attempting to make voting as hard as possible for low-income and minority individuals, gerrymandering,  and so on. Those are virtually authoritarian threats that need to be countered. Moreover, right-wing populism spreads rhetoric of hatred against minorities and actively blames them for unrelated societal problems and undermines critical democratic institutions such as the judiciary and the press. All of these threats to democracy and democratic values need to be fought in some manner (we could start by electing right-wing populists such as Bolsonaro, Duterte, and Trump out of office; creating independent commissions that control redistricting for elections; etc.). 

    (7) Criminal justice reform. I would significantly liberalize drug policy and the way the criminal justice system treats nonviolent drug offenders; I would attempt to end the "prison industrial complex" and the association of criminal justice with the for-profit prison industry; I would abolish all judge elections and make judges independent officials appointed by executive elected officials. There's lots of other things I would do to reduce mass incarceration and ensure that particular races/ethnicities are not targeted when it comes to incarceration, as well as the quality of life of people in prison, mandatory minimums, how much the justice system focuses on rehabilitation, etc. 

    (8) This, I'm a little less clear on probabilistically, but in the developed world, I would streamline the welfare system to be more about giving people cash than any other services. This could look like a guaranteed minimum income, a Workfare program of minimum income with work requirements, a negative income tax, an unconditional basic income, or even a basic jobs guarantee (though I think I'd oppose the latter in favor of one of the earlier ones). I prefer welfare through direct money being given to people as opposed to vouchers for specific services. 

    On a personal level, though not by the same magnitude on a utilitarian level, I care about social justice issues (e.g., sexual harassment and the #MeToo movement, racist police brutality, racial and gender inequalities in general, affirmative action). However, these don't quite make the cut in terms of sheer importance. 


  • ethang5
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    --> @Tejretics
    Strait down the line politically correct progressive liberal position.
  • Plisken
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    --> @Tejretics
    Very nice.  If you don't mind, do you live in India right now?
  • TheDredPriateRoberts
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    the constitution and b.o.r. , anything that enables and promotes individual self sufficiency, freedoms and reduces the government control over individuals.
  • Plisken
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    What is "right wing populism"?  If I had to guess according to American dogma it would mean "belief in ordinary people that want to work"
  • Tejretics
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    --> @Plisken
    Very nice. If you don't mind, do you live in India right now?
    Yes.
  • Tejretics
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    --> @ethang5
    Strait down the line politically correct progressive liberal position.
    Not sure what anything I said has to do with "political correctness."

    Insofar as "progressive" describes people like Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, or Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez -- the more left-wing end of Democrats -- I'd say I'm quite significantly further to the right.


  • Tejretics
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    --> @Plisken
    What is "right wing populism"? If I had to guess according to American dogma it would mean "belief in ordinary people that want to work"
    It's a branch of right-wing politics characterized by a few important features: (1) Protectionism and opposition to social and economic globalization. (2) Significant opposition to immigration. (3) Active, specific criticism of Muslim people who immigrate to developed countries and significant anti-Muslim rhetoric. (4) Nationalism. (5) Identification of the current economic situation as constantly worsening, irrespective of whether it actually is. (6) Distaste for democracy and democratic institutions when it comes to leadership. (7) Being really -- disproportionately -- tough on crime.

    This comes in many extremes. Trump is relatively moderate compared to right-wing populists such as Jair Bolsonaro and Rodrigo Duterte.

  • ethang5
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    --> @Tejretics
    Strait down the line politically correct progressive liberal position.

    Not sure what anything I said has to do with "political correctness." 
    Of course you aren't.

    *Globalism, and anything which globalism protectionism
    *Irrationally wants open borders, and anything short of open borders is xenophobia
    *Irrationally wants country flooded with the worst immigrants, any opposition is islamophobia
    *Nationalism is good except in the case of Americans
    *Wants bigger and bigger government.
    *Distaste for capitalism when it comes to government
    *Being really -- disproportionately, and idiotically, -- weak on crime.

    As I said, strait down the line politically correct progressive liberal position.

    No logic, all emotion.
  • Tejretics
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    --> @ethang5
    *Globalism, and anything which globalism protectionism
    Indeed. Hardly a far-left position, given that, in the rest of the world, protectionism and anti-globalism is a left-wing position. Indeed, most support for free trade in 2012 and earlier in the US was from Republicans. Also, nothing to do with "political correctness," which is defined as "the avoidance of forms of expression or action that are perceived to exclude, marginalize, or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against."

    Irrationally wants open borders, and anything short of open borders is xenophobia
    (1) Can you point out where I said I wanted "open borders"? The answer: nowhere. I oppose open borders. Specifically, I said I want more skilled immigration and I said I leaned toward being in favor of unskilled immigration as well, though I wasn't sure. None of that would mean open borders. So this is a straight up lie. 

    (2) I didn't use the word "xenophobia" in a single place. Maybe have evidence the next time you claim another person has a certain political opinion.

    Irrationally wants country flooded with the worst immigrants, any opposition is islamophobia
    I have no clue what you mean by "the worst immigrants" or where you got that from or where I used the word "Islamophobia."

    Nationalism is good except in the case of Americans
    I'm Indian and I think nationalism is generally bad, in the US and in India. However, I didn't say that either, so not sure where you're getting that from.

    Wants bigger and bigger government.
    In the specific aspects of climate change regulation and prisons, yes. But you haven't given any evidence for this generalization apart from that.

    Distaste for capitalism when it comes to government
    Where did I say I have a "distaste" for capitalism? What do you think capitalism means?

    Being really -- disproportionately, and idiotically, -- weak on crime.
    When I find the time in December, I'm happy to debate you on drug liberalization or for-profit prisons. You can defend my position being "disproportionate" and "idiotic" then. 

  • Plisken
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    --> @ethang5
    I only consider EU style propoganda to be "political correctness" by the pejorative sense if it subverts reasonable channels of discent, like associating positive American values with racism.

      I hope that Brexit will help the English come to their senses again.  Maybe they can finally bring about a free country some day.  

  • Greyparrot
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    The eradication of socialism from the universe.
  • ethang5
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    --> @Tejretics
    Globalism, and anything which isn't globalism is protectionism

    Indeed. Hardly a far-left position,
    Lol. Not to you. Pygmies don't think mimi-me is short. Not only is globalism far-left, its opposite is not protectionism.

    Indeed, most support for free trade in 2012 and earlier in the US was from Republicans.
    Free trade is not globalism, its capitalism.

    Also, nothing to do with "political correctness,"
    It is one of the 8 pillars of political correctness.

    Your definition of PC is like a bigots definition of bigotry.

    Can you point out where I said I wanted "open borders"
    You did not have to say it. Your irrational desire for immigrants, even illegal ones, scream it.

    I said I leaned toward being in favor of unskilled immigration as well
    Why? Why is immigration worth the deaths of your citizens?

    I didn't use the word "xenophobia" in a single place. Maybe have evidence the next time you claim another person has a certain political opinion
    Please don't get all emotional on me. I did not say you said it, but it is well known that liberals see only open borders or xenophobia. No other position is possible in their black and white worldview.

    I have no clue what you mean by "the worst immigrants"....
    For America, that would be Muslims.

    I'm Indian and I think nationalism is generally bad,
    Of course you do. You are PC and don't even know it.

    in the US and in India. However, I didn't say that either, so not sure where you're getting that from.
    You may think your liberalism is hard to see, but it isn't. You're bright pink.

    .....climate change regulation
    Way to hit every leftist talking point. It's like you just graduated from PC school.

    Where did I say I have a "distaste" for capitalism? What do you think capitalism means?
    If you love globalism, think nationalism is bad, and want to flood the country with needy illiterates, you cannot like capitalism.

    I'm happy to debate you on drug liberalization or for-profit prisons.
    To what end?

    You can defend my position being "disproportionate" and "idiotic" then.
    All I'd have to do is show it to be the liberal/ progressive position. I'd rather have something challenging.
  • Greyparrot
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    --> @Tejretics
    I'm Indian and I think nationalism is generally bad, in the US and in India. However, I didn't say that either, so not sure where you're getting that from.
    Did you think Gandhi was wrong for being a nationalist?

  • Plisken
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    --> @ethang5

    "All I'd have to do is show it to be the liberal/ progressive position. I'd rather have something challenging."

    Really?  
  • Swagnarok
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    We must keep foreigners and historically marginalized groups from attaining a majority, because they will not value this country above the well-being of the groups that they identify with, and because, considering themselves outsiders, they generally lack any kind of actual patriotism. They'll vote in politicians who will strip away the hard-earned wealth of the former majority. This generous welfare state will attract more immigrants into the country, putting an even greater strain on said welfare system, requiring an even greater tax rate (and on income brackets further down the chain), until the end result is an America that looks like a subsaharan African country. In the process, we will see a level of democratic backsliding that makes anything Trump's done look like child's play.
    The Republican-favoring "gerrymandered" electoral map is literally the only thing at this point keeping us from that fate: if that goes away then the only people who want to solve the problem will find themselves unable to secure the majority needed to take or hold power. We see this already in the fact that Bush lost the popular vote in 2000, and Trump in 2016. That Bush won the popular vote in 2004 can only be attributed to exceptional historical circumstances (re: 9/11 and the War on Terror). Trump will probably be among the last Republican presidents ever: if he fails to solve illegal immigration then we are irreversibly f*cked as a nation.
  • Swagnarok
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    I envision an America whose population will literally double in 50 years because of mass migration from places like Africa. Each and every one of those people will benefit from free healthcare, education, and basic income, and the vast majority will vote for the party that gives them these things.
  • Swagnarok
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    We must intervene in Africa to stop the demographic "black wave" which will either threaten the starvation of billions in Africa or lead to their conquest of the planet through sheer numbers. Both are unacceptable. Stable economic growth on the continent must be combined with a drastically lower birth rate.
  • Swagnarok
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    Not everyone can enjoy a good life, nor a long one. Even for those who do, one day they'll lose everything. It is absolutely vital, therefore, that people be allowed to believe in a God who will give them the option, real or perceived, of eternal existence in paradise.
  • Swagnarok
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    ^These are the most important issues to me. On pretty much anything else I'm likely to fluctuate wildly over time.