Like my moral/religious compass, my political compass tends to fluctuate wildly.
My political "home" that I keep coming back to is libertarianism: This country was founded on the notion of freedom from an oppressive and over-taxing government. The idea of being free to live as one pleases, as long as one doesn't infringe on those same rights of others while doing so, appeals to me and makes sense to me. I don't want the federal government telling me what I or my children can or cannot watch on TV, in the movies, or on the internet. I don't want the federal government dictating what I can consume, be it alcohol, drugs or fatty foods. I certainly don't want the federal government telling me who I can or can't sleep with, what acts are accpetable in my own home between consenting adults, or who I am allowed to set up housekeeping and legal documents with. I don't want the federal government monetarily penalizing me and my family should we choose not to buy into the healthcare system. And while I myself oppose abortion, I recognize that a government with the power to ban the practice outright paradoxically has the power to mandate it (Don't believe me? Check out China's '1-child policy')
Now...all that being said:
I also recognize that we are no longer living in the 18th century. We live in a complicated, interconnected world. When Thomas Jefferson made his wise quote "Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none", he couldn't imagine the complexities of dealing with oppressive regimes that we alternately bomb/impose sanctions upon and rebuild/do buiness with. Tom certainly could not foresee the stand-off that occured in the Cold War, stemming from the fear of 2 countries literally blowing each other off the planet.
And most importantly (to me anyway) I'd be willing to bet that Tom never for one moment envisioned the genocide going on in countries like Congo and the Sudan. The American libertarian ideal says that this is simply not our problem; we ought to simply donate to our charities and leave their own governments to sort the mess out. I won't go into the detailed atrocities the aforementioned regimes have committed - they are inhuman and well-documented. But in the name of God, don't such atrocities cry out for justice??? If similar events were taking place in say, Canada or Europe, American boots...scores of them...would have been on the ground long since. For better or for worse, we have the most massive and imposing military in history, many times over. If we wish to proclaim democracy and fairness, don't we owe it to not only to our light-skinned business partners or the folks with oil, but also to the dark-skinned people who perhaps don't have a lot in the way of "American interest"?
As a country of HUMAN BEINGS for Christ's sake, don't we owe something to these, our brothers and sisters in humanity, who by simple accident of geography are being starved out, poisoned, raped at gunpoint, shot, tortured, mutilated, and generally being killed off by agents of their OWN government??? It's hard for me to accept that because they're not Americans, it's simply none of America's business. To paraphrase Jacob Marley, "Mankind IS our business"
Well. I guess I just had a bit of a nutty. Again, my poltical views are currently in a state of sometimes incompatible flux; a lot of this I simply can't seem to get out of my teeth lately.
Back to our regularly scheduled programming...
Daily Mass Readings
1 Corinthians 4:1-5