Jan. 29th, 2016

For some reason I watched the entire Republican debate last night since it was on the Google homepage. I don't make it a habit of watching any Republican debates as I consider myself a relatively progressive person. My current vote would be for Bernie Sanders, as I believe Hillary Clinton is a bit to centrist for my taste.

It did make me think that I should be listening to conservatives a little more, despite the fact I disagree with a lot of them, particularly on social issues. Last night's debate seemed to focus more on the issues since Donald Trump wasn't a part of it. From as far as an objective view I could have on the debates, I think Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio came across as total hypocrites who pander to gain votes regardless of their principles. In both of their cases, there were clips where they said things contrary to their positions today, and what worries me is that they didn't admit they changed their position but rather it was out of context. On top of that, when a direct question was asked they avoided giving a straight answer.

Of all the candidates that did participate the debate, I feel like Rand Paul was the one who stuck to his principles the most. Not that I agree with some of his principles, but it is definitely admirable coming from a politician. Jeb Bush did seem to be the most moderate of the bunch and actually seemed to be articulate in his responses, but I think it's too little too late for him. Ben Carson seemed completely out of his league. Chris Christie and John Kasich were boring and forgettable.

Overall they kept saying that they would defeat Hillary Clinton, which is a bit presumptuous. The only time that Bernie Sanders was mentioned was when Marco Rubio said that Bernie Sanders would be a great president for Sweden. I would be interested on how they would attack Bernie other than continually calling him a socialist like it's a dirty word.

Obviously progressives and conservatives have contrasting views on the role of government. Progressives see government as a way to help people, and conservatives see government as a way to hurt people. As a person who studied economics, I can understand why conservatives would favor a laissez faire capitalist system. But to me, I think this view lacks compassion for the fellow human being, which is ironic because the most pious people tend to vote conservative.

I don't understand why it's so hard to acknowledge the climate change exists and is proven by science. I don't think environmentalism and capitalism need to be at odds at each other. For instance, why is it so bad to have a cap-and-trade policy? It gives incentives for companies to be more energy efficient with the ability to sell any excess amount to other companies for profit. Isn't that what capitalism is all about, having the incentive to make more money?

I also don't understand why conservatives still don't understand what Planned Parenthood does. If anything, Planned Parenthood is against abortions.

If you believe in a limited government, then why exactly to you care if two gay people get married? Wouldn't wanting to prevent it overstep the boundaries of what a government should be doing?

If you believe in a balanced budget, then why do you support tax loopholes that only benefit the rich when fixing these loopholes could result in more government revenue without having to raise taxes on the middle class?

Are conservatives really trusting that for-profit health care companies would be doing what's in a patient's best interest rather than shareholders' interests?

Why do we think that gun violence will change if nothing gets done? The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

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calvinl

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