While it's true that I've voted for the Democratic candidate in every election since, my views ebb and flow between the conservative, moderate and liberal.
So here are some of my current positions. You tell me: Am I liberal or a conservative?
Gay MarriageI previously supported civil unions and now support gay marriage for the same reason: Marriage is a bundle of laws, and I believe that laws should be applied equally to every citizen.
Marriage may mean something to you based upon your religious views, but legally, church and state are separate. The church ceremony has nothing at all to do with law, and churches should be free to marry---or not marry---anyone they choose.
Some believe that by legalizing "gay marriage," society will suddenly treat married gay couples exactly the same as straight marriages. If that is the goal of gay marriage advocates, I think they are wrong. You can't force someone to agree with your view via legislation.
TaxationI'm not a fan of paying taxes. Who is? But I will typically vote for state tax increases if they improve my city. I supported Vision 2025 and will likely always support capital improvements. Look, the tax system is a system we're more or less stuck with if we want America to continue to be the country we were raised in. I have no idea what an America without Government would look like, since my entire life I've lived in our current system. And I don't hate it, so I don't support breaking it.
Equal protection under the lawI believe that all citizens of the United States should be treated equally, regardless of race, national origin, sexual orientation or any other category that we can dream up to separate us. We're people, simple as that, and deserve to be treated equally and with respect.
AbortionI'm not a fan. I believe legal abortion should be available in the first trimester only, and that abortion inducing drugs should be readily available during that same time. Why are we still doing surgical abortions? Don't we have morning after pills? Why wouldn't you want someone who made a mistake last night to not deal with it tonight, when the fetus is not yet formed?
On the flip side, I think 3rd trimester abortions should be illegal. And that second trimester abortions should only be permitted in the case of medical risk to the mother. Come on people, if you made it to month four of the pregnancy and haven't done anything about it...you should probably just have the baby. In my humble opinion.
Gun RightsAmerican citizens should have the right to bear arms. It's right there in the constitution. And not for hunting either---such a day might come that we need to arm ourselves against a tyrannical government. Unlikely in the near future, but just in case, I support this constitutional amendment.
States RightsThe federal government is in a much better position to protect us, affect fiscal policy, and frankly do just about anything over the state government. State government has been taking it easy for the last hundred years. It's not a serious government. In other words, while I think it's good to retain some individual rights as a state, in reality the federal government is the king of this land. If states had any real power, we'd still have Jim Crow laws in Alabama.
And I'm glad we don't.
I'm don't support the notion of the US being the policemen of the world. We need to let other nations behave autonomously, and only get involved when threats are immanent. I prefer diplomacy over war.
Obviously my political views are limited, pedestrian, and I doubt I'll be taking telephone calls from heady think-tank wonks with questions about the economy anytime soon. But I think what I think, maybe right, maybe wrong.
So to recap the question: after reading my views, would you categorize me as a liberal, a conservative, or a monkey from the planet mars?