Let's get down to the real point of this little piece on Joe Republican. The conservative belief that the government should not regulate the economy, that it should not take an interest in the welfare of less-privileged citizens by constraining the greed of large corporations, presumably because the better the big companies do the more jobs they'll create, therefore benefitting the rest of the world, looks just false to me. It looks as if historically, interventions by government have at least on many occasions been a good thing. Social Security was identified with Socialism when it was proposed, and it is sometimes attacked today as a Ponzi scheme. But I can't forget how much things better were for my mother and father, both political conservatives, once they started receiving it. In my childhood Medicare was attacked as Socialism, but again, it has made a huge difference to many people, including my parents. So much so that Bush wanted to expand it when he got into the Presidency.
Bill Vallicella once criticized my use of this little piece by saying that it commits a diachronic fallacy; it implies that because liberals might have been justified in going for government assistance to the economy in the past, it doesn't follow that the kinds of things liberals propose today are justified. As Palin would say, perhaps so. Nevetheless the general principle that government should keep its filthy laws off our collective economic body seems just false, and there can't be any greater proof that what we have seen this past week. The bitter fruits of deregulation have been reaped this past week, and now one of the leading deregulators, a member of the Keating Five, wants the job of cleaning up the mess?
The Bible says those who won't work should not eat. But those willing to work should eat, and the weakest members of society, those who are too young, too old, or too sick, or too disabled, to work, should be able to eat as well. It would be wonderful it trickle-down actually worked, or if in particular Christians were so generous enough so that government action was not necessary. The evidence suggests otherwise.
The Day in the Life of Joe Democrat mentions mostly things that Rush Limbaugh, in his worst nightmares, images liberals as advocating, not the actual accomplishments of real liberals.
Let's take a look at something that was enacted in the Clinton years, the Family and Medical Leave Act, which was for the purpose of preventing companies from firing mothers who took of to have babies and spend time at home with their children before going back to work. I was pleased to see that McCain voted for this legislation, but I remember Limbaugh and other conservatives railing against it. But gee, if you're pro-life and you want women to carry their babies to term and not abort them, how can you be against this sort of legislation? Is overturning Roe all you can think of when you think about lowering the abortion rate?
For reasons I have presented earlier, while I don't subscribe to what I think is a doctrinaire commitment to "a woman's right to choose," I don't think that is an area where the President can make a direct impact. I am being told that if McCain is elected, we'll get a fifth pro-life justice on the Court, Roe will be overturned, and abortion will at least be prohibited the the red states. I think that won't happen; I think the abortion rate will actually rise if McCain is elected and fall if Obama is elected. So pro-lifers should vote Democratic this time.
In foreign affairs, again I am actually a conservative, I am very conservative about the traditional Just War theory, and skeptical of modernists who think that that its provisions are "quaint" because we live in a "post 9/11 world." Iraq was, in my view, a completely unjust war, and when I get in a bad mood I actually think it's a war we deserve to lose, since we invaded the country immorally to begin with. (Yeah, I don't like the sound of what I just said either). I don't care what the justification is, there are things you don't do to prisoners of war and things you don't do to criminal defendants, and the people we picked up off the battlefield in Afganistan should not have been put into some "neither fish nor fowl" category so that they we could do what we wanted with them.
So these are some of the main reasons why I am a Democrat.