Some of my political stances

Here are some of my personal opinions on major political issues. They are opinions I have thought long and hard about, and which I feel confident sharing, but which I am open to changing should I be adequately convinced. I would love to have civil talks with anyone about these (meaning act your age, if you cite a source, make sure it’s peer reviewed, be logical etc). I identify as a centrist who leans liberal and recognizes the value of compromise.

1. COVID-19 is not a hoax, bioweapon, or conspiracy. It is a natural disaster, just like a hurricane or volcanic eruption. Microbes mutate all the time, and natural selection is an ongoing process. The spread of this novel coronavirus has been exacerbated by the fact that modern society is heavily globalized, with international travel more common than ever. The virus is also uniquely dangerous because of its two-week asymptomatic incubation period, during which it is highly contagious but not easily detectable. The virus is *not* the fault of China.

2. Abortion is a complex issue and does not have a simple blanket solution. I want the minimum number of abortions to happen while still giving women bodily autonomy. I am pro life and pro choice. Abortion is awful and sad and damaging, but it is sometimes justified. Abortion is an issue for which I believe the opinions of biological females ought to have more weight than those of biological males.

3. People should be able to own guns, as long as they can prove they’re not a psychopath through extensive checks and tests. They still shouldn’t own insane over-the-top guns, though (e.g. machines meant to kill as many people as possible as efficiently as possible). There should be a significant cool-down period between the time a person *decides* they want to get a gun and the time they actually *have* it in their hands. I do not think you should be able to get a gun in one day.

4. Rich people should pay more taxes than poor people according to a smooth gradient. Tax rates should be a smooth, continuous function of your income. Taking X% of a poor person’s income can mean the difference between eviction and comfortable living. Taking the same X% of a rich person’s income will not impact them nearly as severely. The government needs a certain amount of money to function responsibly, and it should be sourced in the way that causes the least *total* human pain and suffering.

5. Climate change is a real threat, and it is caused by humanity. The globe is warming, the ice caps are melting, seas are rising and becoming more acidic. Storms and weather patterns are intensifying. Climate change isn’t just something that *will* eventually cause damage, it’s something that *is* actively causing damage right here, right now. Drastic measures must be taken by our government NOW to reduce the USA’s environmental impact and incentivize businesses to innovate newer, better ways to generate power, transport people, or provide food. A national roadmap for ending the sale of new gas-powered cars in the entire US in the next 15 years would be great.

6. Racism is real, and still exists in the USA. Some of the shootings of black people by police officers were racially motivated. Some were not. The vast majority of police officers are good people working hard at doing the right thing. A small percentage of police officers are corrupt people abusing the power of their station to put down others. There is no reason to punish the entire police establishment for the actions of these few, but there *is* significant reason to mandate more thorough screening and training of candidates for police officers. I do not in any capacity support any person who incites hate, violence, rioting, looting, or destruction on *either* side of this debate. I do not believe the police should be defunded, but I support reforms of the policing system as a whole.

7. Poor people, addicts, and the homeless should be given the benefit of the doubt. Yes, “freeloaders” are a problem, but I believe they are less of a problem than many think. I believe in cultivating the best in people and giving them second, third, fourth, and more chances. Welfare systems are *not* perfect by any means, but they ought to be fixed and improved instead of completely removed.

8. The Electoral College is based on a good sentiment, but poorly executed. While I do not pretend to have an alternative, I do believe that a *modified* version of a pure popular vote could reasonably replace it. In very close elections, I believe the popular vote should be final. I don’t like Hillary Clinton, but I believe she ought to have won the election in 2016. The race was very close, but in the end, ~1% more American citizens voted for her than for Donald Trump.

9. Healthcare should be *neither* completely laissez-faire *nor* completely socialist. Both models have serious flaws. I believe the ideal system is a heavily regulated free-market system. A compromise.

10. The size and power of America’s military should be reduced, OR major changes need to be made to it in order to make it much more efficient. The current bureaucracy of the military is extremely inefficient and costly to maintain.

11. Political debates should be fact-checked live on television by a carefully vetted bi-partisan non-extremist committee.

12. Voters should NEVER vote because of party allegiance. Which party you call yourself a member of, or are registered under, should have zero impact on which candidate you vote for. When you cast your ballot, cast it entirely off of the candidates themselves, what they have said and done, and what kind of person they are. Do your own research, and always triple check a fact or statistic (as well as your understanding of said fact or statistic) before using it in an argument.

13. Science is real, and the scientific consensus on most things is generally accurate. Science is all about discovery, though, so it is OK if the scientific consensus changes. The word of one or two outliers does *not* represent the scientific consensus.

If you actually took the time to read all of what I just wrote, wow! You are super awesome. Whether you agree or disagree with me on any of these, I would absolutely love to talk to you more about it in the comment section below. I want to hear your opinions and engage in civil discussion about them!

Have a great day,

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