Since it’s Election Day, when did you first vote? Did you vote today? Have your political opinions changed as you’ve aged?
1999, maybe? There was some weirdness with me getting registered in Virginia, so I think I missed the general election that year. It’s only 1030, and I’m off work. I plan to take my wife, a first-time voter, over this afternoon after my couple of midday meetings. I’ve pretty much made up my mind, and will be voting for candidates from the two political parties. I won’t be voting Libertarian, because, once again, the candidate the LP is running in the biggest race seems more concerned with getting high than doing the basics of governing.
No matter what you think of Bill Clinton or George W. Bush, both were good at making sure the Federal government did the things it was supposed to do. In the past few years, however, that’s gone away. IOW, I won’t be voting to reinforce a Senate leadership who’ve completely punted on the budgeting process. There is one smug guy from the desert to blame.
As for my own political beliefs, yes, there’s been a change. I’ve become a lot more moderate as I’ve aged. One of my friends from college pretty well nailed it when he described government under me — everyone would get what they needed, but nobody would be happy about it. I do have a very egalitarian streak, but I also see the value in following the rules from top to bottom.
On the major issues, I’ve rethought many positions I once held. The latest? Capital punishment. I am now, pretty firmly, against the state having the power to take life. I realize that getting rid of it, completely, would require an amendment to the Constitution.
I support universal health care. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is a disaster, though. It’s legislation artfully crafted to try to protect party politicians, while, simultaneously avoiding offending organized labor. Disaster. I still think a single-payer insurance system, with the ability to purchase auxiliary or alternative insurance, and a purely private delivery system is best. Note that that is not a single-provider system like the British NHS, the VA, etc. Roberts’ opining upholding “Obamacare” did not really help resolve the issues. But it did absolutely destroy a misreading of what Congress can do under the Commerce Clause.
I’ve written enough. This afternoon, I’ll go vote against some people, and vote for only one. That’s been the story for me the past few elections.