I’m a conservative, especially on issues like the environment: I want to conserve our fresh water, and therefore healthy forests and watersheds, and clean air. Economically, I think responsible development should be centered around our renewable resources: Healthy fish stocks, a limited value-added timber industry that puts local people to work in manufacturing as well as in select harvesting, a regulated tourism industry, and the development of non-polluting energy resources like wind and solar, not to mention tidal and geothermal power. Of our precious non-renewable resources, leave some of it in the ground and focus on recycling what we’ve already used — we have children and grandchildren, right? Don’t we want to leave some for them? Maybe they’ll be a little smarter about developing them.
Socially I’m extremely conservative: I believe in peace, locally and globally. I think what we have in common with our neighbors far outweighs our differences, and I don’t think our gross national product should be war and weapons. I don’t think we should allow our supposedly representational government to pick fights all over the world, fueling conflicts our children have to fight and pay for.
I believe whole heartedly in limited government, but that among our government’s most vital roles is ensuring every child a good world-class education, free access to good health care, open access to the courts, and to protect us, not only from violent crime and invasion but from the exploitation of giant multinationals which currently dominate the world economy, and which pose a grave threat to all of the above: These are causes well worth paying for, investments that will bring enormous dividends in the form of a free and productive society.
Unfortunately “liberals” control the media and our government, motivated by short-term profits and the sort of ruthless exploitation and adventurism which have resulted in a world where constant warfare and a degraded environment have engendered poverty, fear, religious extremism, and inequality — the opposite of the principles which underlie our founding documents. They’ve used this control to exactly reverse most of our politically cogent terms and effectively pit us against each other when we really should be working together to hold our government accountable for its actions.
What to do? Ask questions, think critically, invest in education, and work to find commonality with our neighbors. Also, vote, while we still can.