· I believe a country should take care of its weakest members. A country cannot call itself civilized when its children, disabled, sick, and elderly are neglected. Period.
· I don't believe your money should be taken from you and given to people who don't want to work. I have literally never encountered anyone who believes this. Ever. I just have a massive moral problem with a society where a handful of people can possess the majority of the wealth while others are literally starving, freezing to death, or dying because they can't afford to go to the doctor. Fair wages, lower housing costs, universal healthcare, affordable education, and the wealthy actually paying their share would go a long way toward alleviating this. Some may think believing that makes me a communist.
· I believe healthcare is a right, not a privilege. Somehow that's interpreted as "I believe Obamacare is the end-all, be-all." This is not the case. I'm fully aware that the ACA has problems, that a national healthcare system would require everyone to chip in, and that it's impossible to create one that is devoid of flaws, but I have yet to hear an argument that makes "let people die because they can't afford healthcare" a better alternative. I believe healthcare should be far cheaper than it is, and that everyone should have access to it. And no, I'm not opposed to paying higher taxes in the name of making that happen.
I don't throw around "I'm willing to pay higher taxes" lightly. I'm retired, but I'm fine with paying my share as long as it's actually going to something besides lining corporate pockets or bombing other countries while Americans die without healthcare.
· I believe companies should be required to pay their employees a decent, livable wage. Somehow this is always interpreted as me wanting burger flippers to be able to afford a penthouse apartment and a Mercedes. What it actually means is that no one should have to work three full-time jobs just to keep their head above water. Restaurant servers should not have to rely on tips, multibillion-dollar companies should not have employees on food stamps, workers shouldn't have to work themselves into the ground just to barely make ends meet, and minimum wage should be enough for someone to work 40 hours and live.
· As I see it, LGBTQ are American citizens, too. Why would their rights be any different?
· I believe we should take in refugees, or at the very least not turn them away without due consideration. Rejecting thousands of people because one terrorist might slip through is inhumane, especially when we consider what has happened historically to refugees who were turned away (see: MS St. Louis 1939).
If we're so opposed to taking in refugees, maybe we should consider changing some of our foreign policies that caused them to become refugees in the first place. We're fooling ourselves if we think that somewhere in the chain of events leading to many of these people becoming refugees, there isn't a line describing something the US did.
· I don't believe illegal immigrants should come to America and have the world at their feet, especially since THIS ISN'T WHAT THEY DO! (Spoiler: undocumented immigrants are ineligible for all those programs they're supposed to be abusing, and if they're "stealing" your job it's because your employer is hiring illegally.) I'm not opposed to deporting people who are here illegally, but I believe there are far more humane ways to handle undocumented immigration than our current practices (i.e., detaining children, splitting up families, ending DACA, etc.). And a path to citizenship for legal immigrants shouldn’t take tens of thousands of dollars or decades to complete.
· I believe education should be affordable and accessible to everyone. It doesn't necessarily have to be free (though it works in other countries so I'm mystified as to why it can't work in the US), but at the end of the day, there is no excuse for students graduating college saddled with five- or six-figure debt.
· I believe funding sustainable energy, including offering education to people currently working in fossil fuels to they can change jobs. There are too many better options for us to continue our dependence on oil and gas. And we need to give the Earth a break from the last 150 years of industrialization. Look how quickly it healed itself during this pandemic.
· The government should NOT regulate everything, but since greed is such a driving force in our country, we NEED some regulations to prevent cutting corners, environmental destruction, tainted food/water, unsafe materials in consumable goods or medical equipment, etc. It's not that I want the government's hands in everything, I just don't trust that all people trying to make money ensure that their products/practices/etc. are actually SAFE. Is the government devoid of shadiness? Of course not. But with regulations in place, consumers have recourse if they're harmed and companies are liable for medical bills, environmental cleanup, etc. Just kind of seems like common sense when the alternative to government regulation is letting companies bring their bottom line into the equation even more than they already do.
· On the question of abortion, Roe v. Wade has been established law for over 50 years and we need to move on. If we properly educate our young adults regarding reproduction, the issue of abortion would be significantly reduced. There are models in other countries showing this works.
· The original intent of the Second Amendment was to provide a local armed force to defend against the indigenous population as their homeland was appropriated by their new European neighbors and to be prepared to prevent slave revolts as happened in Jamaica in the 1760s Tacky’s Rebellion. I believe that with the right to keep and bear a modern assault weapon comes the responsibility to be trained, licensed, and qualified to operate it. Weapons of any kind are not toys. When I was in the Army, I had to complete 40 hours of weapons training to qualify to operate an M16 Assault Rifle and once per year I had to complete refresher training. Just as importantly, when a person cannot demonstrate the physical or mental ability to safely operate an assault weapon, they should lose that right.
· I am a Christian. I believe the Bible is God’s instruction manual to humans outlining how we are to interact with each other, and it clearly states that we will be held accountable for our actions. My Christianity tells me that God gave humans free will to accept or reject His existence and instructions. As a Christian I respect each individual and treat them as I would expect to be treated.
· I also believe that our Constitution gives each of us the bright to worship as we choose. That also means no one has the right to denigrate how someone else chooses to live their faith, as long as it is not in contradiction with U.S. Laws.
· I try to be politically correct, but sometimes I fall short. I know Maya Angelou said, when we know better, we do better. When someone tells you that a term or phrase is more accurate/less hurtful than the one you're using, you now know better. So why not do better? How does it hurt you to NOT hurt another person? Your refusal to adjust your vocabulary in the name of not being an asshole kind of makes YOU the snowflake.
Bottom line - we should take care of each other. There isn’t any scenario in which preventable suffering is an acceptable outcome. Now I hope you have a better understanding of who I am.